An Evil Rite And A Roommate

Jason Stratham flexes his muscles and acting chops in The Mechanic.

Bad girls, from The Other Woman to The Roommate, dominate the new DVD releases this week.


Muscleman Jason Stratham  stars in this action thriller about a professional assassin who sets out to train an apprentice (Ben Foster). Outstanding action sequences, fairly graphic violence and an unusually intricate plot makes The Mechanic a cut well above standard action fare. Earned an R-rating in the U.S., which means the producers didn’t wimp out on the violence to get a PG-13 rating.

THE RITE (2011)

Anthony Hopkins goes to the evil well once too often in this poorly received good-vs.-evil supernatural thriller. Earned a mere PG-13 rating, indicating a tepid level of scares and violence, and a dismal 19 per cent positive ratings from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Allegedly inspired by true events.

Is it just me, or does there seem to be a new Natalie Portman movie either on DVD or in the theatres every other week? In this offering, Portman plays a woman who married her ex-boss, who was married at the time of their affair. The spurned ex-wife, Lisa Kudrow, causes no end of grief. Performances by Portman and Kudrow were well received, but the film was not. Described as high-toned soap opera.


Everything you need to know about The Roommate can be summed up in this blurb: “She’s cute. She’s loyal. She’s psychotic. And, unfortunately for college freshman Sara (Minka Kelly) she’s The Roommate.” Rated PG-13 for, among other transgressions, depictions of “teen partying”, the film scored a shockingly low four per cent on the Tomatometer. Even Pete Travers of Rolling Stone, who’s usually willing to provide a kiss-ass blurb, said The Roommate “sucks bad, real bad”.



This week’s offering from Criterion, this French horror/thriller is generally credited as a classic of the genre, and the inspiration for Psycho. Two women conspire to kill a nasty boarding school headmaster, whose body then disappears. Famous for its intricate plot and surprise ending, Roger Ebert writes: “Diabolique is so well constructed that even today it works on its intended level — up until, say, the last 30 seconds.”


Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason in the film The Hustler (1961); Eddie Murphy’s break-out role Beverly Hills  Cop (1984); The Twilight Zone Season Four (1963); and three films from Sophia Loren (Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow; Marriage, Italian Style; Sunflower).



Second season of the spin off of The Six Million Dollar Man stars Lindsay Wagner as tennis pro Jamie Sommers who is turned into a bionic superwoman Wagner actually won an Emmy for her role in this briefly popular piece of late 70s-schlock. Best known for one episode where she battles the notorious fembots.Yes, fembots.

ESPN FILMS 30 for 30, Vol. 2

ESPN, the American TV sports behemoth, celebrated its 30th year by commissioning a series of original documentaries with sports themes. This second volume includes The Two Escobars (a gripping story of soccer and drugs) and NBA Star Steve Nash’s Into the Wind, a lovely tribute to Terry Fox.



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