This week: Bruce Willis is back in Die Hard
mode, Diane Lane risks everything to make a horse a champion and Jigsaw goes out gory.
Red: Bruce Willis plays a retired black-ops agent whose quiet home life is shattered by some government assassins. He assembles his former team—Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich and Helen Mirren—all of whom are classified "RED" (Retired and Extremely Dangerous) to find out why they are being targeted for elimination. Mary-Louise Parker plays a customer-service phone representative whom Willis talks to when he's lonely and is forced to kidnap for her own safety, Karl Urban plays the CIA agent hunting them down, and Julian McMahon plays the vice president with a deadly secret. It all comes together wonderfully in a fun old-school style action-comedy that is a must-see for any fan of the genre or the ruby RED leads. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain an audio commentary by retired CIA field officer Robert Baer plus deleted and extended scenes. The BD has "Access: RED" functionality, which activates scene-specific content such as interviews with cast members, real-life CIA expert commentary, animated documentary shorts on controversial CIA operations and more. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Secretariat: This biographical family film follows the life of Secretariat, the 1973 winner of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Diane Lane plays Penny Chenery, a housewife who takes over her dying father's stables despite her lack of horse-racing knowledge. With the help of veteran trainer Lucien Laurin (John Malkovich), Chenery overcomes the obstacles of the male-driven business to create what is possibly the greatest racehorse of all time in this inspirational story. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain deleted scenes and "Heart of a Champion;" the BD adds more deleted scenes, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, the music video "It's Who You Are" by AJ Michalka" and an interview with the real Chenery. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Saw: The Final Chapter: The curtain closes on the gory and seminal Saw franchise—which launched a slew of "torture-porn" imitators since 2004—with this seventh installment. The deadly games by the deceased Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) killer and his apprentice, Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), come to an end by targeting an inspirational author who falsely claimed to be a Jigsaw survivor to sell books. Meanwhile, Hoffman hunts down Jigsaw's widow, Jill Tuck (Betsy Russell), for revenge and original Saw star Cary Elwes returns in the pivotal role of Dr. Lawrence Gordon (read Blu-ray Bob's exclusive interview with Elwes for Disc-y Business tomorrow). This expectedly gory sequel closes the circle of the Saw series nicely for fans even if the door is left open to drain more blood from the franchise. The film is also available as Saw: 3D on Blu-ray 3D for those who want to replicate the 3D theater experience at home. Given the lack of adult Blu-ray 3D titles on the market, you might like to see body parts and heavy machinery flying at your face instead of CG cartoon critters. Best extras: All versions contain director and producer commentary, deleted scenes and music videos; the BD versions add "52 Ways to Die." Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me
Also New This Week: Client-9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, The Color Purple (BD), A Beautiful Mind (BD), Broadcast News (BD), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (BD), Freakonomics: The Movie, Open Season 3, The Stieg Larsson Trilogy and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest