Wuith the gift-giving season upon us, the studios are in a rush to get their films out there on DVD and Blu-ray, with no fewer than big, great or at least interewsting titles out this week.
For men of a certain age (guilty), just the first seven notes of the theme song from "The A-Team," followed by a burst of machine-gun fire, is enough to send their hearts aflutter. That said, news of a big-screen version was cause for both jubilation and dread. Both instincts were proven correct. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
From writer-directors Mark and Jay Duplass, this film finds Jonah Hill making a very successful move toward drama, John C. Reilly taking on a too rare leading-man role and Marisa Tomei doing some of the best work of her career in a well-crafted character piece centering around three adults in a very unhealthy relationship. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
Stars the vocal stylings of Steve Carell and Jason Segel in a story about a super villain's aspirations for greatness run aground by three adorable orphans left on his doorstep. Unfortunately, the story that unspools lacks the heart, brains or humor you would expect from such talented men. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
"Exit Through the Gift Shop"
It's either the fascinating story of notorious street artist Banksy turning the tables – and cameras – on his own would-be documentarian, or it’s Banksy’s masterpiece. It’s quite possibly both. Now available on DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
Documentarian JOsh Fox travels the cournty looking into the envirmentla effects of fracking, a controversial method for extracting natural gas for th eground. Watch in amazement as one man sets his tapwater on fire. Now available on DVD, watch the trailer
"Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work"
In their candid documentary, filmmakers Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg deliver an all-access look into the life of a comedy icon whose hatred burns brightest at the thought of relinquishing the spotlight she covets. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
"Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole"
Astonishingly tangible and stunning to behold, though not without some considerable plot holes. Luckily, director Zack Snyder has created a visual tapestry so lush, structural hiccups are quickly forgotten in favor of savoring animation that belongs in the Louvre. Available Friday on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
A pointed attack on arms makers and warmongers, and yet it remains a lighthearted fairy tale of sorts. What makes this work is the moral (over) simplicity it brings to the issue and the fact that the pound of flesh extracted doesn't bleed.The film manages to be smart, funny and political without being pedantic or preachy. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
"Mother and Child"
Delving into territory that has seen one too many passes on the Lifetime Movie Network, melodrama and schmaltz are easy pitfalls for a story about the ramifications of adoption. Moving, captivating, beautifully shot and filled with stellar performances. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
"Mugabe and the White African"
A grim look at the terrible things that Zimbabwe's savage dictator, Robert Mugabe, has don eto his county's caucasian farmers, and a brave man who stands up to the monster. Now available on DVD, watch the trailer
"Nanny McPhee Returns"
Ultimately weighed down by dumb jokes, unnecessary special effects, simplistic moralizing, kids who flip from monsters to angels at the bang of a cane and unwanted facial hair and moles. If your child somehow gets it in his/her head that he/she wants to see it, well, there are worse fates -- "Marmaduke," for instance -- but it lacks the "you don't have to have kids" magic of your better kids' movies. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
"The Other Guys"
Stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg as a couple of down-on-their-luck NYPD detectives who find their shot at redemption when they stumble upon a multi-billion dollar scam. Fans of Ferrell will be relieved to see the once-great funny man recapture some of the old magic in this buddy-cop-action-comedy. Now available on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer
Ultimately, "The Town" is the grit of "Heat" combined with the schmaltz/heart of "The Shawshank Redemption," without quite reaching the heights of either. It's an enjoyable genre film, but not much more than that. Available Friday on Blu-ray and DVD, read our review and watch the trailer