New movies on DVD and Blu-ray this week include a feel-good football film and a short dramatic feature about 9/11.
“Touchback” (Anchor Bay/Blu-ray + DVD, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $34.99). (Also on DVD, $26.98.)
An embittered Ohio soy bean farmer (Brian Presley) facing foreclosure attempts suicide but finds himself thrust into the past to relive a crucial moment in his life when he was a high school football star with scholarship potential.
Will he handle the winning play differently to save his injured leg and possibly take a path to the NFL or will he realize that changing his destiny could cost him the family that loves and supports him, despite their financial problems?
As you might guess this is “It’s a Wonderful Life” (especially the climax) meets “Back to the Future” by way of “Friday Night Lights.” But it’s enjoyable family fare, given a boost by Melanie Lynskey as Presley’s wife, Kurt Russell as his coach and Christine Lahti as his mother.
“8:46” (Virgil, 2012, not rated, $14.99, featurette, photo gallery, trailer).
This 55-minute ensemble drama touches briefly on the lives of disparate characters living in Manhattan, New Jersey and other nearby areas the day before the 9/11 attack, then brings them together during the tragic event, blending in news footage. The low-budget effort is very well made, though some stories are more compelling than others and all tend to get short shrift. An interesting and mostly successful experiment.
“Safe” (Lionsgate, 2012; R for violence, language; $29.95, audio commentary, featurettes, digital copy).
This crackling action picture has Jason Statham pursued by the Russian Mafia after he spoils a rigged mixed-martial arts fight. Along the way he picks up a 12-year-old math prodigy being pursued by mobsters and corrupt cops. Let the bone-crunching begin. (Also on Blu-ray, $39.99.)
“The Cabin in the Woods” (Lionsgate, 2012; R for violence, language, drugs, sex, nudity; $29.99, audio commentary, featurettes).
Excessively violent and gory sci-fi horror is a dark deliberate spoof of every cliché you can think of and takes so many unexpected twists your head will spin. But the gore is so disgusting it does occasionally mute the humor. Co-written and produced by Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”). (Also on Blu-ray, $34.99.)
“The Five-Year Engagement” (Universal/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012; R for sex, language; two discs, $34.98, deleted/extended/alternate scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers).
Emily Blunt and Jason Segal are in love and want to get married but a series of unexpected plot twists that play into their inherent fear of commitment keep pushing back the big day, as the title suggests. Better than most, not as raunchy as some, but still way too crass for my taste. The box says it’s from the producers of “Bridesmaids” — is that really a selling point? (Also on DVD, $29.98.)
“My Sucky Teen Romance” (DarkSky/Blu-ray, 2012, not rated, $29.98, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers, short film, trailer).
Variation on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” has teens at a Comic-Con-type convention confronting real vampires. Independent film from teenage writer/director Emily Hagins. (Also on DVD, $24.98.)
“White Vengeance” (Well Go, 2012, not rated, $24.98, in Mandarin with English subtitles, featurette, trailers).
Two brothers battle for supremacy during the fall of the Qin Dynasty. Lavish sword-fight battles dominate slow-to-build story. (Also on Blu-ray, $29.98.)
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