DVD Round-Up: 'End of Watch,' 'Game Change,' & 'Searching for Sugar Man'
Week of January 22nd
Published: 01/20/2013, Last Updated: 01/21/2013 04:06am
David Ayer, who wrote Training Day, returns as both writer and director of End of Watch (Universal, “R,” $24.98, BD $34.98), a gritty cop movie set in South Central L.A. with very strong performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as ordinary beat cops who accidentally run afoul of powerful Mexican drug cartels. Like Training Day, End of Watch is a powerful, downbeat police drama that mixes action movie violence with an art house appreciation for character, mood, and setting.
Those who enjoy sweaty over-the-top Southern Gothic melodramas might like Les Daniels’ The Paperboy (Millennium, “R,” $28.98, BD $29.99) which is based on a Pete Dexter novel about two reporters who attempt to exonerate a swamp rat (John Cusack) convicted of murdering a corrupt sheriff. A strong cast that also includes Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, Zack Efron, Scott Glenn, and David Oyelowo can’t quite salvage the steamy proceedings, which earned just a 39% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
TV on DVD
Animation fans, who enjoy TV cartoons based on superheroes, can choose between the single-disc (3 episode) Marvel-based Iron Man Armored Adventures: Season 2, Vol. 3 (Gaiam, 66 min., $14.93) and the DC-based Cartoon Network offering, Young Justice: Season 2 Vol.1 (Warner Bros., 220 min., $19.97), a two-disc set that provides 10 full episodes.
The History Channel’s 2012 series The Men Who Built America (Lionsgate, 360 min., $29.98, BD $39.99) does provide some balance in its portrayal of the late 19th Century titans of industry whose names remain recognizable today (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, Vanderbilt), but leans way too far in the direction of hagiography in its portrayal of these ruthless entrepreneurs whose penchant for monopoly was disturbing and whose legacy is decidedly more mixed than portrayed here.
For pure entertainment this week’s best bet may be the lightweight, but typically enjoyable Scarecrow and Mrs. King: The Complete 4th Season (Warner Bros., 968 min., $39.98), which collects the final season of the espionage drama and sees the series-long romance between the two protagonists finally come to fruition.
Also of interest this week is the Saiyuki Gaiden Complete Collection (Sentai Filmworks, “14+,” 90 min., $49.98), which collects 3 OVA episodes that were known as Saiyuki Reload: Burial when they were released in Japan in 2007. Fans who are familiar with Journey to the West, the classic Chinese novel that inspired the Saiyuki series (in addition to Dragon Ball, etc.), will want to check out these OVAs, which take up the saga when the protagonists of Journey to the West enter heaven to rescue a comrade.
The opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.
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