‘Souls’ is silly, ‘Girl’ is great and ‘House’ is heavy on DVD

Among the movies that became available Tuesday, July 2 on Blu-ray and DVD at retail stores and rental outlets throughout the Valley are a thriller about multiple personality disorder, a drama about illegal immigration and a documentary about the war on drugs.

6 Souls

Julianne Moore plays a doctor who, after her husband’s death, meets a patient (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) with multiple personalities. When she learns that some of said personalities are murder victims she and her loved ones get closer to becoming murder victims themselves. (R – 88 minutes)

It sincerely is a shame that “6 Souls” is not a better movie. After all, it starts out spectacularly and generates a great deal of fascination from its viewers who are certain to be drawn into the exceptionally strange behaviors exhibited by Jonathan Rhys Meyers’s character. However, at about the midway mark, the new thriller goes a little off the rails as it trades psychological scares for supernatural ones thereby becoming pretty preposterous in the process. Having said that, it may still be worth a watch to see Meyers give not one, not two but six Oscar-calibre performances. (Thumbs Down!)

The Girl

Abbie Cornish plays a single mother who, struggling with the loss of her child to Social Services, crosses paths with that of a young girl from Mexico and begins a journey that will change her life – discovering that she is the architect of her own fate and learning what it is that truly defines home. (PG-13 – 95 minutes)

“The Girl” is a timely and touching tale of transformation through tragedy. Writer/director David Riker’s new drama, which is in the same vein as 2007’s “Under the Same Moon” and 2011’s “A Better Life,” tackles the topic of illegal immigration in a way that encourages viewers to consider the outlook of those on the other side of the fence yet never truly takes sides and instead challenges said viewers to come to their own complex conclusions. And while Riker circumvents some inconvenient details along the way and ends on a somewhat contradictory note, star Abbie Cornish’s penetrating performance is worth the price of admission in and of itself. (Thumbs Up!)

The House I Live In

Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki examines the war on drugs, exploring the risks that prohibition poses to freedom and the tragedy of addicts being treated as criminals. (NR – 108 minutes)

Although it is merely a brief introduction to a much larger subject, “The House I Live In” jump-starts the controversial conversation – deserving our admiration for that reason alone. Filmmaker Eugene Jarecki does a decent job of demonstrating that there may be much more to the story than simply saying that there are good guys and bad guys. He could have improved upon his project and helped an even greater number of people had he opened the topic up a bit more to include other criminal activities that render offenders as essentially disposable entities but change has to start somewhere. (Thumbs Up!)

Joseph J. Airdo

Joseph J. Airdo is a film critic, producer and on-air personality for Breakthrough Entertainment, a talk radio show airing 10-11 a.m. Saturdays on KPHX 1480 AM and BreakRadioShow.com that shines a spotlight on the practical perspectives of the topics and themes explored in movies. He has a pet duck named Frozen who is as opinionated about movies as he is. E-mail him at joseph.airdo@gmail.com.

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