ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTMOVIES

'Lone Survivor' is a long firefight

MoviesEntertainmentTaylor KitschBen FosterJeffrey JonesTotal Recall (movie, 2012)Guy Pearce
New movies out on DVD, Blu-ray: Lone Survivor, RoboCop, Ravenous, We Always Lie to Strangers and more.

Lone Survivor

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD June 3.

In June 2005, a SEAL team attempted to take out Taliban forces in the Afghanistan mountains, but when their position was accidentally uncovered, they were unable to call for extraction, and a deadly firefight ensued. That firefight makes up the bulk of Peter Berg's tense war movie (based on Marcus Luttrell's memoir), which stars Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster as the members of the SEAL team. Berg is a good action director and a smart screenwriter, but the lack of variety proves to be a liability. This is less a vivid tale of survival than one long, tedious depiction of force against force. But for those who like that sort of thing, the DVD and Blu-ray are exceptional, containing featurettes that explain more about the story behind the story.

RoboCop

MGM/UA, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD June 3.

Just like the recent "Total Recall" remake, the new version of "RoboCop" is a serviceable but largely pointless conversion of director Paul Verhoeven's hard-R violent satire into a teen-friendly PG-13 action franchise. While director José Padilha and screenwriter Joshua Zetumer make a stab at political relevance — tying the development of a cyborg policeman to modern drone warfare — and while they have a good cast at their disposal with Joel Kinnaman (as the hero), Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman and Samuel L. Jackson, this "RoboCop" plays it safe more often than not. It's a notch better than a typical sci-fi/action picture; it's several notches below that other "RoboCop." The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and featurettes.

Ravenous

Scream! Factory Blu-ray, $24.97

Though she worked primarily in theater and television, the late Antonia Bird, who died last year, occasionally got to bring her socially conscious, uncompromising approach to drama to the big screen. Bird took over the production of the 1999 action-horror film "Ravenous" under unusual circumstances, asked by her friend Robert Carlyle to step in when an earlier director quit. But while "Ravenous" remained troubled — something discussed in the three commentary tracks on Scream! Factory's new Blu-ray — the film turned out fairly well. Credit strong performances by Carlyle, Guy Pearce and Jeffrey Jones (among others) as well as an unusual score by Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn, and a clever Ted Griffin screenplay that combines 1950s American history, Native American mysticism and cannibalism.

We Always Lie to Strangers

Virgil, $19.99

Directors A.J. Schnack and David Wilson (along with producer Nathan Truesdell) spent five years off and on in the family-friendly Ozark Mountain resort community of Branson, Mo., for their documentary, and while it would've been easy for the filmmakers just to make fun of the town's kitschiness and conservative values, they've come up with something more rewarding. Digging into the history of the Branson entertainment industry and the diversity of the community — which has right-wing performers working side by side with the gay men of the chorus — the film deals with how the changes in the national culture and economy have affected a once-popular vacation spot. The documentary is a little diffuse, but it's filled with memorable characters and takes a respectful look at a corner of America that other movies more often either ignore or exploit.

And…

Black Out

Music Box, $24.95; Blu-ray, $29.95

Cousin Jules

Cinema Guild, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

In the Blood

Starz/Anchor Bay, $24.98; Blu-ray, $30.99

The Motel Life

Gaiam, $14.93; Blu-ray, $19.97

The Pretty One

Sony, $20.95

Available on VOD June 3.

Son of God

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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