New DVDs this week

Published: Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 13TICKET

"Skyfall" (PG-13, 143 minutes, MGM): To succeed, a James Bond movie must traffic in sophistication and preposterousness, a willingness to not take itself too seriously, but with peerless writing, acting and production values.

All those are in "Skyfall," which at the outset finds Bond (Daniel Craig) in Istanbul, pursuing a bad guy through bazaars and over rooftops in a ludicrous motorcycle chase. But that episode will send Bond into something of an existential spiral, bringing him alongside Jason Bourne and other au courant secret agents as people who are fighting not just shadowy forces of mass destruction but also their own demons. Contains intense violent sequences, some sexuality, language and smoking.


"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" (PG-13, 103 minutes, Summit/Lionsgate): Based on the young-adult novel, this somewhat disjointed but earnest movie establishes itself as a charmer. It relies on the same narrative device as the novel, introducing us to our protagonist, an introspective high school freshman named Charlie (played by Logan Lerman), via a series of letters to an unknown recipient. We learn that Charlie, having recently lost his best friend to suicide, is entering high school with no acquaintances and no romantic history. When Charlie meets Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) – seniors, stepsiblings and self-defined misfits – he finds himself with two spirit guides. Contains mature thematic material, drug and alcohol use, sexual content and a fight, all involving teens.

"The Sessions" (R, 95 minutes, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment): In "The Sessions," John Hawkes channels the late poet and author Mark O'Brien. A man of prickly, humor, O'Brien suffered most of his life from the effects of a childhood bout with polio, which left him disabled and dependent (most of the time) on an iron lung. Sex, understandably enough, was difficult. "The Sessions" is based on two articles O'Brien wrote about enlisting the services of a surrogate sex partner, who as portrayed by Helen Hunt opens up a world of self-acceptance and expression in O'Brien. Contains strong sexuality, including graphic nudity and frank dialogue.

Also:

"Robot & Frank," "The Man With the Iron Fists," "Bully," "Silent Hill: Revelation," "The Kid With a Bike" (Belgium), "Dangerous Liaisons" (China), "Babar: The Movie" (1989) and "The Best of Warner Bros. 20 Film Collections: Musicals."


Television series:

"Gossip Girl: The Complete Sixth and Final Season" and "Gossip Girl: The Complete Series" (2007-12, 29-disc set; both releases include deleted scenes and gag reel), "Nurse Jackie: Season Four," "Weeds: Season Eight, the Final Season," "Matlock: The Eighth Season" (1993-94), and "Bonanza: The Official Fifth Season" (1963-64)

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