A remake of “Coma” leads a slow week for movie releases on DVD and Blu-ray.
“Coma” (Sony, 2012, not rated, $38.99, two episodes). A two-part cable-TV miniseries, this is a remake of the 1978 thriller that starred Genevieve Bujold and Michael Douglas. The stellar supporting cast of this new version includes Geena Davis, James Woods, Joe Morton, Ellen Burstyn and Richard Dreyfuss, and like the earlier film is based on the Robin Cook novel. Filmmaking icons Ridley and Tony Scott are listed as executive producers.
Despite that pedigree, however, this one gets off to a slow start and never quite recovers — and being nearly an hour longer than the original doesn’t help.
Lauren Ambrose stars as the med student who turns detective when she begins noticing that quite a few patients are slipping into comas during routine surgeries. This, of course, jeopardizes her career and eventually puts a target on her back. Not unwatchable, but certainly disappointing.
“Safety Not Guaranteed” (Sony, 2012; R for language; $30.99, featurettes). A Seattle magazine writer and a pair of interns investigate a classified ad asking for someone to join in a time-travel expedition in this eccentric independent comedy. Amusing allegory is given a lift by the game cast, led by Aubrey Plaza and Mark Duplass. (Also on Blu-ray, $35.99.)
“The Campaign” (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012; R for sex, language, nudity; two discs, $35.99, deleted scenes, featurette, bloopers). Will Ferrell is a long-term congressman whose re-election seems a shoo-in until he commits a major gaffe, prompting the opposition to put up an unknown candidate, a naïve schlub played by Zach Galifianakis. (Also on single-disc DVD, $28.98.)
“Take This Waltz” (Magnolia/Blu-ray, 2012; R for language, sex, nudity; $29.98, featurettes, trailer). Second directing effort by actress Sarah Polley is not nearly as satisfying as “Away From Her.” In this examination of a comfortable but perhaps stale marriage, a young wife (Michelle Williams) married to a nice guy (Seth Rogan) finds herself attracted to a handsome neighbor (Luke Kirby). (Also on DVD, $26.98.)Comment on this story
“Americano” (MPI/Blu-ray, 2012, not rated, $29.98, in English and in French and Spanish with English subtitles, featurette, trailer). Mathieu Demy directed and stars in this melodrama as a Frenchman who heads to the United States upon learning of his mother’s death in Los Angeles. Curious about his mother’s life, he seeks answers from her best friend (Geraldine Chaplin) and a Tijuana stripper (Salma Hayek). (Also on DVD, $24.98.)
“Triad Wars” (Lionsgate, 2008; R for violence, drugs; $26.98, in Cantonese with English subtitles, deleted scenes, featurette, trailers). Hong Kong action stars Sammo Hung and Simon Yam co-star in this routine gangster flick that has plenty of blood as a gang war erupts, but not nearly enough character development. OK but nothing special.
“Stealing Summers” (Monarch, 2012, not rated, $24.95). A pair of Americans in Buenos Aires meet an American woman who lures them into a plot to rob her boyfriend. It seems he has a stash of stolen money and she yearns for freedom, but, as you might expect, things do not go smoothly.