Year One (Unrated)
The marketing made it look like it was all about Jack Black and Michael Cera as primitive cavemen, when in reality it's very much a Biblical comedy. In either guise, it fails to fire on all cylinders, never igniting into a full-blown laugh romp. Still, Black and Cera display enough rambunctious charm to keep the proceedings moving along nicely. And maybe the unrated edition will restore some much-needed adult-oriented humor. Also on Blu-ray. Rent it.
As I wrote in my review, Eddie Murphy gives a very warm, very funny performance as a stressed-out financial executive trying to be a better parent to his seven-year-old daughter, but the film springs to life only at rare moments, which are surrounded by so much fatty tissue that you fear the movie will die of a heart attack before it huffs and puffs its way to the end credits. Also on Blu-ray. Skip it.
My Life in Ruins
No, no, Nia! The unexpected star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding has been struggling in vain to recreate that magical lightning strike, but not even a trip to Greece could interest audiences -- or critics. "It often feels flat and forced," wrote Jette Kernion, "and even the landscapes seemed blah." Also on Blu-ray. Skip it.
Anvil: The Story of Anvil
James Rocchi really loved this one: "Not just better than you'd think that a documentary about a 30-year-old Canadian metal band led by two lifelong friends in their 50's would be. It's better than most music documentaries. It's better than most documentaries, period."
Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation
Mark Hartley's incredibly entertaining documentary about the early days of the exploitation side of the Australian film industry. Highly recommended.
Also out: Assassination of a High School President.
A Hard Day's Night
The Beatles eternal classic never fails to bring a smile to the lips and joy to the brain and dancing to the feet.
Robert Zemeckis' ambitious attempt at a quiet epic is quite an odd science fiction drama, with Jodie Foster as good as she's ever been, and Matthew McConaughey quite presentable.
Audition: Collector's Edition
Takashi Miike's introduction to American arthouses came with this deceptively placid, somewhat warped romance that veers off into treachorous territory.
Mike Nichols' werewolf picture is a misfire, but a glorious one, with Jack Nicholson and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Another misfire, less glorious, and much less watchable, with Robert DeNiro as The Monster.
Also out: the "real" Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street, Jim Carrey in The Number 23.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Limited Edition Collector's Set
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Collector's Book Set
In advance of the general wide release next month, the collector's set on Blu-ray is available for those with a few extra greenbacks. A less expensive, though no less handsome, edition, has also been released. Click the links to read more details at Amazon.