I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

by Ethan Alter March 20, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It's time to start the music. Again.

The Muppets
Considering how poorly the Muppet film franchise was faring before Jason Segel came along, it feels churlish somehow to complain about the shortcomings of The Muppets, the latest attempt to restore Jim Henson's creations to their former glory. Segel co-wrote and acts in the film alongside a galaxy of co-stars of both the human and Muppet variety. The all-too-meta plot finds Kermit and the gang trying to mount a comeback with the aid of their biggest fan, Walter, the puppet brother of small-town boy Gary (Segel). The musical numbers, including the Oscar-winning "Man or Muppet" tune penned by Bret McKenzie, are a highlight as are some of the surprise cameos from Muppets (Hi Sweetums!) and flesh-and-blood actors (Hi Emily Blunt!). But the story is too jam-packed, to the point where our favorite Muppets get unfairly pushed the backseat while we follow the adventures of Gary and Walter, two perfectly nice fellows who, quite honestly, are completely uninteresting. Let's hope that, next time, Kermit and Piggy are back in the spotlight where they belong.
Extras: The three-disc "Wocka-Wocka Value Pack" edition is filled with great bonus features, from deleted scenes and a blooper reel to behind-the-scenes featurettes and a special "Intermission" feature where the Muppets pop up to entertain you whenever you pause the movie. Another goodie: there's a free download of the movie's addictive soundtrack.
Click here to read our original review
Click here to read our interview with Bret McKenzie
Click here to read our interview with co-writer Nicholas Stoller

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
After years of making challenging movies that often struggle to find audiences, one can't blame David Fincher for "selling out" and adapting a global best-seller like the first chapter in Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy for the big screen. Despite the book's popularity and the presence of James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, in the lead role of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist, Fincher's film actually proved something of a slow burn at the box office, barely crossing the $100 million mark. On the other hand, the movie did make a legitimate star out of newcomer Rooney Mara though, whose strong performance as goth hacker Lisbeth Salander netted her an Oscar nomination. She's the primary reason to see what's otherwise a handsomely made, but rather routine book-on-film.
Extras: A typically exhaustive commentary track with Fincher and a number of detailed behind-the-scenes documentaries exploring every aspect of the movie's production.
Click here to read our original review
Click here to read our interview with Fincher, Mara and the rest of the cast.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
We weren't as jazzed about this adaptation of John le Carré's classic novel as others seemed to be, but there's no question that its low-key tone and almost hypnotic visuals make it a welcome change from the typical noisy action movie the spy genre has become. In any other year, Gary Oldman probably would have been a serious contender for the Best Actor Oscar as well for his impressively quiet and reserved turn as MI-6 spook, George Smiley, who is called out of retirement to ferret out a potential traitor hiding within Her Majesty's Secret Service. The movie ultimately didn't offer enough tonal variation to keep us hooked throughout, but if you like le Carré's general aesthetic, chances are good that you'll love this very faithful film.
Extras: Deleted scenes and interviews with the movie's cast and crew, as well as le Carré himself.
Click here to read our original review.
Click here to read our interviews with the film's cast.

The Sitter
The one-two punch of his Oscar nomination Moneyball and the success of 21 Jump Street has allowed Jonah Hill to escape unscathed from the disappointment that was The Sitter, a loose, R-rated update of Adventures in Babysitting with the Superbad star in the Elisabeth Shue role. Left alone to supervise three rambunctious kids, Hill ends up dragging them into Manhattan on his quest to get laid, a mission that inevitably winds up going sideways. Directed by David Gordon Green, The Sitter has a few funny moments, but mostly feels like potentially great opportunity wasted.
Extras: Four featurettes, deleted and extended scenes, a gag reel and an alternate ending, as well as both the theatrical and unrated cuts of the movie.
Click here to read our original review.

Also on DVD:
It's only taken a decade, but the controversial cult Japanese film Battle Royale is finally legally available on DVD in America. The three-disc Complete Collection comes with original TV trailers, behind-the-scenes footage and a press conference with the filmmakers, but no commentary track from Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins about some of the striking similarities the film shares with her books. An 80-minute dark comedy-of-manners, Roman Polanski's Carnage feels a little slight, but the exceptional cast (Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly) makes it worth seeing. Finally, Ron Eldard plays a former roadie with the Blue Oyster Cult who has a rough coming home after twenty years on the road in the indie drama Roadie, while Russell Brand provides the voice of a reluctant Easter Bunny in the family comedy Hop.

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