Milan’s Box Office Picks and New on DVD

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New on DVD:

“Beautiful Creatures” – Alice Englert and Alden Ehrenreich make an  adorable couple in a surprisingly satisfying adaptation of Kami  Garcia’s YA novel. A February box-office flop, it probably won’t spawn  the franchise Warner Brothers had intended. But it’s still better than  any of the “Twilight” movies. (B).

“The Last Stand” – In his first starring vehicle since 2003’s “Terminator  3,” Arnold Schwarzenegger plays an Arizona sheriff (don’t ask) battling  a nefarious Mexican drug cartel. Korean cult director Kim (“I Saw the  Devil,” “The Good, the Bad, the Weird”) Jee-Woon’s kinetic action flick  is frequently silly, but never dull. (B).

“Parker” – This pulpish Donald E. Westlake adaptation starring Jason  Statham and a nicely self-effacing Jennifer Lopez is very much in the  style of early ’70s Don Siegel (“Charley Varrick”) and Phil Karlson  (“Framed”) movies. It’s got the same casual brutality and vivid sense  of place (in this case, Palm Beach, Florida). It does, however, suffer  from a slight case of bloat/flab. Instead of an indulgent 118 minutes,  it really should have clocked in at a lean, mean 90 minutes. The  director, Taylor Hackford (“An Officer and a Gentleman,” “Ray”), has  made better films in the past. (B-).

“Side Effects” – “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” star Rooney Mara headlines  Steven Soderbergh’s deliciously tricky Hitchockian thriller about  psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry. A stellar supporting cast  (including Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta Jones) just adds  to the fun. (B+).

“Stand-Up Guys” – Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin are the  chief pleasures of this otherwise fairly routine comedy-drama about  small-time hoods that received a perfunctory theatrical release early  this year. Amiable enough on its own modest terms, but pretty much  instantly forgettable. (C-).

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