New in Home Entertainment – January 4, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

January 4, 2011

Dinner for Schmucks
Rated PG-13 for sequences of crude and sexual content, some partial nudity and language

Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on the original French film, Le Diner de Cons, Schmucks follows a group of smug businessmen that throw an annual dinner that showcases the biggest idiots they can find.  When Paul Rudd badly wants a promotion that is within his grasp, he discovers Steve Carell, a lonely IRS agent that spends all of his time building extravagant miniature sets using dead mice as models.  What he thinks is good luck in finding such a catch turns his world into chaos when Carell quickly ruins his life.  Schmucks is a grand improvement upon the original for several reasons, among them being that the original is so cold and heartless and the original also doesn’t actually have a dinner.  Paul Rudd attracts empathy for the plain fact that he understands fully that the dinner compromises his ethics and morals but is a necessary evil.  Carell, on the other hand, is an uncomfortable nightmare who brings the big laughs with what we can only assume is his natural self.  The two have great chemistry together, and when you throw in the other “winners” at the dinner, the frantic fun begins a laugh riot.  The only problem with the film is the constant question you have in your head : “who would actually do that?”  Then again, you have to assume that Carell actually would.  B+

Case 39
Rated R for violence and terror including disturbing images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Attempting to horn in on the creepy kid movie genre, Renee Zellweger and Bradley Cooper star, respectively, as a social case worker and a shrink who take an interest in the life of a little girl whose parents try to murder her.  In a bad move, Zellweger adopts the little girl without the knowledge that she is really a demon responsible for the deaths of many people around her.  If you wonder how you missed this one in theaters, the answer is easy – it was in and out of the local multiplex in a big hurry.  Not only does the film provide nothing in the way of originality, but it lacks any real scares to boot.  And to make matters worse, the actors look about as apathetic as the audience.  D+

Rated PG-13 for some sexual references
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Sold as a documentary, Catfish follows the life of the filmmaker’s brother as he sets off across the country to meet a family he has befriended on the internet in the hopes of starting a relationship with the oldest daughter.  Things quickly go south as he discovers that the family hasn’t been honest with him on their correspondences.  While I have a feeling that the movie is about as much of documentary as The Blair Witch Project, the film still makes for an interesting and even thought-provoking experience.  If they were actors portraying themselves, then they did an exceptional job.  If this was truly a documentary, though, then it serves as a very creepy reminder of the fact that you don’t really know what’s going on on the other end of the conversation, especially through instant messaging and sites like Facebook.  B+