Take Shelter Albert Brooks claimed to have been robbed of an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor, and one can easily argue the same about Michael Shannon for best actor. In what was one of last year's best performances, Shannon basically carries the entire film as a man who seems to be going crazy, with end of the world visions involving bird swarms and weird storms. But...is he? His coworkers think so, and he loses his job. His wife thinks so, and she puts him into therapy.
The movie's a gradual, intense build to a fascinating conclusion and its ominous vibe never lets up, which should keep you intrigued enough to bear with some of the slower parts. Extras: A Q&A with Shannon, deleted scenes and audio commentary with Shannon and writer-director Jeff Nichols (DVD/BD).
The Rum Diary Mostly forgettable Johnny Depp-does-Hunter S. Thompson redux which the actor is, as always, good at portraying. But the story meanders and may lose those of you who want a straightforward story. Here he stars as the main character in Thompson's semi-autobiographical first novel, a journalist in Puerto Rico tasked with writing a fluff piece on a shady American businessman. Hijinks, of course, ensue. Extras: Scant--just two making-of shorts (DVD/BD).
The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence Tom Six's desperately boundary-pushing sequel involves a copycat freak intent on re-creating what happened in the first movie with a whole lot more people and a whole lot more gore. The first movie became an arguable cult hit; this tiresome sequel just beats you over the head. Extras: Commentary with director Six and star Laurence R. Harvey, 3 featurettes, deleted scenes (DVD/BD).
The Dead This Romero-ish indie got some attention on the festival circuit last year and a very limited U.S. run. It's actually a pretty fun zombie movie set in West Africa (as the packaging boasts, the ONLY one set in Africa!) that follows an air force lieutenant who crash-lands in the midst of the desert only to find it's inhabited by the undead. The effects are good and not goofy CG, it's a hard R, there's little in the way of dialogue and the end is a doozy.
New on Blu
All Quiet on the Western Front
One of the first collector's editions to be released in celebration of Universal's 100th anniversary, this classic has been remastered in HD and includes a silent version presented by the Library of Congress and some featurettes on Uni's centennial.