DVD/Blu-ray Releases — 5/31/2011

New options for your home viewing this week:

 

In Biutiful, co-writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu does not let up on his protagonist, a man named Uxbal (Javier Bardem) spending the last part of his life atoning for his past transgressions.  It opens with him receiving the news that he has cancer and only a matter of months to live and grows worse for him from there.  No matter how hard Uxbal tries to do the right thing, the results backfire against him.  Full of subplots that exist solely to bring Uxbal misfortune (and his ability to speak to the dead, which doesn’t go much of anywhere), the movie steers straight into melodrama, but Bardem’s authentic portrayal almost counteracts the effect.  My review is here.  Available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Nicolas Cage plays a man named Milton who escapes a hell of prison in Hell to exact revenge upon the cult-leading preacher man (Billy Burke) who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter.  If that sounds like the setup for some craziness, it is and it isn’t.  With lots of excessive shoot-outs and chase sequences, Drive Angry has plenty of chaos but is lacking personality.  That is apart from William Fichtner, who, with no-nonsense sleaze, plays the mysterious Accountant that needs to retrieve Milton to balance the books of inmates in the underworld.  Available on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D.

Part sex comedy, part science-fiction, part investigation into a murderous conspiracy, and all a bunch of mangled hooey, Kaboom follows a group of self-aware college students who even more prone to indulgent dialogue as they are to indulge in their sexual whims.  It works a little better as a sort of free-form observation of sexual politics in college and the evolving trends of sexuality, but the movie’s need to make sense of it all devolves into a murder mystery, a car chase, and–just for the hell of it–the end of the world.  It’s an annoying mess.  Available on DVD.

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About Mark Dujsik

Film critic since 2001. Writer/editor/publisher of Mark Reviews Movies, and contributor for RogerEbert.com and Magill's Cinema Annual. Member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society.
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