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:



RoboCop

48%

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

75%

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

21%

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 a turbulent flight (Non-Stop, starring Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore) and the greatest story ever told (Son of God, starring Diogo Morgado and Greg Hicks). What do the critics have to say?



Non-Stop

62%

Having proven his tough-guy bona fides on the streets of Paris (Taken), in the desert (The A-Team), across the wolf-infested tundra (The Grey), and on the sea (Battleship), Liam Neeson brings his unflappable demeanor (and his unforgiving fists) to the skies in Non-Stop. Critics say the result is reasonably entertaining but utterly preposterous, with a few good fight scenes and a couple groan-worthy plot twists. On a flight from New York to London, federal air marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a text informing him that a passenger will be killed every 20 minutes unless $150 million is deposited into a secure bank account. The pundits say Non-Stop benefits immeasurably from Neeson’s hard-bitten presence, but its implausible plot proves distracting over the long haul. (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we count down Neeson’s best-reviewed films.)



Son Of God

21%

The life of Jesus has inspired filmmakers since the dawn of cinema, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t new ways of telling even the most familiar of stories. Unfortunately, critics say Son of God is well-meaning but dramatically inert, a film that recounts the major events of the Gospels without delving more deeply into Jesus’ message. Son of God is an abridged version of the History Channel’s 10-hour miniseries The Bible starring Diogo Morgado as the King of Kings; you probably know the broad outlines of the story by now. The pundits say Son of God‘s greatest hits approach fails to generate much heat or passion.

Also opening this week in limited release:

  • The Oscar-nominated animated feature Ernest & Célestine, about the friendship between a mouse and a bear, is at 100 percent.
  • The Lunchbox, starring Irfan Khan in a romantic dramedy about an unwitting penpal relationship between a neglected housewife and a lonely widower, is at 96 percent.
  • Two Lives, starring Liv Ullmann in a drama about a woman whose past comes to light with the fall of the Berlin Wall, is at 86 percent.
  • Fatal Assistance, a documentary about the troubled relief effort in the wake of the 2009 Haiti earthquake, is at 71 percent.
  • Stalingrad, an IMAX 3D epic about the brutal World War II battle, is at 48 percent.
  • Almost Human, a sci-fi horror flick about a man who returns to earth after being abducted by aliens, is at 42 percent.
  • Odd Thomas, starring Anton Yelchin and Willem Dafoe in a supernatural thriller about a small town resident with the ability to see ghosts, is at 29 percent.
  • HairBrained, starring Brendan Fraser and Parker Posey in a comedy about the friendship between a precocious teen and a fortysomething slacker at a small liberal arts college, is at 22 percent.
  • The Bag Man, starring John Cusack and Robert De Niro in a thriller about a crook hired to make a delivery to a powerful crime lord, is at 9 percent.
  • Chlorine, starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Kyra Sedgwick in a dramedy about a banker who scams a tennis pro in an upscale suburb, is at zero percent.

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