New in Home Entertainment – November 27, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

November 27, 2012

Rated PG for scary action and images, thematic elements, some rude humor and language
Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD

Universal Studio’s latest stop-motion animated pic follows a boy named Norman who is treated like an outsider from everyone around him including his family, simply because he can see and talk to dead people.  But when an ancient curse on his town is unleashed, Norman gets the chance to prove himself to everyone as he attempts to set things right.  Just like Universal’s last stop-motion animated pic Coraline, as well as Disney’s A Nightmare Before Christmas, ParaNorman is a dark little film that’s not for everyone.  It is uniquely creative and surprisingly fun to watch, but perhaps not the best film for all kids.  That being said, my two-and-a-half year old loved it and was glued to the screen.  As far as originality, the animation is original but the story feels a bit tried.  But then again, the film’s audience will no doubt still enjoy it regardless of not being able to understand or appreciate many of the references.  B+

Rated R for strong bloody violence, language and some sexuality/nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Director John Hillcoat blew me away with his last two films The Proposition and The Road, so I was so excited to see his new vision of prohibition America as three brothers in Franklin County, Virginia attempt to fight off the feds and local law enforcement and defend their right to illegally make booze.  Tom Hardy was perfect as the tough-as-nails Forrest, but Shia LaBeouf felt horribly miscast as the youngest and most trouble-making brother Jack.  And to add injury to insult, the usually brilliant Guy Pearce was way too over-the-top to be believed in this historical drama.  I also loved Gary Oldman’s gangster villain, but unfortunately he’s not seen enough to make a difference.  C+

Men in Black 3
Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, and brief suggestive content
Available on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD

When Men in Black came out in 1997 it showed promise of a great franchise.  But then Men in Black 2 came around five years later to ruin everything.  Now, fifteen years since the original, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are back as the secret G-men who regulate extra-terrestrials on Earth.  When the most horrible villain imaginable breaks out of his moon base prison, he goes back in time to kill Agent K (Jones), the man who put him in prison, and it is up to Agent J (Smith) to go back and work with the young Agent K (Josh Brolin) to prevent both his partner’s demise as well as the destruction of Earth.  The plot is much stronger than expected, although there are some major holes, and the story is a lot of fun to watch unfold.  I especially loved Brolin as the young Tommy Lee Jones.  It is an absolutely perfect performance and really helped the film’s entertainment value.  And it doesn’t hurt to have some amazing special effects and quite a few laughs as well.  Overall, I found this third film to be very enjoyable and if they can figure out another clever way to make a fourth, I’ll be a little more open-minded about it.  B+