Girls Just Want to Have Fun Blu-ray — Back in the '80s, they'd base entire movies on song titles (see: Footloose, Purple Rain), and this was another example of such cinematic brilliance. This 1985 throwaway is worthwhile only to catch Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt and Shannen Doherty in early roles. Parker is the star, playing a new girl who blows off her militaristic dad to ignore her studies and compete in a dance contest that could land her a gig on a local TV dance show. A terrible but kitchily enjoyable dance-a-thon, the movie boasts incredibly awful performances that are charming for their silliness. The disc is a fairly bare-bones affair, with no notable extras.
Madonna: Truth or Dare Blu-ray — The diva songstress' comically overindulgent 1991 documentary, which follows her exploits on the Blond Ambition tour, doesn't fit quite right in Blu-ray. The transfer is grainy and generally low-rent, probably due to the equipment used during shooting. It's fun to peek at Madonna-approved snippets of her backstage goings-on, in which she deals with her mildly disapproving father, reconnects with an old friend who has become obsessed with her and tries and fails to kindle romance with Antonio Banderas. Her self-obsessed pre-performance prayers are also a riot.
War Horse — Ignore the grunting sound you hear from Steven Spielberg as he strains from behind the camera to will his ungainly epic to a best picture Oscar nomination and you'll probably be able to halfway enjoy this monstrosity, which runs nearly two and a half hours and counts a horse among its best actors. The film, which attempts to extract tears from your eyes with blunt force, is a travelogue about a very unlucky horse who is forced to serve in a World War I cavalry unit and separated from his owner (Jeremy Irvine), a plucky enlistee. Mesmerizing action sequences, including a borderline hilarious bit in which the horse scampers over a tank, pepper the treacly drama. A four-disc Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo is as unnecessarily bulky as the film itself, including an hourlong making-of doc, featurettes on the sound design and editing, as well as a look at the film from the perspective of an extra.
We Bought a Zoo — After losing his verve in Elizabethtown, his last outing, director Cameron Crow re-emerges with a quirky family film about a troubled widower (Matt Damon) who suffers a midlife crisis and uproots his kids to live at and operate a defunct zoo. As hokey as a Hallmark movie, the quirky drama stays interesting thanks to standout performances from Damon and love interest Scarlett Johansson, who plays the zookeeper. Thomas Haden Church is also solid in a thankless role as Damon's doubting older brother. The Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo features deleted and extended scenes, loads of forgettable featurettes and commentary with Crowe and his filmmaking team.
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