This week: Aliens invade Southern California, Owen Wilson gets a week off from marriage, Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke takes on a classic fairy tale and more.
Battle: Los Angeles: This rah-rah mash-up of Independence Day and Saving Private Ryan ends up being more like a second-rate videogame or Skyline. Aaron Eckhart plays a 20-year Marine veteran who is about to retire when aliens start crashing into the oceans near the world's major cities. The hostile visitors want Earth's water supply and begin exterminating the indigenous population (i.e. us), so Eckhart and his platoon try to help a group of civilians make it to a safe zone before Santa Monica goes bye-bye. For all the swelling music, weepy soldiers, rah-rah patriotism, incessant gunfire and shaky-cam effects meant to convey "intense action," it's difficult to feel anything but numbness about this noisy, dumb exercise with inane dialogue like "I might be able to help…I'm a veterinarian."
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "Behind the Battle," "Aliens in L.A.," "Preparing for Battle" and "Creating L.A. in LA;" the BD exclusives include "Directing the Battle," "The Freeway Battle" and a featurette on the boot camp the actors had to go through. The BD also has "Command Control" picture-in-picture functionality that lets users access interactive content like storyboard comparisons and "Battle Points" like a behind-the-scenes look at the film's alien autopsy while watching the movie.
Verdict: Forget Me
Hall Pass: Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis play best pals whose wives (Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate, respectively) give them a week off marriage in the latest Farrelly brothers comedy. The guys have been out of the dating scene for years and it takes them a while to get their game back, but things get out of control when their wives start feeding the cougar within. Wilson seems to sleepwalk through this mostly flaccid affair about marrieds in a rut—available in its theatrical version and an extended cut—that has exactly two LOL moments: one that involves two penises of vastly different sizes and another with explosive diarrhea. Yeah, this isn't highbrow humor.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a deleted scene; the BD adds a gag reel.
Verdict: Rent Me (if you giggle when you read the word "fart")
Red Riding Hood: Are you a fan of director Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight, which features lots of longing looks and pregnant pauses between its two pretty leads with an occasional CG-generated wolf thrown in? If so, her update of the classic fairytale with Amanda Seyfried as the lady in red and Shiloh Fernandez as her handsome suitor might awaken the screaming teen girl within. It seems a werewolf is terrorizing Seyfried's village and she suspects it could be someone she loves. With what big teeth everyone has (great dentists a few hundred years ago!) it will be difficult to find out, but in between there are lots of longing looks, pregnant pauses, bad CG-generated wolves and even some PG-13 heavy petting to keep the Twilight crowd distracted from texting during the movie. The film's best moment comes during a pagan-like town dance around the fire to the tune of Fever Ray's haunting "The Wolf."
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain an alternate ending, several making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes footage, a gag reel and two music videos.
Verdict: Rent Me (if you have XX chromosomes and have not yet graduated high school).
Also New This Week: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Boondock Saints: Truth and Justice Edition (BD), Jackass 3.5: The Unrated Movie, Johnny Mnemonic (BD), The Glades: The Complete First Season, Legend of the First: The Return of Chen Zhen, Kill the Irishman, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Ultimate Edition (BD), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Ultimate Edition (BD), The Cincinnati Kid (BD), Heavy Metal (BD, formerly a Best Buy exclusive) and Supernatural: The Complete Second Season (BD)