DVDs for April 17 by Boo Allen
This week we begin in Manhattan:
In one of the most provocative films from last year, an
uninhibited Michael Fassbender plays a New York man with a
debilitating sexual addiction. The intrepid actor reunites with
director Steve McQueen (Hunger) to play Brandon, a
charmer who beds or wants to bed every woman he sees, an obsession
which eventually destroys his life. He consistently fails in serious
relationships, and his obsession even jeopardizes his job. At one
point, his uninvited sister Sissy (Carey Mulligan) forces him to let
her stay in his apartment. But while she is there, his routine
falters but never stops. McQueen deftly chronicles Brandon’s sex
life, examining his every affair and watching him in situations that
appear varied but end up looking similar. McQueen repetitively
delivers his main point, while Fassbender abandons all and turns in a
Rated NC-17, 125 minutes. The DVD, available in all
formats, includes featurettes on Fassbender, McQueen, “The Story of
Shame,” “A Shared Vision,” and a segment from the Fox Movie
Channel: “In Character with Michael Fassbender.
Miss Bala (***1/2), The Hidden Face (***1/2)
Fox Home Entertainment continues its World Cinema series with these two
compelling Spanish language films. In the nightmarish Miss
Bala (113 minutes), a sheltered and naive 23 year-old woman
(Stephanie Sigman) from Tijuana, Mexico joins her best friend in
trying out for a local beauty pageant. Before long, she becomes
hostage to a local drug lord, which leads to her committing several
criminal acts in order to survive and to protect her family. Director
Gerardo Naranjo creates a grim, violent, and authentic environment of
fear. The first half of The Hidden Face (86 minutes)
unfolds like standard horror fare. But the second half changes
directions and becomes a mysterious psychological thriller that
reveals everything in the film’s first half was simply setting up the
second, making all those horror cliches necessary and downright
clever. To begin, a Spanish orchestral conductor working in Bogota,
Colombia meets and begins a relationship with a local beautiful young
woman, even though his current girlfriend is missing, something the
local police know well. The new girlfriend begins hearing strange
noises and maybe even voices in the man’s rented house. Director
Andres Baiz then flashes back to when the conductor and his first
girlfriend initially left Spain and came to Colombia, up to the time
she goes missing. Only then do the two parts deliciously tie together
and deliver a nasty tale of revenge.
The multifaceted comic, actor, writer and rapper Donald
Glover delivers his stand-up routine in which he riffs on his
eclectic background. He goes on at length about his experiences not
only with his comical respite in Home Depot, but also with working
with Jon Stewart.
Not rated, 65 minutes. Also included are a taxi cab
interview with Glover and the brief featurette “Weirdo in NYC.”
Baseball’s Greatest Games—2011 World Series—Game Six
Now that baseball season has begun, can we please just
forget about this game, admittedly one of the most exciting games in
series history, but one, unfortunately, in which the Texas Rangers
went down to an ignominious defeat. Twice, the Rangers, ahead in the
series three games to two, were within one strike of winning the
series. Both times, the Cardinals came back to tie the score and
eventually to win and then win again the next night for the Series
crown. All of that can be re-lived in this two disc replay of the
game. If you must.
Not rated, 225 minutes.
And for kids this week:
Angelina Ballerina—Ultimate Collection
In these three stories found in the three disc
collection starring the dancing mouse, Angelina and her pals learn
more about working together towards their goals, all while enjoying
rock music, hip-hop and more.
Not rated, 177 minutes. Each disc holds an additional
Shaun the Sheep—Shear Madness
Seven episodes of Shaun and his barnyard buddies
highlight this latest collection from Aardman Animation.
Not rated, 45 minutes. The set contains a sing-a-long
feature and a sneak peek at a Timmy Time tune.
Fireman Sam—Rescue on the Water
Sam and his crew from Pontypandy appear in six episodes,
and one bonus episode, as they perform rescue operations during
floods and other water-related disasters.
Not rated, 55 minutes.
And, finally, our TV arrivals:
Eight is Enough—season one
In this popular family series that began in 1977 and was
based on Thomas Braden’s book, Dick Van Patten and Diana Hyland
starred as Tom and Joan Bradford of Sacramento, California. They
were the parents of eight vastly different children, all plucked to
provide the series with weekly crises, humor, and parental insight.
The first nine episodes arrive on three discs. Not rated, 440
minutes. The set also includes a featurette on a cast reunion.
Ice Road Truckers—season five
The white knuckle chills of this popular series never
grow old as four death-defying truck drivers (Jack, Hugh, Lisa, Alex)
take their bulky rigs over mountain passes and highways made only of
frozen water. In the 16 episodes, on four discs, they fearlessly
transport their endless loads.
Rated TV-PG-L, 734 minutes. The collection also holds
Top Shot—The Gauntlet: season three
Sixteen top shots compete for $100,000, including
homeland security agents, a national revolver champion, a Navy SEAL
and others. Colby Donaldson hosts this engaging show that features
competition with a diverse set of weapons. Four discs hold the
season’s 12 episodes.
Rated TV-PG-L, 572 minutes. The set also offers
additional footage, along with interviews with the contestants, as
well as their biographies.
Also on DVD: Road Racers, Seven Below, Treme—second season, Up From