DVDs for Sept. 11 by Boo Allen
This week we begin in England:
Appropriate Adult (****)
This excellent two part, fact-based British crime drama stars
BAFTA winner Emily Watson as the title character, Janet Leach, an
adult who accompanies a criminal as a sort of civilian advocate. In
her first assignment, she quietly sits next to Fred West (Dominic
West) as he admits to a murder, then recants, only to admit it again.
He eventually gains trust in Janet and begins spilling out all his
heinous crimes, some of which he may have committed with his
cold-blooded wife (Monica Dolan). Janet hears his confessions but
works under confidentiality, all while trying to persuade Fred to
reveal all. Before long, her unwanted notoriety and Fred’s litany of
grievous crimes take a tool on Janet psychologically. Deftly directed
by Julian Jarrold
Not rated, 135 minutes.
Where Do We Go Now? (***)
In a small, unnamed village, supposedly in Lebanon, Muslims and
Christians have long lived together in harmony. But problems arise
with the men, who mistake specific actions for slights only to take
unnecessary grievance. The women of the village unite to keep the
peace, but not exactly in the sexual way of Euripides’ “Trojan
Women.” They use guile and cleverness, and that is what
distinguishes this unpretentious film from writer-director Nadine
Rated PG-13, 100 minutes. The DVD offers an 18 minute
“making of” featurette, 12 minutes on the music, and 39 minutes
on “An Evening With Director Nadine Labaki, composer Khaled
Mouzanar and producer Dominique Toussaint.
Farmer Scott Murphy (Brian Presley) learns his crops
will fail and that his house will be repossessed, humiliating him and
his wife Macy (Melanie Lynskey) and two children. So, he attempts
suicide. Magical movie gods then whisk him back 20 years, when he was
the star of his high school football team. The film’s teen part leads
up to Murphy’s devastating injury on the final play of his big
championship game, something that changes the course of his life for
the worse, or so it seems. Gradually, fate steps in and gives Murphy
insight into what is important in life. Touching if overly hokey at
times. Kurt Russell plays the high school football coach.
Not rated, 121 minutes. The DVD, in all formats,
includes a six minute “making of” featurette.
Suddenly Single (**1/2)
Samantha (Garcelle Beauvais) and Sylvester (Isaiah
Washington) have been married for 17 years and are about to move into
a new house when he announces he is leaving her for another woman.
Devastated, she rebounds and discovers life as a single woman.
Written and directed by David Talbert.
Not rated, 98 minutes. The DVD contains a
Bad Karma (***)
Ray Liotta uses his trademark glare as Molloy, a
drug-addicted small-time crook in Australia. After botching a job
which sends his partner Yates (Dominic Purcell) to jail, Molloy
sobers up and becomes a model citizen. But three years later, a
paroled Yates returns to threaten Molloy’s now idyllic life with his
new girlfriend by dragging him into a murder and robbery. Director
Suri Krishnamma develops and maintains effectively menacing
Rated R, 87 minutes.
Stealing Las Vegas (**)
When a sleazy casino-owner (Eric Roberts) pilfers $20
million from his employees’ pension fund, a diverse group of
employees unites to return it in this cut-rate Ocean’s Eleven
caper-thriller. Marginally diverting entertainment.
Not rated, 87 minutes. The disc offers commentary and 19
minutes of deleted and alternate scenes.
And now, something for kids:
The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series
Scholastic Media releases several versions of this
popular kids’ series. The eight disc collection offers all 52
episodes of the program starring Ms. Frizzle as she takes kids
through a variety of lessons examining such diverse topics as the
cosmos, flight, diving the oceans, the human body and more.
Not rated, approximately 22 hours. The collection also
comes in three packs and in four separate single packages.
Finally, more TV series arrive in anticipation of the
new fall season:
Spartacus: Vengeance—season two
This original Starz series features Liam McIntyre as
Spartacus, while Lucy Lawless, Peter Mensah, Manu Bennett and others
appear in a season of ten episodes on three discs. This season, the
rebellion continues while the Rome republic begins to fight back.
Spartacus must gather his forces and persuade them to stay together.
Not rated, 440 minutes. The collection includes
commentaries and around an hour total of seven featurettes on such
subjects as the directing, bloopers, a “making of” featurette,
the legend of Spartacus, the effects, and more.
Person of Interest-season one
Jim Caviezel stars as John Reese in this crime drama
created by Jonathan Nolan (Inception) that sports
elements of the movie Minority Report and its source
Philip K. Dick short story. Reese begins the series as a former
trained soldier turned street person. Mysterious stranger Harold
Finch (Michael Emerson) rescues Reese. Together they assist people
who are about to die or suffer a disaster, all of which Finch knows
because he has invented a machine geared to forecast such situations.
The series of 23 weekly episodes, on four discs, DVD or Blu-ray, is
filled with white knuckle suspense and involving plots. Taraji P.
Henson plays the police detective always one step behind Reese until
she joins him.
Not rated, 1008 minutes. The collection also holds the
original unaired pilot with producer commentary, a 15 minute
featurette on “Living in an Age of Surveillance,” and a three
minute gag reel.
Private Practice: season five
This Grey’s Anatomy spinoff stars Kate
Walsh as surgeon Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery. Joining her in 22
episodes, on five discs, set at Oceanside Wellness, are Tim Daly,
Benjamin Bratt, KaDee Strickland, Taye Diggs and others. The season
sees Addison heading towards motherhood, saving a friend who suffers
a heart attack, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) again attending A.A.
meetings, Cooper (Paul Adelstein) reviving an old friendship, and
many other romantic entanglements and medical dramas.
Rated TV 14 DLSV, 946 minutes. The collection also holds
a 13 minute featurette on “The Practice of Parenthood,” ten
deleted scenes, and four minutes of bloopers.
In this hit comedy-crime hybrid of 23 episodes on five
discs, Nathan Fillion returns as Richard Castle, a successful crime
novelist who spends his spare time riding around Manhattan with
homicide detective Kate Beckett (uber-gorgeous Stana Katic). This season sees the
sexual tension build between the duo when Beckett returns to work.
She also seems to be on the trail of the man who killed her mother,
while Castle becomes a hostage in a bank robbery, and, every week
offers mystery in the form of a fresh corpse.
Rated TV 14 DLV, 989 minutes. The collection includes
commentaries, a four part, hour long, featurette on Nathan Fillion’s
foray into radio: “Fillion and Friends: Castle Goes Radio.” Plus:
an 18 minute segment on stunts, ten minutes with director Chuck
Bowman and his producer son Rob, four minutes of deleted scenes, and
five minutes of bloopers.
Also on DVD: Elles, For Greater Glory, The Hole.