New DVD Releases: ‘Resident Evil 5,’ ‘Total Recall’ and More
New DVD releases, Blu-ray and streaming this week: goofy glee club action in 'Pitch Perfect,' kid-friendly fun in 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days,' Colin Farrell in the 'Total Recall' remake and more zombie-killing in 'Resident Evil: Retribution.'
Who would have thought that plucky Mila Jovovich would become the star of a multi-film zombie-killing video game adaptation? Well, her husband, clearly -- director/producer Paul W.S. Anderson has put Jovovich in five 'Resident Evil' films, and as long as money is useful to buy things, we may get even more. Continuing the seemingly endless last stand of humanity against an undead plague, the new DVD release of 'Resident Evil 5' offers all of the slow-mo devastation and CGI-aided dismemberment and violence a fan of the series could want, with Jovovich as our kick-ass everywoman armed with nothing more than guts, guns, skin-tight fetishwear and an awesome stunt team to face down the horde. The 'Resident Evil 5' Blu-ray has extensive extras -- deleted scenes, creature features, commentary and more -- but again, this film was made for rewarding old fans, not making new ones.
They always say they don't make them like they used to; swapping Arnold Schwarzenegger and director Paul Verhoven for the blander talents of Colin Farrell and Len Wiseman, this version of the brain-bending 'Total Recall' winds up proving they don't even re-make them like they used to. The new DVD release of 'Total Recall' offers extensive making-of material, with commentary from Wiseman and pre-visualisation sequences, but even the three-fold charms of Farrell, Kate Beckinsale and Jessica Biel can't make this more than an exercise in comparisons and depression. You gamer fanatics will be glad to know that the 'Total Recall' disc includes a demo for the new 'God of War' game; you should also know that news is why you may also be the only group glad to know of this disc's existence.
Giving a capella music a thoroughly modern shot in the arm by way of 'Bring it On,' 'Pitch Perfect' stars Anna Kendrick ('Up in the Air') as a new freshman who gets drafted for the women's singing group at her college -- and gives the moribund tunes they've been doing a shot in the arm with modern sounds and mash-ups. The cast is winning (including funnygirl-of-the-moment Rebel Wilson) and the new DVD release of 'Pitch Perfect' include lots of fun deleted scenes, improvisational bits, music videos and more with the Blu-ray, plus commentary from the director and from producer Elizabeth Banks. The pure pleasure and charm of the film itself, though, may be more than enough to keep you humming.
I know this sounds like damming with faint praise, but, really, the 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' films -- based on the popular kid's book series by Jeff Kinney -- wasn't that bad. Zachary Gordon's casting in the lead didn't hurt, as affable social-disaster Greg Heffey tries to make his way through middle school. The presence of goofy scene-stealer Devon Bostick as Greg's older brother Roderick is a big plus, as well. This final film, dubbed 'Dog Days,' chronicles Greg's attempts to have some -- or any -- fun during a summer between grades, with familiar consequences. The new DVD release offers outtakes and a new animated short, as well, but the real reason to get this disc is so your kids can say farewell to a better-than-average kid's series.