Matt Damon has stepped away from the “Bourne” film series, but the latest is nonetheless a winner.
“The Bourne Legacy” (Universal/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $34.98, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). Jeremy Renner (best known as Hawkeye in “The Avengers”) takes over this franchise (with Matt Damon showing up only in photos). Renner is very good as a genetically engineered agent trying to prevent being wiped out by the nervous secret agency that wants to destroy all evidence of its programs.
There’s lots of great action, capped by an edge-of-your-seat motorcycle chase, and though some of the edgier sequences shake the camera a bit, this one doesn’t reach nearly the shaky-cam annoyance level of the original trilogy. And the supporting cast is great, with Rachel Weisz as an agency scientist Renner rescues and takes along for the ride, and Edward Norton heading up the bosses that are out to destroy them. (Also on DVD, $29.98)
“I Wish” (Magnolia, 2012, PG, $26.98, in Japanese with English subtitles). This low-key, slow-to-build but utterly charming Japanese film features a cast of children that are quite natural and believable in the story of a 12-year-old boy separated from his younger brother by the divorce of their parents.
When he learns of a new bullet train linking their cities, he decides to wish for his family to be reunited since a miracle can happen as trains from both directions pass each other for the first time. Whimsical tale is utterly winning.
“2 Days in New York” (Magnolia, 2012; R for language, sex, drugs, brief nudity; $26.98). Julie Delpy’s follow-up to her quirky romantic comedy “2 Days in Paris” has her French photographer character living with her talk-radio/journalist boyfriend (Chris Rock) and two young children from earlier relationships when her eccentric family comes to visit. A Woody Allenish relationship comedy with some nice moments and too many that fall flat. (Also on Blu-ray, $29.98)
“Doomsday Book” (Well Go/Blu-ray, 2012, not rated, $29.98, in Korean with English subtitles, trailer). This Korean sci-fi/horror comedy is comprised of three stories, each predicting an apocalypse. First is a rather disgusting zombie pandemic caused by recycled food, then a robot becomes perhaps a little too intelligent, and finally, a little girl and a website figure in a meteor heading toward Earth. Some of the comedy doesn’t translate as well as it might for western audiences (or for me, anyway) but this unique, visually compelling film will hold your interest. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“Why Stop Now” (IFC/Blu-ray, 2012; R for language, drugs; $29.98, featurettes, trailer). Jesse Eisenberg is a piano prodigy with an important audition when he is waylaid after trying to drop off his mother (Melissa Leo) at a rehab center. Ironically, she’s too clean to be admitted, so she’s told to get high and come back. Hmm. They visit her dealer (Tracy Morgan) but his stash is low, so we’re off on a series of wacky adventures. Wacky but not funny. (Also on DVD, $24.98)Comment on this story
“Kill ’Em All” (Well Go/Blu-ray, 2012, not rated, $29.98). English-language Tai film is a violent yarn that is slow to develop but gets a bit better as it moves along, eventually honing in on a group of assassins trapped in a “killing chamber” where they must face down each other until only one is left standing hence the subtle title. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“Bigfoot County” (Lionsgate; R for language, violence; $26.98, trailers). Yet another found-footage horror yarn, this one about an investigation of Bigfoot sightings.
“Osombie” (eOne/Blu-ray, 2012, not rated, $19.98). Dark, gory horror-comedy about Osama bin Laden coming back from the dead to lead a zombie apocalypse. And yes, it’s just as bad as that sounds.