Movie News & Reviews

DVD previews for this week include ‘Enemy,’ ‘300 Rise of an Empire’ and ‘Winter’s Tale’

“Enemy” (R, 90 minutes. Lionsgate): In a dual role, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam, a glum professor disinterested by his ordinary life who discovers a man who appears to be his double. The identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and hauntingly intertwined. For all the skill with which director Denis Villeneuve creates a forbidding, soupy-colored dystopia “Enemy” feels like something we’ve seen before – not just from Lynch but David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick and any number of contemporary masters of the subconscious at its most fetishistic and unnerving. There’s no doubt that Villeneuve can make a movie; he’s developed a strong cinematic voice. It’s tantalizing to imagine what he could do with a really fine story. Contains some strong sexual content, graphic nudity and profanity.

“300: Rise of an Empire” (R, 102 minutes, Warner): Oddly, for a franchise founded on the bedrock of man flesh and macho posturing, it’s the women of “Rise of an Empire” who make the most impact: Lena Headey, as Spartan Queen Gorgo, makes serious, focused use of her lamentably limited time on screen, and Eva Green rips into her ruthless anti-heroine, Artemisia, with throaty gusto, not to mention an endless supply of beautifully draped leather and chain mail. Contains strong, sustained sequences of stylized bloody violence throughout, a sex scene, nudity and some strong language.

“Winter’s Tale” (PG-13, 118 minutes, Warner): You don’t see a lot of magic in dramas these days, so it would be easy to write off a flying horse (or any other number of fantastical elements) as ridiculous. But much of the sorcery in “Winter’s Tale” is stunningly captured, whether it’s the face of Irish thug Pearly (Russell Crowe) cracking into pieces when he loses his temper or the way heiress Beverly (Jessica Brown Findlay) sees bright glints of light everywhere. And although there are missteps in the plotting, Akiva Goldsman (who wrote “A Beautiful Mind” and adapted this screenplay) does good work directing his feature debut, which also features Colin Farrell as Peter, the time-traveling burglar with a romantic’s heart. Contains violence and some sensuality.

Also: “Blood Ties” (outstanding cast including Clive Owen, Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana still couldn’t get this crime drama by French actor/director Guillaume Canet a wider U.S. release, Lionsgate), “Repentance” (with Forest Whitaker and Mike Epps, Lionsgate), “Some Velvet Morning” (Stanley Tucci in Neil LaBute film), “Fracknation” (documentary), “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964, the Beatles’ landmark film debut, with hours of special features, The Criterion Collection), “Two Lives” (Germany/Norway), “The Black Book” (1949, Film Chest Media) “Escape From a Nazi Death Camp” (PBS docu-drama) and “Deadly Revenge,”