This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Sept. 4
This week: The boobs may be bigger but Piranha 3DD is less filling. Also - Nuptials gone wrong in Five-Year Engagement, the greatness of The Good Wife, and an Abbot & Costello flick that's actually a horror landmark.
► Someone always has to take the joke too far. 'Piranha 3-D' was a fun enough horror/comedy flick which, if nothing else, gave Kelly Brook fans reason to live. Along comes the abysmal PIRANHA 3DD, with twice the boobs and gore but half the fun. David Koechner, who will apparently star in anything, is the asshole who opens a waterpark with an Adults Only section, filling it with water from a nearby lake. People in waterpark. Piranha in waterpark. Piranha eat people. Yes, they're actually going the 'Jaws 3-D' route. On the short list for worst movie of the year, which no one saw coming with that clever title.
► The great thing about a fluke hit like ‘Bridesmaids’ is that it allows every writer, producer and grip boy associated with the thing to proclaim “From the makers of Bridesmaids!” THE FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT is the latest, linked by (of course) Judd Apatow. Jason Segal and Emily Blunt get engaged after a year of dating, then watch their wedding get continually delayed as life passes them by (their grandparents die, his career goes in the crapper). Perfectly watchable and yet mostly forgettable. Blunt should be a bigger star by now, though.
► The eighth and most painful season of THE OFFICE was a disaster pretty much everyone saw coming. The show ended when Steve Carell left. Period. There is no ‘Office’ without the Michael Scott / David Brent character, so whatever comes after is pointless. Which Season 8 proves in agonizing fashion, starting out flat with Andy as the new office manager and getting progressively worse. The only saving grace is that it was so dismal, it has weirdly raised excitement for the ninth and final season to set things right again.
► And so as ‘The Office’ enters its death throes, PARKS AND RECREATION keeps proving itself the best comedy on TV. Picking up where the fantastic Season 3 left us dangling, Leslie decides to run for city council, with Andy as her assistant. Meanwhile, Patricia Clarkson arrives as Ron’s first ex-wife and immediately screws him with an audit. Paul Rudd emerges as Leslie’s opponent, and if this cast isn’t awesome enough, Louis CK returns as her ex-boyfriend.
► As a monster-obsessed kid of the ‘70s, ABBOTT & COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN was like a goldmine. The funny stuff didn’t matter – here was Bela Lugosi playing Dracula for only the second time, and Lon Chaney, Jr. back as The Wolfman. The only thing missing was Boris Karloff as The Monster (Glenn Strange fills in nicely), which would have made this already major flick one for the ages. As it is, this is regarded as the swan song for Universal’s classic monster era. Listen for an uncredited Vincent Price near the end.
► Every time I sit through another mundane Jason Statham movie, ‘Snatch’ and ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’ become distant memories. That guy is long gone. SAFE is the Statham content to make ‘The Transporter’ over and over again. Here he is again protecting a little kid from bad guys – a young Chinese girl who has memorized a safe combination for the mafia. Come back to us, Turkish. We’ll forget this past decade ever happened.
► Far and away the best legal drama on TV, THE GOOD WIFE (one of the best things executive producer Tony Scott left behind) shames the cookie cutter nature of its genre with consistently great performances and a structure which suavely finds the balance between continuing storylines and the ‘case of the week.’ Season 4 picks up with Alicia (the stellar Julianna Margulies) finally hooking up with her boss Will after giving her cheating husband, state attorney Peter Floryk, the boots for good. All the while, the firm grows splintered. As always, Michael J. Fox and Martha Plimpton are a treat with their recurring characters, but it’s Alan Cumming as Floryk’s adviser who walks away with the show.
► CRIMINAL MINDS and its ilk have really become TV comfort food for a new generation. Prime time crossword puzzles before the boomers head to bed. They feel as prehistoric as ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ at this point, as the truly great television flees the grim network landscape. Mandy Patinkon was once the only reason to watch this show, and now he’s in the infinitely better ‘Homeland’ on Showtime. In his place is Joe Mantegna, and Season 7 was as popular as ever (15th top-rated show). Paget Brewster returns this season after her character was assumed killed … only for her to leave again at the end of the season.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!