Top films on DVD
By Steve Fisher
THIS IS A great time of year for DVDs. With
the award season upon us, a few late arrivals
have been the subject of industry buzz. Here
are some new titles available at Costco this
month. (Also available in Blu-ray except
Bully (2/12). Chances are everyone reading
this has been a victim of bullying, knows
someone who was bullied or was a bully. The
issue has been receiving more attention in
recent years because the results of bullying
can be deadly. This award-winning documentary doesn’t resort to dramatizations or
pontifications, but simply presents the stories
of children and families who have been
affected by the problem. It is quietly heart-wrenching. Watch it and you may be motivated to do something to stop the problem.
PG- 13 (Standard DVD only)
Skyfall (2/12). Daniel Craig’s third outing as
James Bond was directed by Academy Award
winner Sam Mendes, who reinvigorated the
50-year-old film series. Stunning settings,
intense action sequences and deep character
development led numerous top critics to
declare it the best or one of the best Bond
films of all time. Someone gets hold of a com-
puter file containing the names and locations
of all MI6 agents. To get it back before they
are all eliminated, Bond—amidst challenges
to his competence—has to track down an evil
mastermind with a grudge against MI6 (the
memorably creepy and malevolent Javier
Bardem, who manages to infuse his menace
with humor). Ralph Fiennes and Ben
Whishaw also star. PG- 13
Argo (2/19). In November 1979, the American
embassy in Tehran, Iran, was taken over by
Islamist students and militants. Fifty-two
Americans were held as hostages, but six diplomats escaped and took refuge in the
Canadian embassy. The CIA launched a wild
scheme to free them: Set up a fake Canadian
movie and smuggle the six out of Iran, disguising them as part of the film crew. Director
Ben Affleck and screenwriter Chris Terrio
cleverly weave elements of Hollywood satire
into this dramatic thriller that is showing up
on many critics’ lists of the best films of 2012.
Alan Arkin co-stars as a film producer
enlisted for the scheme. R
Game of Thrones: Season 2 (2/19). If your
taste runs to fantasy worlds, this is for you.
Based on the best-selling book series by
George R.R. Martin, it is epic entertainment
in every sense of the word. With excellent
production values, high-quality acting and
writing, thrilling action sequences and dragons—you can never go wrong with dragons—
the ambitions and intrigues of the good and
bad inhabitants of Westeros will keep you on
the edge of your seat. TVMA
Game of Thrones (top) rules
for a second season. The Sessions
(inset) brings real-life to the big screen.
Indie assortment (2/26; sold separately).
These unique, award-nominated films will
take viewers along three very different paths.
Based on the poignant autobiographical
writings of California-based journalist and
poet Mark O’Brien, The Sessions (R) tells the
story of a man confined to an iron lung who is
determined—at age 38—to lose his virginity.
In a ramshackle bayou community, a
6-year-old girl (Quvenzhané Wallis) exists in
a dream state of imagination in Beasts of the
Southern Wild (PG- 13). Her fantastic world
is thrown into jeopardy by a violent storm
and her hot-tempered but ailing father.
The Master (R) unfolds the journey of an
unbalanced World War II Navy veteran
(Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from
war and is drawn into The Cause and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).
Also stars Amy Adams. C
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