Blu-ray Review by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)
Earlier this year, “Green Lantern” got a bum rap from fanboys and critics. Sure, it’s not the greatest superhero movie to come down the pike, but it’s not as bad as everyone was saying it was. I mean, it’s far and beyond better than truly terrible superhero fare like “Batman and Robin” and “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.” Seriously, this is one that you need to pull away from the negative hype and take a breather before watching. I found it quite enjoyable.
Based on the rather complex DC Comics hero, “Green Lantern” tells the story of test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) who is picked to succeed a dying member of an intergalactic peacekeeping corps. Hal struggles to balance his role as a test pilot and his relationship with the boss’s daughter along with the burden of being a Green Lantern. Meanwhile, an alien artifact has infected another person on Earth, proving to be a danger to the population as it draws a soul-sucking creature from outer space.
Yeah, the story is a little hard to relate to, and if you’ve never read a “Green Lantern” comic book, not knowing anything about the mythology, you might be a little lost. Like “Thor,” this film relies a lot on narration to explain how things work in this universe. Fortunately, the extended cut is on the Blu-ray, which gives a little more cohesive insight into the character of Hal Jordan before launching the story into space.
The transfer isn’t perfect, offering up some contrast issues, especially in the deep space shots. However, for the most part, the digital look of the film is crisp and cool. I’ve been a Green Lantern fan since I was young, and the character has gone through many iterations in the books. This is a simpler and lighter Hal Jordan than where the character went in the comics, but I’m okay with that. It sets a foundation for a possible series and opens it up to a younger audience.
Warner Bros. puts out some great Blu-rays, particularly using their Maximum Movie Mode, which features feature-length embedded features. This is available on the “Green Lantern” Blu-ray, along with several focus points featurettes in the bonus menu. Additional features include deleted scenes, looks into the history of Green Lantern, a peek at the upcoming Green Lantern animation and access to the “Justice League #1” digital comic.
An additional tech feature which is pretty neat is the ability to stream this film to your smart phone using Flixster, a new aspect to the Warner Bros. Blu-rays.
Blu-ray Review by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: **** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: *** (out of 5 stars)
Forget “The Hangover: Part II” and “Bridesmaids.” “Horrible Bosses” was the funniest movie of this past summer. Unlike “The Hangover: Part II,” it wasn’t a rehash of a previous film, and unlike “Bridesmaids,” it wasn’t bogged down in Judd Apatowisms and plodding scenes.
Telling the story of three guys who hate their bosses, “Horrible Bosses” finds the friends swerving into the idea of killing their supervisors at work. However, because they are essentially non-violent, law-abiding citizens, they have no idea how to go about this. So they hire a murder consultant, stalk their prey and try to hatch a plan with comedic results.
The thing that makes this movie work is the chemistry between the stars: Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and even Jason Sudeikis (who has been in some real stinkers lately but manages to shine in this film). All three actors are pretty generous to each other, and they manage to work as a unit to bring the comedy rather than upstaging each other.
In addition to our heroes of the film, the villains are just as good. Kevin Spacey plays a version of his character from “Swimming with Sharks” while Colin Ferrell and Jennifer Aniston play completely against type to be some of the worst bosses imaginable. Additional bit parts by Jamie Foxx and Ioan Gruffudd.
This film is raunchy and inappropriate, but in a very funny way, not just going for cheap shots or gags. There’s a freshness to the comedy as well, considering it’s not been done much before. The film uses common tricks, like fantasy sequences and in-your-face humor, but it flows organically and doesn’t feel forced.
The Blu-ray comes with both the theatrical version of the film and the unrated version on two separate discs. There’s also a DVD and Digital Copy available in the package. The special features reside on the theatrical Blu-ray disc, and these include deleted scenes and the featurettes “My Least Favorite Career,” “Surviving a Horrible Boss,” “Being Mean Is So Much Fun” and “The Making of the Horrible Bosses Soundtrack.”
“Horrible Bosses” also comes with that new feature from Warner Bros. which allows streaming to a smart phone via Flixster, a cool thing to bundle with a movie.
by Kevin Carr
MOVIE: ** (out of 5 stars)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
From getting the press release to looking at the cover of the Blu-ray, I didn’t quite know what to make of “Terri” until I put the disc in my player and let it start to spin. The cast suggests a relatively funny film, featuring the always off-kilter John C. Reilly and Creed Bratton from “The Office.” However, I really didn’t get a handle on this movie until I was a good half hour into it.
“Terri” tells the story of a troubled teenager who lives with his ailing uncle and acts bizarrely in school. His principal takes an interest in him the way he does other emotionally at-risk kids. At first Terri resists this help, but he soon warms up to him. As Terri tries to forge new friendships in school, he realizes his crush on one of the girls in his class, who herself has suffered some emotional damage from getting caught in the middle of sexual misconduct with a fellow student.
I cannot say that I particularly liked “Terri” as it seemed to force the drawn-out, moping expressions of a teenager who lets the world bother him more than it should. However, I can respect the film. It sets out to be something different than your standard teenage fare, and in this sense it also breaks away from some of the more independent slacker comedies.
Even to call “Terri” a comedy is a somewhat incorrect statement. There are some funny moments in the film, and for the most part the tone is somewhat lighthearted. However, it falls more on the drama side as the director tries to put the viewer into the heart and mind of this overweight wallflower trying desperately to blossom.
There’s a real attempt for the film to connect with the teenage audience. Like a somewhat creepy guidance counselor who smokes behind the school with the kids, “Terri” depicts some pretty inappropriate behavior from its characters, including stealing Terri’s uncle’s medicine for recreational use. As a parent, this isn’t something I can necessarily champion, but I can see how this can endear itself to kids looking to rebel.
In the end, “Terri” is at least an interesting movie, though it lacks any sort of direct overcoming of the conflict, and things piddle out in the end.
The Blu-ray comes with a slate of deleted scenes and an oddly faux-artistic behind-the-scenes look at the film, revealing the director to be remarkably like that aforementioned creepy guidance counselor who smokes behind the school with the kids.
Click here to read more DVD reviews!
Click here to read more movie reviews!
Click here to watch films by 7M Pictures!