New on DVD/Blu-ray: 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Lightly Pleases; 'Stoker' Gets Dark and Disturbing

New on DVD/Blu-ray: 'Jack the Giant Slayer' Lightly Pleases; 'Stoker' Gets Dark and Disturbing

Jun 18, 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Nicholas HoultEleanor TomlinsonEwan McGregor,Stanley TucciEddie MarsanFull cast + crew

Jack the Giant Slayer looks like a bad movie and you'd be forgiven for passing it up. It isn't, though. Well, that's only partially true. It often does literally look bad, but if you can get past the half-baked CGI and weird costume designs, this is a fun adventure movie aimed straight for kids. Adults can certainly enjoy it as well thanks to an enjoyable ensemble and a refreshing, creative take on a story we've all been hearing since birth, but this is definitely a movie that'll get better the closer you are to the age 13.

Special Features: An interactive menu that lets kids discover behind-the-scenes featurettes by climbing up a beanstalk (there's sadly no way to watch these without jumping through the tedious hoops of climbing this thing over and over); deleted scenes (eight minutes); gag reel (three minutes).

 

Stoker
Director: Park Chan-wook
Cast: Mia WasikowskaMatthew GoodeNicole Kidman,Dermot MulroneyJacki WeaverFull cast + crew

Stoker is the kind of movie that just blows you away, and yet by the time it ends you'll wonder when, if ever, you might be compelled to watch it again. Watching it is a singular experience. It sweeps you up in a stylish, sexy world that's increasingly taboo and violent until it culminates in a deeply disturbing ending. It should come as no surprise, then, that it's the English-language debut of the man who made Oldboy.

And even though the above description could be said of Oldboy, don't expect this to be an action-packed movie with a hero worth rooting for. It's not. It's a creepy, intense, disconcerting portrait of a family that never fights but is constantly at each other's throats. It's a beautiful piece of horror.

Special Features: "A Filmmaker's Journey;" deleted scenes; a trio of behind-the-scenes featurettes; red carpet premiere; free download of the song "Becomes the Color" by Emily Wells that plays over the film's credits.

 

Other Notable New Releases


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21 & Over is the directorial debut of the duo who wrote The Hangover and The Change-Up, two movies that ended up better than you'd expect them to be. The same can be said here. It's not a great new comedy classic, but it's anchored by two strong leads, hits a few interesting notes and manages to be vulgar without being full-on sleazy, unlike last year's despicable party movie, Project X. If that last film swayed you from checking out 21 & Over, you should give it a shot. They may look superficially the same, but this one isn't nearly as crass.

For something on the tamer, sweeter side of the comedy aisle, there's the charming indie flick The Brass Teapot about a couple who discover a pot that'll give them money if they hurt themselves.

If you're not in the mood for a comedy this week there are a trio of horror movies hitting store shelves, but sadly they're a very mixed bag. Come Out and Play is a surprisingly dull remake of the original Spanish film Who Can Kill a Child? (it's kind of amazing the killer children can be this boring). The Last Exorcism Part II is exactly what you'd expect the innovative first film to look like if it'd had been designed by a studio committee instead of creative horror fans. Then there's American Mary, an indie film from Canada that is indeed made by some creative horror fans. Unfortunately, loving the genre doesn't automatically make for a great film. Katherine Isabelle is likeable and lethal as a med student who loans her skills to those who'd rather get their operations off the books, but the story is stretched thin across an uneven production. Still, it's a whole lot better than either Come Out and Play or The Last Exorcism Part II.

Everything Else


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