Videodrone's take on the biggest, best, coolest and culty-ist home video releases of the week
Tuesday is officially new release day for DVD and Blu-ray, but this week a pair of new releases have staked out the Friday usually reserved for "Harry Potter" films and other youth-skewed blockbusters: "The Smurfs" (Sony) and "Friends with Benefits" (Screen Gems) both released on Friday, December 2.
"The Smurfs," featuring little blue CGI creatures scrambling and singing through live action New York City while a hygiene-challenged wizard pursues them, is a juvenile comedy for the kids and includes lots of supplements on the DVD and Blu-ray editions. Videodrone's review is here. "Friends with Benefits" is an R-rated romantic comedy with Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake navigating the fine line between sex and love and it arrives on DVD and Blu-ray with commentary and deleted scenes. Reviewed here.
Even without those films, Tuesday is a huge week for New Releases, the biggest between now and January. "Our Idiot Brother" (Anchor Bay), starring Paul Rudd as a sweetly oblivious guy whose instinctive honesty and generosity tends to complicate the lives of his sisters, is my pick for the day, an easy-going comedy with a good cast (Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel and Emily Mortimer as the sisters) and a big heart. With commentary, deleted scenes and a featurette on DVD and Blu-ray. More here.
MSN film critic Glenn Kenny, on the other hand, is upbeat about "30 Minutes or Less" (Sony), a black comedy about a pizza delivery guy (Jesse Eisenberg) sent to rob a bank with dynamite strapped to his body. Kenny describes is as "punchy, nasty, laugh-out-loud-funny stuff that doesn't flag or wear out its welcome." The DVD features deleted scenes and a featurette and the Blu-ray adds commentary and more.
My indie pick this week is the horror comedy "Tucker & Dale vs. Evil" (Magnet), with Tyler Labine and Alan Tudyk as good-natured idiot hicks in the woods attacked by smug college kids convinced the boys are horror movie hillbilly killers. Hilarious mayhem ensures. Videodrone's review is here.
Werner Herzog's documentary "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" (MPI), an exploration of the ancient Chauvet Cave, home to the oldest human artwork known to exist, was originally released in 3D and is available on Blu-ray 3D as well as standard DVD and Blu-ray editions. Videodrone's review is here. Also new on the non-fiction front: "Reel Injun" (Kino Lorber), a survey of how native Americans have been portrayed in the movies.
"Smallville," the long-running WB youth superhero series about Superman before he donned the cape, ended last season after an impressive ten-season run. So while we get "Smallville: The Complete Tenth Season" (Warner) on both DVD and Blu-ray, we also get the deluxe "Smallville: The Complete Series" (Warner), on DVD only but an impressive collection of all 218 episodes and supplements, plus exclusive bonus supplements, on 62 discs in a box set of hefty digibook cases. Season Ten reviewed on Videodrone here, and the "Complete Series" is revisited on Videodrone here.
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For Coming Attractions and more reviews, visit Videodrone, MSN's DVD, Blu-ray and home viewing column.
The galaxy awaits breathlessly to see if Carrie Fisher will respond
Did you happen to catch the recent YouTube debate (detailed here) between Captain Kirk and Princess Leia about which is the better franchise, “Star Trek” or “Star Wars?” Well, the saga continues. William Shatner has posted a response to Carrie’ Fisher’s witty retort. Set phasers to stun, folks!
Shatner’s new video to Carrie is below. Will Ms. Fisher respond and defend the honor of Jar-Jar Binks and Jabba the Hutt (Shatner’s derision of those characters were the only valid points in his argument, in my opinion).
While Bill and Carrie seem to be enjoying their sci-fi salvos, fans seem to be taking the debate very seriously. I was shocked at the number of comments the last post received and discovered that even members of my own family have passionate feelings on the subject (many were horrified by my pro-Star Wars stance).
