New in Home Entertainment – November 8, 2011

New in Home Entertainment

November 8, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Rated PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The final episode of the Harry Potter franchise was a momentous occasion this past year, not just because it was the last of eight films, but because they ended on such a strong note.  Unlike the Twilight films, the Potter series has been overall a run of decent adaptations that have been well-liked by both fans and critics.  And while the Prisoner of Azkaban had remained my favorite in the series to date, Deathly Hallows part two has become my new fave.  Masterfully directed by David Yates, the film maintains the fast pace left by the previous installment and yet retains most of the great storytelling of the book by J.K. Rowling.  And if you have blu-ray you are in for a real treat as the special features are a must see.  If you’ve already seen the film once or twice (or more if you are a big fan) check out the pic in Maximum Movie Mode for an enhanced experience.  A-

The Change-Up

Rated R for pervasive strong crude sexual content and language, some graphic nudity and drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

I’ve always liked Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman, but I sometimes question their judgment in the films they make.  I’m sure the idea of this film was appealing, but the execution was tremendously flawed.  From the opening scene where Bateman is shot in the face by his child’s excrement to the perverse sexual antics of Reynolds, this film takes an unoriginal but funny concept and gives us the worst possible results.  Perhaps it would be more entertaining if Ryan Reynolds were actually into the beautiful women he appears with on the posters, but instead he resorts to tasteless sexual experiences that might force you to lose some of the dinner you just ate.  There were so many directions this film could have been taken in that would have made it not just tolerable but perhaps a decent comedy as well.  Unfortunately, the creative minds involved went down the wrong path giving us a poorly written mess of a film with a lot of wasted talent involved.  D

Rated R for sexual content and nudity
Available on DVD

Oscar-winning documentarian Errol Morris (Fog of War) has always found a way of telling unusual stories in a fun and exciting way.  Tabloid is no exception as he follows the adventures of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen who was made famous in the 70’s for going to London, kidnapping the man of her dreams, and forcing him to have sex with her until he was rescued by the Mormon church.  It is such a whacky story that it is hardly to be believed, but Morris does an exceptional job of tracking down all of the different angles in a truly entertaining manner that will having you shaking your head in amazement.  It’s not the best of Morris’s work, but it is still a very good example of what he is capable of.  A-

Band of Brothers/The Pacific Special Edition Gift Set
Available on Blu-ray

Few will argue that HBO’s two miniseries, Band of Brothers and The Pacific, contain some of the best storytelling surrounding WWII.  Producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have put together what many consider to be their legacy and this gift set embodies it perfectly.  Not only does it contain both series beautifully packaged with previously released special features, but it also adds in a never-before-seen documentary featuring surviving veterans of Easy Company and the 1st Marine Division whose stories are told during the course of the two spectacular miniseries.  A