Sunday, February 03, 2013

Feb. 5 Blu-ray/DVD releases

Alex Cross 

Tyler Perry shelves his overused Madea character for a bit to take on the role of a cop gone rogue in this amiable but dull action flick. A cop on the verge of taking an FBI desk job before his life is thrown into turmoil, Perry's titutlar character and his partner (Edward Burns) tangle with a demented murderer (played by a gaunt Matthew Fox) in an explosion-prone Detroit. Director Rob Cohen does what he can to liven up the humorless take on a Lethal Weapon-like concept. The Blu-ray/digital copy combo includes Cohen's commentary, deleted scenes anda  featurette on the adaptation from the source book.

Celeste and Jesse Forever 

Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg play a couple that has separated and struggles to maintain an intimate friendship as they move on to the next stage. Romances for both parties complicate things, and the bittersweet romantic comedy forces both characters to come to terms with their roles in one anothers' lives. Jones seens a bit too old for Samberg, and the role, but the chemistry they conjure is convincing. Extras include deleted scenes, commentaries from the cast and filmmakers, a making-of featurette and a red carpet premiere Q&A.


Denzel Washington tosses another remarkable performance onto the pile, playing an alcoholic pilot who improbably navigates his rickety aircraft to safety amid a terrible storm. Once he recovers from his injuries, the real turbulence begins, as he struggles with a heroic reception blended with a federal investigation into his altered state of mind during the flight. Don Cheadle and Kelly Reilly leave impressions in strong supporting roles, and a freewheeling John Goodman steals all of his scenes. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo boasts a breakdown of the mesmerizing plane crash scene and a pair of making-of featurettes,

Here Comes the Boom

Kevin James checks in with yet another forgettable family comedy, this time playing a science teacher turned MMA fighter, grappling for funds to save the school's music department and scoring with a hard-up school nurse played by Salma Hayek on the side. It's a wonder that the insultingly awful story is somehow watchable, thanks mainly due to the lead's eagerness to physically humiliate himself for cheap laughs, but the movie is still largely an inoffensive waste of time. The Blu-ray/digital copy combo includes a look at the training regimen and sundry forgettable background featurettes.

Peter Pan Diamond Edition Blu-ray 

Disney's 1953 film was always one of the studio's uglier classics, but the switch to HD boosts its look considerably. The animation is still comparatively stiff and unimaginative compared to the studio's other landmark animated movies from the era, but the movie seems refreshed and more alive than in muddy previous releases. Much like Dumbo, the film still suffers from a slew of embarrassingly racist moments in the midsection. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo boasts a slew of new background featurettes, as well as previous featurettes and deleted scenes from the previous DVD release.

A Star is Born Blu-ray

Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand pairup for the 1976 version of the too-often-filmed story. The slow-burn melodramatic love story takes a while to get where it's going, but Streisand's star power is in full effect and Kristofferson is deliciously bitter enough to keep things watchable. If you remember the movie from 1980s cable or VHS, the sharp vividness of the Blu-ray transfer will make it look like a new film. Packaged as a tribute booklet, the film comes with extras including Streisand's commentary, deleted scenes and wardrobe tests.

Screeners were provided by the studios for review.

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