New in Home Entertainment – June 26, 2012

New in Home Entertainment

June 26, 2012

21 Jump Street
Rated R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

If you would have told me in January that one of the best films of the year come June would be a rehash of the old Johnny Depp TV show about cops who undercover in high school, I would have called you an idiot.  And yet here it is June, and this film still stands in the top 5 films I’ve seen this year so far.  While I’m hoping for a better slate of films in the second of half of twelve, that does nothing to diminish the fact that this is a superbly made comedy that sets itself apart from its namesake show.  Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are as good of a comedy team as I’ve seen in recent years and the writing by Hill and Michael Bacall is fresh and extremely fun.  A

Mirror Mirror
Rated PG for some fantasy action and mild rude humor
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

The first of two Snow White tales to be released this year hit with a thud at the box office in March, even with blockbuster actress Julia Roberts attached as its star.  It’s not that the film is altogether bad.  The family-friendly twist on the classic story is a creative take on the original and the production is spectacular.  Unfortunately, director Tarsem (Immortals) knows how to make a film look beautiful but has never excelled in the fine art of pacing and story crafting.  The movie plods along in its lush scenery and ends up being a bit boring.  I wouldn’t be a bit surprised to see this film nominated for some technical awards during trophy season, but the underwhelming performance commercially might just make it a forgotten memory.  C+

Wrath of the Titans
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

Sam Worthington returns as Perseus, the demigod who must now rescue his father Zeus from the likes of Hades and Ares who have captured him and unleashed the ancient titans upon the world.  The first film had some major problems which I was hoping would be corrected in this second installment but instead the issues were intensified.  The film is an adventure, but it lacks thrill.  It’s a fantasy but it lacks imagination.  The 3D is embarrassingly bad.  And probably the worst problem is that its leading man lacks charisma.  Worthington has the talent as he proved in Avatar, but he fails to show it in these films.  Perhaps its the director who doesn’t know how to bring it out of his actors or it might just be the lousy material, but either way, the film comes off as much less entertaining than it should.  C-

Louie: The Complete Second Season
Rated TV-MA
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Finally getting the recognition he deserves is Louis CK, veteran standup comedian and star of this very original show on FX.  Taking a page out of the Seinfeld manual, Louis opens and closes his show with bits of his standup that relate to the material in the show.  But the episodes are like nothing you’ve ever seen before.  The show doesn’t commit to trying to be funny for 30 minutes, but rather it does give you a very interesting slice of life that you can only assume were taken from CK’s own diary.  Since you don’t have to watch the episodes in order, if you haven’t seen the show before, I highly recommend you start with his hour-long special focusing on his USO tour of Afghanistan.  You’ll be hooked and ready for season three in no time.  A