New on DVD

New on DVD

Inglourious Basterds
Rated R for strong graphic violence, language and brief sexuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Quentin Tarantino’s World War II fantasia tells the story of a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers led by Brad Pitt as they are on a mission in Nazi-occupied France to kill and scalp as many Nazis as they can get their hands on.  This is a bloody entertaining, history-changing good time that is as funny as it is violent.  And it is very violent.  The movie is filled with terrific performances, including that by Christoph Waltz, which may very well be the best performance by any actor this year.  The blu-ray is loaded with special features  including a Nazi-killing trivia challenge you can play with your friends on BD-Live, although noticeably missing is a commentary by the maestro Tarantino.  A

The Hangover
Rated R
Pervasive Language, sexual content including nudity, and some drug material

Available on DVD and Blu-ray
One of the biggest success stories of the year has been this little comedy with no big stars about a bachelor-party-gone-wrong that made $277 million U.S. and $462 Worldwide.  In The Hangover, three groomsmen take the soon-to-be-wed to Vegas for a little fun, but the next morning the room is smashed, their is a tiger in the bathroom, a baby in the closet, and no sign of the groom.  To make matters worse, none of them have a clue what happened over the last twelve hours.  This movie is so funny the laughter was actually painful.  Zach Galifianakis is so on fire here as the crazy future brother-in-law that I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he pulls an Oscar nomination out of the role.  The rest of the ensemble play their parts perfectly as well making it so you might have to turn up the volume a bit so you don’t miss some of the lines due to laugh/coughing.  Special features are thick and include a great picture-in-picture commentary with the actors and director Todd Phillips.  A

G-Force
Rated PG for some mild action and rude humor
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

A group of specially trained guinea pigs attempt to save the world from a crazy billionaire.  Most kids didn’t even like this made exclusively for kids Disney flick starring way too many talented people to be this bad.  Zach Galifianakis, who was so good in The Hangover, should probably see about a new agent after this film.  It’s just a miserable way to spend 25 bucks or 90 minutes.  F

Julie and Julia
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language and some sensuality
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on two books, My Life in France by Julia Child and Julie and Julia by Julie Powell, Julie and Julia follows the life of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) as she learns to cook in France, teach cooking, and become the legend she is today, as well as Julie Powell (Amy Adams), who in the modern day cooked all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 365 days.  Child’s story is a joy to watch and I wish that more of the focus was put on her.  In fact, I would have loved to have seen a movie just about her.  But the Powell story line was still innovative and interesting, yet just a touch too whiny for my taste.  The DVD has a commentary and short doc, but the blu-ray has a bevy of special features that make it worth the extra price including some great cooking lessons and a feature where friends and family remember Julia Child.  B+

Taking Woodstock
Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use, and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) directs this comedy about the events that led up to Woodstock.  It doesn’t have much to do with the music, but rather with the logistics of the event, told from the eye of a young city councilman whose family’s motel is hosting most of the out-of-town visitors.  The problem with the film is that it’s just a mess from start to finish.  There are some interesting ideas, but too much felt improvised and what little plot there was didn’t feel strong enough to warrant an Ang Lee film.  C-

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