New in Home Entertainment – April 15, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

April 15, 2014

The Nut Job
Rated PG for mild action and rude humor
Available on DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D

The last several months have been filled with some very quality animated features such as Frozen, The Lego Movie and Mr. Peabody and Sherman but there have also been a lot of really terrible movies like this stinker from Universal about a group of city park animals who attempt to rob a nut store in order to feed themselves.  They got together some big names like Will Arnett, Brendan Frasier, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl, but the story is weak and the animation is embarrassingly bad given today’s accepted level of artistry.  This is the work of a group of studio hacks who are trying to capitalize on a lack of family entertainment and hoping that their pic can sneak in and sneak out of theaters in time to make a little money.  D

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Rated R for pervasive language, some violence, graphic nudity and some drug use
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This 5th chapter in the Pararnormal Activity franchise follows the “found footage” concept like the previous ones but this time a new set of characters in a Latino neighborhood in Southern California communicate with the demon from the other films and a new set of scary troubles ensue.  I’ll admit that I was scared senseless by the first two films in the franchise.  Even to this day the hair stands up on the back of my neck just thinking about them.  But with the last few additions my neck hair has remained dormant.  This newest pic has some good ideas and is a nice new direction, but the scares are few and it fails to deliver a good punch to the gut.  C+

The 400 Blows: The Criterion Edition

Available on Blu-ray/DVD Combo
French with English Subtitles

It’s hard to describe what makes Francois Truffaut’s first full-length feature film such a classic but simply put it is an exhilarating ride that is hard to take your eyes off of.  An early example of the French New Wave, The 400 Blows is a semi-biographical look at the director’s young life, telling the tale of a young pre-teen who just can’t seem to make home-life or school-life work for him but all the while has wonderful adventures playing hooky through the streets of Paris.  After watching this marvelous 1959 classic, you must take in the fantastic audio commentary featuring cinema professor Brian Stonehill as he discusses the real life events that formed this fictional work.  A