Green Lantern – Due out Friday, this middling comic book adaptation shoehorns Ryan Reynolds into the role of the power ring-wielding hero, who flies about the galaxy battling evil rendered in the form of uninspired computer animation.
Reynolds’ charm and affability make him a natural for a movie like this, but the comic book writers did him no favors, because the Green Lantern universe is rife with ludicrous concepts, such as oddly shaped uniformed colleagues and color-coordinated weaknesses, that seem more reasonable on paper or animation than they do in a would-be blockbuster. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo includes an extended cut of the film, a look at Reynolds’ transformation into the character, a digital comic, preview of the upcoming animated series and a code for the upcoming video game Batman: Arkham City that oddly melds the Batman uniform with that of Green Lantern’s rival Sinestro.
Horrible Bosses – Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis play pals who devise a Strangers on a Train-like scheme to knock off their unbearable supervisors (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell) in this comedy, which packs surprisingly little humor yet manages to weave an engaging, suspenseful story. Jamie Foxx steals many a scene as a scenery-chewing hit man. Included in the Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo are deleted scenes and featurettes that explores the movie’s concepts of workplace misery.
Jem and the Holograms: The Truly Outrageous Complete Series – Predating the similarly themed Hannah Montana, the 1985-88 animated series tells the story of a music company exec who is secretly a rock star on the side. As most people with secret identities do, she gets into a love triangle involving herself and her boyfriend, and tangles with the rival band, the Misfits. Truly outrageous indeed, the show packs quite a nostalgic punch for those who watched this nonsense as a kid. The 11-DVD set includes archival footage from the era.
The League: Season 2 – Another warhorse in FX’s astounding chain of first-rate sitcoms, The League peeks inside the group of pals engaged in a cut-throat fantasy football league. This season, Katie Aselton emerges as a sassy comic voice to be reckoned with, adding some spice to the boys’ club that includes Mark Duplass, Nick Kroll, Paul Scheer and Jon Lajoie. An impressive slate of extras includes deleted scenes, as well as a slew of witty featurettes based on inside jokes from the show.
Terri – With shades of Precious, this bittersweet drama is told through the eyes of an overweight, friendless teen (Jacob Wysocki) who shakes off constant bullying and a broken home to strike out in search of some form of happiness as a disingenuous guidance counselor (John C. Reilly) takes him under his wing. The tone alternates between solemnity and dark humor, soaking in the painful details of adolescence. Deleted scenes and a making-of featurette make up the extras.
The Tree of Life – Director Terrence Malick‘s impressionistic rumination on the human condition is every bit as unapproachable and pretentious as the beginning of this sentence sounds. Mixing Discovery Channel-like montages of nature and the cosmos into a dreary tale of a boy who survives a rough upbringing and a domineering father (Brad Pitt) in the 1950s Midwest, growing up to be a confused, bitter man played by Sean Penn. If you liked the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, this movie is just the sort of tone poem that will get you all hot and bothered. If you’ve never heard of 2001: A Space Odyssey or Terrence Malick, don’t waste your time. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy boasts a 30-minute making-of documentary.
Zookeeper – Quickly becoming the I’ll-Take-Any-Dumb-Role Tim Allen of this decade, Kevin James stumbles through a detestable, below-the-lowest-common-denominator kiddie flick about an unlucky-in-love zookeeper who can talk to animals. One of the worst movies of this or any year, Zookeeper makes Paul Blart: Mall Cop look like Citizen Kane and should be watched only for purposes of mockery. That the movie received a rating as high as 13 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes frightens me. The slew of idiotic, animal-focused featurettes are fare more entertaining than the film itself.
Phil’s novel, Stormin’ Mormon, is available as a Kindle book for $1.