New DVD and Blu-Ray Releases 11/19/13


Note: To order any of the following films click on the poster.

In We’re the Millers David Burke (Jason Sudeikis) owes money to his drug dealer (Ed Helms) who offers David a job.  Somehow he is to smuggle a large amount of pot out of Mexico and get it pass customs into the United States.  When David protests, his boss points out that, “It’s not drug dealing.  It’s smuggling,” as if somehow the difference makes things better.  The comedy, where Sudeikis creates a fake all-American family to ride in an oversized SUV and smuggle a huge amount of weed across the border into America, is low-brow and goes out of its way to grab some of the shock humor that made There’s Something About Mary so popular, but now and again it actually rises above its own stupidity with some big laughs, mostly due to Jennifer Anniston and her well primed comedic reactions.  Available in an extended version with a few extra minutes not seen on the big screen in Blu-Ray and on DVD.

In The World’s End, Simon Pegg plays Gary King, a forty-something waste-of-space who wants to complete something he never fully achieved when he was a teenager – the pub crawl from all twelve pubs in his hometown of Newton Haven.  For his friends, time has moved on; they’ve grown up, but not Gary.  The World’s End starts off being one film then ends as another.  At about the forty minute mark something really strange happens. To explain what will be taken as a major plot spoiler, so let’s just say that the apocalypse is nigh and the name of the last pub on the Crawl, The World’s End, is about as appropriate as it gets. The World’s End is a funny film. It puts the winning trio of Pegg,  Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright back together again for their third outing, completing what they have described as a trilogy of comedies beginning with Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and now The World’s End.  If all three films have anything in common, other than being truly funny genre bending exercises, it’s that all major plot points take place in a pub.  It’s the Brit way of doing things.  Available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

The action thriller 2 Guns with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg has so many plot twists that in the end not only do we have another film where just about everyone is basically rotten to the core but it’s often difficult to be fully aware of where you are in terms of story.  Everyone appears to be double-crossing each other in ways that are not altogether clear, even the two likable leads, and it’s this convoluted approach that may well confuse.  But there’s also a lot to like.  The action is top-notch and both Washington and Wahlberg have fun with their shady characters.  If the balance between humor and violence was more evenhanded and the plot didn’t appear to purposely go out of its way to bewilder, what is merely a good popcorn thriller could have been a great one.  A script that keeps you guessing is one thing, but keeping you at bay with confusion is something else.  Available in DVD and Blu-Ray.

Disney’s Planes exists in the same world as its Cars, a land populated by only machines with human eyes, mouth and personalities. The film, which was originally intended to be a straight-to-video movie, will find its audience with the very young.  More so than Cars, Planes feels closer to being an extension of TV’s Thomas The Tank Engine or even Theodore Tugboat; the story telling is simple with little complications in its conflicts, the animation is bright and eye-catching though relatively plain by many recent standards of big screen computer animation, and the humor is mild with very little to engage the parents, though the idea that Brent Musberger voicing a Ford Mustang called Brent Mustanburger is funny, plus comedian Carlos Alazraqui as El Chupacabra, a Gee Bee Model R singing The Miracles’ Love Machine as a ballad with a Mariachi arrangement should make adults smile, if only for a couple if minutes.  Available on DVD, Blu-Ray and 3D Blu-Ray.


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