New in Home Entertainment – March 12, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

March 12, 2013

Rise of the Guardians
Rated PG for thematic elements and some mildly scary action
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

While maybe not the best animated film of 2012, Rise of the Guardians was certainly one of the most under-appreciated.  In this universe, Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, Sandman and Jack Frost fight an evil villain named Pitch in order to save children from being infected with nightmares.  While at times its a bit cheesy, the filmmakers take the project so seriously that you have to show appreciation mostly for its earnestness.   But it is also a beautifully animated film with one of the best scores of the year written by Alexandre Desplat.  Some parents might find it to be a bit too scary for small children but older kids will eat it up and have a blast.  B+

Red Dawn
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense war violence and action, and for language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This remake of the 1984 cult classic pits the US vs North Korea (instead of the Russians) when the North Koreans find a way to invade Spokane, Washington, leaving a small group of teenage rebels, led by Chris Hemsworth (Thor), to protect their town.  The movie starts out interesting but quickly fizzles once it slows down enough for you to actually think it through.  As stupid as this plot is, there is a large minority of Americans who see this scenario as the inevitable future, thus making this movie into more of an NRA training video than a piece of poorly-crafted fiction.  That being said, the movie is only slightly better than the horrible original, and not good enough to be found enjoyable by most.  C-

Rated R for alcohol abuse, language, some sexual content and brief drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Smashed tells the story of an alcoholic couple torn apart when the wife (Scott Pilgrim vs the World’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead) makes the decision to quit drinking and the husband (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul) doesn’t want to take the journey with her.  The film itself is well-enough acted and has a very personal feel to it, but neither of the characters earn empathy until Paul’s heartbreaking performance in the last minutes of the film.  Personally, I found Flight to be a much more touching and interesting tale of drug and alcohol abuse but I have no doubt that both films will have a large audience to connect with.  C+

Jay and Silent Bob Get Irish!
Available on DVD

The famous indie filmmaker writer/director Kevin Smith and his best friend Jason Mewes recently went on a world tour performing by simply sitting on stage and talking off-the-cuff with their audience.  This new DVD release shows off their Dublin sets as well as a bonus disc with their stop in Vegas.  While completely vulgar and certainly not for everyone, the concerts are funny and surprisingly entertaining and even more surprisingly, each show is different, showcasing that these two have a crazy talent for making people laugh.  B-