Tuesday, December 10, 2013
NEW ON THE SHELF
Emily Blunt and Jason Segal in “The Five-year-Engagement.”
"THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT," starring Jason Segel and Emily Blunt. Re-teaming after successful partnerships resulting in "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and the recent "Muppets" reboot, writer-star Jason Segel and writer-director Nicholas Stoller deliver another winner with "Engagement," a proudly messy and consistently hilarious rom-com of sorts. The ever-charming and ever-bumbling Segel's attempts to propose to and eventually wed significant other Blunt ("Sunshine Cleaning") are waylaid by one awkward and outrageous roadblock after another.
"Engagement" has less control but more laughs than three cookie-cutter Hollywood rom-coms could hope to muster. Special features include a commentary from cast and crew, deleted scenes and a gag reel. Rated R for sexual content and language. Running time: 2:04
Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98
"PIRANHA DD," starring Danielle Panabaker and David Koechner. Largely witless sequel to the equally trashy but surprisingly clever "Piranha 3D" piles on the self-aware humor and gory fish attacks to numbing rather than invigorating effect. Still, a once-in-a-lifetime B-movie cast (including David Hasselhoff, Gary Busey and Christopher Lloyd) may pique the interest of pop-culture junkies. If nothing else, "Piranha DD" gets points for truth in advertising, as both killer fish and gargantuan breasts are in abundance.
Special features include deleted scenes and a selection of Gary Busey bloopers that is probably worth the price of a rental alone. Rated R for sequences of strong bloody violence and gore, graphic nudity, sexual content, language and some drug use. Running time: 1:23
Suggested retail price: $24.98; Blu-ray $29.99
"SAFE," starring Jason Statham and Catherine Chan. This lean and mean crime thriller finds Statham's ex-cage fighter forming an odd alliance with a young Chinese girl (Chan), whose photographic memory makes her a valuable asset to the Russian gangsters who murdered his pregnant wife. Filmed with all the brute force of its bulldog protagonist, "Safe" isn't any less ridiculous than your average B-movie actioner plot-wise, but it makes up for that and then some with its expertly staged fight scenes and relentless bad attitude. Rated R. Running time: 1:34
Suggested retail price: $29.95; Blu-ray $39.99
NEW TO DVD
"PARKS AND RECREATION: SEASON FOUR," starring Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman. Boasting what is currently hands-down the most talented ensemble cast on television, "Parks" continues to hearken back to the golden age of sitcoms. Season four focuses on the ultra-determined Leslie Knope's (Poehler) crusade to be elected to city council and receiving varying levels of "help" from her colorful co-workers, including shallow but savvy Tom (Aziz Ansari) and cast breakout Offerman as hilariously staunch Libertarian Ron Swanson. Not rated; contains mild language and crude humor. Running time: 7:54
Suggested retail price: $39.98
NEW TO BLU-RAY
"RE-ANIMATOR," starring Jeffrey Combs and Bruce Abbott. One of the funniest, goriest and most wildly original horror movies of the '80s gets a well-deserved and long-overdue hi-def transfer this week, making this the ideal opportunity for newcomers to experience this Lovecraft-based tale of an unhinged medical student (Combs) and his perhaps ill-advised experiments with cadavers on campus.
At the time, audiences and critics had never seen anything like it, and director Stuart Gordon's sheer audacity clearly continues to inspire like-minded filmmakers to this day. Not rated; contains language, gore and strong sexual content. Running time: 1:25. Suggested retail price: $17.97
"TITANIC," starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. We'll go out on a limb and assume introductions are largely unnecessary for this inescapable 1997 megahit from director James Cameron, which receives just about as deluxe a treatment as a movie could hope for with this gorgeously remastered, extras-laden set. Special features include 30 (!) deleted scenes and 60 (!!!) behind-the-scenes featurettes. Rated PG-13. Running time: 3:14
(Continued on page 2)