The extremes of sports serve as the backdrop for this week’s top DVD releases.
“Concussion” Grade (☆☆1/2): There’s no debating that the subject matter of “Concussion” is incredibly important: the connection between football and life-threatening concussions. Any light directed toward this topic is important.
But writer-director Peter Landesman fumbles by structuring this story around Dr. Bennet Omalu (Will Smith), the Pittsburgh pathologist who uncovers the truth about how the early death of former NFL players is connected to a lifetime of blows to the head.
The film ends up feeling more like a vanity project for Smith as a way of garnering another Oscar nomination. That’s not unusual for actors of his stature. It’s just a shame when vanity trumps what is definitely an important story.
“Point Break” Grade (☆☆1/2): If you are an extreme sports junkie, “Point Break” is cocaine. If you are a fan of good writing, it’s a placebo.
This “Point Break” is less of a remake and more of a reimagining of the 1991 cult classic cops-and-surfers film starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze. The production is loaded with visually arresting stunts. In an effort to give the movie as much visual splendor as possible, director Ericson Core (“Invincible”) opted to go with real locations – like the sheer cliff walls of Angel Falls – rather than resorting to green screens.
The result is stunning. Too bad the rest of the film feels more like it was written on a bar napkin at 3 a.m. after a night of heavy drinking.
When the story looms its confused head, this “Point” begins to break.
Also new on DVD and streaming March 29
▪ “The Hateful Eight”: Strangers in a snow-covered remote location battle for survival.
▪ “Forsaken”: Retired gunfighter must take up his guns again. Kiefer Sutherland stars.
▪ “Exposed”: Police officer looking into the death of his partner uncovers corruption. Keanu Reeves stars.
▪ “Humans, Season 1”: The uncut British version of the series about a future where humanoids are a big part of everyday life.
▪ “Archer, Season 6”: Animated half-hour comedy about an international spy agency and its employees.
▪ “Killing Them Safely”: Documentary on the rise in popularity of TASERs.
▪ “Hero Quest”: A 10-year-old boy must save his mother and his village.
▪ “The Last Treasure Hunt”: Brother, sister discover their father’s will is a call to adventure.
▪ “Death Valley Days”: Anthology series about the American West.
▪ “The Red House”: The 1947 film starring Edgar G. Robinson is being released on Blu-ray.
▪ “The Making of Trump”: Documentary that looks at the businessman, celebrity and presidential candidate
▪ “Confession of a Child of the Century”: Love affair begins to fall apart when the past comes back to haunt the couple.
▪ “Murders in the Rue Morgue”/ “The Dunwich Horror”: Double feature based on works by Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft.
▪ “The Sicilian”: The 1987 film starring Christopher Lambert is now on Blu-ray.
▪ “Anomalisa”: Stop-motion animation film from Charlie Kaufman.
▪ “The Winter”: Writer struggles to uncover the mystery of his father’s death.
▪ “Mediterranea”: The drama looks at life-or-death struggle of refugees.
▪ “CPO Sharkey: The Best of Season Two”: Includes six episodes of the TV comedy starring Don Rickles.
▪ “Cherry Falls”: Brittany Murphy horror film from 2000 is now on Blu-ray.