Let me take this opportunity to say that I love “Star Trek,” I always have. Not that I’m buckling under pressure from Starfleet Command, but in terms of epic storytelling, I do remain a card-carrying member of Team Lucas. Sure, we all know that George lost it with the three poorly received “prequels,” but I’m hoping that the upcoming 3D release of Episodes 1 through 3 beginning next February might give those a new life. Lucas has supposedly fiddled with the films so they may be more palatable this time around. But based on the brilliance of Carrie Fisher’s original trilogy, I’d still rather go into hyperspeed on the Millennium Falcon than amble about the universe on the broken-down Enterprise.
Whatever you think about the controversy, you’d have to be as simple-minded as an Ewok not to see that Carrie Fisher can whip William Shatner’s butt in any war of words. Let’s hope we hear more from Leia Organa of Alderaan.
Especially after Shatner’s new fightin’ words to Fisher: “As for you in a bikini and me in my original costume,” he joked, “I don’t know if we’re ready for you in a bikini. My costume was made of a stretch material, so there wouldn’t be any difficulty in giving it a push here and there…but you in a bikini? Now? That needs a little more than push and pull, it needs a lot of UPLIFT!” Ouch. Have at it, Princess!
You can check out William Shatner’s latest video after the break.
George Clooney and Tilda Swinton take home Best Actor and Actress, respectively
Who would say 'No' to a cameo in 'The Muppets?' 'Just jerks ...'
With a list of successful collaborations with Jason Segel under his belt as a writer , including "Forgetting Sarah Marshall' and "Get Him to the Greek," it was inevitable that Nicholas Stoller would have a hand in writing ""The Muppets"; less inevitable was the idea that the movie would work. And yet work it does; we talked with Stoller in L.A. about flapjacks, felt, fur and fan service.
It's got to be weird, because at some point you're sitting around having a big old stack of flapjacks with Jason Segel, going 'Hey, you know It'd be great to do a Muppet movie that did this…' The next thing you know you're having flapjacks with the people who actually own the property. At what point did it go from crazy fantasy to 'I have to knock out a hundred some-odd pages?'
Stoller: I really want some flapjacks now. That sounds really good. Do you have any flapjacks? Jason called me. He had a meeting at Disney -- this is around when 'Sarah Marshall' was coming out -- and he said that Disney asked him if there were any properties he was interested in, and he said 'What are you guys doing with the Muppets?' and they said, 'We don't know.' So right after that he called me and said, 'Do you want to write a Muppet movie?' and I said, 'Of course that sounds amazing.' So we very quickly kind of pitched out what we thought the movie should be, and we had a meeting with Disney a few weeks later, and set up our script and started writing our script for them. It ended up taking a while for the movie to get made and all that, but that initial kind of burst of great energy was really quick.
I also think that in some parallel universe that Jason Segel said either 'The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes' or 'Unidentified Flying Oddball.'
Stoller (laughing): Or 'The Cat from Outer Space' ...
How do you knock the dust off the Muppets? How do you take them off the shelf and actually play with them again?
The director of 'Finding Nemo' and 'Wall-E' takes on Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic series of sci-fi novels
But who will play Ash?
Yup, she's having a baby - apparently
"Bridget Jones' Baby." So, yeah, there ya go.
What we do know is that the film will reportedly center on Bridget and Mark Darcy's inability to conceive a baby. Crushed by physical impossibilities, Bridget leaves the lovely Mark, goes back to the dastardly Daniel Cleaver, and gets knocked up. If you're familiar with the Bridget - Mark - Daniel love triangle, you won't be surprised by what happens: that Cleaver the cad acts like, well, a cad, and leaves the preggo Bridget. Guess who saves the day? You'll never gue-- Oh, you guessed Mark. Good job on that. And while that alone would make for some wacky plotting, what will likely be even more funny is Bridget adjusting to pregnancy just on the most basic of levels. As that picture up top illustrates, Bridget is known for smoking and drinking and not-so-healthy diet. However will baby Clea-arcy make it out alive? I have a feeling we're due for some more classic Bridget soul-searching and life-overhauling.
While the first two "Bridget Jones" books were adapted from Fielding's novels, the author has yet to pen a third novel, though it's been teased right along with the movie. I can see the movie tie-in trade paperbacks already.