‘Ghost Rider’ now on DVD
GhostRider in Columbia Pictures' GHOST RIDER SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE.
Updated: June 12, 2012 5:40PM
NEW THIS WEEK
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE
Critic’s rating: One and a half stars
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba
Even if you’re expecting nothing but a trashy good time, this unrelentingly bombastic and tedious sequel to the moderately entertaining 2007 Cage vehicle about a motorcycle stunt rider who becomes the devil’s flaming-skulled bounty hunter is a major disappointment, despite being directed by the guys who made “Crank.” Cage again tries to save another kid from being delivered to the devil, but his over-the-top-crazy act is beginning to grow wearisome. Hellishly dull. Extras include deleted scenes and commentary.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS
Critic’s rating: Two stars
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams
The extreme revisionism that was surprisingly entertaining the first time around (the great detective as a mixed-martial arts master with a hard-core appetite for substance abuse and a barely suppressed carnal interest in Dr. Watson) rapidly wears out its welcome in this disappointing sequel from director Guy Ritchie. The emphasis is on over-the-top action as Homes and Watson (Downey Jr. and Law) take on Holmes super-villain Dr. Moriarty (portrayed by Jared Harris in remarkably dull fashion). If you’re looking for an antidote — Sherlock done right, the good old-fashioned way — check out England’s Jeremy Brett, now on A&E Home Video.
Critic’s rating: Two and a half stars
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action
Stars: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe
Any chance that “Tarzan” author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ second-most-famous creation might catch on with the general public pretty much bite the red Martian dust with this much-anticipated, mega-budgeted misfire from Pixar wizard Andrew Stanton (“Wall-E”). There are a fair number of impressively entertaining scenes in this tale of a transplanted Civil War hero (Kitsch) fighting to save a Martian princess (Collins), yet somehow the story fails to come to truly fantastic, adventurous life. Gotta love those big, green, four-armed Tharks, though. Extras include commentary, deleted scenes, Barsoom bloopers.
Critic’s rating: Three and a half stars
Rated: R for strong violence throughout and some language
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds
A safe bet if you’re up for a stylish, well-made, nicely acted espionage thriller. Washington is as good as you might expect as a rogue former CIA agent who’s bundled into the Capetown safe house manned by greenhorn agent Reynolds—who’s not bad either. “Safe House” is equal parts intense, high-body-count adrenaline pumper and psychological drama as the kid contends with a pursuing hit squad, his possibly corrupt bosses and the disillusioning revelations of the cynical old pro. Well worth a look.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
THE GOLD RUSH
Charlie Chaplin’s first feature-length comedy (about the a hapless prospector’s search for gold and romance in the Klondike) gets the deluxe Criterion Collection treatment. In addition to a 2K digital restoration of the original 1925 film and Chaplin’s definitive 1942 update (including new music and narration), extras include a history of the film’s original release, re-release and 2003 restoration, four trailers and screenwriter/critic James Agee’s review of Chaplin’s 1942 reissue.
HAROLD AND MAUDE
Hal Asby’s 1971 cult classic about the romance between a death-obsessed adolescent (Bud Court) and a life-affirming octogenarian (Ruth Gordon) goe Criterion. In addition to a hi-def digital restoration, extras include audio commentary by Ashby, an interview with songwriter Cat Stevens and a 1971 New York Times profile of Gordon.
During the Holocaust, a thief and burglar (Wieckiewecz) hides Jewish refugees for 14 months in the sewers of a Polish town. Agnieszka Holland (“Europa, Europa”) directed the drama. In Polish with subtitles. Rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality, nudity and language
MEATBALLS: BLU-RAY DEBUT
Director Ivan Reitman’s 1979 summer-camp comedy made a star of “Saturday Night Live” cast member Bill Murray. Extras include new commentary by Reitman.
SUPERMAN VS. THE ELITE
In this DC Universe animated film, the Man of Steel comes face-to-face with powerful villains and daunting rivals in an era in which society favors a new breed of superhero less interested in justice than retribution. Extras include commentary and a photo gallery.
TOO BIG TO FAIL
Curtis Hanson (“L.A. Confidential”) directed this HBO drama about the 2008 financial crisis, featuring James Woods, John Heard and William Hurt. Extras include the short documentary “Timeline on a Crisis.”
TYLER PERRY’S GOOD DEEDS
A successful businessman (Tyler Perry) finds his well-ordered life changing when he becomes involved with a cleaning woman (Thandie Newton) in his office building. Perry also wrote and directed the romance. Rated PG-13 for sexual content, language, some violence and thematic material.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK:
Director Steven Soderbergh recalls ‘90s monologuist Spalding Gray with two documentaries: 1997’s “Gray’s Anatomy” and the posthumous 2010 “And Everything is Fine.” TV news pioneer Edward R. Murrow is recalled with a collection of his ‘50s celebrity profiles in “The Best of Person to Person.”