Cop drama uses found footage gimmick
New this week on DVD and Blu-ray:
“End of Watch” – This police drama somewhat loses its way in the final half hour, but the first hour-plus with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as cops on the beat in Los Angeles is well done, with the bond between the partners more memorable than the human trafficking story in which they become involved. The movie uses the “found footage” gimmick – Gyllenhaal’s character is taking a film class and has rigged himself, his partner and their cruiser with tiny cameras, but writer-director David Ayer (screenwriter of “Training Day”) frequently cheats and ignores the limitations of the concept.
Ayer delivers a commentary track, and the disc also includes a digital copy and the featurettes “Fate with a Badge,” “In the Streets,” “Women on Watch,” “Watch Your Six” and “Honors.” (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray/ DVD/digital copy combo)
“Searching for Sugar Man” – Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this movie tells the story of Rodriguez, whose two albums released in the early ’70s were largely ignored in the United States but, unbeknownst to him, turned him into a cult hero in South Africa. Director Malik Bendjelloul chronicles the efforts of two South African fans who set out to discover what really happened to the singer-songwriter.
Bendjelloul and Rodriguez are featured on commentary track, and the disc also includes the featurettes “An Evening with Malik Bendjelloul and Musician Rodriguez” and “Making Sugar Man.” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray)
“For a Good Time, Call …” – Ali Graynor and Lauren Anne Miller play roommates with little in common until straight-laced Lauren (Miller) discovers that free-spirited Katie (Graynor) is working as a phone sex operator. Lauren puts her business knowledge to work with Katie’s experience to start their own business that they hope will be the solution to their money woes. The comedy co-stars Justin Long and Nia Vardalos.
The female stars join director Jamie Travis and co-writer Katie Anne Naylon on the commentary track on the Blu-ray, which also includes the featurette “A Look Inside For a Good Time, Call …” (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $24.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo)
“Nature Calls” – Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville star in this comedy as brothers who are polar opposites. While Knoxville’s character is having a sleepover party for his 10-year son, Oswalt lures the kids away for a trouble-filled scouting adventure. Rob Riggle and Patrice O’Neal co-star. (Magnolia Home Entertainment, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray)
“Nobody Walks” – John Krasinski plays a movie sound designer who agrees to help a young filmmaker on her project at the request of his wife (Rosemarie DeWitt). However, when the beautiful young woman (Olivia Thirlby) moves into their home, it disrupts their happy life. (Magnolia Home Entertainment, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray)
“Pina” – Wim Wenders directed this 3D documentary, nominated last year for an Academy Award, that focuses on a group of dancers staging the work of German choreographer Pina Bausch.
Extras include a commentary track by Wenders for both the feature and the deleted scenes, multiple featurettes and a detailed booklet. (Criterion Collection, $29.95 DVD, $49.95 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray combo)
“Death Race 3: Inferno” – The latest “Death Race” movie moves the action to South Africa’s Kalahari Desert as Frankenstein (Luke Goss) races for his freedom in a film co-starring Ving Rhames and Danny Trejo.
DVD buyers get deleted scenes, a deleted shots montage, a making-of featurette and a commentary track by director Roel Reine. The Blu-ray adds an alternate opening and the featurettes “Racing for Death” and “Art Imitating Life: Goldberg.” (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray)
“Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning” – Action / revenge tale with both Jean Claude Van Damme and Dolph Lundgren. Good thing DVDs have closed captioning. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $26.99 DVD, $30.99 Blu-ray)
“Abel’s Field” – A high school student (Samuel Davis) dealing with problems at home and at school is punished by being assigned to an after-school work detail supervised by the school’s reserved groundskeeper (Kevin Sorbo), who may be the only one who understands the student’s problems.
The only extra is the featurette “From the Sidelines: The Making of Abel’s Field.” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $22.99 DVD)
“Keep the Lights On” – This drama follows a decade-long relationship between a closeted gay lawyer (Zachary Booth) and a documentary filmmaker (Thure Lindhart). It is nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Feature. (Music Box Films, $29.95 DVD, $38.94 Blu-ray)