New in Home Entertainment – March 19, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

March 18, 2014

Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

I would have never thought that Disney’s latest princess flick would be the avalanche that it has become, but it has turned out to be the mouse house’s biggest animated hit in years.  Now it enters homes hot off its two Oscar wins (best song and best animated feature) and will most likely fly off of the shelves to become a record-breaking dvd/blu-ray release.  The music is extremely catchy and the story, about a princess with the power to freeze her surroundings and her sister who longs to have a relationship with her, is as touching as it is entertaining.  It is highly aware of itself as it tries to debunk the old-fashioned notion of love at first sight and the power of true love’s kiss, but this does not distract from the enjoyment in the least.  A-

Saving Mr. Banks
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images. 
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While I was surprised that Frozen has become such a hit, I was even more surprised that Saving Mr. Banks was such a miss.  After all, it has Tom Hanks as Walt Disney trying to woo Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers into allowing him to make one of his all-time classics, Mary Poppins.  It’s a fantastic story with amazing performances by a very talented cast including Hanks, Thompson, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Collin Farrell and others.  I hope that on DVD this one gets the crowd it should have gotten in theaters.  A

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Rated PG-13 for disturbing images, brief strong language, intense sequences of violence and sexual content

Based on Nelson Mandela’s very thick autobiography, Long Walk tells the story of the man who has been given the credit for ending apartheid in South Africa.  The performance by Idris Elba as Mandela is really fantastic, but as with many biopics, the movie suffers under its own weight.  I finished watching feeling educated about some of the major events of his time, but the story and script were less than impressive.  C+

Monsters: The Complete Series
Available on DVD

From 1988-91, the Sci-Fi channel brought us 72 half-hour episodes of this cult classic show which revolved around all sorts of monsters starring all sorts of stars like Steve Buscemi, David Spade and Lili Taylor.  While it could be extremely cheesy at times, it has surprisingly good creature effects for its time.  While I didn’t get to see all of the 26 hours contained within, what I did see proved to be a gloriously campy way to spend a night eating pizza and popcorn.  B