New to DVD and Blu-ray: Space Jail, ‘Friends With Kids’ and a Hollywood Classic
New on DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming this week, a nice two-fisted sci-fi action tale with 'Lockout,' romance and complications in 'Friends with Kids' and 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen,' plus a Hollywood classic in a 60th Anniversary Blu-Ray that'll leave you 'Singin' in the Rain.'
This spring's version of the little-movie-that-could, 'Lockout' at first inspired eye-rolling with its trailer and pitch as a super-spy takes the suicide-run job of rescuing the President's daughter from a maximum-security prison where the inmates now run free … in space. Brought to you by many of the same minds behind 'Taken' (specifically Luc Besson,), it turned out that 'Lockout,' with Guy Pearce ('L.A. Confidential,' 'Memento') as the one-man army in full-on John McClane mode, saving Maggie Grace from space-prison psychos even as he's unraveling a conspiracy with the right mix of smirk, smile and grunt. A clear heir to 'Escape from New York' and other low-rent rumpuses, 'Lockout' is surprisingly entertaining.
One of the year's indie film surprise success stories, 'Friends with Kids' stars Adam Scott (NBC's 'Parks and Recreation') and writer-director Jennifer Westfeldt as New York friends who decide to get moving on kids together as co-parenting partners. Their harried, married, kid-raising friends (including Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph and Chris O'Dowd) at first are jealous of the friction-free non-family the three have, but later witness what happens when very inconvenient feelings disrupt a very convenient arrangement. With full commentary from Westfelt and her producer/husband Hamm, the special features also include deleted scenes, a gag reel and more.
A pleasantly-made and slow-pitched rom-com, 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' is a romance about a fishing expert (Ewan MacGregor, in absent-minded professor mode) asked to help a Yemeni Sheikh (Amr Waken) who'd like to bring the peaceful pastime of Scottish-style angling to the peoples of war-torn, arid Yemen. It seems undoable -- even with the Sheikh's assistant Emily Blunt helping and a Government minister (Kristin Scott Thomas) prodding -- but while MacGregor is trying madly to bring fish to the dessert, he can't help but fall for Blunt … With a little satire to add zip and zest to the sweeter romance and romanticism of the film, 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' is perfectly pitched to older viewers in the mood for a light romance.
We could go on, at great length, about how good this new restoration and Blu-ray transfer of "Singin' in the Rain,' to commemorate the film's 60th Anniversary, is; picture is luminous and flawless, sound crisp, bright and clear. And we could talk about what 'Singin' in the Rain' meant, and means, to the movies in terms of its musical wonder and winking charm and everything else that's helped it endure over the decades. But really, if you love movies at all, this movie in and of itself is a pure joy whether you're seeing it for the 100th time or the first, a bright and brassy comedy-romance that's also a love letter to the movies themselves, one that's inspired everything from 'Boogie Nights' to 'The Artist.' There's even a gift set with a collectible full-size umbrella as darling as it is functional, and there's an exciting list of special features geared for the movie buff in your life, but the film itself -- which has never looked better in your home -- is the real prize here.