Susan Granger’s DVD Update for week of June 21:
“Jack the Giant Slayer” is a family-friendly reworking of the familiar fairy tale, set in the medieval kingdom of Cloister, where earnest Jack (Nicholas Hoult) befriends an adventurous princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) whom he rescues from Giants in therealm of Gantua floating high above the clouds.
Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska and Matthew Goode star in Korean director Park Chan-Wook’s “Stoker,” a sinister black comedy about a mournful teen who becomes infatuated with her uncle.
Reflecting our materialistic culture’s worst instincts, “The Brass Teapot” is a modestly amusing fable about a young suburban couple who buy a mysterious antique that could relieve all their financial angst.
“The Last Exorcism, Part II” is another tale of demonic possession, bringing back Ashley Bell as a
deeply religious Bayou farm girl who tries to put the pieces of her life back together in New Orleans, while “American Mary” is a feminist-themed horror/medical thriller about a demented medical student (Katharine Isabelle) who takes bizarre revenge on the doctor who drugged and raped her.
“21 and Over” is a crude, misogynistic comedy bacchanal by writers/directors Jon Lucas and Scott
Moore, who collaborated on “The Hangover.” It’s only slightly better than the dismal, witless “Movie 43,” the worst picture I’ve seen in many years, despite its star-studded cast of Halle Berry, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Dennis Quaid, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts and Kate Winslet, among others, who are probably embarrassed.
New documentaries include “Save the Farm” about the need to protect urban green spaces and “The First 70: California’s State Parks Under Threat,” exploring the closing of historic and natural treasures.
Film buffs: TCM’s Greatest Classic Films Legends series now includes Gene Kelly, John Wayne and
Paul Newman, along with Romantic Affairs, featuring Spencer Tracy/Katharine Hepburn.
Kids may enjoy Season 2, Part 2 of “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated,” the final 13 episodes
of the hit Cartoon Network series.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Astutely directed by Dustin Hoffman, “Quartet” is an endearing, deliciously tart comedy, set in an elegant retirement home for musicians, starring Maggie Smith, Billy Connolly, Tom Courtenay, Michael Gambon and Pauline Collins. It’s a classy, uplifting crowd-pleaser.