If you have any money left from returning all those Christmas gifts, there are several new DVDs hitting stores Tuesday, Jan. 5.
“Sicario”: 3 1/2 stars. Idealistic FBI agent finds herself involved in a no-rules war on drugs. Director Denis Villeneuve fashions a film that looks at real evil, with Emily Blunt providing a voice of reason to a twisted world. The result is the scariest picture of the year.
Taylor Sheridan’s script allows time for an assortment of views on how the war on drugs should be fought. Each argument rings true until the violent reality of this world raises its ugly head. Greed and corruption always trump compassion and concern.
Villeneuve knows exactly how to layer the terror. In some cases it’s a slow build, such as a security stop at the border crossing between the United States and Mexico. The efforts to transport a high-profile prisoner attract the attention of a crew of killers who are in nearby cars.
“The Walk”: 2 1/2 stars. Philippe Petit’s attempt to walk a line between the twin towers is exhilarating, but the weakness in Robert Zemeckis’ film is the long buildup to get there. James Marsh’s 2008 Oscar-winning documentary on the same subject is far more compelling.
Between the bad accent and a soundtrack that sounds like it came from a 1950s French crime caper, the majority of “The Walk” fails to be either a revealing tale of one man’s impossible dream or a peek into the elaborate planning it took to pull off the walk in the sky. It took Petit six years to plan the twin towers walk, but the Zemeckis film doesn’t create the feeling that this was such an obsession that Petit was willing to commit so much of his life to taking the walk.
“The Visit”: No stars. Trip to grandmother’s house isn’t all that welcoming. M. Night Shyamalan has put together another poorly written offering that also has the visual inspiration of a blank piece of paper. Shyamalan has put so little effort into making this film, he resorts to the “found footage” gimmick that went out of favor years ago.
About the only good thing that can be said about “The Visit” is that Shyamalan’s “The Village” is no longer the worst movie the director has ever made.
ALSO NEW ON DVD
“Sleeping With Other People”: Womanizer, serial cheater form a relationship. Jason Sudeikis stars.
“Robo-Dog”: Scientist creates perfect pet for his son. Olivia d’Abo stars.
“Infinitely Polar Bear”: Manic-depressive father tries to win back his wife.
“Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse”: Three scouts must save their town from a zombie attack.
“Condemned”: Old building breeds new form of horror.
“Partners in Crime”: Agatha Christie’s Tommy and Tuppence investigate more crimes.
“Captive”: Single mother with a drug problem is taken hostage in her own apartment.
“True Detective: The Complete Second Season”: Three law enforcement officials investigate a bizarre murder.
“Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loner”: White-trash hero embarks on journeys through the recent past, the heartland of America and his own mind to get back to his loved ones.
“The Transporter Refueled”: Relaunch of the film series about the man you call when you need a delivery made.
“Close Range”: Cartel tries to kill man who rescued his kidnapped niece. Scott Adkins stars.
“Mercury Plains”: Troubled young man is recruited to join a paramilitary group.
“Over Your Dead Body”: Modern take on one of Japan’s most famous ghost stories.
“Little Dead Rotting Hood”: Something sinister is lurking in the woods.
“Ancient Aliens: Season 8”: Cable series looks at clues to ancient visitors from other worlds.
“Battle for Skyark”: Humanity is forced to live on Skyark, the city in the sky.
“A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story”: Documentary following the journey of Lizzie from cyber-bullying victim to anti-bullying activist.
“Whitney Houston: Everlasting Voice”: Look at the singer’s life.
“Adulterers”: Jealous husband goes to extremes to get revenge.
“Hell and Back”: Animated tale of friends who travel to Hell to save their buddy.
“Experimenter”: Stanley Milgram (Peter Sarsgaard) designs a psychology experiment.
“Kill Game”: Seemingly innocent pranks turn deadly.
“Full of Grace”: Look at events unfolding 10 years after Christ’s resurrection.
“Luther 4”: Idris Alba plays the self-destructive detective.
“The Last Kingdom”: Vikings and Saxons clash in the BBC America series.
“The House Where Evil Dwells/Ghost Warrior”: Double feature horror film.
“Flesh and Bone”: Cable series about a young woman who becomes a star in a New York ballet company.
“Susie’s Hope”: Film based on true story of a survivor of a pit bull attack.
“Shanghai”: Espionage thriller set in 1940s China during World War II.