Susan Granger’s DVD Update for week of Fri., May 24
Back in 1964, British director Michael Apted began to create a series of documentaries that profiled seven year-old children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in order to evaluate how class structure affects their lives. Since then, he’s questioned them again every seven years. In “56 Up,” they’re coping with the global financial crisis.
Steven Soderbergh’s “Side Effects” is a far-fetched psycho-thriller about an ex-con (Channing Tatum), his depressive wife (Rooney Mara) and two psychiatrists (Jude Law, Catherine Zeta-Jones) who become involved in their lives; unfortunately, what could have been a cautionary fable or social commentary strains credulity, becoming a lurid murder mystery.
Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin are criminal cronies in “Stand Up Guys,” a flimsy, contrived caper that’s filled with formulaic Viagra jokes and sleazy sexual innuendos.
When mystery writer Donald Westlake was alive, he fiercely guarded his hardboiled, highly principled antihero “Parker,” but Westlake died in 2008 and his estate has allowed muscled Jason Statham to become the master criminal who righteously operates within a specific code of honor.
“The First 70” is an awe-inspiring journey through California’s budget-threatened state parks, as young documentary filmmakers highlight the need to keep them open for future generations.
For family viewing, “Adventures of Bailey: A Night in Cowtown” features dogdom’s latest star in the third installment of the popular series. And based on the popular video game, there’s ”Lego Batman: The Movie DC Super Heroes Unite.”
To get youngsters moving, “Dance With Barney” gets their groove on by building confidence learning new steps dino-style, along with “Twinkle Toes Music Video Collection.”
PICKS OF THE WEEK: For adolescents, Richard LaGravanese’s supernatural Southern Gothic love story “Beautiful Creatures,” based on the best-selling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, explores forbidden romance with Alice Englert, as a teenage ‘spell caster,’ and Alden Ehrenreich, as Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons fear for their future. And for hardcore action fans, “The Last Stand” stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as the mild-mannered sheriff of a small Arizona border town who must capture a diabolical Mexican drug cartel kingpin.