Susan Granger’s DVD Update for week of Fri., July 12:
Tina Fey deserves better material than Paul Weitz’s relationship dramedy “Admission,” in which
she plays a Princeton University admissions officer who has reason to believe that an unconventional applicant might be the son she secretly gave up for adoption 18 years ago.
Saoirse Ronan stars in Andrew Niccol’s “The Host,” based on Stephanie Meyer’s love story, set in the future, when Earth is occupied by seemingly benign extraterrestrials, or Souls, that erase the minds of their human hosts, leaving their bodies intact and their eyes crystalline blue. Along similar lines, “Upside Down” with Kirsten Dunst, Jim Sturgess and Timothy Spall is romantic sci-fi in an alternate university where twinned words have opposite gravities.
“Spring Breakers” is avant-garde filmmaker Harmony Korine’s voyeuristic, visually exploitive,
hyper-sexualized cinematic commentary on youth-driven pop culture, and “Tyler Perry’s Temptation” is a straitlaced, sermonizing cautionary tale about wanting what you haven’t got.
In “Dark Power,” two FBI Agents (Sean Patrick Flanery, Kristanna Loken) join forces to investigate a murder, only to discover that City Hall holds more secrets than the identity of the killer, and Jack the Ripper lives in “Hands of the Ripper,” widely recognized one of the most gruesome Hammer horror films ever made.
Foreign film aficionados: in Italian and Mandarin with English subtitles, “Shun Li and the Poet” is about old souls from different cultures and different times forging a strong, meaningful friendship.
For kids, “Cody the Robosapien” centers on a techno-savvy whiz kid and a smart, spunky bot who’s
on the lam from an evil Kinetech executive.
For toddlers, “Best of Daizy” is the fourth and final title in the “Best of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!”
collection, while “Imagine With Barney” finds everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur embarking on four all-new adventures, plus “Imagination Vacation.”
PICK OF THE WEEK: Oscar-nominated as Best Documentary, Dror Moreh’s “The Gatekeepers” is an unprecedented, deeply unsettling glimpse inside Israel’s internal security service, Shin Bet; it’s an insider’s view of the Arab-Israel conflict since the Six Day War in 1967, when one million Palestinians came under Israeli control in the West Bank, Gaza and the old city of Jerusalem.