This is a true horror movie. Attaining preternatural access into the lives of bullied children, director Lee Hirsch shows just how brutal and bitter life can be for kids who are singled out for constant physical and psychological torture by impossibly cruel persecutors. The raw and devastating footage serves as a sorely needed wake-up call to tear the lid off one of society's closeted cancers. The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack includes deleted scenes, a filmmaker Q&A and public service announcements that deliver the movie's message.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The lauded teen coming-of-age drama lost me in the third act, which takes an unneccessary twist that muddies up what was previously a moving and relatable tale. Logan Lerman plays a depressive freshman who starts hanging around with a pair of counterculture-embedded upperclassmen (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) who help him find himself. The Blu-ray/digital copy combo includes commentary from writer/director Stephen Chobsky, as well as a separate track with Chobsky and several castmembers. Deleted scenes, dailies and a featurette round out the package.
Sure, it may be Cinemax-style soft-core porn lightly disguised as inspirational drama, but there's plenty of film-snob value here, thanks to a trio of mesmerizing performances by the leads. John Hawkes plays a romantically stifled writer who relies on an iron lung to survive. Enter Helen Hunt as a hands-on therapist who provides some heavy-duty sexual healing. William H. Macy rounds out the trio of heavy-hitting performances as a befuddled priest who walks the Hawkes character through the moral implications of his therapy. The Blu-ray/digital copy combo includes looks at the performances, deleted scenes and cast interviews.
Silent Hill: Revelation
Not that the 2006 original was much to live up to, but this wretched sequel embarrasses the franchise by dispensing with the tenuous hold on logic by the previous movie and increasingly nonsensical game series. Adelaide Clemens plays ah school student who hunts for her lost father (Sean Bean) in the haunted title town, with would-be lover with a secret (Kit Harrington) tagging along. Poorly rendered gross-out CGI imagery plagues a parade of silly, inane nightmare sequences that add up to very little. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo includes a small making-of featurette.
I lump this head-scratchingly beloved Bond flick along with The Dark Knight Rises as the most inexplicably overrated movies of 2012. The heedless 'splosion fest gets off to an invigorating start before devolving into a Home Alone clone. Daniel Craig delivers his usualy steely excellence and Javier Bardem cuts an intriguing figure as a sexually ambiguous villain bent on getting inside the unflappable hero's skull. The film is far more rich in style than substance and, like Quantum of Solace, fails to deliver on the promise of the Casino Royale reboot. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo includes loads of background featurettes and filmmaker commentaries.
Weeds: Season 8
Showtime's meandering comedy about a drug-dealing suburban mom (Mary-Louise Parker) who rose to the ranks of master criminal, then crashed spectacularly before trying to scoop the shards of her life back together, makes for a rewarding victory lap. The show has long since lost its edge, and Parker's character is so insufferably narcissistic that she's tough to watch at times, but the writers show some creativity in the final run. A roundtable discussion with the show's creator and producers, deleted scenes, a gag reel and cast and crew commentaries fill out the two-disc set.
Screeners were provided by the studios for review.