Monday, December 30, 2013

This Week’s DVD Releases

Don Jon ***½ Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore. Directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. A deceptively sincere movie about masculinity and its discontents that Gordon-Levitt, making a fine feature directing debut, shapes into a story about a young man's moral education.

Hell Baby **½ Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key. Directed by Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon. An expectant couple who moves into the most haunted house in New Orleans call upon the services of the Vatican's elite exorcism team to save them from a demonic baby. Given Garant and Lennon’s background on The State and Reno 911, their scattershot approach as filmmakers isn’t especially surprising; for every oddly specific Shakespeare reference or detour to the local po-boy joint, there’s an ongoing parade of puke and an awful rubber suit with which to contend.

Last Love * Michael Caine, Clemence Poesy. Directed by Sandra Nettelbeck. A look at the life-changing connection between a retired and widowed American philosophy professor and a young Parisian woman. Scene after scene is defined by blunt exposition and gooey maxims, not to mention cornball visual metaphors.

CBGB ½* Alan Rickman. Directed by Randall Miller. A look at the New York City punk-rock scene and the venerable titular nightclub. The movie’s biggest problem is that it's taken such electrifying source material and done absolutely zilch with it.

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