Chris Hicks: New movies go from the big screen to home video

Published: Thursday, Aug. 30 2012 2:00 p.m. MDT

Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant, center, with his bird, Polly) and some of his band of misfits, including, (L-R) Pirate with Gout (voiced by Brendan Gleeson), Albino Pirate (voiced by Russell Tovey), Pirate with Scarf (voiced by Martin Freeman), and Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (voiced by Ashley Jensen), in "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," an animated film produced by Aardman Animations for Sony Pictures Animation.

Sony Pictures

Quite a few recent theatrical films have made their way to DVD and Blu-ray this week, including a romantic comedy for the middle-aged crowd.

“Darling Companion” (Sony Classics, 2012, PG-13, $30.99, audio commentary, featurettes). After a nine-year respite, you might think filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan (“Silverado,” “The Big Chill,” “Body Heat”) would have had time enough to come up with something funnier and more vital than this ultra-light look at an upscale couple (Diane Keaton, Kevin Kline) drifting apart when the nest is empty. Where’s the acerbic wit of his earlier films, like “Body Heat,” “The Big Chill” and “Silverado”?

Still, this one has its moments, as Keaton rescues a dog and her workaholic physician husband Kline remains distracted — until he loses the animal in the thick woods surrounding their vacation cabin. Soon they’ve recruited everyone they can to help look for it. The cast is great, especially Keaton, Kline, Dianne Wiest, Sam Shepard and Richard Jenkins. (Filmed in Utah.) (Also on Blu-ray, $35.99.)

“The Pirates! Band of Misfits” (Columbia/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, PG, two discs, $40.99, audio commentary, featurettes, short cartoons, DVD-Rom applications). Clever spoof of pirate flicks by British stop-motion animators responsible for “Chicken Run” and the “Wallace & Gromit” films. Anachronistic gags that owe something to Monty Python abound in story of bad-luck pirate crew trying to make good (or bad). Voices include Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, David Tennant, Martin Freeman and Imelda Stanton. (Also on DVD, $30.99, and 3D/Blu-ray combo, $45.99.)

“The Lucky One” (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $35.99, featurettes). From the Nicholas Sparks best-seller, Zac Efron is an Iraq vet who heads to North Carolina to find a woman (Taylor Schilling) whose photo he thinks acted as a charm to save his life. But, of course, he doesn’t tell her the truth and soapy complications ensue. (Also on DVD, $28.98.)

“Battleship” (Universal/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $34.98, alternate ending, featurettes). Yet another movie based on a Hasbro game, this one brings marauding aliens into the equation as Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna and Alexander Skarsgard fire Navy guns to save the world. But story and character (and acting) are secondary to things that go boom.

“Think Like a Man” (Screen Gems, 2012, PG-13, $30.99, deleted scenes, bloopers). Based on Steve Harvey’s comic self-help book (and he appears as himself to pitch it), this overlong multi-character romantic comedy has four women using the book to straighten out their men, but when the men find out they strike back. Hit and miss but elevated by the cast: Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy, Romany Falco and Jerry Ferrara. (Also on Blu-ray, $35.99.)

“The Highest Pass” (Cinema Libre, 2012, $24.95, deleted scenes, featurettes). Documentary follows motorcyclists as they journey to the highest pass of the Himalayas in Northern India. Harrowing footage alternates with New Age “wisdom” from the modern-world guru leading the pack.

“You’ve Got a Friend” (Vivendi, 2007, $14.93). Gentle Hallmark Channel TV movie stars John Schneider as “the town crazy” who helps a recently orphaned 12-year-old build a winning car for a soap-box derby. Bitty Schram (“Monk”) co-stars.

“Starship Troopers: Invasion” (Sony, 2012; R for violence, language, nudity; $26.99, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, bloopers). Fourth film (and third straight-to-video sequel) in this franchise has more Federation starships going up against giant killer bugs that go splat when fired upon. More of the same. (Also on Blu-ray, $30.99.)

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