Madagascar 3: Europe?s Most Wanted (Blu-ray) Criticize This! Pick of the Week ? As a parent of a 5-year-old son I?ve watched a lot of animated films over the last few years. Some, such as Animals United or Open Season, get one or two viewings before being forgotten for good. A select few, however, get watched over and over again. Some of these include Cars, Rango, and the Madagascar films. And while I know the kid loves them, I personally find Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa both very entertaining films that are just as much for adults as they are for kids. Madagascar 3: Europe?s Most Wanted continues this trend and is the best of the bunch when it comes to the fun factor. Even after seeing it once in the theatre and a few times at home already, the film continues to please not only my son, but the whole family. Featuring the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, and Martin Short. The Blu-ray features an outstanding 1080p image that truly highlights the gorgeous animation. The 7.1 Dolby TrueHD surround mix is also spectacular and will give your home theatre a nice workout. Special features include deleted scenes, audio commentary with directors Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon, a roundtable interview with some of the actors, a trivia track, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy are also included. Film **** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).
Moonrise Kingdom (Blu-ray) ? I was highly anticipating Wes Anderson?s Moonrise Kingdom and expected to fully love it. And while there is much to like about it, compared to Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums, two of my favourite Anderson films, it doesn?t come close to being as good or memorable. The film follows two young lovers as they run away together causing everyone in the small New England town they live to panic. It?s a quirky story that gets old fast, but thanks to some great performances from newcomers Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, as well as Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Frances McDormand, the film is very watchable and if you?re an Anderson fan you?ll most likely get something out of it. Whether I?d ever watch it again is something I can?t imagine happening though. The Blu-ray looks and sounds great, but is not required viewing. Special features include a set tour with Bill Murray, making-of featurettes, and more. A regular DVD is also included. Film *** Blu-ray *** (out of 5 stars).
The Santa Clause Trilogy (Blu-ray) ? I don?t remember hearing anyone ever say ?When will The Santa Clause trilogy be out on Blu-ray?? I guess there was some demand for it as Disney has put together a nice little box set of the three ridiculous films. Don?t get me wrong, I actually enjoy the first two films. Yeah, they?re juvenile and Tim Allen gets a bit annoying at times, but they succeed at putting me in the Christmas spirit and are decent, family-oriented flicks. The third is something else altogether as it adds Jack Frost (Martin Short) and just becomes extremely stupid and irritating (and might be the reason they ended the series after it). So, yeah, the box set is nice and the films all look and sound great on Blu-ray. Not something you need to run out and buy, but if you don?t own them and want them on your shelf, you might as well pick this set up in time for Christmas. Each film is loaded with multiple special features to keep you busy all winter long. Box set *** (out of 5 stars).
Chernobyl Diaries (Blu-ray) ? My tolerance for shaky-cam horror movies is pretty high and I?ll give most a fair chance. Chernobyl Diaries was just a downright waste of time and space and all copies should be dumped in nuclear waste and wiped from the face of the Earth for good. Avoid this film at all cost and you?ll be better off for it. Releasing this junk on Blu-ray is even more useless than making the film in the first place. Special features include an alternate ending, additional scene, and more. A regular DVD and digital copy are included as well. Film * Blu-ray * (out of 5 stars).
Also available to Watch @ Home this week is?That?s My Boy, starring Adam Sandler, Red Lights, starring Cillian Murphy, Robert De Niro, and Sigourney Weaver, and Pete?s Dragon comes to Blu-ray for the first time.
Top image: A scene from Madagascar 3: Europe?s Most Wanted. Courtesy Paramount Home Entertainment.