Bruce Willis heads an all-star cast in “Red 2,” and if you saw the first one you know more or less what to expect this time.
“Red 2” (Summit, 2013, PG-13, $29.95, DVD and digital versions, deleted scenes, bloopers). “Red” stands for “retired, extremely dangerous,” and this sequel brings back most of the major players from the 2010 original — Bruce Willis as a retired CIA black-ops agent, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich as his friends and equally deadly agents and Mary-Louise Parker as the young woman Willis romanced between explosions in the first film.
New are Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins, who both add to the fun in this undeniably violent but frequently funny spy-vs.-spy shoot-’em-up.
Major players from the first film but missing here are Morgan Freeman and Richard Dreyfuss, whose characters died, and Karl Urban, the agent that was trying to take down Willis. And, of course, Ernest Borgnine, who passed away last year. They each brought a lot to the table but this sequel still has much to offer. (Also on Blu-ray, $39.99)
“Jobs” (Universal/Blu-ray, 2013, PG-13, two discs, $34.98; Blu-ray, DVD, digital versions; deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). I’m not a fan of Ashton Kutcher, but I must admit that he grew on me as Steve Jobs, the Apple innovator. And the many other recognizable actors here are also good: Josh Gad, as Steve Wozniak, and Matthew Modine, Dermot Mulroney, Ron Eldard, Lukas Haas, etc. But the movie itself settles for by-the-numbers biography, portraying him as a genius jerk rather than exploring how his vision changed the world. (Also on DVD, $29.98)
“Getaway” (Warner/Blu-ray, 2013, PG-13, $29.98, featurettes). Chaotic car-chase movie that makes absolutely no sense, with Ethan Hawke speeding around Bulgaria under orders from his wife’s kidnapper, picking up Selena Gomez as an unwilling passenger. It all boils down to an elaborate bank heist, but you’ll be watching something else by then. (Also on DVD, $28.98)
“Battle Ground” (Lionsgate, 2013, R for violence, $26.98, featurette). Australian World War I movie focuses on the bond that develops between three British soldiers who survive a failed assault on German trenches that has left them stranded. Meanwhile the women back home who love them are fraught with worry.
“Sanguivorous” (MVD, 2013, color and black-and-white, not rated, $16.95, in Japanese with English subtitles, 2008 short film: “Nowhere,” featurette). Strange Japanese avant-garde hourlong vampire movie with very little dialogue, ambient sound and a minimalist piano score by the filmmaker, Naoki Yoshimoto, when it’s not completely silent with title cards. Rooted in butoh Japanese dance form, the story has a young woman experiencing hallucinations as she discovers she is descended from a long line of European vampires. Originally toured with live music.
“Samson & Delilah” (Indiepix, 2013, not rated, $24.95, featurettes, trailer; short film: “The Things They Said”). Australian film follows two 14-year-old Aborigines in central Australia’s desert who become outcasts and embark on a road trip to distant Alice Springs, belabored by hunger and Samson’s addiction to huffing.
“Please Kill Mr. Know It All” (Monarch, 2013, not rated, $24.95). Dark comedy about a female advice columnist who writes under a male pen name, using a sketch of a stranger she sees in a movie theater. The stranger is recognized from the newspaper drawing, which isn’t good for a contract killer, so now he’s out to kill her alter ego. Naturally, romance ensues.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." His website is www.hicksflicks.com
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