Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
Blu-Ray Review: Inconsistent ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ Not For Whole Family
CHICAGO – I am not (quite) yet old enough to have completely blocked out the socially treacherous days of middle school. For most kids, life is cruising smoothly until they get to middle school when cliques, popularity, and the opposite sex start to become a daily dilemma. Such is the subject matter of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” a cute-but-flawed family comedy with a few good laughs and strong supporting performances but generally silly tone that never quite comes together into something memorable.
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
It’s probably due to the nature of its source material but “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is a remarkably episodic film, not unlike what I imagine it would be like to actually read a middle school boy’s diary. The “greatest hits” of a new dorky kid at school obviously makes for entertaining reading for young adults but it required a bit more shaping into a feature film. The lackluster screenplay for “Wimpy Kid” makes the film feel more like a strung-together series of Disney Channel sitcoms than an actual film.
The title character, the “wimpy” Greg Heffley, is played by a miscast Zachary Gordon and the majority of the film consists of his attempts to fit in despite his short stature and awkward best friend Rowley (an over-playing Robert Capron). Greg has a pair of supportive parents (Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn) and a not-so-supportive older brother (Devon Bostick), but the majority of the film is a series of bad days in the first days of middle school — gym class, Halloween, choosing to join safety patrol, general teasing, older brothers, boogers, etc.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid was released on Blu-ray and DVD on August 3rd, 2010
Photo credit: Fox
Directed by Thor Freudenthal (who made the cute-and-superior “Hotel For Dogs”), “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” features four screenwriters credited with the adaptation and it feels like having so many cooks in the kitchen resulted in a film that’s even more uneven than it you might expect from the ADD-riddled mind of the average middle-schooler. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” is never bad — enjoyable supporting turns from Zahn, Harris, and Chloe Grace Moretz (“Kick-Ass”) help — but it’s far too inconsistent to be as memorable as it could or should have been. This one is for diehard fans of the book or the target demographic only. Older kids and adults are likely to be bored.
o Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Copy Versions
o Fregley’s Scavenger Hunt
o Chirag’s Trail of Tears
o Fregley’s Shuffle
o Mom Drops Greg Off at School
o Greg and Rowley Jump Over The Wall
o Mr. Winsky’s Safety Patrol Assignment
o Mom Suggests a Friendship Card
o Greg Meets Fregley’s Mom
o Greg Has The Cheese Touch
o Rowley’s Lost Zoo-Wee Mama Cartoons
o Feature Commentary with director Thor Freudenthal and writer Gabe Sachs