Monday, December 10, 2012

Dec. 11 Blu-ray/DVD releases

The Bourne Legacy 

If you can get past the distinct feeling that this is the Bourne B-team at work — Matt Damon and director Paul Greengrass are nowhere to be found — you'll probably be able to enjoy this frenetic spy thriller for the guilty-pleasure romp that it is. Jeremy Renner takes over as Aaron Cross, a genetically enhanced superspy who government bad guys (led by a shot caller played by Edward Norton) want to wipe out in order to erase proof that the program that created him existed. An Army of one, Bourne out-maneuvers entire squads and weapons of mass destruction as he seeks to survive and help out a scientist (Rachel Weisz) who comes to his aid. Director Tony Gilroy keeps things moving, but his film doesn't do much to prove that the series hasn't gone stale. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo includes featurettes that spotlight the locations used during shooting, the Cross character and a scene in which he fights a wolf. 

Girls: Season 1 

Actress/writer/filmmaker Lena Dunham's scorchingly irreverent take on trying to get by in your 20s while living in the Brooklyn fishbowl is a fresh bright spot for HBO. Collaborator Judd Apatow lends his comic and emotional touches, telling deeply personal coming-of-age sagas that fascinatingly play out throughout the season. The show's sense of authenticity is a anecdote to the more fantasy-world stylings of Sex and the City. The Blu-ray set includes digital copies of every episode, interviews with Apatow, Dunham and the other cast members, commentaries and table readings.

Ice Age: Continental Drift 

Much like Madagascar, this animated talking animal series with a star-studded voice cast seems to be just coasting along, all too willing to recycle past plotlines and jokes, hoping families aren't offended enough to stop showing up. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah and Seann William Scott do what they can to redeem the stale tale, thanks to the energy and chemistry they share. They could have used a better script, though. This adventure sees the prehistoric animals take to the seas, where they tangle with pirates as they try to reconnect with friends. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo includes sing-alongs, a pair of deleted scenes, several featurettes and music videos.

Family Guy maestro Seth MacFarlane breathes adorable/creepy life into the title character, a walking, talking plush teddy bear who is best pals with a manchild (Mark Wahlberg) who is torn between the toy and his girlfriend (Mila Kunis). Much like MacFarlane's animated fare — he also directed this — the movie is ludicrously funny much of the time, while occasionally too bizarre and nonsensical for its own good. Wahlberg does an admirable job of setting Ted up and staying out of his way to let him lap up the chuckles. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy includes alternate takes, a gag reel, an unrated version of the movie and a commentary track with MacFarlane, co-writer Alec Sulkin and Wahlberg.

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