First Posted: 6/5/2013
Romantic zombies, gun battles in Russia and an odd road trip are featured in this week’s new DVD releases.
• “WARM BODIES,” GRADE B-PLUS: The zombie love story introduces a new film genre: the zom rom com. It has all the leg shuffling, brain-eating fun of a horror film played out against a modern day “Romeo & Juliet” tale. The combination might sound as compatible as chicken and chocolate, but director Jonathan Levine makes the odd mix work.
“Warm Bodies” works because of Nicholas Hoult’s sweet and slightly silly performance. He plays R with the same nervousness, uncertainties and doubts many very alive teens face when they fall in love. His plight happens to be complicated by being dead, but under all that rotting flesh is a typical teenager.
• “A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD,” GRADE B: The plot has more holes than a 25-year-old pair of favorite socks. But just like those tattered toe covers, there is something fun about the latest in this long-running film series to make you glad it’s still around.
Bruce Willis dusts off the tough-guy attitude to reprise his most iconic role, detective John McClane — a man who always seems to be in the wrong place at the right time. This time, he travels to Russia in hopes of saving his estranged son, Jack (Jai Courtney), from a lifetime in prison. He ends up in the middle of a political and military mess — the norm for McClane.
Did we need another “Die Hard?” No. But as long as the action is this intense and superficially fun, then keep them coming.
• “IDENTITY THIEF,” GRADE F: Jason Bateman plays Sandy Patterson, a hot-shot accountant on the verge of making the biggest move in his career. He needs to advance because Patterson, his wife (Amanda Peet) and their two daughters live on a very tight budget. Patterson’s life goes into the financial toilet when Diana (Melissa McCarthy) steals his identity and goes on a spending spree.
The combination of cheap jokes, idiotic script and uninspired situations makes this the worst cross-country road movie since Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis teamed up for the 2010 disaster “Due Date.” Compared with “Identity Thief,” that clunker now looks like it was written by William Shakespeare.
ALSO NEW ON DVD THIS WEEK:
• “ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH”: An astronaut (Brendan Fraser) on the planet Baab goes on a daring mission.