This week may not have a wealth of new films to offer on DVD, but there’s certainly no shortage of variety in what’s on tap. There’s the Ice Cube and Kevin Hart-driven comedy Ride Along 2, the creepy Christmas slasher Krampus, the thrilling drama The Benefactor and this year’s Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Hungary’s heart-wrenching Son of Saul. ~Matthew Pariselli
Ride Along 2 is the hilarious story of police academy graduate and newly appointed cop Ben Barber (Kevin Hart), who wants to make it as a full-fledged detective like his friend and future brother-in-law James (Ice Cube). After much nagging from Ben and his fiancée Angela, who would like to get Ben out of her hair during the final preparations for the wedding, James agrees to let him tag along on a trip to Miami to track down a criminal (Ken Jeong) to get his help in bringing down a powerful drug lord (Benjamin Bratt) just hours before Ben’s wedding.
Trailer: Ride Along 2
When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max (Emjay Anthony) is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive. Krampus co-stars Adam Scott and Toni Collette.
The Benefactor follows newly married couple Olivia (Dakota Fanning) and Luke (Theo James) as they return to Olivia’s hometown. They reconnect with wealthy philanthropist Franny (Richard Gere), who was a close friend of Olivia’s late parents. When he meddles in their lives, Olivia finally realizes there’s something bothering him. The drama is Andrew Renzi’s directorial debut and co-stars Cheryl Hines.
Trailer: The Benefactor
The Oscar-winning foreign language film Son of Saul takes place towards the end of WWII in the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where Hungarian-Jewish prisoner Saul Ausländer (Géza Röhrig) is a member of the Sonderkommando unit. It’s his responsibility to shepherd prisoners into the gas chambers and then dispose of their bodies. As he is cleaning out the chambers, one young boy exhibits a brief flicker of life before dying. Saul believes the boy is his son and is determined to find a rabbit in order to give him a proper burial, but his mission is made even more urgent by an impending breakout attempt in the camp.
Trailer: Son of Saul