Three films arrive on DVD and Blu-Ray this week with the mission of scaring you half to death including Contagion, Shark Night 3D and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. Sarah Jessica Parker also comes home with her comedy I Don’t Know How She Does It and Don Cheadle heads to the U.K. to solve a mystery in The Guard. Chris Evans also gets in on the act, shedding his Captain America suit for a role as a drug-addled lawyer in Puncture.
Contagion: Steven Soderbergh directs an all-star cast in Contagion, the story of a virus that rages through the world and threatens our very existence. Matt Damon and Lawrence Fishburne lead the stellar list of actors that Soderbergh has collected for his horror story that is so believable -- that is what makes it so frightening. Bonus features are a delight, including the cast talking about their biggest fears for a virus wiping us all out. Also brilliant are the medical minds that gave the stars insight into how this would work in reality discussing the daily fight that we as a society wage against deadly viruses.
I Don’t Know How She Does It: Sarah Jessica Parker failed to connect with audiences in this comedy about a career-driven mother and her sacrifices to succeed both professionally and personally. Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear also star in this film that should resonate with working mothers everywhere. But, when Parker’s character has a nanny and a work-at-home dad to help, it is hard to commiserate with her issues.
Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark: Katie Holmes and Guy Pearce star as a couple who move into a New England mansion in order to flip it. When things go bump in the night, Pearce’s daughter begins to see things that threaten anyone who lives in the home. Guillermo del Toro produces Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and his touches are all over it. The film is equally spooky as it is thrilling and a don’t-miss on DVD and Blu-Ray.
Shark Night 3D: A good-looking cast is not enough to save this horror film from the bounds of its mediocrity. A group of college kids heads to a Louisiana salt water lake and… surprise, discover it’s inhabited with an army of various sharks. As each cast member is killed off, the stakes grow higher for those who are left to find a way to escape the horror.
Puncture: Chris Evans rocks in his portrayal of a lawyer who, yes, has a drug problem. But, he possesses such a brilliant mind, it’s hard not to sympathize with his character. When a client gets punctured by a dirty needle (thus the title), Evans’ lawyer takes the case and uncovers something scarier than any horror film can deliver: The truth. Puncture only saw a limited release earlier this year and it is a must-see now that it is out on Blu-Ray and DVD.
The Guard: One of the best underrated films of 2011, The Guard features Don Cheadle as an FBI agent who heads to Britain to work with an Irish cop (Brendan Gleeson) to solve a murder that has the markings of international drug lords all over it. The film is funny, clever, powerful and moving. Both Gleeson and Cheadle have never been better.