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article imageReview: New on DVD for October 22 Special

By Sarah Gopaul     Oct 23, 2013 in Entertainment
This week’s releases include possibly the final chapter in an epic romance; a genuinely terrifying horror picture; a very contemporary comedy; an outstanding adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s plays; and some classic and new TV.
Before Midnight (DVD)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) first met in their twenties in Before Sunrise; reunited in their thirties in Before Sunset; and, now, they face the past, present and future: family, romance and love. On a writer’s retreat to Greece, the couple looks for a night of passion, but instead their idyllic night turns into a test of their relationship and a discussion of what the future holds for them.
Nearly 20 years later, Jesse and Céline remain one of the most captivating couples to ever take the screen -- now for a third time. With the open ending of Before Sunset, their story did not feel complete. In this second sequel, audiences discover whether or not Jesse caught his plane. Twin girls and a family vacation to Greece provide the backdrop to this peek into their romance. There are more characters than ever before as they converse with neighbors and new friends about relationships. Then a well-intentioned escape turns the microscope back onto them and their 18-year journey to this moment. They reminisce, challenge each other and eventually fight against beautiful landscapes. The fairy tale has finally transformed into reality and it's not without its flaws. As Jesse tells Celine, "This is true love. It's not perfect, but it’s real." Hawke and Delpy once again take up their roles as if it's a tailor-made costume they don every few years with the help of director Richard Linklater and the result is their most real depiction of love yet.
Special features include: commentary by director Richard Linklater, Hawke and Delpy; “Revisiting Jesse and Céline”; and Q&A with Hawke, Delply and Linklater. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
The Conjuring (Blu-ray)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Based on true events, the film tells the story of ghost hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren (Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson), who help a family terrorized by an evil spirit in their mysterious farmhouse.
Director James Wan is keenly aware that inanimate objects can be instinctively creepy, so starting the film with the real-life haunting of Annabelle, a large, demonic doll, expertly sets the tone for the remainder of the movie. This and the family dog's reaction to her new home are groundwork for almost two hours of goose bumps, increased heartbeats and hairs standing on the back of your neck. This film doesn't rely on the jump scare to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. It establishes an atmosphere of expectation and suspense early on and sustains it for the entire movie. A door opening or unexplained creak isn't always sinister, but the audience never knows which is innocent or threatening. Additionally, the spirits only gradually reveal themselves, preserving the fear of the unknown as long as possible. Due to its connection to the Amityville incident, there are sure to be comparisons. But this film surpasses the best of the movie franchise in its ability to unnerve audiences in a uniquely skillful and spine-chilling approach to the haunted house narrative.
Special features include: “The Conjuring: Face-to-Face with Terror”; “A Life in Demonology”; and “Scaring the “@$*%” Out of You.” (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
The Internship (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital copy)
Fox Home Entertainment
Trying to reboot their obsolete careers, old-school salesmen Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) talk their way into an internship program at the state-of-the-art Google campus, vying for a handful of spots among tech-savvy college students who are half their age and twice as smart.
Everyone talks about how much the job market has changed, but no one has captured it as accurately in a film before this. Vaughn, Wilson and director Shawn Levy entertainingly address the generation gap between new and older workers. A mission to find a "bug" in the system leads to misinformed references to The Fly and a quest to find Professor Xavier. Conversely, a task that involves speaking to people face-to-face practically disables the younger members of their team. The fresh grads are under extreme pressure to succeed, act like nothing really affects them and pretend to fit in even though their uncomfortable. Billy and Nick, on the other hand, are spontaneous risk-takers that just go with the flow. Though a lot of the narrative is amusingly pointing out their differences, once they begin to work together it almost turns into an inspiration for collaboration.
Special features include: theatrical and unrated versions of film; commentary by Shawn Levy; deleted scenes; “Any Given Monday”; sneak peeks. (Fox Home Entertainment)
Kindred: The Embraced – Complete Series (DVD)
Paramount Home Media Distribution
Enter the dangerous and sexy world of the undead when vampires clash with mortals – and each other – in modern-day San Francisco. Five clans of urban vampires are known as the Kindred, and in their terrifying embrace, one becomes forever young … forever beautiful … forever doomed. From the savagery in the premiere episode to the chilling climatic finale, the Kindred draws you into a mysterious realm of corruption, turf wars, forbidden liaisons, and inhuman hunger.
The vampire story was one of the first adapted for the screen, and it made a lasting impression. The legend varies from source to source, but they attract the same admirers. The first episode of this short-lived series maps out a very complex world of hierarchies, love, trust and betrayal. These creatures live amongst humans, mostly undetected. The different clans to which they belong inform the style of vampire he or she is. Some are romantic, while others are sexual or aggressive. They enforce their species' ancient laws, including the death penalty when required. They also have more magical powers, such as the ability to shape shift or have visions. Though they attempt to remain concealed, one woman's desire for a local cop significantly changes their dynamics and his fate. The special packaging is very appropriately romantic and the inclusion of The Book of Nod provides an additional way to explore their world.
Special features include: commentary by John Leekley, Peter Medak, Ralph Hemecker and James L. Conway; deleted scenes; extended pilot episode and recaps; “Daedalus – Last Will and Testament”; and “The Kindred Chronicles – Part One: Genesis; Part Two: Crafting a Myth.” (Paramount Home Media Distribution)
Much Ado About Nothing (DVD)
Entertainment One
A sexy and contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s classic comedy about sparring lovers Beatrice and Benedick.
Director Joss Whedon is a genius, taking on the bard and creating a film that is fun, accessible and doesn't require an English degree to follow. Even though the actors perform Shakespeare's dialogue with little alteration, it is easy to understand their meaning. Moreover, they invigorate the words with a life and enthusiasm that makes this adaptation one of the best of the playwright's works. The players are so comfortable with the writing that it flows easily off their tongues and doesn't give the slightest hint that they're not speaking modern English. Gathering many of the actors with which Whedon has worked before gives this film a pleasant familiarity that fans will love, particularly the reunion between former on-screen couple Denisof and Acker. Nathan Fillion’s portrayal of the ever-present fool is also very entertaining. In addition the likeable soundtrack is written by Whedon and produced by his brother Jed Whedon.
Special features include: commentary by director Joss Whedon; commentary by cast and Whedon; making-of featurette; “Bus Ado About Nothing”; and “Sigh No More” music video. (Entertainment One)
Nikita – The Complete Third Season (Blu-ray)
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
In a game-changing turnaround, Division is now run by Nikita, Michael and former CIA analyst Ryan Fletcher, who has been tasked by the U.S. president to clean up after the previous regime – or else. With punk rock hacker Seymour Birkhoff hardwired to the cause, Nikita’s protégé Alex and ex-Navy SEAL Sean Pierce in the fold, and Owen back from a Russian prison, the new team has all the tech, muscle and spy power they need to round up the Dirty Thirty – rogue assassins who remain at large around the globe. But Amanda has Division in her crosshairs, the Oval Office wants the job done yesterday and the operation suffers devastating physical hits.
Things at Division are different now that Percy no longer runs the show, but the team still requires some convincing; as does the President who is keeping her finger on the trigger should their clean-up plan go awry. In addition to worrying about a possible ambush, Division is also trying to uncover a mole that could derail all their work thus far. Recovering the "Dirty 30" is no easy task either. It takes a few tries before they're actually able to bring someone in alive, battling with now foreign leaders and cult sympathizers threatening the populace. On top of the usual espionage, the relationships of team members are at the forefront with a new commitment and major betrayal. But their combined determination to right the wrongs -- and stay out of prison -- remains the series' driving force.
Special features include: unaired scenes and gag reel. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment)
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