The World's End - Focus Features - Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD
Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan. Full cast + crew
The World's End is Edgar Wright's best film to date. That's probably not the popular opinion (most would say it's still Shaun of the Dead), but it really is Wright and cowriter-star Simon Pegg perfecting their formula of injecting real heart into fantastical stories. It's actually kind of surprising how emotionally mature The World's End is. That's not to imply that Wright's other films are some how immature, it just happens to be the case here that the character work comes first, and the sci-fi story second. And the result isn't just his best film, but it also features the finest performances of Pegg and Nick Frost's careers, too. If you think they're just funny dorks who are good at bumbling into each other, their work here will make you take them seriously.
And that's not to make The World's End sound like a super-serious movie, it's just mighty impressive how all involved can use the cover of an alien-invasion movie to deliver a sweet, genuine, and somewhat heartbreaking story of dying friendships and the meaning of life.
Special Features: Commentary with Wright and Simon Pegg; commentary with Wright and cinematographer Bill Pope; commentary with Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine; storyboard picture-in-picture mode; "Completing the Golden Mile: The Making of The World's End" (48 minutes), a rather thorough look at the making of the film; "Filling in the Blanks: The Stunts and FX of The World's End" (28 minutes), does exactly what the title says; Another 30-plus minutes of deleted scenes, makeup tests and other smaller featurettes.
Read our interview with Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost here.
2 Guns - Universal - Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD
Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Denzel Washington, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Fred Ward. Full cast + crew
Even though it did okay at the box office and with critics, it seemed like 2 Guns came and went this summer without much fanfare. Hopefully it finds a bigger life now that it's on home video, because this is one of the better buddy-cop comedies to come along in quite some time. Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg have a ton of great chemistry together, and they're also surrounded by a particularly strong supporting cast, with special kudos going out to Bill Paxton's truly memorable CIA agent. If you miss action movies that rely more on actors and a good mystery than CGI and over-the-top action scenes, 2 Guns is definitely for you.
Special Features: Commentary with Kormakur and producer Adam Siegel; deleted scenes; "The Good, the Bad, and the Sexy;" "Finding the Vibe;" "Living Dangerously"
Other Notable New Releases
Even though it's a spin-off from Cars, Planes is technically not a Pixar movie. It's actually a rare theatrical release from DisneyToon Studios, which is the straight-to-video branch of the Mouse House responsible for sequels like The Lion King 1 1/2 and Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. That should give you a pretty good idea as to the overall quality of the movie here. Productionwise, it's not a cheap-looking affair, but it's just an unexceptional movie. It's a fine, innocent enough distraction for young kids, but if you're an adult looking for Pixar-level storytelling, you won't find it here.
There are plenty of other adult-friendly films this week. If you like somewhat dirty comedies, you can go with both We're the Millers or The To Do List. The former is a studio comedy starring Jason Sudekis and Jennifer Anniston as two slackers posing as husband and wife to smuggle drugs. It's a pretty broad, silly comedy that never gets too edgy but is also raunchy enough to really earn an R rating. A little less goofy and a little more raunchy is The To Do List, starring Aubrey Plaza as a gal who wants to get in a ton of sexual experience before going off to college.
Horror fans who had HBO in the late '80s and early '90s will be thrilled to see Night of the Comet getting a nice, fancy Blu-ray release this week. I'm a big fan of this 1984 gem about the survivors of a comet that killed most of the people on Earth. It's got a great sense of humor, a fun cast, and it's awesomely '80s in the best ways possible without being the kind of movie that's only enjoyable as a piece of ironic nostalgia. This is a solid movie and if you've never seen it before, you should definitely correct that now.
And lastly we have Paranoia, which may satisfy the Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman fans in the crowd who will watch anything just to see their Air Force One reunion. Everyone else will just find a rather generic tech thriller.
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