OnVideo March DVD Reviews

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OnVideo: MARCH's Top Movies


photo First in the series of 3D motion capture films based on the iconic character created by Georges Remi, better known to the world by his pen name "Herge." The film stars Jamie Bell as Tintin, the intrepid young reporter whose relentless pursuit of a good story thrusts him into a world of high adventure, and Daniel Craig as the nefarious Red Rackham. Tintin is on the trail of a big story, and when he uncovers the directions to a sunken ship, the young boy and his dog Snowy go off to find the treasure it contained. The sunken ship may hold a vast fortune -- but also an ancient curse -- and Tintin must face off against the notorious Rackham before he solves the mystery.

Director: Steven Spielberg. Stars: Voices of Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Toby Jones. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 106 min., Family Adventure, Box office gross: $76.323 million, Paramount. Available: 3/13.

three stars goback


photo The Chipmunks, Chipettes and their caretaker Dave Seville (Jason Lee) embark on a trip of a lifetime aboard the Carnival Dream cruise ship. Seeking fun and excitement, the Chipmunks turn the luxury cruise liner into their own personal playground. But the ultimate vacation quickly becomes a disaster when the Chipmunks, Dave and the Carnival cruise pelican mascot, who turns out to be the chipmunks' old manager, Ian Hawke, accidentally fall overboard and find themselves "chipwrecked" on a remote island. Stuck in an unfamiliar territory, the six furry castaways are separated from Dave and must figure out a way to survive on their own for the first time in their lives.

Director: Mike Mitchell. Stars: Jason Lee, David Cross, Jenny Slate and the voices of Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate, Alan Tudyk. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: G, 87 min., Live Action/Animated Family, Box office gross: $127.041 million, Fox. Available: 3/27.

two stars goback


photo A razor sharp, biting comedy centered on parental differences. After two boys duke it out on a playground, the parents of the "victim" invite the parents of the "bully" over to work out their issues. A polite discussion of child-rearing soon escalates into verbal warfare, with all four parents revealing their true colors. None of them will escape the carnage. Based on Yasmina Reza's play "Le Dieu du carnage."

Director: Roman Polanski. Stars: Kate Winslet, Jodie Foster, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 79 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $.530 million, Sony. Available: 3/20.

two stars goback


photo Based on the play by Christopher Hampton, "The Talking Cure," about the conflict between Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and his disciple, Karl Jung (Michael Fassbender). Seduced by the challenge of an impossible case, Jung takes the unbalanced yet beautiful Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley) as his patient, but he begins to fall under her spell, causing a rift between himself and Freud.

Director: David Cronenberg. Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Drama, Box office gross: $2.787 million, Sony. Available: 3/27.

two stars goback


photo Based on the best-selling novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings and set in Hawaii, "The Descendants" is a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney), an indifferent husband and father of two girls, who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a boating accident off of Waikiki, putting her into a coma. The event leads to a rapprochement with his young daughters while Matt wrestles with the revelation that his wife was having an affair with a married man, as well as having to decide whether or not to sell the family's land handed down from Hawaiian royalty and missionaries.

Director: Alexander Payne. Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Robert Forster, Beau Bridges, Matt Corboy. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 115 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $75.572 million, Fox. Available: 3/13.

three stars goback


photo New take of the 1984 classic. Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) is transplanted from Boston to the small southern town of Bomont, where he experiences a heavy dose of culture shock. A few years prior, the community was rocked by a tragic accident that killed five teenagers after a night out and Bomont's local councilmen and the beloved Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) responded by implementing ordinances that prohibit loud music and dancing. Not one to bow to the status quo, Ren challenges the ban, revitalizing the town and falling in love with the minister's troubled daughter, Ariel (Julianne Hough), in the process.

Director: Craig Brewer. Stars: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 113 min., Drama, Box office gross: $50.141 million, Paramount. Available: 3/6.

two stars goback


photo Taking the best from "La vie en rose" and "Amelie," renowned comic book artist Joann Sfar's "Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life" is a completely original take on one of France's greatest mavericks, the illustrious and infamous Jewish singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg (Eric Elmosnino). Sfar follows Gainsbourg's life -- born Lucien Ginsburg to Russian-Jewish parents -- from his precocious childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris, to his beginnings as small time jazz musician and finally pop superstar. Along the way he romances many of the era's most beautiful women, including Juliette Greco (Anna Mouglalis), Brigitte Bardot (Laetitia Casta) and Jane Birkin (Lucy Gordon). Employing a witty surrealistic style and a soundtrack that includes many of the musician's greatest hits, the film is a quintessential time capsule to '60s Paris.

