Woody Allen’s latest romp through Europe is an uneven affair, but the new home-video release does include an unexpected bonus feature.
“To Rome With Love” (Sony Classics/Blu-ray, 2012; R for language; $35.99, featurette, trailers). Woody Allen’s latest is an episodic comedy set in Rome, weaving four stories in and out of each other with a star-studded international cast led by Allen himself, Judy Davis, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni, Alec Baldwin, Jesse Eisenberg and Ellen Page.
The film is a sort of tribute to the international anthology comedies that were popular in the 1960s, especially the segment lampooning the cult of celebrity. The film has its moments and some funny Woodyisms, but it’s very hit and miss, an unfortunate far cry from “Midnight in Paris.”
Fans may be surprised to find the disc includes a documentary short on the making of the movie, marking the first time Allen has allowed any kind of bonus feature beyond trailers on a home-video release of his films; Allen is seen in photos and footage on the set but is not interviewed. (Also on DVD, $30.99)
“Farewell, My Queen” (Cohen/Blu-ray; R for nudity, language; $29.98, in French with English subtitles, featurettes, trailers; eight-page booklet). Efficient plotting helps this dramatically inert look at the French Revolution from the viewpoint of Marie Antoinette’s reader, a devoted servant who unadvisedly feels safe under the protection of her queen. Diane Kruger is excellent in the title role, with Lea Seydoux as her reader. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“The Other Dream Team” (Lionsgate, 2012, not rated, $24.98, audio commentary, featurette, trailers). Uplifting, engaging documentary explores Lithuania’s basketball history, from players attempting to evade communist crackdowns over five decades to a post-Cold War, medal-winning triumph at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
“Battle for Brooklyn” (Virgil, 2011, not rated, $19.99, introduction by Annabeth Gish). This documentary also has a basketball link, as it tells of the multi-billion-dollar Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, aimed at constructing 16 skyscrapers for business and residential purposes, including the Barclay’s Center for the Brooklyn Nets. As local homeowners are forced out over seven years, the story focuses on one resident (who gets married and has a child), ultimately left as the last man standing.
“Cupid” (Gaiam, 2012, not rated, $14.93). The title character (Jamie Kennedy) shows up to help a cynical talk-show host (Joely Fisher) find love in this fluffy comedy — but to do so she must first successfully play matchmaker for someone else prior to Valentine’s Day. A Hallmark Channel film.
“Undercover Bridesmaid” (Gaiam, 2012, not rated, $14.93). Another Hallmark Channel movie, this comedy owes more than a little to “Miss Congeniality.” Brooke Burns is a bodyguard protecting the about-to-be-wed daughter of a Texas mogul but has trouble fitting in.
“Love Me” (Anchor Bay, 2012, PG-13, $22.98, featurettes). After a high school girl (Lindsey Shaw) begins a relationship with the new kid (Jamie Johnston) in school she discovers that he is implicated in the disappearance of his previous girlfriend at another school. Is he innocent or is she next? (Also on Blu-ray, $24.99)