The Renegade Rack: May 21, 2013

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Welcome to this week’s edition of the Renegade Rack. I am going to try to make sure this hits every week from now on as your one-stop shop for the best new DVDs and Blu-rays coming out. Check back every Tuesday morning and see what is hitting stores for your home cinema enjoyment.

Beautiful Creatures

When newcomer Lena Duchannes arrives in the small town of Gatlin she quickly captures the attention of Ethan Wate, who only wants to escape what he views as a boring and dead end town. He quickly gets more than he bargained for, as Lena possesses strange powers that have long kept her at a distance from others in her life. Lena and Ethan are drawn together, but their budding romance is threatened by the dangers posed by Lena’s being a Caster and her family’s Dark powers, for upon her sixteenth birthday Lena must undergo the Claiming, a process that will decide her fate forever: Light or Dark.

The only extra material on the DVD release will be deleted scenes, and trailers. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo release will also include featurettes (“Book to Screen”, “The Casters”, “Between Two Worlds”, “Forbidden Romance”, “Alternate Worlds”, “Beautiful Creatures: Designing the Costumes”), and a digital copy of the film.

Read our review of Beautiful Creatures

The Last Stand

Sheriff Ray Owens (Schwarzenegger) moved out of Los Angeles and settled into a life fighting what little crime takes place in sleepy border town Sommerton Junction. But that peaceful existence is shattered when Gabriel Cortez (Eduardo Noriega), the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the western hemisphere, makes a deadly yet spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy. With the help of a fierce band of lawless mercenaries led by the icy Burrell (Peter Stormare), Cortez begins racing towards the US-Mexico border at 250 mph in a specially-outfitted Corvette ZR1 with a hostage in tow. Cortez’ path: straight through Summerton Junction, where the whole of the U.S. law enforcement, including Agent John Bannister (Forest Whitaker) will have their final opportunity to intercept him before the violent fugitive slips across the border forever. At first reluctant to become involved, and then counted out because of the perceived ineptitude of his small town force, Owens ultimately rallies his team and takes the matter into his own hands, setting the stage for a classic showdown.

Special features include Not in My Town: The Making of The Last Stand, Cornfield Chaos: Scene Breakdown, The Dinkum Firearm and Historic Weaponry Museum, Actor-Can Anarchy with Johnny Knoxville and Jamie Alexander, and Deleted/Extended & Alternate Scenes.

Parker

Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief who lives by a personal code of ethics: Don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it. But on his latest heist, his crew double crosses him, steals his stash, and leaves him for dead. Determined to make sure they regret it, Parker tracks them to Palm Beach, playground of the rich and famous, where the crew is planning their biggest heist ever. Donning the disguise of a rich Texan, Parker takes on an unlikely partner, Leslie (Jennifer Lopez), a savvy insider, who’s short on cash, but big on looks, smarts and ambition. Together, they devise a plan to hijack the score, take everyone down and get away clean.

Extras will include commentary with Director Taylor Hackford, and 2 featurettes (“Bringing the Hunter to Life: The Making of Parker”, “Who is Parker?”). The Blu-ray release will also include 2 additional featurettes (“The Origin of Parker”, “Broken Necks and Bloody Knuckles”).

Read our Parker review

Side Effects

After her husband (Tatum) is released from prison for insider trading, Emily (Mara) begins suffering from terrifying anxiety and turns to psychiatrist Dr. Banks (Law) for help. But when Banks prescribes an experimental drug for her, the side effects have chilling and deadly consequences. Full of unexpected twists, Side Effects is the sexy psychological thriller that critics are calling “wildly unpredictable!” ( Marlow Stern , Newsweek).

Extras will include an Aliza Website Experience, a Behind the Scenes of Side Effects featurette, an Ablixa Commerical, and an Intenin Commercial. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo release will also include a digital copy of the film.

