Tuesday, June 18 2013, 10:55 AM MDT
DVD and Blu-ray Releases For December 26, 2012
By Ryan M. Painter
(KUTV) With Christmas falling on a Tuesday this year the only major new release of the week is “The Words” starring Bradley Cooper and Zoe Saldana. I’ve also included a review of Showtime’s “Shameless: The Complete Second Season.”
Over the next week I’ll be announcing my favorite releases, both theatrical and on DVD or Blu-ray, from 2012. In retrospect it’s been a wonderful year for new releases and old favorites (particularly if you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg, James Bond or Alfred Hitchcock).
Drama: The Words
The Words (DVD and Blu-ray)
“The Words” consists of three layers, it’s a story within a story within a story, and that’s one too many stories as far as I’m concerned.
Clayton Hammond (Denis Quaid), a successful novelist, is performing a public reading from his newest book, “The Words.” The book’s plot follows Rory Jansen (Bradley Cooper), a young writer, who while on his honeymoon in Paris finds a complete manuscript for an unpublished novel in a briefcase given to him by his wife, Dora (Zoe Saldana). Entranced by the story Rory types the entire novel into his computer. Dora, while using Rory’s computer, stumbles across the novel and mistakenly assumes Rory has written it and demands that Rory submit it for publication. The book is picked up and becomes a bestseller. All is well until an old man (Jeremy Irons), claiming to be the real author of the novel, shows up.
Had “The Words” simply focused on Rory’s and the old man’s story it might have been a better movie-going experience, but the “present day” plot about Hammon and a flirtatious fan (Olivia Wilde) isn’t as clever as the film’s writers seem to think it is. Rather than providing an epiphany it simply steals screen time from the more interesting aspects of the script. If you’re looking for two-thirds of a good, but not great, film “The Words” is worth a rental.
Shameless: The Complete Second Season (DVD and Blu-ray)
The Gallagher family takes their lead from Frank (William H. Macy), their alcoholic father who will do anything, absolutely anything, to avoid doing anything that might be considered constructive. If it wasn’t for 11-year-old Debbie the whole family would disintegrate into an amoral abyss of their own creation. To characterize them as dysfunctional isn’t exactly correct. They function perfectly well as a wrecking ball sent to destroy the traditional dramedy genre (unless “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” is the norm, in that case “Shameless” is par for the course). Packed with sex, drugs and other bad behaviors “Shameless” is like hanging out with the most charismatic reprobates in the history of the world. You like them, although you can’t exactly explain why. They’re unredeemable and unrelentingly entertaining as they smash their way through one taboo after another.
“Shameless” isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re not easily offended (or enjoy being offended) the show features a cast of amiable characters that can’t help but do despicable things. It shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.
(Copyright 2012 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)