The Twilight Saga: New Moon — Twelve-year-old girls of all ages and genders can’t get enough of New Moon, which looks pretty much the same as the old moon from where I’m standing. This time out the love triangle between mopey teen heroine (Kristen Stewart), aloof vampire stalker Edward (Robert Pattinson) and combustible, ever bare-chested werewolf boy Jacob (Taylor Lautner) is more pronounced. Director Chris Weitz can’t elevate the material beyond something that looks like it should be an hour-long emo-drama on the CW. The Blu-ray and 2-disc DVD include a six-part behind-the-scenes doc, music videos and filmmaker commentary. It stands to reason why author Stephenie Meyer doesn’t show up, because the movies don’t do her books justice.
Brief Interviews with Hideous Men – John Krasinski (Jim from The Office) directs and co-stars in this adaptation of a short story collection by David Foster Wallace. The dry comedy is the story of Sara (Julianne Nicholson), a grad student who is dumped by her boyfriend and sets out to interview random strangers about why they have mistreated women. It’s an admirable misfire from Krasinski, who demonstrates technical knowhow and style if not the ability to tell a coherent story. The DVD is light on extras, save for an interview with Krasinski.
Did You Hear About the Morgans? – Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Grant find themselves in a terrible romantic comedy about a divorcing New York couple who witness a murder and end up stuck together in Wyoming in a witness protection program. You get a sense of how bad the movie is when Teen.com and studio pushover Shawn Edwards from Fox are quoted on the press release. The City Slickers-style humor and awful dialogue make the movie a painful experience, although if you like the movie for some reason, the DVD and Blu-ray are loaded with extras, including copious features and deleted scenes.
The Fourth Kind – A pseudo-documentary in the vein of The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity, the tense horror/drama tells a harrowing tale about alien abductions. The footage is exciting but would have been better had the film not taken the re-enactment route and ditched actors Elias Koteas, Will Patton and Milla Jovovich. The Blu-ray edition of the movie has a couple background documentaries and deleted scenes. The DVD has only the latter.
The Princess and the Frog – Disney’s traditional animation wing returns to top form with this fairytale about a poor New Orleans girl whom a voodoo-practicing villain transformed into a frog along with a visiting prince. The music is excellent, the story is funny and exciting and the momentum never lets up. Available as a regular DVD as well as a superb Blu-ray/DVD combo, the film is loaded with extras. The combo pack includes the deleted scenes and filmmaker commentary on the DVD, as well as a making-of doc, several featurettes and art galleries.