From Steve Carell and Tina Fey’s not-so-madcap adventures in Date Night to the Criterion edition of the landmark comic documentary Crumb, here’s a look at the great and the less-than-great films out on DVD and Blu-ray this week.
NBC sitcom stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey play a dishwater-dull suburban couple who get caught up in an evening’s worth of shoot-outs and other supposedly exciting things too boring to mention. We couldn’t find hardly anything nice to say about this action comedy, calling it a “boring movie made for boring couples who want to be told that not only is it okay to be boring but it actually makes you better than everyone else.”
Zwigoff’s landmark 1995 documentary about America’s comics
genius R. Crumb — back then we said it was an “eye-popping shocker,
delving unflinchingly into questions of Crumb’s hatred of females,
questions of racism, his traumatic childhood, and his extremely twisted
family” — gets a welcome Criterion release, including nearly an hour of
unused footage and commentaries from Zwigoff and Roger Ebert.
Death at a Funeral
In what should have been a home run, director Neil LaBute rounds up a stellar cast — Danny Glover, Chris Rock, Peter Dinklage, Tracy Morgan — for this remake of the 2007 British comedy about raucously inappropriate goings-on at a funeral. All the subtlety and dark humor of the original is lost, our critic thought, in a cliche-ridden film that “becomes its own unwelcome wake.”
David Duchovny and Demi Moore play a conspicuously consuming suburban couple in this comedy with a smart satirical twist: the Joneses are actually not a family but a living, breathing product placement. Though our critic thought the story eventually succumbed to some soap-opera-style plot twists, the film as a whole was an “interesting cross of market research and social experimentation.”
The Good Heart
Brian Cox plays a wisdom-spouting, almost-dead old bartender who befriends a depressed and homeless Paul Dano in this talky, Soho-bar-set drama. Our critic took a shine to the two leads — previously paired in Michael Cuesta’s dark L.I.E. — and was moderately impressed with the film overall, saying “even when it’s slumming in sentimentality, it never offers you exactly what you’re expecting, and that is admirable.”