News Column

DVD reviews: 'World War Z,' 'The Bling Ring' and 'Behind the Candelabra' [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

September 19, 2013


"World War Z" (2013, PG-13, 116 min., $30.99) As a zombie outbreak envelops the city of Philadelphia, Gerry (Brad Pitt), a former investigator for the United Nations, and his family are trying to escape, and they end up getting a boost from one of his former co-workers. To keep his family safe, Gerry is tasked with going out to the danger spots to try to find a cure for the outbreak. "World War Z" is a decent submission to the zombie genre, and it offers plenty of action-packed thrills in a pic that puts a lot into its cinematography.

"The Bling Ring" (2013, R, 90 min., $19.98) Writer and director Sofia Coppola is back on solid footing with "The Bling Ring," a stylish and relevant drama that's packed with unbelievable thrills. The film takes viewers inside a small group of teens who were coined the Bling Ring. These California kids would break into the homes of celebrities -- including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox -- when they were out of town, stealing clothes, jewelry, money and much more. Coppola does a fine job of telling the stories of these kids, and the viewer will come away with an understanding of why these crimes were committed.

"Behind the Candelabra" (2013, NR, 118 min., $19.97) From Steven Soderbergh, "Behind the Candelabra," a biopic that looks at the last 10 years of legendary pianist Liberace's life, is a fantastic treat. The picture, which aired on HBO, explores Liberace's flamboyant lifestyle and his relationship with Scott Thorson, a live-in lover who spent five years with the entertainer. The flick is based on Thorson's book, "Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace." Matt Damon plays the role of Thorson, and Michael Douglas is Liberace, and they're joined by Dan Aykroyd, Scott Bakula and Rob Lowe. The performances really set this one apart, while the awkwardness of the story won't allow viewers to turn away.

"The East" (2013, PG-13, 116 min., $22.98) Filmmaker Zal Batmanglij's picture follows an operative for an elite intelligence firm who's tasked with going undercover in an anarchist group to protect the wealth interests of her employer's clients. The film is packed with talented players, including Brit Marling, Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard.

"Disconnect" (2013, R, 115 min., $19.98) Technology takes center stage in this multi-narrative picture about a group of strangers going about their own business in a wired world. Eventually, these worlds collide in this dramatic thriller that stars Jason Bateman, Paula Patton, Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Nyqvist.

"Gimme the Loot" (2012, NR, 81 min., $24.98) Adam Leon earned rave reviews as a writer and director for this feature-length film debut about two graffiti artists looking to gain some major respect in New York City. They set forth a plan to tag the homerun apple that emerges at Citi Field each time a member of the Mets homers.


- "Bates Motel: Season One"

-- Garrett Conti

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