New in Home Entertainment – June 4, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

June 4, 2013

Identity Thief
Rated R for sexual content and language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Ever since her Oscar-nominated turn in 2011’s Bridesmaids, audiences have been craving more bad behavior from Melissa McCarthy.  Here she joins Jason Bateman as a criminal identity thief who pretends to be Bateman and thus stealing his identity, money and ultimately ruining his life.  Set on justice, Bateman goes on a journey from Denver to Miami to catch and bring her to the Colorado authorities in order to clear his name.  The movie does have some real potential but lacks any foothold into reality, making the over-the-top way too over-the-top.  While it does get silly and unbelievable, it never really achieves funny and really only provides a few decent laughs.  The strange thing here is that audiences really don’t care.  In spite of universally bad reviews and even low audience scores, the movie made a whopping $171 million in world box office and I’m sure the dvd will make millions more.  I just wish I could understand the appeal since this movie is a fairly miserable and depressing watch.  C-

Escape from Planet Earth
Rated PG for action and some mild rude humor
Available on DVD and Blu-ray/3D Blu-ray

When an alien astronaut lands on Earth and is captured by the military, his geeky brother must attempt to rescue him.  The whole time I’m watching this new animated flick from Weinstein Company I’m thinking that I have to have seen this before.  It copies off of several recent films such as Monsters vs. Aliens and Planet 51, but does so in a way that is neither creative or even half-way clever.  I’m sure kids will like it okay.  My three year old had a blast watching it.  His dad, however, was in a little pain.  D+

Brooklyn Castle
Rated PG for some language
Available on DVD

Brooklyn Castle is a documentary that tells the story of a junior high in New York where most of the students come from homes below the federal poverty level, but has still managed to win more national chess championships than any school in the country.  You feel bad for the students as you watch them lose funding for this very important program but then you gain a deep admiration as you watch their amazing resilience in the face of a country, state and city that thinks that cuts in important school programs is completely acceptable.  This is an absolutely inspiring movie that once again gives hope for the future of our country.  A

It’s a Disaster
Rated R for language including sexual references, and some drug content
Available on DVD

It seems we are getting pummelled with comedies about the end of the world, but fortunately this new pseudo-genre has given us some pretty interesting and funny films.  This new indie from writer/director Todd Berger stars David Cross, America Ferrera, Julia Stiles and several other talented and largely unknown actors who find themselves stuck in a house as their world is about to come to an end due to dirty bomb attack.  Rather than be about the imminent end to their lives, the dialog lends itself to their petty squabbles and plastic relationships.  The entire film takes place in a few rooms of one house, making it seem more like a play than a movie, but the writing is sharp and the directing is well-executed, especially for a new-ish filmmaker.  Sure the tone is dark, but when you aren’t having fun listening to all of the conversations that don’t matter at all considering the impending doom, you will start to imagine yourself being stuck in their awful position.  B