New DVD and Blu-Ray Releases (06/24/13)

 

Note: To order any of the following films, click on the poster.

In The Call, a taut thriller from director Brad Anderson, Halle Berry plays Jordan, an L.A. 911 operator who receives a call from a teenage girl in the process of being abducted.  The girl, Casey (Abigail Breslin) is in the trunk of a car calling on a pre-paid, dispensable phone.  The pre-paid makes it tougher for the 911 operator to trace the call – dispensable phones have no tracking.  Watching and listening to how the operators work in extreme situations you get what appears to be a real sense of the stress and danger of the job.  Up until the sixty minute mark, the film effectively succeeds in keeping you on the edge of your seat.  And then something happens.  You can practically see the dividing line.  The Call goes to such great lengths to establish something real then leaps head first into a different genre where characters behave in ways that make you want to shout at the screen in protest, you can’t help but feel disappointed at a missed opportunity.  Available on both DVD and Blu-Ray formats.


Had The Incredible Burt Wonderstone arrived as a lengthy skit on SNL or maybe a one-off thirty minute sit-com on regular TV it might have worked, but as a full-length feature film, after a few initial laughs, Wonderstone borders on insufferable.  Only Olivia Wilde as the magician’s assistant Jane has any qualities resembling something relatable. She’s a likable, grounding agent in the middle of illogical, TV style mayhem.  Sadly, the character appears only intermittently.  Director Don Scardino structures the film as though he’s stringing together a series of TV skits.  The spotty, uneven rhythm is only intermittently funny and it’s overall silliness ultimately doesn’t make a great deal of sense.  As it stands, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is sadly anything but.  Available on both DVD and Blu-Ray formats.


No
is a Chilean drama that explores the story of how a TV advertising campaign changed the course of events in a country that had been under the thumb of one of the most brutal leaderships in history.  There were principally two campaigns – the ‘Yes’ campaign, sponsored by the ruling government, and the ‘No’ campaign.  In the film we follow the fictional character of Rene (Gael Garcia Bernai) a video filmmaker for an advertising company who spearheads ‘No’ while his boss manages the ‘Yes.’  There’s a continual sense of urgency to No made prominent throughout by the way the film has been recorded.  Shot with a TV ratio of 1:33 on low-definition video, No often looks like scenes from a documentary made all the more effective when real-life news footage is incorporated and you can’t see the join.  The story as presented is one of fascination.  Without this film most of us in the outside world would have never known what had happened.  You should make a point of seeing No.  Available on both DVD and Blu-Ray formats.

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