CHICAGO – “Drinking Buddies” director Joe Swanberg’s latest release of the same star wattage is “Happy Christmas,” an even lower-fi story than the Olivia Wilde beer comedy, steered even more by the casting that it was able to assemble. However, with this movie Swanberg doesn’t so much worry about having a story that could be confused with a more mainstream romantic comedy if it were to have a bigger budget.
CHICAGO – It’s a weird week at the video store (do they still have those?) or in the New Releases section of your favorite Video On Demand service. There’s some real junk that we’ll get to (“The Internship”) along with some flicks that are just too good not to break out into their own special Blu-ray reviews (“Before Midnight,” “The Conjuring” — both must-sees). And then there’s a unique array of catalog releases and TV seasons. Those could easily fall through the cracks if not for the informative What to Watch. All of these are new to Blu-ray, some for the first time and some in anniversary/special editions. At least one will grab your attention.
CHICAGO – Aardman’s Animation “The Pirates! A Band of Misfits” is a wonderfully clever slice of family entertainment that’s probably second to only “ParaNorman” when it comes to the best animated cinema of 2012. Sony has treated the film and its fans very well with an extras-packed special edition of the Peter Lord film that comes with a spectacular short film, 3D version, UltraViolet edition, and more. It’s one of the best family Blu-rays on New Releases shelves right now.
CHICAGO – “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” has that incredible Aardman energy and elegance of works like “Wallace & Gromit” and “Chicken Run” along with some of the best voice work you’ll hear in an animated film all year.
CHICAGO – Peter Lord may be the most important and influential animation producer of the last fifty years that you probably haven’t heard of. In the ’70s, he co-founded a company with Steven Broxton that would go on to change the form of stop-motion animation — Aardman Animation.
CHICAGO – The title of “Did You Hear About the Morgans?” was almost too easy for critics considering how horrendous this alleged comedy ended up. Yeah, we heard it sucked and the new DVD and Blu-ray release of this stinker only confirms those rumors.
CHICAGO – The Blu-Ray Round Up is back with two HD music releases, a beloved holiday movie from a director with a new comedy on the horizon (Richard Curtis, “Pirate Radio”), and a release that’s a must-own for fans of one of the most popular shows of the ’00s. This informative column is designed to let you know synopsis, technical specs, and features for titles that may have slipped under your radar. Pick your favorite.