Kevin James continues to search for a vehicle that will kick him to an upper tier level of stardom, but his latest isn’t it. Likewise, Tyler Perry’s attempt to take on action-hero status is pretty limp. Both lead these new movies on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
“Here Comes the Boom” (Columbia/Blu-ray, 2012, PG, $35.99, Blu-ray and digital versions, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers). The affable Kevin James stars in this light (and lightweight) comedy as a high school teacher and former collegiate wrestler who tries to raise money to save the school’s music program by moonlighting as a mixed-martial arts fighter.
Mostly what goes “Boom” is James and the PG rating is for the (comic) violence in the ring, and some foul language. But mostly it’s family-friendly fare akin to James’ other PG films, “Zookeeper” and “Paul Blart: Mall Cop.” Henry Winkler and Salma Hayek co-star. (Also on DVD, $30.99)
“Alex Cross” (Summit/Blu-ray, 2012, PG-13, $39.99, Blu-ray and digital versions, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette). Alex Cross is a Detroit police detective/psychologist in popular novels by James Patterson and has been played twice previously by Morgan Freeman (“Kiss the Girls,” “Along Came a Spider”).
This attempt to build a new franchise has Tyler Perry (filmmaker/actor/Madea) taking over the role and he’s not bad. But the direction by Rob Cohen, who has been at the helm of mediocre-to-borderline-awful films since 1980, just may have crossed the border here. Cross, who comes up with deductions that Sherlock Holmes would envy, is up against a serial killer (an emaciated, bug-eyed Matthew Fox) but nothing makes sense and every cliché you can imagine is in full force. (Also on DVD, $29.95)
“Little White Lies” (MPI/Blu-ray, 2010, not rated, $29.98, in French with English subtitles, featurette, trailer). Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose”) is part of the ensemble cast in this French comedy-drama about 30- and 40-somethings on an annual summer getaway where heated tensions boil after the title lies begin to bubble. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“Yelling to the Sky” (MPI/Blu-ray, 2011, not rated, $29.98, featurettes, trailer). A mixed-race teenage girl who is attractive and intelligent takes a wrong path in her attempt to break out of the cycle of trouble at home and bullying in school. Despite her better instincts she falls into a friendship that leads to drug dealing and stealing in a plot that’s all too familiar. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“The Bouquet” (Vivendi, 2013, not rated, $14.93, featurette). Sweet-natured, family-friendly, straight-to-video drama has a TV-movie vibe but is harmless enough in its story of two sisters (Kristy Swanson, Alberta Mayne) that come together to save mom’s floral shop. Danny Glover co-stars as a sympathetic pastor.
“Celeste and Jesse Forever” (Sony Classics, 2013; R for language, sex, drugs; $30.99, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes). “Saturday Night Live” vet Andy Samberg stars with Rashida Jones in this sleazy comedy about a divorcing couple that tries to remain friends even while dating others. (Also on Blu-ray, $35.99)
“Paul Williams: Still Alive” (Virgil, 2013, PG-13, $19.99, extended song performances). Semi-serious documentary about Oscar-winning songwriter/singer/actor Paul Williams has a nice where-are-they-now? approach but it’s often as much about the filmmaker (Stephen Kessler), which, in this context, only works about half the time, keeping us at a distance from his subject. Still, it’s entertaining, especially for those of us who remember the '70s and the many toe-tapping songs of that era written or co-written by Williams.
“Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” (eOne, 2012, PG-13, $24.98, extended interviews). Fashion icon Vreeland’s life is the subject of this documentary, examining her 50-year reign, during which she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie Onassis, was fashion editor for Harper’s Bazaar and became editor-in-chief of Vogue, among other accomplishments.
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