Now on Blu ray and DVD, Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” sees the entire Muppets gang embarking on a global tour that includes Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But, as usual, mayhem follows the Muppets as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper to stela the crown jewels. This nefarious plot is headed by Constantine—the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit—and his dastardly sidekick Dominic (Ricky Gervais). Meanwhile, Kermit is detained behind bars by Nadya (Tina Fey), as Ty Burrell tracks all the shenanigans as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.
Back in 2011, Jason Segel teamed up with writer Nicolas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie and director James Bobin to reintroduce the Muppets to a new generation, while showing audiences who grew up on them exactly why they loved them as much as they had as children. The sequel brings back everyone minus Segel, which sadly leaves Muppets Most Wanted without a heart to its story, reducing the follow up to a series of sketches and cameos strung together with a threadbare plot that feels like The Muppets reimagined with a Family Guy mentality. To top it off the lovable Walter who was at the center of the previous film has been relegated to a ‘barely existing’ supporting role, something the film itself actually calls out.
After being set up as the cause of a terrible accident in a street race driver, causing the death of his friend after a fiery crash on a bridge, Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a financially struggling custom-car builder and street-racer, spends two years in jail obsessed with gaining justice and revenge. Upon his release he borrows the fastest car his workshop ever built and sold, with a passenger Julia (Imogen Poots) in tow, and sets out to enter a secretive and extremely high-stakes race known as The DeLeon. As it just so happens the reigning and defending champion of the Deleon, Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), is also the other racer who was on that bridge that fateful day.
Straight off the final season of the hugely successful series “Breaking Bad” Aaron Paul lands his biggest leading man role to date with “Need for Speed”, and he certainly seems to be the man for the job. Need for Speed looks to win over the ‘gearhead’ crowd, an audience that has been dissatisfied with the new caper style film that the “Fast and Furious” franchise has leaned towards, by filling Need for Speed with some of the fastest and insanely expensive cars available. Furthermore, as a stark contrast to the Fast films all of the driving and crashes are shot practically, without the aid of digital effects, as director Scott Waugh has assembled perhaps one of the greatest stunt driving teams ever. The work pays off on screen as the stunt work looks fantastic and the film carries a throwback feel that harkens back to the work of legendary stunt co-ordinator/director Hal Needham.
The sixth , and 2nd last, season of HBO`s True Blood introduces several new story lines that threaten what little sense of normalcy remains in Bon Temps. After the explosive events of Season 5 finale The Authority is in flames, and the vampire`s lifeline True Blood is in short supply. Bill (Stephen Moyer) must find a way to come to terms with his newfound powers after emerging reincarnated from a pool of blood. Meanwhile Louisiana’s governor, in league with an old foe, has declared war complete with novel anti-vamp weapons and a high-tech internment camp established to wipe out the vampire race forever. Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Jason ( Ryan Kwanten) are faced with their own challenge as they must steel themselves for their long awaited encounter with their parents’ killer, the mysterious and ancient Warlow, as he comes looking for his prize.
Loosely based on the classic 16th century Chinese novel of the same name, Journey to the West (full title Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons in China) is more of a prequel to the classic tale than a straight adaptation. The story centers on Xuan Zang (Zhang Wen), a Buddhist trying to protect the public from demons, his emerging feelings for the lovely Miss Duan (Shu Qi), a fellow demon hunter who helps him repeatedly, and ends with Zang’s trans-formative encounter with the Monkey King (Bo Huang).
Filled with Director Stephen Chow’s signature over the top CGI slapstick style, Journey to the West lacks the Chow in the starring role, which he usually assumes for most of his directorial efforts, and the film misses his charm and energy immensely. Wen lacks the madcap energy that Chow would bring to the role, which isn’t to say he’s terrible, he’s just very bland. This is accentuated by the best performance in the film from the gorgeous Shu Qi as his would be lover/saviour who just oozes charm and sass. Her performance elevates the supporting role she is saddled with and the misgivings of the scripting of her character.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) lives life through his daydreams, but when his job at the iconic Time Magazine (along with that of all of his co-workers including the beguiling Cheryl played by Kristen Wiig) is to be phased out for the new all-digital edition, Walter must jump to action in the real world. Walter embarks on a global trotting adventure more extraordinary than anything he could have ever imagined, in search of the one man who may be able to bring closure Walter’s final days at Time.
