Action flicks seek an audience

Akron Beacon JournalMay 23, 2013 

  • Other releases

    These DVDs were also released this week.

    Films: Beautiful Creatures; Side Effects; Yossi; Struck by Lightning; Vegas Vacation (1997, Blu-Ray release);

    TV series: True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season; Dexter: Season 7; Teen Wolf: Season Two; Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (PBS American Masters documentary).

It's a busy week for action movies, albeit ones that were not always well received. Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez star in Parker, based on a hard-boiled novel by Richard Stark, a pen name for the great Donald Westlake. Reviews were not great — only 40 percent were positive, according to Rotten Tomatoes — and the box-office returns poor. Extras include commentary by director Taylor Hackford and making-of segments. Parker retails for on $30.99 DVD and $35.99 on Blu-ray.

Things weren't much better for Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand, in which he played a former Los Angeles cop turned small-town sheriff — only to see that small town become the last stand in a battle with a fugitive drug lord. It fared even more poorly at the U.S. box office, according to Box Office Mojo, even after somewhat positive reviews (59 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). Extras include featurettes and deleted scenes. The Last Stand retails for $29.95 on DVD and $39.99 on Blu-ray-DVD-digital combo.

You might expect a movie with Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin to have fared better with critics and viewers than the above titles. You would be wrong. Stand Up Guys went almost unnoticed in theaters and was largely panned by critics. But I liked large portions of the film, if only because it was fun to watch Pacino and Walken work together (and with Arkin, although less often).

Pacino plays a gangster just out of prison after decades inside; Walken is an old friend and colleague who rejoins him for a night of revelry and conversation. But other agendas are at work, and it might not end well for either man. It's not a great movie, but the performances are fine, and it deserved to be seen more. Extras include several featurettes and commentary by director Fisher Stevens.

Stand Up Guys retails for $27.98 on DVD and $39.99 on Blu-ray-DVD-digital combo.


Other releases

These DVDs were also released this week.

Films: Beautiful Creatures; Side Effects; Yossi; Struck by Lightning; Vegas Vacation (1997, Blu-Ray release);

TV series: True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season; Dexter: Season 7; Teen Wolf: Season Two; Mel Brooks: Make a Noise (PBS American Masters documentary).

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