New on DVD & Blu-ray: June 5, 2012

Posted: June 5, 2012 in DVD & Blu-ray Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

This week’s releases include: a new kind of military drama; the will to survive; a true sci-fi adventure; the ultimate distraction; and a romance undone.

Act of Valor on DVDAct of Valor (DVD)
An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, the film stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs. When a mission to recover a kidnapped CIA operative unexpectedly results in the discovery of an imminent, terrifying global threat, an elite team of highly trained Navy SEALs must immediately embark on a heart-stopping secret operation, the outcome of which will determine the fate of everyone.

Special features not available. (Alliance Films)

The Collapsed on DVDThe Collapsed (DVD)
In the wake of an unknown event that has catapulted civilization into a fatal downward spiral, the Weaver family – father Scott (John Fantasia), young adult son Aaron (Steve Vieira), mother Emily (Lise Moule) and teenage daughter Rebecca (Anna Ross) – desperately tries to survive. Fleeing the city, their only hope of sanctuary is a rural town from their past. With the constant threat of violent death forcing them to stay as far away from civilization as possible, they take to the forest. However, they soon discover that the danger posed by other survivors may be the least of their worries. Someone — or something — seems to have followed them into the wilderness.

The end-of-the-world is a favourite of low-budget filmmakers because you can make it in a limited number of locations and an elaborate set design is not required. However, the trick to these pictures is to make the other elements, such as directing and performance, so good that you don’t even notice what it lacked financially. Unfortunately this movie doesn’t achieve that distinction. The continued close-ups of everything and nothing are irritating, particularly during the far-too-long scene in a car. Moreover, the acting is not at all believable, often stiff or delivered wrong.

Special features include: commentary with writer/director/producer Justin McConnell and producer Kevin Hutchinson; commentary with actor John Fantasia; feature-length behind-the-scenes documentary “Apocalypse on a budget: The making of The Collapsed”; music video for Rob Kleiner’s “Devil in Disguise”; TV interviews; trailers; photo gallery; and original score jukebox. (Anchor Bay Entertainment)

John Carter on Blu-rayJohn Carter (DVD & Blu-ray combo pack)
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is a war-weary, former military captain who’s inexplicably transported to the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars) and reluctantly becomes embroiled in an epic conflict. It’s a world on the brink of collapse, and Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

If you were ever a fan of the pulp hero, serial western, “Choose your own adventure” books or old science fiction novellas, you will enjoy this film – which is essentially a big screen adaption of these types of stories. It’s not really the outer space action movie it was initially marketed as, but more of an old school sci-fi adventure of strange worlds and alien discovery. The imagined Mars is incredibly picturesque and the smallest details are considered, from natural formations to the effects of gravity. Edgar Rice Burroughs created an amazing world and director Andrew Stanton definitely does it justice.

Special features include: commentary with filmmakers; “100 Years In The Making,” follows the journey of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ story, from its origins as a pulp novel to its arrival onscreen; deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Andrew Stanton; “360 Degrees of John Carter,” explores every aspect of the filmmaking process; Barsoom bloopers; and Disney Second Screen, which explores John Carter’s journal with this innovative in-world experience and uncover a trove of fascinating details that extend the mythology of the movie. (Disney Home Entertainment)

Man on a Ledge on DVDMan on a Ledge (DVD & Blu-ray combo pack)
An ex-cop (Sam Worthington) turned con threatens to jump to his death from a Manhattan hotel rooftop. The NYPD dispatch a female police psychologist to talk him down. However, unbeknownst to the police on the scene, the suicide attempt is cover for the biggest diamond heist ever pulled. The psychologist and the con find themselves romantically attracted and might just end up partners in crime.

Special features include: a making-of featurette; and trailer with commentary by Elizabeth Banks. (Entertainment One)

W.E. on Blu-rayW.E. (DVD & Blu-ray combo pack)
In 1998, lonely New Yorker Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) is obsessed with what she perceives as the ultimate love story: King Edward VIII’s (James D’Arcy) abdication of the British throne for the woman he loved, American divorcée Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough). But Wally’s research, including several visits to the Sotheby’s auction of the Windsor Estate, reveals that the couple’s life together was not as perfect as she thought. Weaving back and forth in time, the film intertwines Wally’s journey of discovery in New York with the story of Wallis and Edward, from the glamorous early days of their romance to the slow unraveling of their lives in the decades that followed.

There are no special features. (Entertainment One)

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