A passion project of director/star Ben Stiller’s, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty is a visually stunning piece of work that has a strong heart to the story and a really likeable cast. Stiller is great as the goofy dreamer Mitty and Wiig shines as the single mother that becomes his object of affection. The pair has some solid chemistry between the pair and that helps ground the film through all of its flights of fancy. The film features a glorified cameo from Sean Penn that works very well, and Adam Scott’s turn as the villain of the piece is full of awkward awesomeness. (more…)
We catch up with Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) after he has left San Diego for New York City with his now wife and co-anchor Veronica Corningstone (Christina Applegate) and their son Walter Burgundy. But when legendary anchor Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) decides to retire, he promotes Veronica to full time lead anchor and fires Ron. Ron’s shot at redemption comes not long after from Freddie Schapp (Dylan Baker), an executive producer at the fledgling Global News Network, the world’s first 24 hour round the clock news channel. Ron proceeds to reunite the news team of Champ (David Koechner), Brick (Steve Carell), and Brian (Paul Rudd) and brings them to New York where fame and fortune change everything.
Anchorman 2 is less a movie than a series of thinly connected sketches. Fortunately, a lot more of the gags are successful than not and contain many laugh out loud moments. Playing into this is the fact that director Adam McKay likes to simply let the camera run, evidenced by the fact that there was enough material to release an entirely different ‘super-sized’ version in theaters and on this Blu-ray on top of an extended and theatrical cut. McKay doesn’t appear to do much directing here at any point, all of these actors have been cultivating these characters for nearly a decade now. (more…)
Jason (Zac Efron) is womanizer that always bails out of a relationship just as it gets serious. But when one of his best friends Mikey’s (Michael B. Jordan) wife asks for a divorce, all while sleeping with her divorce lawyer, Jason sees it as an opportunity to get his boys back together and hit the clubs. Along with Daniel (Miles Teller), the three best friends make a pack to stay single together and just have fun. But then Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots), who just might be the first girl who’s perfect for him, Daniel starts fooling around with gal pal Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Mikey starts a secret last ditch attempt to win his wife’ s affection back.
That Awkward Moment is a film full of awkwardness and wasted talent. The normally engaging and accomplished Miles Teller and Michael B Jordan seem to be pulled down by the anchor that is the lackluster performance of Zac Efron. The wooden Efron sticks out like a sore thumb, and considering the adorable Imogen Poots can never not be loveable, it makes the chemistry between the two of them almost non-existent. Poots may be the only one who is really trying here as Teller seems to treating the film like summer school -constantly goofing off, adlibbing and riffing – and Jordan seems to have a constant “what am I doing here” look on his face. Any chemistry that the trio possess off-screen is lost in translation, which will make the prospects of the new Fantastic Four film with Teller and Jordan very interesting.
Phil Broker (Jason Statham) is a former undercover DEA agent who gives up his badge and the lifestyles after his action against a biker gang went horribly wrong and it cost the life of his boss’ son. A recent widow who is left with a 9 year old daughter Maddy, Broker decides to retire to a small town to get away from everything. After his daughter fights off a boy who was bullying her at school, Broker finds himself caught as this sets in motion a round of events that end in his direct confrontation with the local Meth drug lord Gator (James Franco). Broker has a mission in his mind to protect his daughter and even with is past coming back to haunt him he remains determined to keep his daughter safe.
Written by Sylvester Stallone as a vehicle for himself, the film ended up staring his Expendables co-star when he decided he might not be the best fit for the role anymore. Homefront has some very solid action set pieces and features decent performances from its leads Statham and a kind of slumming Franco and packs the background with familiar faces. Kate Bosworth puts in some solid work as Gator’s sister; the mother of the bully Maddy defends herself against, as does Winona Ryder as a junkie/love interest that helps Gator. Clancy Brown, Omar Benson Miller, Frank Grillo and Rachelle Lefevre all show up in supporting turns as well.
Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) and the Pod return for a new season of mischief, mergers and mayhem in the second season of Showtime’s House of Lies, now available on DVD. After the devastation of the sexual harassment scandal at the end of season one, Galweather Stern re-emerges under the leadership of new interim CEO Julianne Hofschrager (Bess Armstrong). The Pod goes through entanglements of its own as Jeannie (Kristen Bell) and Marty struggle to remember the details of their drunken hookup, Clyde (Ben Schwartz) struggles to retain his freewheeling ways and Doug (Josh Lawson) finally finds a girl to settle down with. On the homefront, Marty has to cope with the loss of his son Roscoe (Donis Leonard Jr.) as he moves in with his mother, Marty’s Ex Monica (Dawn Olivieri) and the strain that puts on the relationship with his own father (Glynn Turman).
