BLOGS

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's Hockey Night in Canada... in America

Goon
Part hockey comedy, part boxing comedy, all funny sports comedy, the Canadian import Goon casts Seann William Scott -- throwing off his tired Stifler persona -- as a brawler equally skilled at throwing and taking punches. His iron jaw and fierce hook sets him on a new career path: hockey goon -- the guy coaches put on the ice to start brawls so that the better players can score goals without the fear of being bodychecked. Traded to a team that's in the cellar, Scott's goonish ways soon set them on a winning streak, which puts him on a collision course with the league's premiere goon, Ross Rhea (a hilarious Liev Schreiber). Although the story is a tad familiar, the movie has nice authenticity to it (it was co-written by Canuck puck fans Evan Goldberg and actor Jay Baruchel, who also has a small role as Scott's pal) and the hockey scenes are both amusing and surprisingly -- but appropriately -- bloody. You don't have to have ever been to a hockey game, or Canada for that matter, to get a kick out of Goon.
Extras: A commentary track with Baruchel and director Michael Dowse, an interview with Scott and Baruchel, deleted scenes, a blooper reel, two behind-the-scenes featurettes and, on Blu-ray only, an interactive Power Play Mode.
Click here to read our original review

Man on a Ledge
On a seemingly ordinary afternoon in New York City, a seemingly ordinary guy (Sam Worthington), checks into Midtown hotel, has a bite to eat and then steps onto the ledge outside his window, some twenty stories above the street. Yup, turns out this guy ain't so ordinary after all. He's actually an escaped convict that's staging this scene to distract from the fact that his brother (Jamie Bell) is right across the street robbing a very important man (Ed Harris) of a very important diamond. While the cops (led by Ed Burns and Elizabeth Banks) try to talk him back inside, he keeps in constant contact with Bell to make sure their daring daylight heist is still going according to plan. It's a promising set-up and screenwriter Pablo F. Fenjves and director Asger Leth are able to stage a few fun twists and turns early on, but Man on a Ledge ultimately can't sustain itself for the long haul, stalling out halfway through. (Perhaps a more charismatic leading man than Worthington would have helped give it some extra juice.) It's a decent genre effort, but there are far better heist movies out there more worthy your time.
Extras: A featurette about the ledge reference in the title and the film's trailer accompanied by brief commentary from Banks.

Gone
After striking success in romantic dramas like Dear John and Letters to Juliet, Amada Seyfried gives the woman-in-peril thriller genre a try with decided underwhelming results. The actress plays Jill, a young woman who was captured by a serial killer two years ago and just barely escaped with her life. Although her abductor hasn't been heard from in some time, she's convinced he's still out there somewhere, just waiting for the chance to strike again. Jill's fears seem justified when her sister goes missing and, since local law enforcement doesn't buy into her story, she takes it upon herself to track her down. As penned by Allison Burnett and directed by Heitor Dhalia, Gone pulls off the impressive task of being both convoluted and utterly boring. It's possible the movie would have made more sense if we actually felt invested in its outcome. As it is, when it finally ended after 90 interminable minutes, we weren't sure what exactly happened and didn't care enough to puzzle it out.
Extras: There are exactly as many bonus features as there were ads promoting the movie's theatrical release back in February. Which is to say, none.

Also on DVD:
Although it has yet to open on Broadway -- and it seems increasingly unlikely that will ever happen at this point -- American musical lovers can finally see Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies, the sequel to Phantom of the Opera on DVD in a performance taped in Melbourne, Australia. Let us know if its as bad as Joel Schumacher's movie version of its predecessor. Ralph Fiennes directs and plays the title role in Coriolanus, a pretty good modernized adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play. Finally, Tilda Swinton plays the mother of the ultimate bad seed in the controversial indie film We Need to Talk About Kevin. Just in case you want to thoroughly bum yourself out after the holiday weekend.

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