Transformers: Dark of the Moon – Due out Friday, the summer blockbuster brings its relentless chain of maximum-budget explosions and insipid dialogue into your living room. I would try to summarize the story, but I’m not sure there is one. For both better and worse, it’s nonsensical robot porn broken up with Shia LaBeouf along for the ride to give his usual befuddled running commentary. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo is slim on extras because director Michael Bay has already revealed that a 3D special edition is on the way.
Airplane! Blu-ray – The fondly remembered, yet not as great as you remember 1980 comedy lifts off on Blu-ray, letting you relive the jive-talking grandma, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s appearance and the famed “Surely you can’t be serious” exchange. A precursor to the Scary Movie age, the disaster flick spoof still packs some funny moments despite its creakiness. Interviews, deleted scenes, trivia and commentary round out the disc.
Bored to Death: Season 2 – The ridiculously overpowered trio of Jason Schwartzman, Ted Danson and Zach Galifianakis step on the gas pedal in season two of HBO’s funniest comedy series about the antics of a 30-something writer who fashions himself as a private detective. The show takes on a faux film noir vibe, peppering in ridiculous mysteries into the tale of eternal adolescence. Extras include commentaries for some episodes and deleted scenes.
Footloose Blu-ray – The ludicrous 1984 Kevin Bacon dance flick, nudged back into public consciousness by next month’s remake, pirouettes into high-definition. Bacon plays a teen who power-dances freedom and self-expression into a Bible-thumping town that’s banned dance and rock ‘n roll. Behind-the-scenes footage of Bacon, his screen test, an interview with co-star Sarah Jessica Parker and making-of documentaries fill out the disc.
Go for It – Aimee Garcia plays an inner-city student who uses dance as a refuge from her troubled family life and schoolwork. Part Save the Last Dance, part Step Up, the film wows with inventive choreography and a poignant exploration of an abusive boyfriend-girlfriend relationship involving the protagonist’s best friend. The DVD is light on extras.
Mimic: Director’s Cut Blu-ray – Before director Guillermo del Toro hit it big with the likes of Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, he hones his talents on this hit-and-miss 1997 horror tale. Mira Sorvino and Jeremy Northam play scientists who set out to stop the super-breed of humanoid insects they helped create. Included are del Toro’s commentary, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and a look at the excellently designed monsters.
The Naked Gun – Leslie Nielsen stars as a hapless detective in this 1988 spoof that pokes fun at police procedurals and pop culture of the era, with Priscilla Presley and none other than O.J. Simpson playing meaty supporting roles. The comic mayhem holds up reasonably well over the years, with Nielsen’s deadpan command of the material as impressive as ever. A commentary track is the lone notable extra.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles Blu-ray – Steve Martin and John Candy team for this heartfelt 1987 road comedy, directed by John Hughes at the peak of his talents. Every bit as emotionally potent as it is astoundingly funny, the film pairs the strangers who meet up, form a loose partnership. The oversharing-prone, desperate-to-please Candy haplessly tries to help the snide, acerbic Martin get back to his family in time for Thanksgiving. Tributes to the departed Hughes and Candy, a making-of featurette and a deleted scene come along for the ride.
Ben-Hur: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray – After slacking off a bit for its Citizen Kane tribute release, Warner Home Video reverts back to the over-the-top form it showed for the 2009 Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz sets, giving Ben-Hur a shoebox full of goodies. The 1959 William Wyler-directed epic stars Charlton Heston as a Jewish man in Ancient Rome who is forced into slavery, and the drama focuses on his rise to redemption, crossing paths with Jesus along the way. The set includes a reproduction of the diary Heston kept on set, a hardbound photo book, a documentary containing Heston’s home footage during filming, as well as the staggering slate of extras from the previous DVD release, including the silent 1925 version of the movie.
Phil’s novel, Stormin’ Mormon, is available as a Kindle book for $1.
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