Director:Joann Sfar. Stars: Eric Elmosnino, Lucy Gordon, Laetitia Casta, Doug Jones, Anna Mouglalis, Orphee Silard. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 130 min., Bio-Drama, Box office gross: $.230 million, Music Box Films. Available: 3/20.

three stars goback


photo First of a three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster "The Millennium Trilogy," which altogether has sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and has become a worldwide phenomenon. The series was made into a trio of Swedish films in 2009 starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace ("The Girl With the Dragoon tattoo," "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," all international boxoffice hits). The first film begins with disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), having lost a libel suit and resigning as co-owner of his magazine, Millennium. In the interim, he takes on the investigation of a 40 year-old disappearance case on behalf of the wealthy Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) of Vanger Industries. With the help of the pierced, tattooed and capable computer hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), they uncover corruption that no one could have ever imagined.

Director: David Fincher. Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 158 min., Drama-Thriller, Box office gross: $99.903 million, Sony. Available: 3/20.

three stars goback


photo The sequel to "Happy Feet" returns audiences to the magnificent landscape of Antarctica. Mumble, The Master of Tap, has a problem because his tiny son, Erik, is choreo-phobic. Reluctant to dance, Erik runs away and encounters The Mighty Sven -- a penguin who can fly! Mumble has no hope of competing with this charismatic new role model. But things get worse when the world is shaken by powerful forces. Erik learns of his father's "guts and grit" as Mumble brings together the penguin nations and all manner of fabulous creatures -- from tiny Krill to giant Elephant Seals -- to put things right.

Director: George Miller. Stars: Voices of Carlos Alazraqui, Lombardo Boyar, Jeffrey Garcia, Johnny A. Sanchez, Sofia Vergara, Robin Williams, Elijah Wood, Pink, Ava Acres, Benjamin Flores Jr, Common, Magda Szubanski, Hugo Weaving, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 100 min., Animated Family, Box office gross: $62.091 million, Warner. Available: 3/13.

two stars goback


photo Blending animation with live action, "Hop" is a comedy about E.B., the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. He encounters Fred, an out-of-work slacker with his own lofty goals, who accidentally hits E.B. with his car. Feigning injury, E.B. manipulates Fred into providing him shelter, and Fred finds himself with the world's worst houseguest. With the new easter Bunny in Hollywood, what will become of Easter?

Director: Tim Hill. Stars: Russell Brand, James Marsden, Hugh Laurie, Hank Azaria, Kaley Cuoco, Gary Cole, Elizabeth Perkins, David Hasselhoff, Chelsea Handler. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 90 min., Animated Family Comedy, Box office gross: $108.012 million, Universal. Available: 3/23.

two stars goback


photo Mythological adventure about power-mad King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke), who threatens to destroy all of humanity on his maniacal quest to obtain the ultimate weapon -- the legendary Epirus Bow that gives the power to unleash war on both Heaven and Earth. But Theseus (Henry Cavill), a heroic young villager chosen by Zeus (Luke Evans) and the gods, rises up to stop Hyperion's brutal rampage. With supernatural help from the beautiful oracle Phaedra (Freida Pinto), Theseus embraces his destiny and leads a fierce band of warriors in a desperate fight for the future of humankind.

Director: Tarsem Singh. Stars: Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke, Stephen Dorff, Freida Pinto, Luke Evans, John Hurt. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $81.889 million, Fox. Available: 3/6.

two stars goback


photo Jack Sadelstein (Adam Sandler) is a successful advertising executive in Los Angeles with a beautiful wife and kids, who dreads one event each year: the Thanksgiving visit of his identical twin sister Jill (also Sandler). Jill's neediness and passive-aggressiveness is maddening to Jack, turning his normally tranquil life upside down.

Director: Dennis Dugan. Stars: Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Elodie Tougne, Rohan Chand, David Spade. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 91 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $70.506 million, Sony. Available: 3/6.

one star goback


photo An honest portrayal of how one's first real love can be thrilling, blissful and devastating all at once. When a British college student (Felicity Jones) falls for her American classmate (Anton Yelchin), they embark on a passionate and life-changing journey -- only to be separated when she violates the terms of her visa. "Like Crazy" explores how a couple faces the real challenges of being together and of being apart. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Picture at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and of the Special Jury Prize for Best Actress for Jones.

Director: Drake Doremus. Stars: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Alex Kingston, Finola Hughes, Chris Messina. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.338 million, Paramount. Available: 3/6.

three stars goback


photo In this strange movie about the end of the world, Justine (Kirsten Dunst) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgard) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite Claire's best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth.

Director: Lars von Trier. Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Alexander Skarsgard, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Stellan Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, Udo Kier. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 135 min., Drama, Box office gross: $2.539 million, Magnolia. Available: 3/13.

two stars goback


photo On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets' former stomping grounds. To stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate.

