This week: Johnny Depp again channels Hunter S. Thompson in "The Rum Diary," a disturbed man attempts to outdo the original film in "The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence," Michael Shannon believes the end is nigh in "Take Shelter," and Lena Dunham plays a college graduate at the crossroads in "Tiny Furniture."
'The Rum Diary'
Box Office: $13 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 50% Rotten
Storyline: In this adaptation of Hunter S. Thompson's novel, Johnny Depp plays wandering journalist Paul Kemp, a man who grows weary of New York during the Eisenhower administration and takes a job writing for "The San Juan Star" in Puerto Rico. Fueled by drink and other mind-altering substances, Kemp encounters a group of self-destructive souls and becomes fixated on the beautiful Chenault (Amber Heard) and the dirty dealings of her fiancé, Hal Sanderson (Aaron Eckhart), who sees Puerto Rico as something to pillage for profit.
Extras! The behind-the-scenes featurette "A Voice Made of Ink and Rage: Inside 'The Rum Diary'" on both the DVD and Blu-ray sheds light on the book's long journey from page to screen.
We Say: Depp, who was friends with the late Thompson in real life and also nailed his role in the Thompson adaptation "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," is spot-on as the awkward Kemp, just as Eckhart effortlessly plays a variation of the smarmy, dangerous character he has done before. "The Rum Diary" is an intoxicating adventure even though it meanders a bit and lingers too long after what should have been last call.
Also Check Out: GALLERY: Take a Shot of "Rum Diary" Heartthrob Johnny Depp
'The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence'
Box Office: $142,000
Rotten Tomatoes: 31% Rotten
Storyline: A mentally disturbed parking lot attendant named Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) fetishizes the first "Human Centipede" movie and attempts the unthinkable: stitching 12 people together mouth to anus.
Extras! An interview with director Tom Six on the DVD and Blu-ray surprises by revealing him as a charming, often funny man and not the Devil incarnate.
We Say: There is social commentary and gallows humor to be found in this black-and-white freak show with a brown "Schindler's List" colorized moment, but this sickeningly graphic sequel makes the first movie seem quaint and is strictly for the bravest horror aficionados.
Box Office: $2 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh
Storyline: Small-town Ohio denizen Curtis LaForche (Michael Shannon) is having apocalyptic dreams and starts building a storm shelter in his backyard, which puts a strain on his relationship with his wife and deaf daughter.
Extras! The Q&A with Shannon and costar Shea Whigham on the DVD and Blu-ray explores the motivations behind LaForche's strange behavior.
We Say: Shannon's powerful performance in this indie drama slowly builds an atmosphere of dread and near-panic.
Box Office: $400,000
Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Fresh
Storyline: Writer-director-actress Lena Dunham stars as Aura, a recent college graduate struggling to find a direction in life, who moves back in with her mother and sister in their New York loft.
Extras! Both the Criterion Collection DVD and Blu-ray contain four short films by former YouTube video maker Dunham.
We Say:Dunham has often been compared to Woody Allen. Like his films, 'Tiny Furniture' is an authentic story that is equally amusing and revealing about its creator.
Also New This Week:
"All Quiet on the Western Front" Blu-ray
"All Things Fall Apart"
"Nude Nuns With Big Guns"