New in Home Entertainment – November 20, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

November 20, 2012

The Expendables 2

Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The first Expendables had a good concept of taking a host of old and new action stars and blending them up into a big violent movie.  Unfortunately the writing and directing by its star, Sylvester Stallone, was less than great.  Two years later, Stallone has fired himself from the director’s chair and has hired a number of big writers for the even bigger sequel.  This new installment works as both a great revenge flick as well as a mercenary tale.  Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Terry Crews and Randy Couture are back with beefed up parts for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.  Added to the game are Chuck Norris and young heartthrob Liam Hemsworth.  Even Jean-Claude Van Damme joins in as the super evil villain.  The film works well enough simply because the action is so non-stop you don’t have time to think.  And that’s a completely reasonable approach to a project such as this.  Sure the acting isn’t the best and much of the dialog by the big stars is completely tongue-in-cheek and self-aware, but it’s also a ton of fun and a great way to waste two hours.  B+

The Watch
Rated R for some strong sexual content including references, pervasive language and violent images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The Watch couldn’t have had worse timing this year.  The first ads for what was called “Neighborhood Watch” were released right before Trayvon Martins death occurred, forcing the studio to rename the film about a neighborhood watch group taking on an alien invasion to simply “The Watch.”  While this comedy starring Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill isn’t the funniest film of the year by a long shot, I firmly believe that its unfortunate timing was its box office downfall.  An open-minded viewing of the film will give you an entertaining evening, especially now that the words “neighborhood watch” are safe to utter again.  I will admit, though, that if you are looking for an alien invasion comedy, the British film Attack the Block, released last year, is a more interesting and more enjoyable rental.  B-