New in Home Entertainment December 14, 2010

New in Home Entertainment

December 14, 2010

The Town
Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, some sexuality and drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Ben Affleck writes, directs and stars in this box-office surprise hit about a group of Boston bank robbers that bite off more than they can chew when they take the wrong hostage during a heist.  The ensemble, including Jon Hamm, Rebecca Hall, Jeremy Renner and Blake Lively all turn in strong performances that have already reaped a few acting awards from some critics’ groups.  The movie is very well put together and provides for a tight thriller that really entertains.  Check out the special feature “Ben’s Boston” where Affleck takes you through how the film was made and the inspiration behind it.  A-

Despicable Me
Rated PG for rude humor and mild action
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The war of the super villains commences in this animated feature about two Bond-ish bad guys that try to outdo each other.  While the movie doesn’t possess nearly the story-telling quality of this year’s other animated features (i.e. How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3 and Tangled), it is still a really fun flick for kids and possesses perhaps the cutest characters of the year in Gru’s adorable henchmen, simply known as “Minions.”  The Blu-ray contains loads of extra features including 3 mini-movies, featurettes and Gru-control, where the Minions take over the film from time to time.  B

Rated R for some sexuality and brief violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray
French with English Subtitles

Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) is back with one of his most unique visions yet.  When the hero, Bazil, catches a stray bullet in the head that doesn’t kill him, he and a band of friends that live in a junk-yard fantasy home take on two weapons manufacturers by making each of them think that the other is after their destruction.  As funny as it is imaginative, Micmacs brings its audience into its fantastically creative world and through its weirdness evolves a strong message about our own violent culture.  A-

Legends of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Rated PG for some sequences of scary action
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

300 Director Zac Snyder orchestrates his first animated pic with this remake of the popular novel by the same name.  I’m very mixed on this one as it is simply spectacular to look at but the story is more than weak.  Also, this is far from a good film for children as it contains some fairly violent and scary material.  There is a feature on the disc entitled Maximum Kid Mode – but I wouldn’t let young children anywhere around it.  C+

Exit Through the Gift Shop
Rated R for some language
Available on DVD

This inside story about the rise in popularity of street art, or graffiti as some still call it, follows a crazy frenchman named Thierry Guetta who loves to film everything in the world of street art and who eventually becomes an famous artist himself, despite his apparent lack of talent.  For the first part of the documentary the story follows Thierry as he attempts to partner with the world’s greatest street artists just to film them in action.  But when his movie falls apart during editing, one of the artists, the infamous Banksy, picks up the slack and creates the final product that ended up in theaters and now on DVD.  It is not only a fascinating tale of politics, vandalism and art, but also provides proof that it doesn’t necessarily take talent to succeed in the art world.  You will find yourself enthralled at first and then flabbergasted by the end results.  It may not be the best documentary of the year, but it certainly is the most entertaining.  B+

Space 1999: The Complete Season One
Available on Blu-ray

Back in the 1970s, TV sci-fi writers thought it was possible that by 1999 man would be living on the moon.  It was also possible that a nuclear explosion on the dark side of the moon could propel it like a giant ship into the depths of outer space.  Martin Landau and Barbara Bain star in this very popular series that while maybe lacks scientific plausibility, certainly crawls with creativity.  The newly remastered Blu-ray set is dated, but not nearly as cheesy as some of the other sci-fi shows of its time such as Star Trek.  B-