Monday, June 24, 2013

DVD Outlook: June 2013

June's DVD offerings take us back to many of 2013's early-year releases. The selections become much more mediocre and highly limited. If you aren't too thrilled with my crop of suggestions for June, then feel free to scour back to my picks for May and a few other months. Now, onto my choices for June's best rental options.

A Late Quartet - 3 stars out of 4 - (No full review available)

I was able to catch this indie release at the Philadelphia Film Festival back in October and I was thoroughly impressed. A Late Quartet stars a well-known cast (including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christopher Walken and Catherine Keener) and follows a world-famous string quartet who struggle to play on after coming to grips with a terminal illness, competitive jealousy and insurmountable lust. A Late Quartet serves as a well-acted and fabulously written subtle microcosm of life itself. Hidden inside of its tender dialogue and disastrous storylines are valuable life lessons, so do your best to listen closely. (JUNE 18TH)

The Call - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (No full review available)

Being that I finally got a chance to see The Call at the tail end of its theatrical run, I decided against writing up a review for it. However, Brad Anderson's energetic thriller proved to be a satisfying and suspenseful ride. Halle Berry stars as a veteran 911 operator with a history of psychological baggage who is forced to handle a call from a teenage girl who's been abducted. Although The Call includes an abundance of unrealistic moments, it still manages to be a widely engaging edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. And with a running time barely crossing the hour and a half mark, it zips by in no time at all. (JUNE 25TH)

Oz the Great and Powerful - 2 and a half stars out of 4 - (Read my full review here)

Normally, I'm not one to enjoy a long-awaited prequel/sequel to a classic. However, while watching Sam Raimi's Oz the Great and Powerful, you'll find it difficult to root against this return to the mystical land. James Franco stars as a lowly circus magician named Oz who is swept away to an enchanted city and finds himself in the middle of a struggle between three powerful witches. Despite its many low points and prolonged running time north of two hours, Oz the Great and Powerful admirably attempts to recreate the essence that made the original so wonderful. (JUNE 11TH)

Honorable Mention: While I sat on the fence with the middling zombie tale Warm Bodies (6/4), many moviegoers and critics seemed to enjoy the lighthearted take on the genre. Also, I was unable to make it to my screening of the horror film Stoker (6/18), but I passed the tickets along to big-time horror fan Stephen Fisher and he found it to be an excellent movie.

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