New in Home Entertainment – April 12, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

April 12, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence, frightening images and brief sensuality
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Video On Demand

The Harry Potter saga might be winding down but the intensity is heating up as Harry and gang go on a mission to destroy Voldemort once and for all.  This first in the two-part movie does little in the way of exposition, but rather assumes you know the what’s going on so they can get down to business.  While young kids will find it rather scary at times, the kids who grew up with it will be enthralled.  This release features some great extras including Maximum Movie Mode which takes you on a deeper journey of the production than if you were to listen to a simple commentary.  Also check out the feature Behind the Soundtrack that explores Alexandre Desplat’s original score which all but killed off the original themes by John Williams, and yet still triumphs as a lovely piece of music.  B+

Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Rated PG for some frightening images and sequences of fantasy action
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Fox-Walden took over the Narnia franchise from Disney, but you’d hardly notice it with this third installment which places Edmond and Lucy, along with their annoying cousin Eustice as they meet up with Prince Caspian on his ship The Dawn Treader.  Just like the first two films, the acting is a bit flat, but the story and special effects are impressive enough.  Essentially a biblical allegory from author C.S. Lewis, many parents will find Voyage to be a nice alternative to Harry Potter.  B-

Casino Jack
Rated R for pervasive language, some violence and brief nudity
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Based on a true story, Kevin Spacey plays infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff as he goes from one scheme to another in order to use his influence to scam millions off of his victims.  Why this film didn’t do better at the box office I have no idea.  Sure it gets a little old towards the end of the second act, but there so much good comedy here that you hardly notice it.  Unfortunately, the comedy is based on reality which makes it slightly obscene.  Spacey and his talented cast come off as complete slimy misfits and you laugh on their way up and cheer their way down.  B

The Incredibles
Rated PG for action violence
Available on Blu-ray

Making its blu-ray debut is Pixar’s brilliant animated feature about a family of super heroes who have been forced to live their lives as their alter egos, only to be brought back to action by a sinister villain determined to wreak havoc on the world.  The only thing missing in this film, until now, was a 1080p transfer.  In hi def, this original super hero story comes to vibrant life like never before.  While this release isn’t as loaded with as many new features as I would have hoped, I love that along with the blu-ray, Disney decided to throw in Digital Copy so I can enjoy it on my iPad as well.  A