Into the Blue 2: The Reef (NR)
MGM Home Entertainment
I never saw the first Into the Blue, mostly because I'd rather choke on seawater than watch Jessica Alba fight treasure smugglers, so I had few to no expectations for this straight-to-video sequel. Thankfully, such expectations really help, because Blue 2 is a stupidly entertaining, vapidly fun little action flick that basically gives you everything you want in a brainless movie. Two pretty people run a charter boat service and get mixed up with two more pretty people who happen to be looking for a nuclear warhead that was dumped near a reef. Throw in a few double-crossings, claustrophobic underwater footage and multiple bikini shots, and it passes as entertainment, even if it has no real reason to exist. — Louis Fowler
Zeitgeist Films / Release: April 28
Among survival stories, one of the most compelling is that of the Uruguayan rugby players who, through cannibalism, survived 72 days on a glacier in 1972 after a plane crash. The story has been covered before, but Stranded tells the tale from the survivors' point of view. Filmed in the documentary style of another survival classic, Touching the Void (with actors portraying the characters and the real survivors offering voice-overs and interviews), Stranded takes the survivors back to the crash site. Much of the narration is, of course, heartbreaking — it's clear the 16 men still feel compelled to explain their actions. Beyond a study of shame, guilt and the will to live, Stranded offers a triumphant portrait of brotherhood and endurance, well worth a viewing. — Matthew Schniper
Magnolia Home Entertainment
Having recently been stuck on a few airport shuttles, I had no idea this thriller would hit so close to home. Think about it: When you take a shuttle or bus or taxi, you're allowing someone to take control while you're trapped in a metal box, subject to their whims. It's a feeling that's totally ripe for exploitation, and Shuttle does that in spades. Two women fresh from vacation in Mexico, along with two other guys and a timid accountant, decide to take a shuttle home in the middle of a raining night. The driver refuses to take the right routes, and pretty soon, it becomes obvious that he's got some ulterior motives that, when finally revealed, are shocking. Just don't watch this movie before your next vacation, or you'll never leave home again! — Louis Fowler
The costumes were amazing and added to the brilliant production.
The striking colors and textures are reminiscent of Southern Colorado and New Mexico. Lovely work.