Steven Soderbergh’s movie Side Effects has been released on DVD this past Tuesday. In Side Effects on DVD, Soderbergh tells the two tales and with widely varying results. Story number one is about a psychiatrist (Jude Law as Dr. Jonathan Banks) that prescribes medication to patients suffering from depression as well as from suicidal tendencies. His most recently admitted patient (Rooney Mara as Emily Taylor) has murdered (by way of stabbing) her husband (Channing Tatum) seemingly in cold blood. Fresh off of a four year stint in the big house, her husband had been poised to start fresh. The noblest of intentions however are feeble in comparison to ruthless murder.
The movie Pawn starring Ray Liotta, Forest Whitaker and the magnificent Michael Chiklis is not one's humdrum organized crime dramatic thriller. There are so many layers waiting to be unraveled by director David A. Armstrong that one wonders if he employed the old industrial Spinning Jenny to manufacture the story in the first place. Crucial elements of the plot are revealed in backward, forward, horizontal, vertical and in diagonal order. Although this mish-mashing of the order will not deter viewers from coming to a full understanding of whodunit and why, it still complicates that which should not be mysterious. This categorically un-categorical movie (Pawn) is saved only by a spirited performance from Michael Chiklis as the fiery villain.
Released on May 7 of this week, the movie Jack Reacher DVD is nothing short of phenomenal. Given the paramount (pun intended) success of his two most recent films, and his history of being one of the all-time greats, the public needs to forget about Tom Cruise's perceived sins and embrace his talent for what it is. Choosing to portray Jack Reacher, a rogue ex-military do-gooder/guerilla problem solver, proved to be an adept decision for the much maligned star. Based on the series of novels written by Lee Child, the movie Jack Reacher on DVD is part detective story and part action thriller. At times (thanks to Warner Herzog) the movie even borderlines on being a horror flick. What is absolute is that buying or renting Jack Reacher on iTunes or on DVD or on Blu-ray or on Amazon, or selecting it on Netflix will make your weekend extra satisfying.
Double feature at the cineplex folks! Our feature films are The Oranges starring Oliver Platt (from "The Big C") and megastar Hugh Laurie (a.k.a. Dr. Gregory House). Our second movie of the evening is The Guilt Trip starring Seth Rogen and a rejuvenated Barbara Streisand. Both The Guilt Trip and The Oranges are fascinating movies and they are strange bedfellows to be sure. These two pictures have nothing in common other than their self-aggrandizing spectacular movie reviewer!
The Details with Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks is purportedly a comedy. No such categorization could be further from the truth. The Details, which is written and directed by Jacob Aaron Estes, provides an intimate look into a troubled time in the lives of two married people and their immediate friends and neighbors. Banks (portraying Mrs. Lang) and Maguire (portraying Dr. Lang) make for a seasoned team of everyday sociopaths. She is an aloof, in-the-closet infidelitous scoundrel, and he is a mild-mannered married man susceptible to the onslaught of would-be lovers. Their urges and marital ineptitude are exposed by a series of perfectly ordinary and natural gardening events. A string of lawn attacks by raccoons hungering for worms puts into motion a sequence of improbable and fatal events from which the happy couple might never recover.
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