Chris Hicks: Animated ‘Monster in Paris’ leads movies on DVD and Blu-ray this week
An animated feature from France and the 3D version of “Jurassic Park” lead this week’s new movies on DVD and Blu-ray.
“A Monster in Paris” (Shout!, 2012, PG, two discs, $24.97; Blu-ray, DVD and digital versions). French animated feature dubbed by familiar American actors (Catherine O’Hara, Adam Goldberg, Bob Balaban, Danny Huston) comes from Bibo Bergeron, co-director of “Shark Tale” and “The Road to El Dorado,” but this one manages more warmth than either of those could muster.
Set in 1910 Paris, the story has a delivery boy and an eccentric inventor teaming up with a nightclub chanteuse to save the titular monster, a giant flea that sings and dances. OK, plot-wise it’s out there, but the story unfolds nicely and the comedy provides slapstick for children, chase scenes for teens, wisecracks for adults and gorgeous animation for all.
“Jurassic Park 3D” (Universal/Blu-ray 3D, 1993, PG-13, three discs, $49.98; Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, digital versions; featurettes). You know the story: Billionaire Richard Attenborough brings scientists Laura Dern and Sam Neill and mathematician Jeff Goldblum to his “mysterious island” to endorse his newly cloned dinosaurs, and lo and behold, Goldblum’s “chaos theory” kicks in. Great Steven Spielberg film rejiggered in 3D, which is documented in the only new featurette in this set.
“A Whisper to a Roar” (Virgil, 2012, not rated, $19.99, extended interviews, trailer). This documentary about five despotic regimes in five different countries and the dissenters who put their lives on the line to protest for change is overly familiar and primarily perfunctorily composed of talking heads and archival footage, along with an animated “dragon-slaying” metaphorical interlude. But there’s no denying the power of that imagery or the feelings of outrage aroused in the audience.
“Dragon” (Anchor Bay/Blu-ray, R for violence, $29.99, in Mandarin with English subtitles, featurettes, music video). Superior Chinese martial arts thriller stars Donnie Yen in top form as a village craftsman who takes on gangsters and corrupt officials while being investigated by a law-and-order detective. Most inventive, with well-drawn characters and exciting fight sequences. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“At the Gate of the Ghost” (Magnet/Blu-ray; R for violence, sex; $29.98, in Thai with English subtitles, featurettes, trailer). Thai remake of the Japanese classic “Rashomon,” here with a warlord being murdered, a bandit being arrested for the crime and, after the trial, three different interpretations of the events given in testimony. Well-made retelling of the famous story that ponders the nature of truth and how it is perceived by witnesses to events. (Also on DVD, $26.98)
“Future Weather” (Virgil, 2013, not rated, $19.99, deleted scenes, short film: “Save the Future,” trailer). Offbeat coming-of-age yarn with heavy-handed green message has a 13-year-old environmentalist prodigy (Perla Haney-Jardine) abandoned by her white-trash mother and left with her foul-mouthed, chain-smoking grandmother (Amy Madigan). Deep in personal research, the girl is alarmed when Grandma announces plans to move across the country. Maintains interest, thanks primarily to great performances from young Haney-Jardine and old pros Madigan, and as a sympathetic science teacher, Lily Taylor.
“Save the Date” (IFC, 2012; R for sex, language, drugs; $24.98, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette, outtakes, music video, trailers). A woman (Lizzy Caplan) runs away from her boyfriend after he publicly proposes, becoming involved in a rebound romance as the cycle begins again. Meanwhile, her sister is planning a wedding. Overly familiar 30-something angst-ridden, commitment-phobic relationship tale.
“The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia” (Lionsgate, 2013; R for violence; $19.98, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette, bloopers). Another haunted historic home in the South with an unsuspecting family moving in and encountering evil spirits. (Also on Blu-ray, $24.99)
“Not Suitable for Children” (Well Go, 2013; R for sex, nudity, language, drugs; $24.98, featurettes). Australian comedy about a party animal who finds he has testicular cancer, so before an operation that will render him infertile, he tries to get a woman — any woman — to agree to make a baby. (Also on Blu-ray, $29.98)
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