New in Home Entertainment – June 17, 2014

New in Home Entertainment

June 17, 2014

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

Perhaps the biggest surprise of 2014 so far is this runaway hit that no one saw coming.  The Matrix-ish story follows a very average lego worker who fights the evil Lord Business and his sinister plan to take over the world.  From start to finish it is a fun, incredibly clever and fast-paced adventure with well-written jokes and an amazing cast of actors to deliver them.  A-

The Grand Budapest Hotel
Rated R for language, some sexual content and violence
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

Wes Anderson’s newest film places Ralph Fiennes as a powerful hotel concierge at an Eastern European hotel in the early 1930’s as he attempts to escape the law after he is wrongly accused of an elderly lover’s murder.   Wes Anderson’s film are some of my favorite cinematic experiences and this one is truly one of his best.  The cast is full of A-listers who all seem to be having a blast while making the chaotic and quirky adventure.  This is truly a film you will be able to enjoy for years and decades to come.  A

Tim’s Vermeer

Rated PG-13 for some strong language
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

In this inspired documentary by the silent Penn and Teller comedian Teller, San Antonio millionaire and non-painter Tim Jenison attempts to recreate one of Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer’s master works using the camera obscura, the same device that Vermeer is said to have used to create all of his paintings.  If you are an art fan, you won’t be able to take your eyes off of this movie.  It is mind-blowing at times and one of the most interesting documentaries of 2014.  A-

Ernest & Celestine
Rated PG for some scary moments
Available on DVD and Blu-ray

While Monster’s University wasn’t one of Pixar’s best creations, I was surprised when it was overlooked for an Oscar nod in the feature length animation film category, especially when I saw this little hand-drawn French film pop up in the nomination list.  Ernest & Celestine follows the story of a bear and a mouse (in a town with only bears and mice) who become friends in spite of laws in place to keep that from happening.  The movie is sweet enough and has a good message about friendship, but I was so distracted by scale that I couldn’t enjoy it like I should have.  Rather than float along with it, I kept thinking that a mouse wouldn’t be able to hold a bear’s tooth in her hand and have it still be the same size as one of hers.  It’s a silly thing to be distracted by, but the film is full of similar detail flaws that could have been easily overcome.  I also think that if the story were stronger, or maybe a little less simplistic, I might have overlooked those problems, but when I get bored I start to nitpick and this film had me paying too much attention to things I shouldn’t have.  Then again, the simplicity of the project is one of its strengths and proves to be quite charming at times.  And although the style of animation isn’t the big-budget computer-animated style we are all used to, it is lovely to look at and the score by Vincent Courtois creates a beautiful mood for the picture.  B-