November 21, 2013

DVD Releases

New on the shelf: ‘Planes’ / ‘We’re the Millers’ / ‘The World’s End’

NEW ON THE SHELF

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Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis and Will Poulter in “We’re the Millers.”

Warner Bros.

“PLANES,” animated, with the voices of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach. Laboring under the very correct assumption that if kids like talking “Cars,” they’ll love talking “Planes,” this Disney production makes up for a general lack of originality with eye-popping aerial visuals and a very funny voice cast that also includes Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Not a lot here for adults, but the CGI-sentient modes of transport films have generally been geared towards the wee ones anyway, by and large, and there’s no reason to believe they won’t approach “Planes” with the same wide-eyed zeal. Rated PG. Running time: 1:31. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $44.99.

“WE’RE THE MILLERS,” Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis. There’s something to be said for taking one’s time. Small-time pot dealer David (“SNL” vet Sudeikis) enlists the help of stripper Rose (Aniston), doofus Kenny (Will Poulter, “Son of Rambow”), and caustic runaway Casey (Emma Roberts) in forming a faux family as a cover for a highly illegal and dangerous mission David must carry out to satisfy a debt to his boss (Ed Helms). Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (“Dodgeball”) “Millers” is a genial throwback to ’80s comedies, with cheerful vulgarity and hilariously tense/ridiculous situations taking precedence over any attempt at realism. Rated R. Running time: 1:50. Suggested retail price: $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99.

“THE WORLD’S END,” Simon Pegg, Nick Frost. “Let’s boo-boo!” The apocalyptically entertaining capper to the “Cornetto” series (which began with the equally beloved “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”), “The World’s End” sends the boys out with style and bombast, pitting a somewhat reluctantly reunited group of old school chums against a surreally hilarious alien invasion, an event that puts a serious damper on their pub crawl. As before, director Edgar Wright and star/co-writer Pegg skimp on neither laughs nor actual stakes, assuring that viewers are both unfailingly entertained and invested in the characters. It’s a method any hopeful filmmaker, working in any genre, could stand to crib a page or two from. Purportedly the end of a trilogy. Rated R. Running time: 1:49. Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98.

NEW TO DVD

“TREME: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON,” Khandi Alexander, Rob Brown. Still one of the best shows that you’re not watching (a trait that creator David “The Wire” Simon appears to specialize in), “Treme” brings New Orleans in all its messy glory to the masses, utilizing a deliberate pace and rich, unforced characterizations. Not rated. Running time: 10:05. Suggested retail price: $39.98; Blu-ray $49.99.

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“2 GUNS,” Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg. Star power propels this ambitious, bullet-riddled crime-actioner, teaming Washington and Wahlberg as undercover agents unknowingly out to bust one another but momentarily pairing up to confront their respective crooked employers. A surprisingly (and perhaps needlessly) dense plot characterizes this well-received shoot-’em-up, which ensures that the titular firearms and the familiar faces behind them are rarely if ever offscreen. Rated R. Running time: 1:49. Suggested retail price: $34.98.

“PARANOIA,” Liam Hemsworth, Gary Oldman. Workplace treachery abounds in this tricky thriller from director Robert Luketic (“21”), based on the novel by Joseph Finder (“High Crimes”). Having previously floundered in the high-end technology business, young exec hopeful Adam (Hemsworth) is enlisted by his former boss (Oldman) to accept a job from a rival corporation (headed by the dependably surly Harrison Ford) with the goal of stealing a revolutionary cellphone design. A technobabble-heavy script proves more distracting than thrilling, but the chance to watch Oldman and Ford (having previously faced off in 1997’s “Air Force One”) get in each other’s respective faces again makes “Paranoia” well worth a spin. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:46. Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $39.99.

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“CRYSTAL FAIRY,” Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffman. Michael Cera has amassed an impressive resume for a guy with fairly limited dramatic range, but put him in the right role and he’ll run with it like few actors can. Writer-director Sebastian Silva (“The Maid”) may have secured Cera his best-fitting role yet in Jamie, an American traveling in Chile on a singular quest: to track down the legendary San Pedro cactus, ingest it and get profoundly high in the desert. What Jamie doesn’t count on is drunkenly inviting free spirit Crystal Fairy (Hoffman, “Louie”) along for the ride, an initially harmless addition whose unpredictable behavior becomes a constant thorn in Jamie’s side. Not rated. Running time: 1:39. Suggested retail price: $24.98; Blu-ray $29.98.

“HANNAH ARENDT,” Barbara Sukowa, Janet McTeer. Skillful and riveting biopic from director Margarethe von Trotta (“Rosenstrasse”) with Sukowa (“Europa”) turning in one of the best performances of the year as Arendt, the philosopher and political columnist for The New Yorker whose writing about the war crimes trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann garnered her acclaim and vitriol in equal measure. Not rated. Running time: 1:53. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $34.99.

– Courtesy of Videoport

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