Movie News & Reviews

DVD previews for this week

“RoboCop” (PG-13, 110 minutes, MGM/Fox): In the hands of director José Padilha (“Bus 174,” “Elite Squad”), this remake meets expectations without exceeding them. Lightly following the original story line by screenwriters Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, this iteration makes a few tweaks here and there, hewing to the most recognizable contours but dispensing with the most hard-edged violence and gore. Contains intense sequences of action, including frenetic gun violence throughout, brief strong profanity, sensuality and some drug material. Blu-ray extras include: deleted scenes, the “OmniCorp Product Announcement,” a making-of short and other featurettes on the weaponry and RoboCop costume.

“Lone Survivor” (R, 121 minutes, Universal): Based on the memoir of Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, played by Mark Wahlberg, the film tells the story of Operation Red Wings, a disastrous 2005 mission to kill a prominent Taliban fighter, Ahmad Shah (Yousuf Azami). The four-man team of commandos, ambushed and stranded without communications on a remote mountain in Afghanistan, is slowly, agonizingly whittled away. “Lone Survivor” is a loud and grinding affair; at times, the violence is so unrelenting and fierce that it’s hard to believe that there’s anyone left alive, let alone with any bullets left to fire. Contains intense violence and obscenity.

“Son of God” (PG-13, 138 minutes, Fox): Is it possible to love Jesus and not like “Son of God”? That’s the slightly discomfiting question some viewers might face upon seeing the feature film, presented by producers Roma Downey and Mark Burnett as a condensed form of their 2013 History Channel miniseries, “The Bible.” Such bold repurposing (and monetizing) of their property may strike some observers as the ultimate in chutzpah. But “Son of God” is nothing if not sincere, its earnest retelling of Jesus’ life story resembling a gentle, pop-up book version of the New Testament, its text reenacted for maximum reassurance and intellectual ease. Contains an intense and bloody depiction of crucifixion and some sequences of violence.

“Tim’s Vermeer” (PG-13, 80 minutes, Sony): Directed by Teller of the magic duo Penn and Teller, and written and narrated by his partner, Penn Jillette, the movie puts forth an utterly fascinating and fairly compelling argument, not to mention the question: Was Vermeer less genius than geek? Put another way, if an unartistic tinkerer like Tim Jenison can produce a reasonable facsimile of “The Music Lesson” using so-called trickery, is it not also reasonable to ask whether Vermeer himself might have availed himself of those same tricks?

Contains strong language.

Television Series: “Breaking Bad: The Complete Series,” “Pretty Little Liars: Fourth Season” (ABC Family), “True Blood: Sixth Season” (HBO), “Witches of East End: First Season” (Lifetime), “The Bridge Season 1 “ (FX), “Falling Skies: Third Season” (TNT), “The Glades: Season 4” (A&E), “Graceland: Season One” (USA), “New Tricks, Season 10” (British mystery series, PBS) and “Barbary Coast” (DVD debut of 1970s ABC Western series starring William Shatner and Doug McClure, Acorn Media).