DVD reviews: 'Django Unchained' and 'The Haunting in Connecticut 2'
By Garrett Conti
Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
“Django Unchained” (2012, R, 166 min., $29.98). Quentin Tarantino's latest has all of the characteristics of a Tarantino film. It's violent, carries a razor-sharp dialogue, goes a little bit long and has some great performances. The flick isn't the director's best, but it's still better that 85 percent of the stuff out there. The picture follows a slave named Django (Jamie Foxx) who's sprung by a German bounty hunter who goes by Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz). Schultz needs Django to track down a bounty, and the former slave agrees to help if his new partner will do something for him. Django wants to track down his wife (Kerry Washington), who's being held by ruthless plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Calvin won't be eager to give the slave up, though. “Django Unchained” has a lot going for it, and has two Oscars to show for it, but Tarantino has set the bar high. This one doesn't get there. This time out, Tarantino doesn't delve deep into the history of the time he's covering, and focuses on his characters to get the job done. They're interesting characters, but this one feels a bit shallow. Consumers who want the most out of “Django Unchained” should pick up the loaded Blu-ray package. It has a few more extras than the standard DVD copy of the film. The best of the extras is a cool featurette about the film and its comparison to Spaghetti Westerns of the past. 3 Stars.
“The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia” (2012, R, 100 min., $19.98). Few similarities exist between “The Haunting in Connecticut 2,” and the original film, which was released in 2009. Basically, they both revolve around ghosts or evil spirits delivering frights and they're based on true stories. That's where these two pictures break. Oh yeah, both films are lousy. This second helping, from director Tom Elkins, possesses the same scares viewers have come to expect from these movies, and it brings nothing new to the genre. The picture follows a family of three moving into a rural house in Georgia. As soon as they arrive, Lisa (Abigail Spencer) and her daughter, Heidi (Emily Alyn Lind), are seeing things around the house. Soon, Lisa's sister Joyce (Katee Sackhoff) shows up, and she sees things, too. As the family settles in, the spirits that possess the house rise up. It will take Lisa, Heidi and Joyce, and the paranormal abilities they possess, as well as settling some old history with the house, to send the evil away from the house for good. Special features are decent for this package, and they're available on standard DVD and Blu-ray. The best of the bunch is a featurette that introduces the family that inspired the film. Deleted scenes, commentary and a blooper reel also are available. 1.5 Stars
“Save the Date” (2012, NR, 97 min., $24.98). Alison Brie and Lizzy Caplan have lead roles in a romantic comedy written and directed by Michael Mohan. The film follows an independent woman named Sarah (Caplan) who begins to confront the problems she's faced in past relationships with the opposite sex.
“A Whisper to a Roar” (2012, NR, 95 min., $19.99). Ben Moses, the man behind the award-winning 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam,” wrote and directed this powerful documentary that explores the emergence of democracy in five countries that have suffered for years under dictatorships.
“Not Suitable for Children” (2012, R, 97 min., $24,98). “True Blood” star Ryan Kwanten stars as Jonah, a young party animal enjoying the single life with little responsibility until he finds out he has a severe medical condition.
“Future Weather” (2012, NR, 85 min., $19.99). Jenny Deller makes her screenwriting and directorial debut with this powerful drama about a young girl named Lauduree (Perla Haney-Jardine) with a deep interest in global warming. When her mother leaves, she is forced under the care of her grandmother (Amy Madigan), and it's a major change.
“At the Gate of the Ghost” (2011, R, 107 min., $26.98). Out of Thailand comes this adaptation of the powerful 1950 Japanese film “Rashomon.” The motion picture follows a young monk longing to speak with his father for advice after experiencing three separate stories about a horrible crime.
“One Day on Earth” (2012, NR, 104 min., $29.95). Written and directed by Kyle Ruddick, this vibrant documentary is a combination of video contributions from thousands of cinematographers from around the world. The participants captured the footage on the day of Oct. 10, 2010.
“Pedal-Driven: A Bikeumentary” (2011, NR, 65 min., $29.95). This documentary from Jamie Howell explores both sides of the conflict between mountain bikers and federal land managers.
“Escapee” (2011, R, 98 min., $22.98). Dominic Purcell and Christine Evangelista star in Campion Murphy's thriller about a young student who crosses paths with a psychotic serial killer during an observational trip to a high security prison for the criminally insane. When the killer becomes obsessed with the student, he breaks out of prison and finds her.
“The Cary Grant Film Collection” (2013, six discs, $39.98). Includes “Born to be Mad,” “I Was a Male War Bride,” “People will Talk,” “Monkey Business,” “An Affair to Remember” and Kiss Them for Me.”
TV ON DVD
“Counting Cars: Season 1” (reality series, two discs, 12 episodes, $24.98)
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
- Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
- Pirates trade for Mets first baseman Davis
- York teen suspended for asking Miss America to prom
- ‘We Are FR’ fund going strong
- Latrobe woman texts searchers in Linn Run State Park to tell them she’s OK
- RiverQuest short of money, looks for a partner
- Rossi: Pens sticking to power-play plan
- Cyrus’ rescheduled U.S. tour now includes Pittsburgh stop in August
- Police say Latrobe woman bought gun for boyfriend, who shot neighbor
- Alvarez struggles as Pirates fall short against Brewers