New in Home Entertainment – October 29, 2013

New in Home Entertainment

October 29, 2013

Monsters University
Rated G
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

Rather than go the sequel route which has been the norm for animated features, Pixar chose to make a prequel for their hit film Monsters, Inc.  In this new adventure Mike and Sully (voiced once again by Billy Crystal and John Goodman) meet in college where they are rivals who must become friends in order to succeed.  I was very hesitant going in since Monsters, Inc is my absolutely favorite Pixar movie and the thought of the prequel was underwhelming.  But my attention was grabbed quickly and I ended up loving it.  The writing is back to the Pixar quality we’ve been missing over the last couple of years and in spite of its G rating, the pic is easily as fun for adults as it is for children and doesn’t have to resort to going over kids’ heads with questionable jokes to do it.  A-

The Way Way Back
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language, some sexual content and brief drug material
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

After scoring an Oscar nomination for writing The Descendants, I was excited to see what actor/writer/director Nat Faxon could do with his own movie.  Set in a sort of retro yet modern time, a young teenager (Liam James) and his mother (Toni Collette) travel to a summer getaway with his mom’s new boyfriend (Steve Carell).  While temporarily living in the beach community he learns about life and love and pain while working at a water park with its crazy owner played by Sam Rockwell.  There are workable moments throughout but the film suffers from trying to be uber-clever and fails by not delivering.  Too much of the film is completely contrived and just plain nonsensical and these moments completely distract you from becoming emotionally involved.  C

Rated PG-13 for violence, sci-fi/fantasy action, some sensuality, and language including sex references
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

When a young police officer played by Ryan Reynolds is killed in action, he is sent to the Rest In Peace Department which is ultimately responsible for getting rid of dead spirits that disturb the planet.  Joining a wild west lawman played by Jeff Bridges, the two uncover an unholy terror plot that they must foil to save Heaven and Earth.  If you think this movie looks like a Men in Black knockoff you’d be correct.  For Universal to put so much money into such a B movie seems like an insane investment.  Of course the film bombed badly simply because it wasn’t very good.  It’s not a total stinker, but its far from a quality sci-fi adventure.  Predictable and tasteless from start to finish, the film unfortunately qualifies as a must-avoid.  D+