Stand Up Guys

Directed by Academy Award winning producer Fisher Stevens (Documentary Feature, The Cove, 2009) and co-starring Golden Globe winner Julianna Margulies (TV’s “The Good Wife), the tough but touching film centers on three retired gangsters who reunite for one epic final night. However, one of the friends is keeping a dangerous secret – and his time to find an acceptable alternative is running out. As the sun rises on the guys’ reunion, their position becomes more and more desperate and they finally confront their pasts once and for all.

Extras will include commentary with Director Fisher Stevens, 3 featurettes (“American Muscle: The Stand Up Stunt Driving Scenes”, “The Lowdown On Making Stand Up Guys”, “The Stand Up Songs Of Jon Bon Jovi”), and deleted scenes.

Medium Cool (CRITERION COLLECTION)

It’s 1968, and the whole world is watching. With the U.S. in social upheaval, famed cinematographer Haskell Wexler decided to make a film about what the hell was going on. Medium Cool, his debut feature, plunges us into the moment. With its mix of fictional storytelling and documentary technique, this depiction of the working world and romantic life of a television cameraman (Robert Forster) is a visceral cinematic snapshot of the era, climaxing with an extended sequence shot right in the middle of the riots surrounding the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. An inventive commentary on the pleasures and dangers of wielding a camera, Medium Cool is as prescient a political film as Hollywood has ever produced.

Special features include Two audio commentaries, one featuring Wexler, editorial consultant Paul Golding, and actor Marianna Hill, and the other featuring historian Paul Cronin, New interview with Wexler, Extended excerpts from “Look Out Haskell, It’s Real!,” a documentary by Cronin about the making of Medium Cool, featuring interviews with Wexler; Golding; actors Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, and Robert Forster; Chicago historian Studs Terkel; and others, Excerpts from Sooner or Later, Cronin’s documentary about Harold Blankenship, who plays Harold in the film, “Medium Cool” Revisited, a new half-hour video by Wexler about the Occupy movement’s protests against the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago, Trailer, and A booklet featuring an essay by film critic and programmer Thomas Beard.

The ABCs of Death

Twenty-six directors. Twenty-six ways to die. Co-produced by Drafthouse Films, and finally ready to be unleashed-see what happens when you give more than two dozen of the most brilliant filmmakers from around the world free reign to indulge their creative impulses and black humor. From A to Z, it’s got something for every genre fan and is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

The unrated feature contains alphabetical segments by top terror talent from all corners of the globe, and the special features will include audio commentaries, behind-the-scenes and making-of footage and, on the Blu-ray, a number of runner-up submissions in the on-line contest for the “T is for…” segment (won by Lee Hardcastle with “T is for Toilet”).

Read our ABC’s of Death review

Rolling Stones: Crossfire Hurricane

Crossfire Hurricane, directed by Brett Morgen, is released as part of the ongoing 50th anniversary celebrations of The Rolling Stones. This superb new film tells the story of the Stones’ unparalleled journey from blues obsessed teenagers in the early sixties to their undisputed status as rock royalty. All of The Rolling Stones have been newly interviewed and their words form the narrative arc that links together archive footage of performances, news coverage and interviews, much of it previously unseen. Taking its title from a lyric in Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Crossfire Hurricane gives the viewer an intimate insight into exactly what it’s like to be part of The Rolling Stones as they overcome denunciation, drugs, dissensions and death to become the definitive survivors. Over a year in the making and produced with the full co-operation and involvement of The Rolling Stones, Crossfire Hurricane is and will remain the definitive story of the world’s greatest rock ‘n’ roll band.

Special features include Cinema trailer for Crossfire Hurricane / Interview with director Brett Morgen / Additional bonus performances (NME Poll Winners Concert 1964: (featuring Not Fade Away , I Just Wanna Make Love To You, I’m All Right, NME Poll Winners Concert 1965: (featuring Pain In My Heart, The Last Time, Live In Germany 1965: (featuring (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, I’m All Right), The Arthur Haynes Show 1964: (featuring I Wanna Be Your Man, You Better Move On).

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About the Author

Shawn S. Lealos
Shawn is a film critic with over 25 years of experience in print and online media. He is a member of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle and loves everything from critically acclaimed movies to B-level action flicks.
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