News Column

DVD reviews: 'The Conjuring,' 'The Internship' and 'Only God Forgives' [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

October 23, 2013


"The Conjuring" (2013, R, 112 min., $28.98) Directed by James Wan, the supernatural horror film tells us the tale of the Perron family, a clan of seven living in a secluded farmhouse in Rhode Island in the early '70s. Roger, Carolyn and their five daughters have just moved into the fixer-upper when the terror begins -- unexplained bruises, slammed doors, visions and all that stuff that happens when houses are haunted by angry spirits. The couple seeks help from Ed and Lorraine Warren, experienced paranormal investigators. While "The Conjuring" wanes in the final act, it's worth a look. Having a great cast -- Lili Taylor, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson and Ron Livingston -- also helps.

"The Internship" (2013, PG-13, 119 min., $29.98) "The Internship" is a two-hour Google commercial with Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson playing the same two guys they always play. The film starts with a ridiculous concept -- two watch salesmen (Wilson and Vaughn) are let go when their company closes, and they try to become interns at Google. The Internet giant overlooks the fact that these two 40- somethings know little about technology, and they're given a shot. From that point, "The Internship" moves into a fish-out-of-water tale. Soon enough, though, Billy (Vaughn) and Nick (Wilson) are proving their worth, and most of you know how this one ends. Besides a couple of funny parts from Will Ferrell and Rob Riggle, there's nothing to see in this formulaic feature film.

"Only God Forgives" (2013, R, 90 min., $29.98) "Only God Forgives" has a plot that's a simple one, and it follows a quiet American (Ryan Gosling) running a gym in Bangkok. When the man's brother is killed, his difficult mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) shows up looking for vengeance. While revenge is on the man's mind, a ruthless policeman (Vithaya Pansringarm) is mixed up in the murder, and that makes payback difficult. Like Winding Refn's other films, "Only God Forgives" will stick with viewers for a few days, and that's a good thing.

"The Waiting Room" (2012, NR, 81 min., $29.95) One of the more critically acclaimed documentaries from 2012, "The Waiting Room" goes behind the scenes of a public hospital in the United States that's struggling to take care of the community.

"Shepard & Dark" (2012, NR, 92 min., $29.95) Friendship is the focus of this interesting documentary that tackles the relationship between Sam Shepard, a legendary playwright and actor, and Johnny Dark, a writer and archivist who made his living behind a deli counter.

"I Give It A Year" (2013, R, 97 min., $26.98) A worthwhile cast - - Simon Baker, Rose Byrne, Minnie Driver, Anna Faris and Stephen Merchant -- is in place for this British romantic comedy about man and woman heading for marriage, despite their undeniably wide range of differences.

"The Wall" (2012, NR, 108 min., $29.95) Austrian filmmaker Julian Polsler delivers a mind-bending movie about a woman trapped behind an invisible wall in the countryside. German actress Martina Gedeck takes the lead role.

"Just Like a Woman" (2012, R, 90 min., $24.98) British actress Sienna Miller hits the road -- giving up a cheating husband and her lousy life -- in hopes of becoming a belly dancer. She aims toward New Mexico and a prestigious belly-dancing competition, and she's traveling with an acquaintance who's carrying a dark secret.

"Red Clover" (2012, NR, 85 min., $26.98) Starring Billy Zane, Courtney Halverson and William Devane, this one is set in the town of Irish Channel, La., the site of a massacre on St. Patrick's Day more than 50 years ago. Now, the town is thinking about celebrating the holiday again, but it might come with more trouble.

-- Garrett Conti


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