New to DVD and Blu-ray: ‘The Lorax,’ a Funny Murder Mystery and Some Bob Marley
New on DVD, Blu-ray and streaming this week, there's music, plus trees and trouble, as 'Marley,' 'High Fidelity,' 'Clue' and 'The Lorax' all come home. ...
Your kids will probably be enthralled by this CGI-animated over-expansion of one of the late Dr. Seuss' small, sweet, smart kid's books into a big, bright, loud movie from the people behind 'Despicable Me.' The home-viewing extras -- like mini-movies, games, and making-of material -- will also delight and distract them to no end, I'm sure. You, of course, as a dedicated parent, will probably want and need a good book and heavy drink during all of it. Sure, Danny DeVito does a great job of the title character, a Yoda-like fuzzball who warns about over-consumption and greed, but the stuff added on to fill it out -- a romance between kids voiced by Zac Efron and Taylor Swift, Rob Riggle's bad-guy mayor -- waters the Seuss down even as it pads the running time.
Why exactly, you might ask, is a weird 1885 comedy based on a boardgame getting the Blu-ray treatment? Well, the answer is simple: Because it's hilarious. Yes, this is a comedy version of the old "Colonel Mustard... in the Library.. with a Lead Pipe" boardgame, but the cast is so good -- including Michael McKean, Eileen Brennan, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull, Carol Kane, Lesley Ann Warren and Tim Curry. Even better, the Blu-ray maintains the original film's gimmick from theaters, including all three separate, different endings that name a different killer. Too often, "cult hit" means a bad movie the marketing department is trying to sneak by you -- but with goofy go-for-broke guts and this great cast, it's a truly overlooked lost classic.
One of the greatest roles John Cusack's ever had -- and that's saying a lot -- 'High Fidelity" comes to Blu-ray this week in a new edition loaded with special features. Adapting Nick Hornby's novel -- about a depressed and lovelorn record store clerk dealing with his latest and biggest breakup -- by transplanting it from London to Chicago, director Stephen Frears made a great choice and made it well. In no small part remembered for Jack Black's screen debut, this restored version of the film also features extras, but it's the screenplay and Cusack -- as a sad-sack hipster who's his own worst enemy when it comes to love, but at least has the perfect mix tapes for his heartbreak -- that make it a stand-out.
If you're put off by Reggae music's too-relaxed vibe and think Bob Marley, like Che, is a historical figure relegated only to t-shirts and dorm-wall decor, be prepared to be surprised by this superb documentary. Director Kevin Macdonald ('The Last King of Scotland,' 'State of Play') had the help and approval of the Marley family in making this film, which does a lot to turn the icon back into a man. The extras are sumptuous -- including commentary by Macdonald and David Marley (aka Ziggy) -- and the high-def Blu-ray picture and sound means you get to see rare archival personal footage and unseen concert moments like never before.