What's new in stores and on video shelves this week:
True Detective: The Complete First Season
Genre: Thriller/TV on DVD
Created by: Nic Pizzolatto
Run time: 480 minutes
The Lowdown: There's good TV and then there's TV that makes you reevaluate everything you've seen before and measure it against a new benchmark.
We thankfully are living in the golden age of the latter with standout shows like “Breaking Bad,” “Hannibal” and “True Detective,” a crime noir procedural that completely rewrites the rules for what every cop show from here on out should strive to be.
It's incredibly rare to come across a show that so successfully nails every aspect perfectly from the writing by creator Nic Pizzolatto (who penned every episode), the direction by Cary Joji Fukunaga (again, every episode) and the acting – holy crap, the acting – by Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey as rural Louisiana detectives Rust Cohle and Marty Hart on a 17-year hunt for a twisted serial killer.
TV does not get better than this. Period.
They will need to figure out a loophole come Emmy time to somehow reward both Harrelson and McConaughey for their standout work, some of the best either man has ever done (and this comes during McConaughey's Oscar-winning year for 'Dallas Buyer's Club.')
The Stuff You Care About:
Hot chicks – Yes.
Nudity – Yes.
Gore – Yes.
Drug use – Yes.
Bad Guys/Killers – The monster inside us all is darker than any killer on the loose.
Buy/Rent – Buy it.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (Paramount, 106 minutes, PG-13, Blu-Ray): There's not a believable moment to be found in this would-be introductory prequel to Tom Clancy's titular hero who has now seen four different actors (Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, Ben Affleck and Chris Pine) inhabit the role.
The action is fast-paced, the apocalyptic crisis somewhat understandable and the acting above-average, but there's still something missing to elevate “Jack Ryan” from lazy couch day viewing to must-see marquee status.
Haunt (IFC Midnight, 85 minutes, R, DVD): Director Mac Carter's entry into the troubled teen moves into possibly haunted house thriller employs all the genre hallmarks you've come to expect.
There's a creepy spirit radio that allows communication with the other side. There's the obligatory jump scare when a little dead girl ghost suddenly appears in your line of sight as the main character peers through a crack in the door. There's the is she or isn't she quandary of whether the beautiful neighbor is actually alive or dead throughout the entire feature.
It's not original but it's fun and interesting enough to hold your attention.
Kill Zombie! (Well Go USA, 90 minutes, Unrated, Blu-Ray): This shameless redo of “Shaun of the Dead,” set in Amsterdam, features a slacker hero, a colorful cast of sidekicks and buckets of zombie gore, but it still feels like a reheated rehash of the iconic cult classic.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
Transformers Animated: The Complete Series
Bushido Man: Seven Deadly Battles
The Secret Lives of Dorks
Lo Mejor De La Cq
Deltora Quest: The Complete Series
Perry Mason Movie Collection: Double Feature
Banner 4th of July
Ray Donovan: The First Season
Brazil with Michael Palin