[caption id="attachment_139449" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Weinstein Co.[/caption]
This week: The romantic comedy gets an Oscar-winning upgrade with "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
Also new this week is Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in the police drama "Broken City," Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand in the road-trip comedy "The Guilt Trip" and the coming-of-age rock 'n' roll drama "Not Fade Away."
'Silver Linings Playbook'
[caption id="attachment_175594" align="alignright" width="220"] The Weinstein Company[/caption]
Box Office: $131 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh
Storyline: This acclaimed David O. Russell romantic comedy stars Bradley Cooper as Pat Solatano, a guy who just got out of an eight-month stay at a psychiatric institution and has moved back in with this parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver). Pat is hell-bent on reuniting with his estranged wife; his parents just want him to share their obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles and get back on his feet. Pat then meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young woman with emotional problems of her own. Tiffany offers to help Pat reunite with his wife if he will train for a dance competition with her, resulting in an unexpected bond as well as silver linings in both of their lives.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray have deleted scenes, the modestly titled "'Silver Linings Playbook': The Movie That Became a Movement," dance rehearsal footage and "Going Steadicam with Bradley Cooper." The Blu-ray adds "Q&A Highlights" and "Learn to Dance Like Pat and Tiffany."
We Say: If you took away Cooper and Lawrence and the whole bipolar plot device, this would be a formulaic rom-com right down to the guy chasing the girl who doesn't think he loves her down the street. However, thanks to the charming performances of its two leads and the talented supporting cast, the movie got nominated for eight Oscars and Lawrence took home a little gold man for Best Actress. It's a testament to the triumph of expert casting, and romantic types will go a little crazy for it … just like Tiffany and Pat.
[caption id="attachment_175591" align="alignright" width="220"] Fox[/caption]
Box Office: $19.7 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 30% Rotten
Storyline: Mark Wahlberg plays Billy Taggart, an ex-cop turned private investigator who is hired by the popular NYC mayor (Russell Crowe) — who spared Billy a long prison stretch years earlier for a controversial shooting — to obtain evidence that the mayor's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair. When her suspected lover winds up dead, Billy realizes that he's been set up and that the mayor's motives run far deeper than expected in this crime drama directed by Allen Hughes.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain an alternate ending, deleted/extended scenes and the "Putting It All Together" documentary about the making of the movie.
We Say: This procedural modern noir never really excites nor titillates despite a talented cast. "Broken City" tries to be an old-fashioned crime thriller, but it just meanders in its cliches and leaves many questions unanswered by the time Crowe gets his just desserts.
'The Guilt Trip'
[caption id="attachment_175592" align="alignright" width="220"] Paramount[/caption]
Box Office: $37.1 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 37% Rotten
Storyline: Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) is an inventor who brings him mom (Barbra Streisand) along on a cross-country road trip as he tries to sell his latest invention: an environmentally friendly cleaning product. Andy doesn't really want his recently widowed mom along for the ride, but he brings her so he can try to reunite her with her long-lost first love. Over the 3,000 miles of changing landscape, Andy realizes he has more in common with his mom than he thought in this PG-13 comedy directed by Anne Fletcher.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray have several behind-the-scenes featurettes with Rogen and Streisand, plus alternate openings, an alternate ending, deleted scenes and a gag reel.
We Say: Even though "The Guilt Trip" is based on a real trip screenwriter Dan Fogelman took with his mom from New Jersey to Las Vegas, the movie runs out of comic fuel fast when you grow tired of Streisand's neurotic yammering. Hold out to see her participate in a Texan steak-eating contest, though, for one of the movie's few big laughs.
'Not Fade Away'
[caption id="attachment_175593" align="alignright" width="220"] Paramount[/caption]
Box Office: $610,792
Rotten Tomatoes: 69% Fresh
Storyline: Set in suburban New Jersey in the 1960s, this R-rated drama directed by David Chase follows a group of friends that form a rock band and try to make it big. John Magaro, James Gandolfini, Bella Heathcote, Jack Huston, Dominique McElligott and Brad Garrett star.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "The Basement Tapes," "Building the Band" and deleted scenes.
We Say: The best coming-of-age stories are about dreaming and putting a life together, and this movie has that sentiment at its core while being a period piece about rock n' roll on the surface. It feels authentic; the '60s details are spot-on, there are some spirited musical number and it makes for a bit of a homecoming for "The Sopranos" creator Chase as he returns to New Jersey and brings along Gandolfini.
Also New This Week:
"Funny Girl" Blu-ray
"Strictly Ballroom" Blu-ray
"Night of the Scarecrow"
"The Enforcer" Blu-ray