If you need a break from your Oscar checklist, or simply prefer to watch some of the early contenders from the comfort of your couch, here are the latest releases on DVD (and most popular downloads). It’s a good week for action fans. For your convenience, I’ve divided them into two categories: Worth a Watch and Must Miss.
Worth a Watch
Iron Man 3
Like the third installment of any action trilogy, it’s bigger--much bigger. The enemy is not just daunting, they are invincible; the threat is not just dangerous, it’s catastrophic; the attack is not just evil, it’s personal…not that there’s anything wrong with that. Plus, there’s the added bonus of the complicated anti-hero Tony Stark so aptly portrayed by real-life complicated anti-hero Robert Downey Jr.
Man of Steel
This is a thoughtful, slightly over-analytical, re-imagining of the Superman myth. Nevertheless, our hero is a dashing and charismatic caped crusader, as well as a charming reticent Clark Kent. The 21st-century special effects bolster the modern remake.
World War Z
I stand by my earlier recommendation, but I will say I’ve received some comments since, so let me be very clear: This is a zombie movie. Yes, it has award buzz. Yes, it stars the eclectically typecast Brad Pitt. No it is not your run-of-the-mill, low-budget, brain-eating scream-fest. Nevertheless, it’s a zombie movie--a really freaking good zombie movie. Well, don’t think too hard about it—I didn’t say smart zombie movie.
Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg star in this underrated suspense film. The men play members of a drug ring; and each man, unbeknownst to the other, is an undercover informant. When they are involved in a robbery-gone-bad, they discover a far-reaching conspiracy that leaves them on their own.
This is the End
The good news is, if you confuse the title with the extremely funny Simon Pegg comedy, The World’s End, it’s a win-win. This film is an extremely funny spoof of the recent spate of apocalyptic disaster movies, and it successfully harpoons horror, Hollywood and even the actors themselves.
We're the Millers
I don’t see Jason Sudeikis having that comic-turned-box-office-star meteoric rise of Mike Myers or Jim Carrey; however, this quirky comedy about a small-time drug-dealer forced to manufacture a family vacation--including the family--to disguise a drug shipment, is really funny.
Behind the Candelabra
This HBO biopic about the flamboyant and fascinating icon Liberace is both entertaining and interesting. It is also sexually explicit, so if you like your movies PG-13, steer clear. Michael Douglas portrays the dazzling pianist, and Matt Damon costars as his young lover.
I found these movies to be a complete waste of time:
White House Down
Grown Ups 2
The To Do List