Susan Granger's weekly DVD update
Published 5:02 pm, Monday, February 11, 2013
Helen Hunt is Oscar nominated for her role as a compassionate sex surrogate in "The Sessions," about a poet/journalist (John Hawkes), paralyzed by polio, who wants to lose his virginity; it's an adult film that approaches the subject of sex with refreshingly explicit honesty.
Frank Langella stars in "Robot & Frank" as an irascible, retired jewel thief whose grown children (James Marsden, Liv Tyler) insist that he allow an electronic "caregiver" to accompany him everywhere, even to the library, where he visits with the kindly librarian (Susan Sarandon); it's a surprisingly amusing, ingratiating Alzheimer's allegory, leaving a bittersweet afterglow.
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Rapper and mastermind of hip-hop's Wu-Tang Clan, RZA is writer/actor/director of "The Man With the Iron Fists," a campy martial arts action-adventure set in 19th century feudal China, co-starring Russell Crowe as a metallurgist who helps a British mercenary recover a stolen shipment of gold.
But it's best to ignore "Silent Hill: Revelation," an incomprehensible, humorless horror fantasy, based on the popular video game franchise.
Sundance winner "Teddy Bear" is a touching Danish dramatic comedy about a 38-year-old bodybuilder perpetually trapped in adolescence by his domineering mother and his escape to Thailand in a quest for romance. In French, there's the deeply moving "The Kid With a Bike," revolving around a young Belgian boy who's been abandoned by both parents and is living in a state-run home for boys.
"The Origins of Oz" pulls back the curtain, revealing the inspiration behind the first genuinely American fairy tale, who Dorothy was modeled after, why a scarecrow and tin man served as the main characters and how the 1893 Chicago World's Fair sparked the conception of Emerald City.
For preschoolers, in "Babar: The Movie," the lovable pachyderm stars in his own, feature-length, animated comedy. "The Red Hen" contains a delectable buffet of scrumptious tales about food. And "Chuggington: Safari Adventures" takes an exotic jungle expedition.
PICK OF THE WEEK: James Bond celebrates his 50th cinematic birthday with "Skyfall," as Daniel Craig delivers his third compelling performance as Ian Fleming's iconic secret agent, this time confronting a deviously shrewd, dangerous villain, played by Javier Bardem.