Seems we have a theme going this week (see “Pineapple Express”), what with all the dope references. Newcomer Josh Peck plays Luke Shapiro, a pot dealer in 1994 who trades his wares with a therapist (Ben Kingsley) while falling for the therapist’s stepdaughter (Olivia Thirlby of “Juno” fame). Kingsley is slumming, but Peck is a find and Thirlby has the stuff of potential stardom. DVD, which is available on Blu-ray, includes commentary by director Jonathan Levine, making-of featurettes, deleted scenes. (1:50; rated R for language, pervasive drug use, sexuality)
Some of us remember when Nicolas Cage was a decent actor, a performer whose eccentric line readings made tedious characters seem fresh and maybe a bit edgy. Not so anymore. Starring in this Pang brothers film, a remake of their 1999 Thailand hit, Cage plays an American assassin whose latest mission breaks down over a fit of … what, conscience? Hard to say when you hardly care. As usual, style over substance makes for a tired wannabe thriller. DVD, which is available on Blu-ray, includes making-of featurettes, alternate ending, theatrical trailer. (1:40; rated R for language, sexuality, violence)
You expect more when a movie teams a pair of legends. But less is all we get with this Al Pacino/Robert De Niro cop flick. They play a pair of veteran homicide cops, one of whom comes under suspicion during a murder investigation. The problem isn’t so much the stars, though each is a bit old to still be playing street cops. It’s the screenplay (by Russell Gewirtz, who also wrote “Inside Man”) that ends up wasting the talents of both by resorting to the cheapest of plot devices. DVD, which is available on Blu-ray, includes commentary by producer-director Jon Avnet, making-of featurettes. (1:40; rated R for brief drug use, pervasive language, some sexuality, violence)
Latest word on Vin Diesel is that he’s starring in another “Fast & Furious” film, pairing him again with the franchise that first brought him fame. Good thing, because this sci-fi-themed effort would be enough to sink anyone’s career. Diesel plays a mercenary hired to transport a young woman (Melanie Thierry) to America, who finds that the mission brings him into conflict with, among others, a dangerous cult. Not much makes sense, from the story line to the casting of the purely American Diesel in a role that screams for European charisma. DVD, which is available on Blu-ray, includes making-of featurettes. (1:30; rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action, intense sequences of violence, language, sexuality)
Also available: “The Alphabet Killer,” “Disaster Movie,” “Ghost Writer,” “Kiss of the Vampire,” “Kung Fu Killer,” “Ping Pong Playa,” “10 Dead Men”
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