This week's new DVD releases range from the hysterical to the historical.
Drive Angry, Grade B: The film's a throwback to a time when drive-in theaters were as prominent as Starbucks are today. Films that filled those outdoor screens weren't concerned with plot and character development. All that mattered were blasts, babes, and bad guys.
The blasts are provided by Nicolas Cage, who plays John Milton in a very obvious reference to the epic Renaissance poem Paradise Lost. When Milton's daughter is killed by members of a cult and his granddaughter is scheduled to be sacrificed, Milton escapes the fiery pits to seek revenge.
It'll make you nostalgic for the cheesy movies that made drive-ins so much fun.
Undertow, Grade A-: Javier Fuentes-Leon's powerful film looks at love, loss, and faith. A Peruvian fisherman (Cristian Mercado) struggles with a secret love that, if revealed, will hurt his wife. He must make a tough decision about revealing his true feelings to give the ghost of his lover (Manolo Cardona) peace.
The director blends the sweetness of the love story with the emotional turmoil the fisherman faces. It plays out against a brilliant background of the small fishing village.
Brad Meltzer's Decoded: Season 1, Grade B: Brad Meltzer hosts the History Channel series that looks at big historical mysteries such as the first Presidential Codes, the hidden messages of the Statue of Liberty, and the ciphers protecting the location of lost Confederate gold.
The series shows that when it comes to history, we may know only half the story. That may seem impossible with the explosion of information available through the Internet, but Meltzer says the Internet has made getting to the truth more difficult than before.
This makes for a fun way to look at history.
Also new on DVD this week:
Psych: The Complete Fifth Season: Cable series about an unorthodox detective agency.
Rookie Blue: The Complete First Season: ABC drama about a group of young police officers.
SG-U Stargate Universe: The Complete Final Season: The final episodes of the cable series about a group of lost voyagers.
True Blood: The Complete Third Season: The drama continues in this HBO vampire series.
Biutiful: Javier Bardem stars in this story of a man struggling with good and evil.
Neil Young: Music Cares Tribute: Contains live covers of 17 of Young's songs by Dave Matthews, Lady Antebellum, Ben Harper, Norah Jones, and Elton John.
Swamp People: Season 1: Cable series about the wild life in swamps.
Genius of Britain: The Scientists Who Changed the World: A five-part series that looks at the personalities of those behind some of the world's greatest discoveries.
The Red Green Show: The Midlife Crisis Years: Canadian comedy about handyman Red and his boys.
Cross: Brian Austin Green stars in this superhero adventure.
Rio Lobo: The John Wayne classic is being released on Blu-ray.
Hijos del Carnaval: Seasons One & Two: Blood ties are more blood than ties with the family in this HBO series.
Bands on the Run: Animated adventures of five rubber bands.
Savage County: Teenagers face inbred Tennessee lunatics.
Kaboom: Director Gregg Araki's film about young people and lust in the California sun.