New in Home Entertainment – April 22, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

April 22, 2014

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Rated PG for some crude comments, language and action violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

This story has been in the works for years with directors like Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Gore Verbinski attached to direct icons like Jim Carrey, Sacha Baron Cohen and Mike Myers.  But finally Ben Stiller got a hold of it to both helm and star.  For all of the hoopla, the film, which follows a photography lab rat who goes on a world-wide adventure to find a missing photograph, sure plays poorly.  It’s a beautifully produced picture that looks epic from the trailers but ends up being much smaller than it should be.  While Stiller is a good fit for the role of Mitty, many of the actors seem miscast.  The typically great Adam Scott is just annoying as the unbelievable bully and I sensed zero chemistry between Stiller and Kristen Wiig.  While Stiller is typically a great comedy director, this film doesn’t give a sense of that.  It is poorly paced throughout and brushes over some huge plot holes.  Sure it’s a fantasy, but it lacks the necessary authenticity needed to hold it together.  C

Earth Day Movies: Tapped and Greedy Lying Bastards
Available on DVD

You don’t have to be a hippie to appreciate the planet we live on and want to do what is possible to take care of it.  On Memorial Day weekend I love to watch old war movies.  In December I love to watch Christmas films.  And in late April I love to take in documentaries about what kind of damage we are doing to the planet.  This Earth Day I’d like to encourage you to check out a couple that have impressed me.  Tapped tells the story of big corporate water companies and what they are really up to.  It is shocking to think about the fact that bottled water costs more than oil in this country.  It is a challenging film that will make you think twice about how you are getting your fluids.  Even more frightening and angering is Greedy Lying Bastards which shows the length that corporations will go to cover up and make the public doubt the real causes of global warming.  While the narration by the director sounds a bit too much like Mr. Garrison from South Park, the message is clear and unfortunately very frustrating.  Tapped A-;  Greedy Lying Bastards B

Mr Magoo: The Theatrical Collection 1949-1959
Available on DVD

The Mr. Magoo I remember watching as a kid was a funny bumbling old man, but I kind of thought that the show would be a little stale by today’s standards.  These shorts that were made exclusively for movie theaters prove this theory false as the cartoons now could be considered extremely insensitive and remarkably funny.  It’s a show that could not be made today the way it was then.  This new DVD set from Shout Factory presents all 53 theatrical cartoons much of them in in their original Cinemascope aspect ratio, plus the feature film 1001 Arabian Nights.  While it will be a nice piece of nostalgia and humor for older audiences, due to its nature, it’s probably not the best cartoon to demonstrate to your kids what your childhood was like.  B+