New on DVD this week:
- Snow White and the Huntsman is a fairy tale for grownups. The original Brothers Grimm fairy tale was all about poisonous combs and red-hot iron shoes and dancing until you died: there was no singing down a wishing well. This horror story centres on the evil queen (Charlize Theron), who sucks the life out of nubile young maidens in order to stay young. Snow White (Kristen Stewart) has been locked up in a tower since she was a little girl, but when she escapes one day, the queen sends a woodsman (Chris Hemsworth) into the dark forest to bring her back.
The extended edition is packed with extras including a 360-degree set tour, a piece on reinventing the fairy tale, commentary with director Rupert Sanders, editor and visual effects supervisor, and more.
- If you're not easily offended, then you will not mind a mockumentary that opens with an intro by Jesus, who then farts. Holy Flying Circus is a film based on the sectarian outrage that accompanied the opening of Monty Python's Life of Brian film in 1979. Actors play the parts of Cleese, Idle, Palin, Jones, Chapman and Gilliam expertly, as they battle incensed religious leaders for the right to screen the film, and engage in a healthy dose of Flying Circus silliness. A must-see for Python fans.
- So they made a movie out of the beloved board game Battleship? They laughed at the idea of a movie based on a theme-park ride, too, and look how rich it made Johnny Depp. But very high-tech swashbuckling is on the menu on the feature adaptation of Battleship, wherein aliens set their sights on earth. Alex Hopper (Taylor Kitsch) is the laziest naval officer around, and can't even muster the courage to ask for his girlfriend's (Brooklyn Decker) hand in marriage. (Before you judge him, the intimidating Liam Neeson is her dad.) Hopper's so lazy that he's about to be bounced out of the navy when alien crafts enter the atmosphere, taking out parts of Hong Kong, Scotland and Germany before docking in the Pacific. It's time for Hopper to grow up and to save the world, with a little help from Pvt. Rihanna.
If only someone could save us from the acting, bad across the board. While the aliens look a bit like Power Rangers, visual effects elsewhere are interesting, and lots of stuff blows up. Watch it for the pyrotechnics, or better yet, play the board game instead. But there are a wealth of special features on the blu-ray including alternate ending introduced by director Peter Berg, a VIP tour of the "American icon" USS Missouri, an extra on the visual effects, cast bios and much more.
- In case you missed it_ Season One of Grimm features a little lore and lots of gore. Portland detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli) discovers that he is descended from an ancient line of criminal profilers known as "Grimms," and it's his turn to take up the Grimm cause and keep the supernatural creatures of myth from colliding with the human world. All 22 NBC episodes are packaged with special features including The World of Grimm, deleted scenes, cast auditions, a makeup/costuming extra, and more.
- Joseph Cedar's Footnote was Israel's contender for Best Foreign Film this year. Eliezer and Uriel Shkolnik are father and son academics, professors of Talmudic studies. Eliezer has eschewed accolades in his field while his up-and-coming son works the system. But when the father mistakenly gets word that he'll receive the country's top academic prize, Uriel must decide whether to sacrifice his career for his father's happiness. "There are some things more important than the truth." A sharply written, superbly acted film about competition, loyalty and family.