Jul 18, 2012

New Spy (and Spy-like) DVDs Out This Week: Leverage and Lockout

Although Paramount released the first three seasons of TNT's fun, Mission: Impossible-like series Leverage on DVD (Season 1 review here), it's 20th Century Fox Home Entertaiment who bring us this week's Leverage: The 4th Season. That doesn't really mean any changes for the consumer, though. We still get the same copious special features that we're used two from the previous seasons. Extras this time out include audio commentaries on every episode, a gag reel, lots of deleted scenes and the featurettes "Behind the Scenes of The Long Job Down" and "Writers' Room Job." In its fourth season, Leverage still feels pretty fresh to me. The Mission: Impossible formula is fairly evergreen, so there's a lot of mileage you can get out of a team of specialists conning a different deserving villain week after week. Highlights include a run-in with a suave, James Bond-like thief and a trip to Dubai's Burj Khalifa. The Leverage crew may have beaten Tom Cruise there by a few weeks, but shots of Parker atop the tower (and jumping off it) are sadly let down by budgetary restrictions and obviously can't compete with Brad Bird's IMAX gloriousness. Retail for Leverage: The 4th Season is $39.98, but of course it's cheaper on Amazon.

Also out this week from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment is the latest Luc Besson-produced neo-Eurospy actionfest, Lockout, on DVD and Blu-ray. Both formats contain an unrated cut of the movie (no theatrical version available, apparently, except streaming... but in this case, that's okay; the theatrical one felt a bit edited for content) and the featurettes "Breaking Into Lockout" and "A Vision of the Future: Production Design & Special Effects." There's also an Ultraviolet digital copy on the Blu-ray, which is even less noteworthy than a regular digital copy, but still worth mentioning because someone probably cares, I guess.... The gimmick with Lockout was that this time the neo-Eurospy action takes place... in space! And Guy Pearce is just the guy to pull that off. He makes a great wisecracking badass (sort of a cross between Burn Notice's Michael Westen and Escape From New York's Snake Plissken), and it's really too bad that this movie didn't catch on and do for his career what Taken did for Liam Neeson's. This genre seems like the right niche for Pearce, and I'd love to see him topline more neo-Eurospy titles from Besson's efficient action factory EuropaCorp. Lockout is no Taken, mind you, but it's a whole lot of fun, and personally I find the crossroad of spy and sci-fi pretty irresistible. (The spy plot is actually a surprisingly major one in the film for a movie that takes place mostly in an orbiting space prison.) Retail is $30.99 for the DVD and $35.99 for the BD, though both are substantially less on Amazon, natch.


Bob said...

Guy Pearce is a terrific actor, but I thought this film was just terrible. Maybe it was the editing to get a PG-13 rating. Watch the red band trailers and you'll know what I mean.

The Guy Pearce film I always recommend to people is "The Proposition".

Timrod said...

Why do people still let Luc Besson make movies?