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Published: Thursday, 12/20/2012

‘Trouble With the Curve’, ‘Pitch,’ ‘Recall,’ among new offerings

BY RICH HELDENFELS
AKRON BEACON JOURNAL
Amy Adams as Mickey and Clint Eastwood as Gus in Warner Bros. 'Trouble With The Curve.' Amy Adams as Mickey and Clint Eastwood as Gus in Warner Bros. 'Trouble With The Curve.'
KEITH BERNSTEIN Enlarge

Tuesday's new DVD and Blu-ray offerings included not only a Pitch but also a Curve.

The latter is Trouble With the Curve, the film starring Clint Eastwood as an Atlanta Braves scout whose eyesight is failing even as one of his bosses is trying to get rid of him. He also has a strained relationship with his daughter (Amy Adams), and those strains become more evident when she accompanies him on a crucial scouting trip.

As I said when the movie was in theaters, it was a nice film, but no more than that. You will very quickly know just about all the plot developments, and wish that it got through them more quickly. Eastwood, Adams, and Justin Timberlake (as a former player turned scout) are all good, but they have been better elsewhere. It is hard to see why Eastwood ended four years away from acting for this -- except that the director, Robert Lorenz, is a longtime producing partner of Eastwood.

Warner is offering it as a DVD with digital copy ($28.98), a Blu-ray ($29.98) and a Blu-ray/ DVD/ digital combo ($35.99). Extras include a couple of making-of featurettes.

The pitch, meanwhile, is not in baseball but music, with Pitch Perfect, the uneven but eventually endearing film about collegiate a cappella groups. Trying to find the ground between Glee and Bridesmaids, it is sometimes gross (not one but two scenes built around vomiting), with a pretty predictable misfits-bonding plot. But it is respectful of its characters, has some good performances by Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson -- and music so good that I was watching the early videos again and again well before seeing the entire movie.

From Universal, it's on DVD ($29.98) and in a Blu-ray/ DVD/ digital combo ($34.98). Extras include deleted and extended scenes, commentary and a music video.

Also new on Tuesday was the Colin Farrell version of Total Recall (Sony, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray/ digital, $40.99 Blu-ray/ DVD/ digital combo). The attempt to rework the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name did have improved special effects and a better actor as the leading man. And Kate Beckinsale proves a formidable figure. But, as I said after seeing this at the movies, it is an unsurprising replay of the earlier screen tale. It is weighed down by an unbearable load of cliches and faux-deep dialogue, fights, and chases that seem incoherent when visible through the often murky lighting and stylistic flourishes borrowed heavily from Blade Runner and -- with one element, at least -- Star Wars.

Then there's Arbitrage (Lionsgate, $19.98 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray), the well-reviewed drama starring Richard Gere as an admired hedge-fund operator whose carefully hidden schemes are beginning to unravel. Extras include commentary by writer-director Nicholas Jarecki, a making-of piece and deleted scenes.

On the TV side, several cable series get the DVD treatment in Army Wives: Season Six, Part 2 (ABC, 10 episodes, $29.99); Californication: The Fifth Season (CBS/ Paramount, 12 episodes, $46.99); House of Lies: The First Season (CBS/Paramount, 12 episodes, $46.99), and Shameless: The Complete Second Season (Warner, 12 episodes, $39.98, also on Blu-ray for $49.99).

Besides Tuesday titles this week, there will be several titles new to stores Friday. There are often cases of big titles coming out on Friday, but these are all relatively minor ones, including Resident Evil: Retribution (Sony, $30.99 DVD/digital, $35.99 Blu-ray/ digital, $45.99 Blu-ray/DVD/ digital), which did worse at the box office than any of the four previous Resident Evil films except the first one -- and that was a decade ago. A box set with all five movies on Blu-ray will also arrive Friday, for $95.99.

Also coming Friday are Premium Rush (Sony, $30.99 DVD/digital, $35.99 Blu-ray/ digital), the bike-messenger thriller with Joseph Gordon-Levitt; the funny, violent crime tale Killer Joe (Lionsgate, $19.99 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray), with an unrated director's cut; and Spike Lee's Red Hook Summer (Image, $27.97 DVD, $29.97 Blu-ray).



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