Along for the ride this season are guest stars Nia Long as an old flame/rival of Marty’s, Adam Brody emerges as a suitor for Jeannie and Jenny Slate takes on the role of Doug’s better half Sarah. They have the unenviable task of cracking one of the best ensemble casts on television right now, (more…)
Well its contest time again here at the Fix and this time we have a K-Pop Superstar in the sizzling Korean spy thriller Commitment! The Korean spy/actioner hits store shelves this Tuesday, March 11th, and thanks to the amazing folks at Well Go USA we have 3 Blu-ray copies to give away!
Korean Rap/Pop Superstar CHOI Seung-hyun (aka T.O.P of the K-pop boy band Big Bang) plays the son of a North Korean spy who decides to follow in his father’s footsteps in order to protect his little sister in the action-packed spy thriller COMMITMENT, debuting on Blu-ray™, DVD and Digital March 18th from Well Go USA Entertainment. While attending high school in South Korea, he rescues a girl (KIM Yoo-jeong) when she is attacked. South Korean Intelligence soon discovers the plot and begins closing in on him, while his own government sends a vicious assassin to eliminate him. Directed by PARK Hong-soo, the cast also includes HAN Ye-ri (Dear Dolphin, South Bound), JEONG Ho-bin (Shadowless Sword), and JO Sung Ha (Pluto, The Yellow Sea). Bonus materials include a behind-the-scenes “Making-of” featurette. (more…)
Dallas. November 22, 1963. 12:38pm. Wounded President John F. Kennedy is rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where a frantic trauma team struggles in vain to save him. Precisely forty-eight hours later, the same personnel would attend to the President’s mortally wounded assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Adapting Vincent Bugliosi’s acclaimed non-fiction book Four Days in November, first-time writer-director Peter Landesman gathers a star-studded cast (including Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, and Academy Award-winners Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden) to deliver an ensemble based procedural drawn from the accounts of the medical staff, investigators, and the ordinary citizens who witnessed the world-changing events first-hand.
Now in stores on DVD, audiences will not find anything new or integral to the JFK Assassination in Parkland, this is not that film. Instead it remains content to merely play out and display the actions of the bystanders of that act. Parkland does manage to present better on the home screen though as the benefits of home viewing, being able to step away easily and pause when required, greatly helps the watchability of a film that felt dull and overlong in theaters. Not everything works though as the film features a story thread involving the secret service agent who originally interview Oswald months before that either needs to be more fleshed out or excised all together as it remains very underdeveloped and awkward. This is a straight procedural in every sense of the word, there is little character history or backstory that is explored, just the events of the 4 days are displayed.
Jon Martello Jr. (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a New Jersey bartender and womanizer. Yet, in spite of his ability to land sexual partners, Jon has a dirty secret: he’s hopelessly hooked on internet porn. For him, no real life bedmate, no matter how gorgeous or skilled, can compare to the endless parade of images he finds on the web. Even after what would seem an exhausting session in the sack, Jon still feels the call of his laptop. Jon’s routine seems fixed for life until he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson). She’s a sassy Jersey girl who proves a rare challenge to his powers of seduction. But can he reveal to her his awkward addiction?
For his feature length directorial debut, ‘Don Jon’, Gordon-Levitt assembled an enviable cast, donned a wife beater and accent, and completely immersed himself in the character of Jon Martello Jr. The character is a drastic step away from anything else Gordon-Levitt has played, and he does a good job too, but the real shinning start here is Johansson. Playing a shallow bombshell that sees Jon as a ‘tool’ to manipulate, Johansson’s demanding Barbara is a departure from many of Johansson’s previous roles, a self-aware sexpot that uses every inch of her body to gain her advantage. Johansson delivers whenever she is onscreen, and unsurprisingly she helped a lot with Gordon-Levitt’s development of the Barbara Sugerman character. Upon a second viewing at home, Julianne Moore’s roles grows in impact and influence as it’s a real and assured performance that anchors the last third of the film.
Roz (Robin Wright) and Lil (Naomi Watts) are the best of friends, and have been since childhood growing up as neighbors in an idyllic beach town. As adults, their teenage sons have developed a friendship as strong as that which binds their mothers. One perfect summer the boys, along with their mothers, are confronted by the simmering emotions that have been mounting between them. What follows is a film that aims to be provocative and taboo breaking, but falls far short of the mark.
The premise of two mothers who are best friends becoming lovers with each other’s sons sounds like it should be ripe for psychological exploration and some difficult questions. Adore though seems content to present sappy melodrama with little consequence and explanation put into the actions of the foursome. The script is poorly conceived, subjecting the film’s leads with some awful dialogue to portray. The film is filled with so many shots of longing stares into the distance that the audience can’t help but wonder if the actors were simply looking for something better to do.
