This week brings the Coen brothers’ Oscar-nominated dark comedy and another remake of an ‘80s horror flick.
A Serious Man: The Coen brothers return to their roots with this offbeat comedy set in 1967 Midwest suburbia about a Jewish professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) whose professional and personal life suddenly takes a sharp turn into disaster: his wife wants to divorce him, his brother is in a world of trouble, and one of his students tries to bribe him to get a passing grade. If your idea of a good time is watching a mild-mannered schmuck who won’t stand up for himself get bulldozed by everyone around him, you probably have every Woody Allen movie on disc and will want to put A Serious Man on the shelf with them. If not, oy vey! Available on both DVD and Blu-ray, extras include a behind-the-scenes featurette, “Creating 1967” and “Hebrew & Yiddish for Goys.”
The Stepfather: Did someone say daddy issues? In this remake of the 1987 horror film, Nip/Tuck’s Dylan Walsh plays the titular character who charms his way into a divorcee’s (Sela Ward) home but is secretive about his past. When the eldest son (Penn Badgley) returns from military school and starts digging into his stepfather’s history he soon discovers that the new man of the house might be the murderer featured on America’s Most Wanted. It all leads to a deadly showdown as stepfather and son battle it out to be alpha male. The DVD and Blu-ray, which are both unrated, contain making-of featurettes and commentary by Walsh, Badgley and director Nelson McCormick.
Couples Retreat:: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, so here come the rom-coms! This one starring Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Jason Bateman, Kristen Bell, Jean Reno and Malin Akerman is about four Midwestern couples who take a vacation to a tropical island—one couple is there to work on their marriage, the other three just to support them and have fun in the sun. They soon discover that the resort’s couple therapy is not optional and their group vacation has a personal price. Despite the presence of buddies Vaughn and Favreau, this is anything but Swingers Part Deux. The best extras on the DVD and Blu-ray include “Alternate ending: Back in Chicago,” “Paradise Found: Filming in Bora Bora” and a gag reel.
I Hate Valentine’s Day: My Big Fat Greek Wedding darling Nia Vardalos stars as a florist with a five-date rule in this rote romantic comedy whose arrival a few days before V-Day is no big fat coincidence of any ethnicity. For those of you who lose sleep worrying if, say, Jennifer Aniston will ever find true love, this movie—available on both DVD and Blu-ray—has your name written all over it.
Also new this week: The Time Traveler’s Wife, Serious Moonlight, Halo Legends, Stargate Universe—SGU: Season 1.0