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.
CHICAGO – Not only have I been a longtime fan of great children’s films like those produced by Disney and Studio Ghibli over the years but I’m now a parent and absolutely adore the feeling of passing along my favorite films like “Spirited Away,” “Dumbo,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Toy Story” along to my little ones. My children will never see “Escape From Planet Earth.” As someone who not only sees nearly every animated film in his profession but has a new appreciation for them given my being a parent, I feel qualified to say this is one of the worst children’s films of the last decade. It’s aggressively annoying with awful character design and a screenplay that is clearly trying to teach children a lesson about boredom.
CHICAGO – When David Gordon Green’s “Your Highness” hit fans of its writer/director and talented stars like a really bad pot hangover, its creators admitted that the project began life as a stoned what-if scenario. “Hey, let’s make a pot-laced fantasy movie, dude.” Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg’s “This is the End” clearly had similar origins.
CHICAGO – Craig Robinson has a movie coming out about the end of the world that co-stars friends and fellow comedians Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and others. It’s called “This is the End.” Craig Robinson has another movie coming out about the end of the world that co-stars fellow comedians, including Rob Corddry, Paul Scheer, John Francis Daley, and Ana Gasteyer.
CHICAGO – The Tyler Perry “filmmaking machine” cranks out lowbrow comedies or high drama potboilers without any regard for originality. While this may jibe with Perry’s creative vision, the films themselves are a waste of time. Tina Gordon Chism directs the latest Perry production, “Peeples.”
CHICAGO – Craig Robinson is in the swirl of two media events in the next two weeks. His latest film “Peeples” – in which he plays the romantic comedy lead – opens on Friday. The famous TV series he has been featured in, “The Office,” has its final episode after nine seasons on Thursday, May 16th.
CHICAGO – Very few 2011 programs were as hit-and-miss as NBC’s “The Office.” I don’t think anyone involved with the program would argue that it was this sometimes-great comedy’s best year but there were still great moments throughout and Steve Carell’s departure from the program that turned him into a superstar was handled with incredible humor and grace. The season may not have been the show’s best, but it was still one of the better comedies on TV. See for yourself with the seventh season, recently released on Blu-ray and DVD.
CHICAGO – The news of Steve Carell’s departure from NBC’s “The Office” after this upcoming season led to much debate as to whether or not the incredible sitcom could survive without its award-worthy star. That discussion probably won’t end until a replacement is named to run Dunder-Mifflin but you can check out the great sixth season, now available on Blu-ray, to form your own opinion.
CHICAGO – The most spoiler-named film since “Snakes on a Plane” delivers exactly what it promises with its goofy title. When you go into something like “Avatar” or “The White Ribbon,” you may not know what to expect, but there’s no surprise when a film calls itself “Hot Tub Time Machine.” It’s not a perfect comedy but it’s a heck of a lot closer than most of its recent genre peers and should satisfy those wanting to take an HD dip.
CHICAGO – On Friday May 21st, the big green machine know as the Shrek franchise releases its latest animated epic, “Shrek Forever After,” in 3-D. All the old favorites are back, including the voices of Mike Myers as Shrek, Cameron Diaz as Fiona, Eddie Murphy as Donkey and Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots.
LOS ANGELES – On Friday, May 21st, the rest of the film industry will turn green with envy as “Shrek Forever After” is released. The fourth installment of the mega-popular animated series features Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas, as well as new voice talent from Jon Hamm, Craig Robinson and Walt Dohrn.