Short Circuits: 'Thanks for Sharing' on video; 'Republique' in games; more

  • Updated: January 6, 2014 - 2:38 PM
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Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow in “Thanks for Sharing.”

Photo: Roadside Attractions,

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Video

Ensemble cast explores sex addiction

“Thanks for Sharing,” a dramedy about sex addicts by first-time director Stuart Blumberg, walks the same fine line between laughter and tears as “The Kids Are All Right,” which Blumberg wrote with director Lisa Cholodenko.

Like that 2010 film, which concerned the reunion of a lesbian couple and their teenage children’s sperm donor, ­“Sharing” deals with all relationships. Those relationships might be messy, and the circumstances of the story’s protagonists might be extreme, but the emotional truths at the heart of the tale are universal. It’s surprisingly wise, funny and affecting, thanks in part to a sensitive script, and in part to a strong ensemble cast.

The action concerns several members of a 12-step group. Mike (Tim Robbins) is the wise elder: a man who’s 15 years “sober” in the parlance of sex-addiction recovery. Joely Richardson plays his saintly wife. Mike, the battle-scarred veteran, is quick with the profound, self-help-themed one-liner: “Feelings are like children,” he cracks. “You don’t want them driving the car, but you don’t want to stuff them in the trunk, either.”

At the other extreme is Neil (Josh Gad), a young, porn-and-food-obsessed doctor who has just been fired from the hospital for trying to videotape up his female supervisor’s skirt. He’s attending the 12-step program only as a condition of a legal settlement. “It’s not funny anymore,” he laments to the group, in a telling comment that’s both a measure of his level of denial and an indication of the film’s willingness to admit that, yes, some of this is kind of hard not to snicker at.

The DVD and Blu-ray (Lions Gate, $20-$25) include a ­making-of featurette, commentary and deleted scenes.

Washington Post

Colin Covert says: The character arcs in “Thanks for Sharing” intersect so schematically that at times the film feels like a game of 12-step bingo.

Also out Tuesday

Movies: “The Act of Killing,” “Big Ass Spider!” “Closed Circuit,” “Inequality for All,” “Runner Runner,” “We Are What We Are.”

TV: “Archer” (Season 4), “Being Human” (Season 3), “Copper” (Season 2), “Duck Dynasty” (Season 4), “The Following” (Season 1), “House of Lies” (Season 2).

Blu-ray: “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “Gorillas in the Mist,” “The Hurricane,” “Killing Fields,” “Star Trek: Enterprise” (Season 3), “Tequila Sunrise,” “Throne of Blood,” “The Wicker Man” (1973).

Game

A new standard for games on phones

The developers behind “Republique” ($5 for iOS devices) aim to bring console-quality gaming to the small screen. They’ve largely succeeded, with this jailbreak story that asks players to help free a young girl from the stronghold of a dystopian surveillance state. It sets the scene with stunning graphics, simple but exciting game play and a story that will grab you. Strong writing and voice acting bring the title home — not to mention that it’s just good, sneaky fun. The game is expensive for an app, and folks might balk at the fact that you get only a few hours of game play for the price. (Further chapters of the game will come later, at an additional cost.) But it certainly sets a new benchmark for mobile game quality.

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