RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: Insidious: Chapter 2 and More

Just a few new titles are available this Christmas week.

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It's a little strange to see a horror movie headline the Christmas week edition of a DVD article, but such is life. Most of you have probably already done all of your gift shopping by now, and the studios recognize that, so there's little new worth talking about. That said, here's a look at the few titles that are hitting video shelves this week:

Insidious: Chapter 2

38%

After beginning a wildly popular horror franchise with 2004's Saw, James Wan finally earned a Fresh Tomatometer rating with 2011's Insidious. Though it was overshadowed by Wan's other 2013 film (The Conjuring), audiences got to spend another couple of hours with the Lambert family in Insidious: Chapter 2, which builds on the first film and further fleshes out the dark history of the Lamberts. This time around, we get to see what the deal is with Josh Lambert (Patrick Wilson), who possessed some special abilities when he was a child and was made to forget about them. His past, of course, comes back to haunt him -- quite literally -- and soon his wife Renai (Rose Byrne) realizes it probably wasn't the best idea to hang out in his childhood home. At 37% on the Tomatometer, Chapter 2 wasn't nearly as well regarded as its predecessor; critics felt the film was short on tension and therefore far less frightening. The film certainly moves into some wild territory in its third act, but it may be sufficient for a quick horror fix, if you need one.

Last Love

29%

The idea of a world-weary old man rediscovering his zest for life through a younger muse is an all too familiar theme, but one might assume if there's anyone who could lend some heft to such a story, it would be Michael Caine. Granted, most of the critics who did like Last Love cited Caine as one of its saving graces, but overall, this tale of a professor (Caine) living in Paris who develops a special bond with a free-spirited dancer (Clémence Poésy) failed to impress. While most conceded that the performances are good, the script lacks subtlety and any sense of momentum, resulting in a poorly paced narrative that fails to earn its big moments. At 35% on the Tomatometer, Last Love is a relatively poor example of its actors' talents.

Caesar Must Die

91%

Depending on their topics, most documentaries tell relatively straightforward narratives, but there are always a few that choose to do things a little differently. Examples from just this year might include Stories We Tell or The Act of Killing. If you're looking for a doc along those lines, another viable choice might be Caesar Must Die, an Italian film that follows the inmates of a Roman prison as they prepare to present a performance of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Audiences are taken through the entire process, from the casting decisions to rehearsals, and what emerges is a fascinating portrait of the inmates as they relate the play to their own experiences and begin utilizing the process to work through their issues. Certified Fresh at 91% on the Tomatometer, Caesar Must Die is an inventive look at prison inmates that's a little more than just a standard documentary.

Also available this week:

  • More Than Honey (100%), a documentary about the crucial connection between bees and mankind, and how that relationship affects much larger issues.

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