The popular independent film “Moonrise Kingdom” arrives on DVD/Blu-ray this week, as does “Madagascar 3.”
“Moonrise Kingdom” (Universal/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $34.98, featurettes). The latest quirky comedy from Wes Anderson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”) is set in 1965 on a New England island where a pair of pre-teens (Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward) run off together, sparking a search by their parents (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand), the local sheriff (Bruce Willis) and a band of young Scouts led by their Scoutmaster (Edward Norton), among others.
The result is engaging and charming, but despite the main characters being 12-year-olds, this is not a film for kids. There are adult themes and subplots and some dialogue that is clearly out of bounds for youngsters. (Also on DVD, $29.98.)
“Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: Rainbow Wig Pack” (Dreamworks/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, PG, two discs, $39.99, deleted scenes, audio commentary, pop-up trivia, featurettes, music video, trailers; rainbow wig in separate box). The animated “Madagascar” zoo animals are back, again voiced by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock and friends. This one is a fast-paced chase picture as the pack races through Europe, eventually joining a wacky circus train. And yes, the penguins once again come to the rescue. (Also in 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, $54.99 and on single-disc DVD, $29.98.)
“The Cup” (Lionsgate, 2012, PG, $26.98, featurette). This Australian true story chronicles the lives of a pair of brothers who pick up the legacy of their horseracing father, a jockey cut down in his prime. But just as the more talented brother (Stephen Curry) is about to pursue the prestigious Melbourne Cup, a tragedy prompts him to rethink his passion for the race. Brendan Gleeson lends fine support as his trainer. This one deserves a place alongside “Seabiscuit” and “Secretariat.”
“Ella Enchanted” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray + DVD, 2004, PG, two discs, $14.99, deleted/extended scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, music video, interactive game; DVD-Rom applications). Cute if not exceptional fairy tale spoof with modern sensibilities gets the Blu-ray treatment. The film would like to charm us on the level of “The Princess Bride” (and has Cary Elwes in the cast) but can’t quite get there. Still, Anne Hathaway is in peak form, and the supporting cast helps: Joanna Lumley, Minnie Driver, Eric Idle, etc.
“Everybody’s Fine” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray, 2009, PG-13, $14.99, deleted/extended scenes, featurette). Widowed, retired former workaholic (Robert De Niro) pushed his kids to succeed so hard that they’ve all exaggerated their accomplishments. So when he goes off to visit them one by one, unannounced, he gets a tough dose of reality. Nicely modulated melodrama with flashes of humor gets a big lift from De Niro and his co-stars, especially Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell as his offspring.
“Neil Young Journeys” (Sony Classics, 2012, PG, $30.99, featurettes). Jonathan Demme’s third documentary on the singer/songwriter (after “Neil Young: Heart of Gold” and “Neil Young Trunk Show”) follows him to his hometown of Omemee, Ontario, where he reminisces about his youth before performing a concert in Toronto’s Massey Hall. Songs include “Ohio,” “Hey Hey, My My” and “I Believe in You.”
“Nina Conti: Her Master’s Voice” (Virgil, 2012, not rated, $19.99, featurettes). Conti is a unique and widely lauded ventriloquist who directed and produced this semi-documentary that follows her from Europe to Kentucky where she plans to lay to rest one of her dummies, inherited from her late mentor. And she’ll do it at a museum designed for just that purpose. Funny, surprisingly touching and occasionally goofy personal film that could have been merely self-indulgent but is instead surprisingly entertaining.
“Lemon” (Cinema Libre, 2012, not rated, $19.95, deleted scenes, bonus performances, outtakes). Documentary about Lemon Anderson, an ex-con who has lived a hard-scrabble life but desires to break away from his poverty-stricken past. After discovering a talent for performance art in prison, he participates in the Tony-winning “Def Poetry Jam” on Broadway, but then returns to the projects and struggles to mount his own story as a Broadway show.
“Trooper and the Legend of the Golden Key” (eOne, 2012, not rated, $14.98). Kids movie about a bloodhound named Trooper and his 10-year-old owner searching for the title key, which promises a million-dollar treasure. The dog’s thoughts are heard in voiceover.
“Legendary Amazons” (Well Go, 2011, not rated, $24.98, in Mandarin with English subtitles, featurette, trailer). Disappointing action picture has widows of warriors going into battle to avenge their loved ones, but the action scenes are weak and the production values are weaker, despite its being a big-budget Hong Kong effort with Jackie Chan’s name in the credits as producer.
“Chernobyl Diaries” (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012; R for violence, language; two discs, $35.99, alternate ending, deleted scene, featurettes). Six vacationers take an extreme tour into the inner workings of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that had a disastrous meltdown 25 years ago. Naturally, they are not alone. The “Old Dark House” horror chestnut gets a unique setting. (Also on DVD, $28.98.)Comment on this story
“That’s My Boy” (Columbia, 2012; R for sex, nudity, language, drugs; $30.99, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg play estranged father and son in this very R-rated comedy, as ultra-slob Sandler tries to ingratiate himself back into the life of his successful, about-to-be-married son. “Hangover”-style hijinks ensue, none of them funny.
“40 West” (Wax Works, 2012, not rated, $19.98). Blues singer (Jennifer Nichole Porter) finds herself handcuffed to the bed of an East Texas motel room when her ex-con husband tracks her down. Meanwhile, a number of other sleazy characters, including one played by Wayne Newton, show up with their own sinister motives. Low-budget thriller hot off the festival circuit.