[caption id="attachment_153522" align="alignleft" width="300"] Summit[/caption]
This week: It's a not-so-classic case of zombie (Nicholas Hoult) meets girl (Teresa Palmer) and how their burgeoning love might save the world in the sleeper zombie rom-com hit "Warm Bodies."
Also new this week is Bruce Willis back as John McClane (in theory) in "A Good Day to Die Hard," Jason Bateman tracking down Melissa McCarthy in the comedy "Identity Thief" and a new Blu-ray collection of the "Mad Max" trilogy.
[caption id="attachment_179821" align="alignright" width="220"] Summit[/caption]
Box Office: $66 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 80% Fresh
Storyline: After a zombie epidemic decimates the population, the unusual zombie R (Nicholas Hoult) rescues human Julie (Teresa Palmer) from a zombie attack and keeps her safe in his makeshift house at the airport. As the two fall for each other, R becomes increasingly human and the duo tries to convince Julie's military-officer father (John Malkovich) that there might be a way for humans and zombies to peacefully co-exist.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain over three-and-a-half hours of behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentaries, including pieces on the makeup effects, shooting in an abandoned airport, the stunts, the visual effects to create the "Boneys," deleted scenes, a gag reel and a collection of Palmer's home videos from the set.
We Say: This surprisingly insightful look at a modern world in which people are losing touch with their humanity and becoming zombies is not your average zom rom-com. People looking for "Walking Dead"-type undead action are going to be disappointed because the zombie makeup here is pretty "Halloween aisle" and the CGI Boneys look like nothing more than video game skeletons. However, as far as romance is concerned, Hoult and Palmer have real chemistry together and their unusual love story charms. "Warm Bodies" puts a postapocalyptic zombie twist on the classic "Beauty and the Beast" tale and might just warm the bodies of some viewers.
'A Good Day to Die Hard'
[caption id="attachment_179818" align="alignright" width="220"] Fox[/caption]
Box Office: $67 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 15% Rotten
Storyline: John McClane (Bruce Willis) still has a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time in this fifth "Die Hard" movie. This time John travels to Russia to reconnect with his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), a CIA agent who's been in an undercover operation for the past three years. Father and son get caught up in the daring prison escape of a rogue Russian leader and must work together to keep each other — and democracy itself — alive.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain numerous making-of and behind-the-scenes featurettes, including "Making It Hard to Die," "Anatomy of a Car Chase," "Two of a Kind," "Back in Action," "Maximum McClane" as well as deleted scenes and a photo gallery.
We Say: This just isn't the same wisecracking John McClane from the first three "Die Hard" movies. This is simply Bruce Willis tossed into a bombastic big-budget action movie and, in that sense, it delivers with its car-crunching highway chase and the explosive helicopter sequence in the finale. Courtney, the new kid on the action block after also appearing in "Jack Reacher," is a welcome presence, but you won't be screaming "yippie ki-yay" for his cinematic papa — the John McClane we knew died hard on screen at least one sequel ago.
[caption id="attachment_179819" align="alignright" width="220"] Universal[/caption]
Box Office: $134 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 20% Rotten
Storyline: Unlimited funds have allowed "Diana" (Melissa McCarthy) to finance her life on the outskirts of Orlando by stealing people's identities and credit card info from around the country. One of those people is Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman), an accounts rep who lives halfway across the U.S. and has one week to track down the con artist before his world implodes. Will Sandy lasso Diana and drag her back home in time to clear his name?
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray have a gag reel and a making-of featurette. Blu-ray exclusives include alternate takes, "The Skiptracers' Van Tour" featuring co-star Robert Patrick mostly in character and a short featurette on the chemistry between McCarthy and Bateman. Both formats contain the theatrical R-rated version as well as a longer unrated cut.
We Say: This inexplicable blockbuster is busting out with a lot of obnoxious laugh-at-the-fat-chick's-expense humor that should be beneath McCarthy. Bateman does his patented "quietly outraged" schtick that worked so well on "Arrested Development," the new season of which is now available on Netflix. In fact, give that a spin instead of this implausible farce in which the victim develops feelings for the woman who guiltlessly stole from him and almost ruined his life.
'Mad Max' Trilogy Blu-ray
[caption id="attachment_179820" align="alignright" width="220"] Warner Bros.[/caption]
Box Office: $69 million (domestic total for three movies)
Rotten Tomatoes: "Mad Max" (90% Fresh), "The Road Warrior" (100% Fresh), "Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome" (81% Fresh)
Storyline: This Blu-ray box set bundles together all three dystopian action classics: 1979's "Mad Max," 1981's "The Road Warrior" and 1985's "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome," all starring Mel Gibson as the titular Main Force Patrol (MFP) officer turned renegade loner in the lawless Australian Outback where marauders terrorize survivors for supplies and gasoline. The first two movies have been available as stand-alone Blu-rays for some time, but this is the first time "Thunderdome" has been released in high definition.
Extras!: All three movies are packaged in a Blu-ray case encased in a handsome metal tin. The first two movies have the same sparse bonus features as the stand-alone Blu-rays: "Mad Max" has a commentary and the "Mad Max: The Film Phenomenon" featurette; "The Road Warrior" has a commentary and introduction by Leonard Maltin. You'd think the studio could have at least thrown on Tina Turner's "We Don't Need Another Hero" music video on the "Beyond Thunderdome" Blu-ray, but the only extra included is the film's trailer.
We Say: "Mad Max" is the movie that made Gibson a star, and it's easy to see why. Who else could play someone whose anger has pushed him to the fringe of society? These classics still hold up today, especially "The Road Warrior" with one of the most extraordinary highway chases ever put on film. Although the lack of supplements is disappointing, all three of these movies are worth dusting off again and again on Blu-ray.
Also New This Week:
Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection
"The Odd Couple" Blu-ray
"The Shadow" Blu-ray