Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New on Dvd

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

New on Dvd

Article excerpt

BOYHOOD (2014, Paramount, R, $30) -- Twelve years in the making, Richard Linklater's latest is his best yet, an absorbing look at a Texas youngster named Mason (Ellar Coltrane) who matures from a soft- spoken 7-year-old into a college freshman. Since the film runs nearly three hours - and the actors age right before our eyes - it's easy to get wrapped up with these characters, who include Mason's divorced parents (Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette) and his brainy sister (Richard's daughter Lorelei Linklater.) Somehow, "Boyhood" manages to ponder the very nature of existence without ever once feeling pretentious. It's an enormously moving, smart, funny marvel of a movie. Extras: featurettes.

GET ON UP (2014, Universal, PG-13, $30) -- Musical genius, Nixon crony, civil rights pioneer, wife-beater, perfectionist: James Brown was a man of many contradictions. The miracle of this biopic is that director Tate Taylor ("The Help") manages to capture Brown (Chadwick Boseman) in all of his complexity. The film's gimmick of telling the story non-chronologically with flash-backs and flash-forwards allows Taylor to get at some deeper truths. Better still are the actors who, from Boseman on down to Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer and Nelsan Ellis, all seem to live and breathe their roles. Extras: featurettes and Taylor commentary.

NO GOOD DEED (2014, Sony, PG-13, $30) -- For the first 10 minutes or so, this action thriller seems promising as we're introduced to Colin (Idris Elba), a fast-talking murderer up for parole. But that promise drains away quickly after Colin escapes from a prison van and viciously beats his former girlfriend to death. Next, he holes up in the home of an attorney (Taraji P. Henson) whose husband is away for the weekend. Both Elba and Henson are terrific actors but they're given so little to work with that their exchanges quickly become static. In the end, this "Good Deed" feels like a punishment. Extras: featurettes.

KELLY & CAL (2014, IFC, R, $25) -- Juliette Lewis is one of the most underrated actresses in Hollywood. Need proof? Check out her soulful turn in this lovely, understated drama about the unlikely friendship between a punk rocker-turned suburban mom and a lonely, high-school student with a disability (Jonny Weston.) But what happens when the pair flirt with a love affair? Director Jen McGowan makes finding out a mesmerizing, emotionally potent excursion. "Kelly & Cal" rings true in every detail. Extras: featurette.

THE GUEST (2014, Universal, R, $30) -- From director Adam Wingard and scripter Simon Barrett ("You're Next") comes another pulse- pounder that uses family dynamics to ratchet up the suspense. "Downton Abbey's" Dan Stevens stars as a recently discharged soldier who shows up on the doorstep of the Peterson clan (Leland Orser, Sheila Kelly, Brendan Meyer, Maika Monroe), claiming to be their dead son's best pal. …

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