“Junkie” is a pitch black comedy about two heavily addicted, drug addled brothers, Danny (Daniel Louis Rivas) and Nicky (Robert LaSardo). When Danny decides he’s going clean, Nicky reacts aggressively, driving Danny from one insane experience to another. As Danny’s life spirals out of control he must fight tooth and nail to kick the habit and rescue himself from the personal hell Nicky has consigned him to, whilst simultaneously attempting to repair the deeply damaged relationships with his bizarre set of friends and family.
Junkie is a bit of a mess of a film doesn’t quite get cleaned up by the end. The film starts with a very inventive title sequence that is immediately negated by a story that plays like a very poor man’s take on David Fincher’s Fight Club. In fact the entire first half of the just over 80 (more…)
Jobs is the true story of a visionary who set out to change the world, and did. The film chronicles Steve Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) transformation of character from the enthusiasm and self-discovery of his youth, to the personal demons that clouded his vision, and finally to the ultimate triumphs of his later life. Jobs changed the way we see the world today through his relentless drive, passion, persistence, and the force of his will, and it is through these qualities that we draw inspiration from his life.
Jobs is a fluffy and ideal version of the story of Steve Jobs that barely scratches the surface of the Apple computers pioneer. Kutcher is actually making an effort here to do something more meaningful with his performance, but in the few instances where the film becomes serious it becomes more and more evident that he is completely lost and in way over his head. The script does Kutcher no favors either as it starts with the launch of the first Ipod then flashes back to the beginnings of Apple and covers the ground to when Jobs returns to Apple in the 90’s. During this time frame only the major points of the story are hit upon with increasingly little shown about his private life and nothing covered after the Ipod launch.
2013 has proven to be a strong year for coming of age dramas with The Spectacular Now, The Kings of Summer and what proves to be the best of the bunch, The Way Way Back. The film from comedy veterans Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, Academy Award winners for their writing on The Descendants, is a heart wrenching and heart-warming story of an incredibly shy and downtrodden young teen finding his voice with the help of a slacker water park worker that may be the only true father figure he’s ever had.
The Way Way Back Blu-ray Review
Starring: Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Sam Rockwell, Alison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, Jim Rash and Nat Faxon.
Written and Directed by Jim Rash and Nat Faxon
New to Blu-ray, for the ‘Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition’, from Disney is the timeless classic that cemented the legacy of the Jim Henson universe for most children of a generation, and the generations that they have influenced in the following decades, “The Muppet Movie”. The film remains just as vital and hilarious today as it did back then, and for most adults in their 30’s and 40’s, it is an instant time capsule back to their childhood heroes in action again.
The Muppet Movie Blu-ray Review
Starring: The Muppets
Written by Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns
Directed by James Frawley
After a fateful meeting with a big-time talent agent, Kermit the Frog heads for Hollywood dreaming of show biz. Along the way, Fozzie Bear, the Great Gonzo and the dazzling Miss Piggy join him in hopes of becoming film stars too. But all bets are off when Kermit falls into the clutches of Doc Hopper (Charles Durning), a fast-food mogul seeking to promote his French-fried frog-leg franchise.
New to Blu-ray is the latest film from Academy Award winning director Danny Boyle that marks his first step back into the realm of the psychological crime thriller since his debut film “Shallow Grave”, “Trance”. The film is the feature adaptation of writer Joe Ahearne’s television film from 2001 of the same name and features a stellar trio of actors leading the small ensemble set in the high stakes world of art thievery.
Written by Joe Ahearne, John Hodge
Directed by Danny BoyleSimon (McAvoy) is a fine art auctioneer who gets mixed up with a gang led by Franck (Cassel) looking to steal a painting. After the painting goes missing, Simon and Franck, along with Franck’s crew, join forces with hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson) to recover their lost spoils. As boundaries between desire, reality and hypnotic suggestion begin to blur the stakes rise faster than anyone could have anticipated. (more…)
New on Blu-ray from VVS Films is the tantalizing and titillating new film from “Kids” scribe Harmony Korine, the heavily buzzed about “Spring Breakers”. Starring a pair of former Disney child stars, a ‘Pretty Little Liar’ and Harmony’s own wife as bikini-clad bandits who desperately want to leave behind their humdrum college lives for sun, drugs and the allure of Spring Break. Spring Breakers has grown with infamy over the explicit nature of its subject matter and its stars as well as the nature of where Franco’s character truly came from, but the film succeeds on its own merits and is one of 2013’s best offerings so far.
