This week’s releases include an emotional, life-altering journey; a computer-generated, historical adventure; and a night at the movies with some hot male companions.
A Little Bit of Heaven (DVD)
Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is young, beautiful, and wildly funny, but she's afraid of opening herself up to true love and commitment. Though she uses her humour to prevent matters from getting serious, a life-changing visit to her doctor (Gael García Bernal) sends both of them on an eye-opening adventure of mutual discovery, leading to revelations neither thought possible.
First they make you care, and then they drop the bomb. Marley is a very charming woman. She's funny, outgoing, successful and caring towards everyone in her circle. Having already established her personality, when she's diagnosed with a terminal illness, the audience feels the blow of the news. The wishing aspect of the plot is almost negligible as it had little to do with the overall narrative; the likability of the characters and the energy of the story are what engage the viewer. Not surprisingly as the disease progresses so does the emotional intensity, but it still has many light moments and doesn't end on a downer.
Special features include: interviews with cast and crew. (Alliance Films)
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (Blu-ray)
Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) had a modest childhood with a working class father and a loving mother. But when she's taken from him by a vampire, Abe vows revenge against the entire race. He travels the country destroying the blood-sucking creatures at every opportunity until finally facing off with the one who poisoned his mother. With the help of a mysterious man named Henry (Dominic Cooper), his childhood playmate and free Black Will (Anthony Mackie), and good friend Speed (Jimmi Simpson), Abe grows to take on slavery in the South and the vampires that protect their convenient food supply, including Adam (Rufus Sewell), supposedly the first of his kind.
This film is an inventive retelling of American history that assumes monsters are real and played a key role in building the nation. Author Seth Grahame-Smith wrote the screenplay for the adaptation of his book of the same name, but it appears he viewed the change in mediums as an opportunity to do a complete re-write of the original narrative: adding and removing characters, altering previously described history, and filling it with more action than one mortal man could endure. The rich story gives way to a special effects extravaganza, including a cat-and-mouse chase between a pack of wild horses that results in pony throwing, and an even more surprising catch and recovery. The film stems on the ridiculous in most instances, but it does so intentionally.
Special features include: commentary by writer Seth Grahame-Smith; a making-of featurette; “The Great Calamity Graphic Novel”; “A Visual Feast: Timur Bekmambetov’s Visual Style”; and music video for “Powerless” by Linkin Park. (Fox Home Entertainment)
The Fugitive: Most Wanted Edition – The Complete Series (DVD)
Dr. Richard Kimble (David Janssen) is accused of murdering his wife. The night before his execution, he escapes. The only chance to prove his innocence is to find the man who killed her. Kimble, persecuted by the Lt. Gerard (Barry Morse), risks his life several times when he shows his identity to help other people out of trouble.
Special features include: extended pilot commentary by Walter Grauman; David Janssen on the Mike Douglas Show; “Fugitive Around the World”; series promo; finale episode epilogue; Joey Bishop interview with David Janssen; “Memories of a Maestro: Composer Dominic Frontiere”; “The Sound of the Chase”; Dinah Shore Show skit with David Janssen and George Gobel; “Spotlight on Barry Morse”; and “Merely Players,” featuring Barry Morse. (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Magic Mike (Blu-ray)
Magic Mike (Channing Tatum) is an entrepreneur with many talents and loads of charm. He spends his days pursuing the American dream, from roofing houses to designing furniture. But at night he’s just magic. The hot headliner in an all-male revue, Magic Mike has been rocking the stage at Club Xquisite for years, with his original style and over-the-top dance moves. Mike takes a young dancer nicknamed The Kid (Alex Pettyfer) under his wing and schools him in the fine arts of partying, picking up women, and making easy money. Just as another summer heats up, an intriguing new woman enters his life, causing Mike to think twice about his future as a dancer.
The expectations for this film are simple: have fun watching attractive men dance provocatively as a generic storyline unfolds à la 54. And it delivers. Tatum continues to charm in the role of nice guy trying to make good. While Pettyfer’s performance almost mirrors that of Ryan Phillippe in the aforementioned period picture, which makes it to some extent boring. The club sequences are the most entertaining elements of the movie, from the music to the rehearsals to the costumes to Matthew McConaughey’s outrageous stage personality. The remainder of the dancers are casted well, providing an amusing mix of personalities and familiar faces.
Special features include: “Backstage on Magic Mike”; extended dance scenes; and dance play mode. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Complete Fourth Season (Blu-ray)
The battle to save the galaxy reaches new heights of peril and new depths of darkness. The valiant Jedi Knights and clone troopers defend exotic planets from enemy forces. They wage war underwater, battle across a night-shrouded world, and take on the merciless Death Watch. The heroes are tested like never before as Anakin is haunted by the realities of his past, Ahsoka fights to free her people and an undercover Obi-Wan braves a deadly bounty hunter tournament. The season culminates with the shocking return of a villain from the past: the ruthless Darth Maul, who will stop at nothing to achieve vengeance.
Special features not available. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)