New DVDs this week

Published: Friday, May. 10, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 15TICKET
Last Modified: Friday, May. 10, 2013 - 12:16 pm

"Jack Reacher" (PG-13, 131 minutes, Paramount): Presumably taking a long, self-indulgent glance at his What Would Clint Do? bracelet, Tom Cruise takes on the role of surly vigilante in "Jack Reacher," resulting in a mismatch of wincingly epic proportions. This movie is designed primarily to put its leading man in as many clichéd, macho postures as possible, whether it's crouched behind the wheel of a vintage car or popping off perfect shots in a ballistic showdown. Working in cahoots with a beautiful defense attorney, Helen (Rosamund Pike), Reacher is a supposedly reluctant hero. But with his penchant for grandstanding, it's difficult to imagine him turning down any opportunity to show off a nearly bottomless – and increasingly monotonous – store of Cool Guy-approved skills. Contains profanity and some drug material. Extras: None on DVD. On Blu-ray: commentary by Cruise and director Christopher McQuarrie, behind-the-scenes featurette, combat and weapons featurette, and a look at "The Reacher Phenomenon."


"Safe Haven" (PG-13, 115 minutes, 20th Century Fox): Hoping to rebottle lightning captured in "The Notebook" and "Dear John," Nicholas Sparks has given his formula sharp edges in "Safe Haven."

The film opens like a gritty thriller, complete with a taut chase through a crowded bus station and a few smidgens of blood. Soon enough, Katie (Julianne Hough) has fetched up in a quaint North Carolina town, where Sparks' fantasy of self-reinvention takes place.

Quiet and wary, Katie still has elbows sharp enough to keep neighbors at bay, at least until appealing widower Alex (Josh Duhamel) charms his way past her reserve.

Contains thematic material, sexuality, threatening behavior and violence. Extras: deleted and extended scenes, alternate ending.


"Mama" (PG-13, 100 minutes, Universal): Mama the CGI ghoul is scary as heck. "Mama" the movie isn't. The movie opens with a brief prologue, which, while stylishly shot, gives away too much.

Jeff has murdered his wife and taken his two little girls to the woods, where he intends to kill them. But he is dispatched by a ghostlike entity.

Fast-forward five years, to when Victoria and her little sister, Lilly, are found, filthy and feral. Eventually, they're taken in by Jeff's slacker brother, Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and his girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain).

Sure, the movie tries to vague things up a bit. A child psychologist suggests Mama might not actually exist but is a projection of the older girl.

But the only real mystery in the story isn't whether Mama exists, but why Victoria and Lilly are so fond of this freak show. Contains violent, scary images and thematic elements.


Also: "The Oranges," "Barrymore," "Upstream Color" (Sundance grand jury prize nominee), "Starlet," "In the Hive," "Citizen Hearst" (documentary), "Broadway Musicals: A Jewish Legacy" (PBS documentary includes 16-page viewer's guide and bonus disc with additional interview clips and performances, Acorn Media), "Witness: A World in Conflict Through a Lens" (four-part HBO documentary series), "WWII From Space" (History Channel).

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