Director: James Bobin. Stars: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Alan Arkin, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, with the voices of Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, Peter Linz. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 103 min., Family Comedy, Box office gross: $86.694 million, Disney. Available: 3/20.

three stars goback


photo In the early summer of 1956, 23-year-old Colin Clark, just down from Oxford and determined to make his way in the film business, worked as a lowly assistant on the set of "The Prince and the Showgirl," the film that famously united Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, who was also on honeymoon with her new husband, the playwright Arthur Miller. Nearly 40 years later, his diary account, "The Prince, the Showgirl and Me," was published, but one week was missing, and this was published some years later as "My Week With Marilyn." This is the story of that week. When Arthur Miller leaves England, the coast is clear for Colin to introduce Marilyn to some of the pleasures of British life: An idyllic week in which he escorted a Monroe desperate to get away from her retinue of Hollywood hangers-on and the pressures of work.

Director:. Stars: Michelle Williams, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Ormond, Kenneth Branagh, Pip Torrens, Emma Watson. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Drama, Box office gross: $11.501 million, The Weinstein Co. Available: 3/13.

three stars goback


photo Celebrates love, hope, forgiveness, second chances and fresh starts in intertwining stories about couples and singles -- as well as providing paychecks for a lot of Hollywood A and B stars -- told amidst the pulse and promise of New York City on the most dazzling night of the year.

Director: Garry Marshall. Stars: James Belushi, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Abigail Breslin, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges, Robert De Niro, Carla Gugino, Josh Duhamel, Zac Efron, Hector Elizondo, Cary Elwes, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Seth Meyers, Lea Michele, Alyssa Milano, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Til Schweiger, Hilary Swank, Sofia Vergara. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 118 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $54.540 million, Warner. Available: 3/27.

two stars goback


photo After Noah (Jonas Hill), a suburban slacker and the world's most irresponsible babysitter, takes a job watching the neighbor's kid -- who happen to be three of the world's worst kids -- he gets a call from his girlfriend in the city to hook up with her. So Noah takes to the streets of New York -- with the kids -- for an urban adventure that spins out of control as he finds himself on the run from the maniacal local drug lord. Raunchy laughs and insane action -- it's all in a night's work for The Sitter.

Director: David Gordon Green. Stars: Jonah Hill, Max Records, Ari Graynor, J.B. Smoove, Sam Rockwell, Landry Bender. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 81 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $29.748 million, Fox. Available: 3/20.

two stars goback


photo Ever since his wife was burned and died in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard, an eminent plastic surgeon, has been interested in creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. After 12 years, he manages to cultivate a skin that is a real shield against every assault. In addition to years of study and experimentation, Robert needed three more things: no scruples, an accomplice, and a human guinea pig. Scruples were never a problem. Marilia, the woman who looked after him from the day he was born, is his most faithful accomplice. And as for the human guinea pig ... . In Spanish with English subtitles.

Director: Pedro Almodovar. Stars: Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes, Blanca Suarez, Jan Cornet. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 117 min., Drama, Box office gross: $3.051 million, Sony. Available: 3/6.

three stars goback


photo After discovering an evil conspiracy to overthrow the King, the three Musketeers -- Porthos, Athos, and Aramis, who serve the King of France -- come across a young, aspiring hero — D'Artagnan — and take him under their wing. Together, the four embark on a dangerous mission to foil the plot by a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer that not only threatens the Crown, but the future of Europe itself.

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson. Stars: Logan Lerman, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Christoph Waltz, Orlando Bloom, Mads Mikkelsen, Milla Jovovich, Juno Temple, James Corden, Til Schweiger, Gabriella Wilde. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 110 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $20.315 million, Summit. Available: 3/13.

two stars goback


photo During the dark days of the Cold War in the 1970s, an intelligence officer is recalled from retirement when there are signs that one of the top-ranking officers of the British Secret Intelligence Service is a Soviet mole. A complicated, at-times slow-moving spy yarn based on the John le Carre novel. Done better as "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" by the BBC in 1979 with Alec Guinness and Ian Richardson.

Director: Tomas Alfredson. Stars: Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Ciaran Hinds, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, David Dencik, Kathy Burke, Tom Hardy. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 127 min., Drama, Box office gross: $15.806, million, Universal. Available: 3/20.

two stars goback


photo A writer of teen literature (Charlize Theron) returns to her small hometown in Minnesota to relive her glory days and attempt to reclaim her high school sweetheart, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter. When returning home proves more difficult than she thought, she forms an unusual bond with a former classmate who hasn't quite gotten over high school either.

Director: Jason Reitman. Stars: Charlize Theron, Patton Oswalt, Patrick Wilson, Elizabeth Reaser, Collette Wolfe, Jill Eikenberry, Richard Bekins, Mary Beth Hurt. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $16.193 million, Paramount. Available: 3/13.

two stars goback

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.


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March 1, 2012