This Week in Blu-ray / DVD Releases: Walter Mitty, Ride Along...
This week: Old and new Ben Stiller, Kevin Hart hits the big time, and another trip to the attic.
► The second movie version of James Thurber's 1939 book, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY has Ben Stiller as a chronic daydreamer working for LIFE Magazine who creates his own adventure by going to Greenland to track down the man who took a mysterious photo the magazine wants to use for its final issue. A fun cast, spectacular visuals, and a 'live life to the fullest' message that'll work wonders if you give in to it. Stiller's first movie as director since 'Tropic Thunder.'
► Since Chris Tucker doesn’t want to be Chris Tucker any more, Kevin Hart has filled in nicely. He’s in the major leagues after RIDE ALONG, playing a high school security guard who joins his girlfriend’s detective brother (Ice Cube) for a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta to prove he’s man enough for her. They end up tracking the city’s big bad guy (Laurence Fishburne). Over $130 million box office buys you a sequel for 2016.
► Canada and South Korea combine their mighty animation powers for THE NUT JOB. And despite the fact you’ve never heard of it, it still made over $60 million at the box office. The usual suspects of Will Arnett, Jeff Dunham and Brendan Fraser lend their voices for the tale of a squirrel who plans a heist to steal a stash of tasty nuts to get him through winter. ‘No Nuts, No Glory’ goes the tagline. Must…resist…porn joke.
► V.C. Andrews sold something like 40 million copies of FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC when it came out in 1979, and I’m guessing 39.9 million of those readers hated the ridiculous movie version in 1987. The Lifetime Network stuck closer to the source material for this made-for-TV version starring Ellen Burstyn as the twisted grandma who keeps her grandkids hidden in an attic in order to inherit a massive fortune. Because fans need to know, yes, the incest storyline is included.
► Three things I remember about seeing REALITY BITES 20 years ago: 1. If this is my generation, we’re in trouble (so true) 2. I wanted to smack Ethan Hawke’s character so bad by the end 3. ‘My Sharona’ is and always will be a great tune. Ben Stiller’s directorial debut has become sort of a slacker classic and gets a career-best performance out of Janeane Garofalo, and if anything, reality bites even harder for college grads 20 years later. The 20th Anniversary Edition blu-ray includes a retrospective and Stiller commentary.
► Alas, THE INVISIBLE WOMAN is not a Fantastic Four spin-off. Nor is it a remake of the 1940 comedy with a see-through Virginia Bruce. In fact, there’s no invisible woman at all…damn metaphors! Felicity Jones stars as Nelly Ternan, the secret young mistress of author Charles Dickens (Ralph Fiennes, who also directs).
► The Canadian-made DATE AND SWITCH is part of Lionsgate’s ‘microbudget’ series, producing films for under $2 million. Nicholas Braun and Hunter Cope star as two best friends who made a vow to lose their virginity by senior prom. But as prom approaches, one of them reveals he’s gay. Despite its budget, the ‘Parks and Recreation’ trio of Nick Offerman, Megan Mullaly and Aziz Ansari show up, likely because the show’s writer Alan Young also penned this.
► Lars von Trier’s greatest film, BREAKING THE WAVES has Oscar-nominated Emily Watson as an oil rigger’s wife who believes God is punishing her when her husband (Stellan Skarsgard) is paralyzed in an accident. When he urges her to have sex with other men and tell him the details as a way to keep them intimate, she wonders if that is God’s will as well. Roger Ebert and Martin Scorsese listed this as one of the decade’s best films. Criterion edition has a 4k digital restoration, selected commentary by von Trier, and deleted/extended scenes.
Also out this week:
SO WHAT DVD/BLU-RAYS ARE YOU GUYS STOKED ABOUT THIS WEEK?!