This week’s releases include: a story about finding oneself; an adorable monster sequel; a family thriller; a new supernatural war; and an amazingly true love story.

Beautiful Wave on Blu-rayBeautiful Wave (Blu-ray)
Introspective teen Nicole (Ms. Teegarden) is sent from her home in New York City to sunny Santa Cruz to spend her vacation with her estranged grandmother, Sue (Ms. Richardson).  Upon her arrival, Nicole meets a group of locals who work at her grandmother’s surf shop.  After encountering a mysterious vintage truck and special map left behind by the grandfather (Lance Henriksen) she never met, Nicole and her new friends set out on a road trip to find the elusive “untouched” surf spot off the Baja coast.  As Nicole’s journey unfolds, she learns how to finally let go of her fears and her past, and discovers much more than she ever imagined she would about herself and her family – including an incredible secret hidden among the beautiful waves.

There are no special features. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)

Gremlins 2: The New Batch on Blu-rayGremlins 2: The New Batch (Blu-ray)
The rules are the same but the laughs are bigger and the thrills are better. This time Billy and everyone’s favourite Mogwai, Gizmo, must face off against a new batch of Gremlins that definitely think New York is their kind of town.

If the first picture was a trial run, the sequel goes all out. The Gremlins have even more attitude and Gizmo is as cute as ever. A borderline horror movie, the creepy little creatures aren’t always so little anymore and the havoc they reap is on a much larger scale. This is ’80s puppetry at its finest before all the monsters could be digitally produced.

Special features include: commentary by director Joe Dante, actor Zach Galligan, writer Charlie Haas and producer Michael Finnell; more than 20 minutes of never-before-seen footage; behind-the-scenes documentary; alternate home video sequence; gag reel; and theatrical trailer. (Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group)

Mother's Day on DVDMother’s Day (DVD)
After a bank robbery gone wrong, three brothers head for home only to discover that their mother lost the house in a foreclosure. The new owners and their guests, gathered for an ill-timed birthday party, become the brothers’ unwitting hostages. Their mother and sister arrive, and it soon becomes obvious that Mother will do absolutely anything to protect her children. In one terrifying evening, Mother brilliantly takes control of the situation and masterminds her sons’ escape. Sides will be taken, secrets revealed and sins punished as the hostages struggle to make it through the night.

There are no special features. (Alliance Films)

Underworld: Awakening on DVDUnderworld: Awakening (Blu-ray)
This time vampire warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

The description above sounds like a very interesting movie. The immortals would once again have a common enemy. But that is not the film that was made. The majority of this picture resembled an action-packed video game with only enough dialogue to create a skeleton plot. Following a film as rich with story as the third Underworld, a prequel, with this mindless fist fight is very disappointing. To that end, the CGI remains top notch though the series should have ended on a high note when it had the chance.

Special features include: commentary by filmmakers. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Vow on DVDThe Vow (DVD)
Inspired by a true story, this is the tale of a husband (Channing Tatum) who must regain the love of his wife (Rachel McAdams) after a coma steals the past five years of her memories.

Of course it’s a little cheesy, but in that way that makes you smile, not roll your eyes. Tatum and McAdams, neither of whom are unfamiliar with the genre, portray a love and frustration that rings true in many ways. There is a slightly too lengthy voiceover through the first act, but the sentiment boils down to this: moments of impact define who we are and we are the sum total of our memories; but what happens if we can no longer remember those moments? Despite the soft category, the film actually does a decent job of exploring this conundrum through Paige’s interactions with everyone after the accident. Tatum and McAdams bring a sincerity to their roles that draw audiences into the tale.

Special features include: commentary by director Michael Sucsy; deleted scenes; and gag reel. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

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