Spring Breakers Blu-Ray Review
Written and Directed by Harmony Korine
Four sexy college girls, Faith (Gomez) Candy (Hudgens) Brit (Benson) and Cotty (Korine), plan to fund their spring break getaway by burglarizing a popular fast food shack. But that’s only the beginning. At a motel room rager, fun reaches its legal limit and the girls are arrested and taken to jail. Hungover and clad only in bikinis, the girls appear before a judge but are bailed out unexpectedly by Alien (Franco) An infamous local thug and rapper, Alien takes them under his wing and leads them on the wildest Spring Break trip in history. Rough on the outside but with a soft spot inside, Alien wins over the hearts of the young Spring Breakers, and leads them on a Spring Break they never could have imagined.
TV veteran Aaron Sorkin returns with a new show, his first since the ill-fated yet excellently written Saturday Night Live take off “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”, and this time he has taken his take on the inner workings of a network TV newsroom to the friendly confines of HBO with “The Newsroom”. The hit HBO show recently returned with its second season on the cable giant, so let`s delve in to the first season set to see if it`s worth your hard earned dollars.
The Newsroom Season 1
Created by Aaron Sorkin
Aaron Sorkin’s latest drama is set at a fictional cable news channel where anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) leads a group of reporters and staff striving to make a hard-hitting news program. After a recent blow up at a college lecture, anchor McAvoy returns to work to find that his support team, minus a handful of devotees, are all fleeing to the late night news program. McAvoy also inherits a new producer, his former flame MacKenzie McHale (Mortimer) and number one Jim Harper (Gallagher Jr), who is immediately smitten with Maggie Jordan (Pill). Also in the newsroom is Neal Sampat (Patel), late night producer Don Keefer (Sadoski), gorgeous and brilliant business reporter Sloan Sabbith (Munn) and the man over seeing it all Charlie Skinner (Waterston).
New to DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada comes the ultimate throwback to the cheesy science fiction of the 1980’s, from the likes of director Charles Band, and the newest from the film making collective that is fast becoming the genre standard for Canadian film, Astron 6, Manborg. Manborg’s retro style and lovingly cheesy effects laden production is refreshing in an age where film effects are striving to become more photorealistic. Director Kostanski revels in throwing his basement made concoctions at the audience and fills his tale with lots of heart and hilarity to boot.
Starring: Matthew Kennedy, Connor Sweeney, Adam Brooks, Jeremy Gillespie, Meredith Sweeney, Ludwig Lee and Mike Kostanski
Written by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie
Directed by Steven Kostanski
The armies of Hell have taken over the Earth, and all that stands in the way of the villainous Count Draculon and humanity’s total extinction is a motley crew of misfits led by the mighty Manborg: a warrior that’s half-man, half machine, but all hero. Manborg (Kennedy) (more…)
New to Blu-ray, in a 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, from VVS films is the latest attempt at rebooting the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series, this time by making a direct sequel to the 1974 original and ignoring all the sequels that came after, “Texas Chainsaw 3D”. After the rights for the series lapsed from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes production company, after 2 very lackluster remakes, and back to the original rights holders, the concept behind Texas Chainsaw 3D was launched. The intentions were to reboot the series all over again and producing a string of follow-ups each year in same vein as the “Saw” films.
Texas Chainsaw 3D
Directed by John Luessenhop
Texas Chainsaw 3D continues the legendary story of the homicidal Sawyer family, picking up where Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic left off in Newt, Texas. Decades later and hundreds of miles away from the original massacre, a young woman named Heather (more…)
New on Blu-ray from HBO Home Entertainment is the latest season from HBO’s smash hit supernatural series “True Blood” with the release of Season Five. The show has garnered fans and acclaim with its very adult and racy take on the world of Vampires, Werewolves, Shapeshifters, Witches and other supernatural phenomenon, but also takes hints and inspiration from other shows and movies to mix into its blend. But is this season worth your purchase money?
True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray Review
Starring: Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Sam Trammell, Ryan Kwanten, Rutina Wesley, Alexander Skarsgard, Chris Bauer, Nelsan Evans, Carrie Preston, Deborah Ann Woll, Kristen Bauer van Straten, Lauren Bowles, Joe Manganiello, Michael McMillan, Janina Gavankar, Denis O’Hare with Scott Foley, Valentina Cervi, Tina Majorino and Christopher Meloni
Created by Alan Ball
Written by Jay Anthony White
Directed by David A. Armstrong