Expectation is the theme at bat in this tender coming-of-age film about a less-than-stellar Juco baseball player (the charming Alex Frost) who compensates for his lack of athletic skill with a never-die attitude and heart to spare. If this sounds sickly sweet, that's because it is, but in the most tolerable, actually uplifting kind of way. That's due in large part to Steve Zahn's loving portrayal of the baseball coach and new director Gary Lundgren's expert tonal balance. (available now)
Special Features: none;;
You've surely heard the chatter about this shocking torture porn flick about a mad scientist (the delightfully over-the-top Dieter Laser) who fuses together three victims – ass to mouth – to create a literal human centipede with a shared gastro tract. He succeeds, unfortunately, and the poor souls (the actors included – who in their right mind would sign up for this gig?) must escape his clutches through the use of ultimate horrifying teamwork. The chatter was correct: It's a tough one to get through. Yet the sheer curiosity of vision – blame writer-director Tom Six – makes it a must-watch for masochists. The most appalling part of the DVD is the director's interview, in which Six promises a sequel that will make this original look like "My Little Pony." Egads. (available Oct. 5)
Special Features: Deleted scene, behind the scenes, director interview, casting tapes, foley session, director commentary;;
Although not requiring as strong a stomach as the film above, this Casey Affleck star vehicle takes some intestinal fortitude for slightly different (though equally misogynistic) reasons. Affleck plays Lou Ford, a local lawman with revenge on his mind over the murder of his adopted brother years earlier. He gets to his victim by leaving an elaborate trail of bodies – including Jessica Alba as a pain-loving hooker – as a kind of Reese's trail for his final victim, all while eluding the suspicious eye of an investigator (The Mentalist's Simon Baker). Acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom (Welcome to Sarajevo) keeps things moving along just fast enough to avoid letting the audience dwell on the brutal violence. Affleck deserves some credit for that as well – he's a fascinating person to watch onscreen. (available now)
Special Features: none;; firstname.lastname@example.org
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