unstoppable dvd coverUnstoppable
Coolest extra: “Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development” featurette (DVD); “Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene” featurette (Blu-ray)
Complex says: You’ve seen it all before—Denzel Washington in a surly mentor role, director Tony Scott once again ratcheting up the quick-cutting action at a breakneck pace, and Rosario Dawson looking good as always. Unstoppable offers little in the way of innovation, and it’s frustrating when you realize that it’s curiously similar to Scott’s last collaboration with Washington, the 2009 remake of The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3. We can’t help but wish for another film like their kick-ass 2004 combined effort Man On Fire. But, clocking in at a scant 95 minutes and not wasting a single second, Unstoppable overcomes its lack of intrigue with sheer adrenaline and an absurdist edge. Washington stars as a seasoned train conductor who’s grooming a hot-shot young engineer (Star Trek’s Chris Pine); together, they’re forced to stop an out-of-control locomotive before it crashes and spills deadly toxins everywhere. The ending plays out exactly how you’d expect it, and the performances are more frantic than dramatic, yet Unstoppable has a certain popcorn charm that’s easy to appreciate if you put your intellect on standby and simply enjoy the ride.
Buy it now: Unstoppable

waiting for superman dvd coverWaiting For “Superman”
Coolest extra: “Updates: A Look at What’s Changed in Education Since the Movie was Filmed” featurette (DVD); All special features presented in HD (Blu-ray)
Complex says: If you have any children, or you’re close to any pre-teens in their early years of schooling, Waiting For “Superman” could send you into a fit if depression, followed by rage. The film’s director, David Guggenheim, knows what he’s doing; he’s the creative muscle behind Al Gore’s alarming 2006 look at the global warming crisis, An Inconvenient Truth. In this condemnation of our country’s public school system, Guggenheim uses hard facts and real-life kids to drive home a point that’s not exactly unknown, but warrants repeating: For today’s youth, getting their learn on is tougher than ever. The true stars of the program are the kids themselves, including a surprisingly frank little girl from Los Angeles, Daisy, and the mostly humorless Anthony from Washington D.C. It’s pretty heartbreaking to hear these young’n’s express their desires to gain quality educations, when it’s clear to see that the graduation rates of their respective schools are downright pathetic. Waiting For “Superman” is the film reps from teachers’ unions don’t want you to see, mainly because it does such a strong job at pointing the guilty finger in their direction. Give this one a long, hard look—just don’t expect to walk by an elementary school with casual indifference any time soon after.
Buy it now: Waiting For “Superman”

you will meet tall dark stranger dvd coverYou Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger
Coolest extra: Theatrical trailer (DVD and Blu-ray)
Complex says: Woody Allen certainly knows how to cast a film. And, no, we’re not harping on his eye for beauty, the guy-friendly sensibility that led to Scarlett Johansson becoming one of his most recognized muses. This isn’t a horndog’s sentiment; even the New York-centric filmmaker’s weakest movies (Scoop, Cassandra’s Dream) benefit—however slightly—from interesting ensembles. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger, Allen’s latest slice of talky and subdued life, is an acute example boasting a dynamite acting line-up, this unexciting rom-com focuses on one family and all of its inner workings. Hot ladies are present (Naomi Watts, Freida Pinto, Anna Friel), and the leading men are fellas we never mind seeing in films (Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins), but that’s not enough. You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger gives its players little to do, other than demonstrate Allen’s lack of imagination. There is one accomplishment here, though: a Viagra gag involving Hopkins’ character precedes the erectile drug’s appearance next to Robert De Niro in the far worse 2010 film Little Fockers. Not that Allen should brag about that.
Buy it now: You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger

william s burroughs dvd coverWilliam S. Burroughs: A Man Within
Coolest extra: Home movies featuring Steve Buscemi, Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg, and more (DVD)
Complex says: Few things are more intriguing than the life of an eccentric and imbalanced writer (think Edgar Allan Poe, Sylvia Plath, and Hunter S. Thompson), and the story of William S. Burroughs is no exception. Sibling directors Yony and Jonathan Leyser examine the celebrated author’s crazy world, a dark and troublesome existence that resulted in shattered boundaries for drug enthusiasts, as well as an acclaimed novel, Naked Lunch. Showing just how well connected and respected Burroughs is, the Leysers interview several of his high-profile chums, including perversion king John Waters, rock god Iggy Pop, and movie directors Gus Van Sant and David Cronenberg. The downside, however, is that this doc is hardly 90 minutes long, declining to look deeper into Burroughs’ life than the frugal running-time allows. A Man Within should be used as a gateway into the writer’s psyche, and, hopefully, inspire some people to put down the Xbox controllers and step foot inside a bookstore.
Buy it now: William S. Burroughs: A Man Within