"Contraband" (R) Format: DVD and Blu-ray
Mark Wahlberg delivers the goods in "Contraband," a B-movie about smuggling in boozy, corrupt New Orleans. It may telegraph its punches and follow that "one last job" heist picture formula. But the cascading collapse of first one best-laid plan and then another and the odd moment of jaw-dropping surprise make this a thriller with its share of nail-biting moments.
Wahlberg plays Chris Farraday, a smuggler who has gone legit — selling household alarm systems. His old man, Bud, is in prison. His wife, Kate (Kate Beckinsale), runs a beauty salon. They have two kids. He's wised up and left "the life" behind.
But his wife's younger brother (Caleb Jones) hasn't. And after he dumps drugs overboard when the Customs and Border Protection guys board his ship, the kid's in the hole to a pretty bad hombre, played with his usual goateed glee by Giovanni Ribisi. To save the kid and his own family, Chris takes on that one-last-you-know-what.
And just as sure as Chris reassures Kate — "I know what I'm doing, nothing's gonna happen," you know at least half of that statement is a whopper. No amount of help from his pals (Ben Foster, Lukas Haas) will make this go smoothly.
Director Baltasar Kormįkur ratchets up the suspense as the tale ups the ante — escalating miscalculations, accidents of timing and betrayals.
Sure, we pretty much know where this is going once it gets going. We've been here before. But with its sleazy side of the Big Easy settings and its spin on action and violence, "Contraband" is still a thoroughly entertaining boat ride.
— Roger Moore, The Orlando Sentinel
"The Innkeepers" (R) DVD and Blu-ray
After over 100 years of service, The Yankee Pedlar Inn is shutting its doors for good. The last remaining employees — Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) — are determined to uncover proof of what many believe to be one of New England's most haunted hotels. As the Inn's final days draw near, odd guests check in as the pair of minimum wage "ghost hunters" begin to experience strange events that may ultimately cause them to be part of the hotel's long unexplained history.
Also released this week: "Car 54 Where Are You?" - The Complete Second Season, "Titanic" (miniseries) DVD and Blu-ray, "Masterpiece Classic: Birdsong" (DVD, Blu-ray), "Pariah" (DVD, Blu-ray), "Lassiter," "The Fields" (DVD, Blu-ray), "Cinema Verite," "Dark Tide" (DVD, Blu-ray), "The Wicker Tree" (DVD, Blu-ray)