We’ve got a couple of explosive action films headlining the column this week, along with another retelling of the greatest story ever told, a new box set for an iconic TV series, a few indie films, and a handful of TV season sets. Read on for details:



Joel Kinnaman stars as Alex Murphy, a police officer in a near-future Detroit who barely survives a car bomb explosion, only to be reborn as the titular cyborg as part of an experimental program. José Padilha’s RoboCop split critics down the middle at 49% on the Tomatometer; though most felt it did little to distinguish itself from Paul Verhoeven’s subversive 1987 film, quite a few thought the remake was a lot better than it had any right to be. The DVD/Blu-ray/digital copy/UltraViolet pack includes a handful of deleted scenes, three featurettes, ten Omnicorp-branded spotlights on the various machines and weapons from the film, and a couple of trailers.

Lone Survivor


This based-on-true-events story stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, and Ben Foster as a team of Navy SEALs tasked with the covert elimination of an important Taliban leader; when they are unexpectedly discovered by local shepherds, things quickly take a turn for the worse. Though some critics found what they considered a jingoistic angle to be a bit hard to swallow, most were taken by Lone Survivor‘s propulsive action and sheer visceral power, leading to a Certified Fresh 75% Tomatometer score. Disc bonuses are limited to one lengthy featurette profiling Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg’s character) and a number of shorter ones ranging in content from typical behind-the-scenes pieces to a collection of tributes to the real life soldiers involved in the failed operation.

Son of God


Pieced together from the History Channel’s 10-hour miniseries covering The Bible, Son of God focuses solely on the rise and fall (and rise again) of Christianity’s central figure, played by Portugese actor Diogo Morgado. Most critics agreed that this presentation of the oft-told tale was hokey and heavy-handed, not to mention a bit choppy and inelegantly constructed, and it earned a mere 21% on the Tomatometer. The faithful ones who will be picking this up can expect a couple of mini-docs on modern-day Christianity and a making-of video, among other extras.

Breaking Bad – The Complete Series

Widely considered one of the greatest American television series ever produced, Breaking Bad came to a close in late September last year, ending the meth-cooking misadventures of Walter “Heisenberg” White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Critics rated the show Certified Fresh in each of its seasons, all of which sit at an impressive 100% with the exception of the first (78%). The new box set being released this week contains essentially the same content as the previously available collectible set that came in the replica money barrel, except that it’s packaged more traditionally and doesn’t include all the nifty extras like the commemorative coin or the Los Pollos Hermanos apron. Otherwise, you’ll still get the 55 hours of bonus features, so this is ideal for anyone who was waiting for a more compact set.

Also available this week:

  • The Trouble with the Truth (93%), starring Lea Thompson in a drama about a divorced couple reuniting and reminiscing after their own daughter gets engaged.
  • What’s In A Name? (75%), a French comedy about a father-to-be who causes a family ruckus when he announces his child’s controversial name.
  • The Motel Life (71%), starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff as two brothers on the run when one of them flees from the scene of a car accident.
  • The Pretty One (45%), starring Zoe Kazan in a coming-of-age comedy about a shy girl who assumes her twin’s identity when she falls for a new neighbor.
  • In the Blood (44%), starring Gina Carano and Cam Gigandet in a thriller about a deadly woman who must confront her past when her husband is kidnapped on their honeymoon.
  • Season one of Graceland (69%), which follows a team of law enforcement officers operating out of a confiscated mansion.
  • Season three of AMC’s mystery series The Killing (67%), which has been picked up by Netflix for a six-episode conclusion, scheduled to become available this August.
  • Season six of HBO’s vampire drama True Blood (40%), which begins its final season on June 22.
  • Season four of Comedy Central’s Workaholics, centering on three housemates/co-workers who also happen to be idiots.
This week at the movies, we’ve got just one new wide release: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, starring Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson in the latest Marvel superhero adventure. What do the critics have to say?

Captain America: The Winter Soldier


It’s become fashionable in some film-going circles to dismiss the recent spate of comic book adaptations as evidence that Hollywood is bereft of ideas. Critics say Captain America: The Winter Soldier offers a powerful rebuttal, delivering outstanding performances and a thoughtful political undercurrent to complement its visceral thrills. This time out, Captain America (Chris Evans) is working undercover for S.H.I.EL.D., but quickly discovers that the organization is far more secretive than he suspected. Meanwhile, a mysterious assassin known as the Winter Soldier has carried out a series of killings — and Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) seems to know more about his identity than she’s telling. The pundits say the Certified Fresh Captain America: The Winter Soldier should please both newcomers and Marvel diehards — it’s slick and action-packed, and most intriguingly, often has the feel of a paranoid thriller from the 1970s. (Check out this week’s Total Recall for a list of memorable superhero franchise part twos..)

Also opening this week in limited release:

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