This week: Another TV shows gets a big-screen upgrade, little yellow Minions plot to steal the moon, Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg do the buddy-cop thing and more.
The Town: Why is Ben Affleck's Boston bank-robber opus coming out on Friday instead of Tuesday? Because it tries to break all the rules and, for the most part, succeeds admirably. (Read the full review with extras info in Disc-y Business tomorrow.)
The Other Guys: Fearless detectives Danson (Dwayne Johnson) and Highsmith (Samuel L. Jackson) are the envy of the police department and are idolized by paper-pushing forensic accountant Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) and dim-witted detective Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg). This amusing action-comedy that focuses on the guys in the background succeeds where Kevin Smith's Cop Out failed. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain deleted and extended scenes, "Bed Bath and Way Beyond" and "Crash and Burn!;" the BD adds interviews with cast and crew, a gag reel, a collection of improvised lines that didn't make the cut, "Pimps Don't Cry" music video and several other goofy shorts. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me
The A-Team: Pity the fool who is an action fan and missed this big-screen interpretation of the '80s TV show featuring four soldiers of fortune framed for a crime they didn't commit. This update starring Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Sharlto Copley and Quinton Jackson (with Jessica Biel tossed in for a much-needed feminine touch) doesn't reinvent the wheel but will fulfill your red-meat nutritional requirements for the week. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray have commentary by director Joe Carnahan and a mash-up montage; the BD adds deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me
Despicable Me: Someday animators will deviate from the tried-and-true Pixar School of Design and explore the almost limitless possibilities that animation provides. Until then we'll have more cutesy animated films that borrow heavily from Pixar, like the yellow Minions featured in Universal's Despicable Me that help the wicked Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) plan his heist to steal the moon. The enjoyable, if un-revolutionary, kiddie flick comes in three flavors: DVD, Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain making-of and behind-the-scenes treats as well as three all-new mini-movies featuring the Minions, available for a limited time; the BD adds "Gru-Control"—enhanced picture-in-picture access to production footage while watching the movie. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (out Fri., Dec. 17): Now, this beautifully animated avian epic is an example of what animation can accomplish when a filmmaker's vision extends beyond making cutesy characters that will translate into plush toys and other marketable merchandise. Zack Snyder, the guy who brought us 300 and Watchmen, directs this film about two bands of battling owls based on Kathryn Lasky’s hugely successful book series. There are some near-mystical moments here (owls soar in slow motion while battling to the tune of an eerie Dead Can Dance song) and the details on the birds are remarkable on Blu-ray. The movie is also available on DVD and a Blu-ray 3D, although the 3D effect on the latter isn't exploited to its full potential. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "True Guardians of the Earth" and the Looney Tunes short "Fur of Flying;" the BD adds a music video, artwork galleries, interactive challenges and more. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Buy Me
Nanny McPhee Returns: The uni-browed, mole-faced titular nanny played by Emma Thompson is back in this sequel to help another family deal with a brood of unruly children. This time it's Maggie Gyllenhaal who is at her wits' end dealing with her three precocious children while her husband is off at war. This family film is a wonderfully crafted exercise in what children enjoy seeing on-screen, if you're into that sort of thing. Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain commentary, deleted scenes, cast-and-crew interviews, a featurette on the movie's burping crow, a look at Thompson's makeup routine and more. Blu-ray Bob's Verdict: Rent Me (if your own precocious kids just aren't adorable enough)
Also New This Week: 24: Season 8, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Mother and Child, Micmacs, True Grit (1969) (Blu-ray)