Muppets and bears are the centerpieces of new Blu-Ray releases for the week of August 11.
Muppets Most Wanted – The Muppets go on a world tour, unaware that their new manager (Ricky Gervais) is in cahoots with an evil Kermit lookalike to steal valuable artifacts from every country they visit. Tina Fey and Ty Burrell co-star.
This sequel lacks the warm-hearted celebration of the Muppets that the previous film had. Instead, it goes for wackier, more out-there humor. (Kermit spends almost the entire movie in a Russian gulag – for real.) That proves a less successful approach, but there are still enough catchy songs and clever jokes to make it worth a look.
The bonus features are an extended cut that runs twelve minutes longer, a special “Statler & Waldorf” cut, a blooper reel, a music video, and a Rizzo the Rat feature.
Bears –The latest DisneyNature feature follows an Alaskan bear family through a year, as they search for food and attempt to survive numerous perils. It’s filled with fascinating, often breathtaking visuals that put you in very close proximity to these amazing creatures. Bears may be a little too scary for very young children, but older kids and adults will be enchanted.
The Blu-Ray comes with four separate mini-documentaries showing how the filmmakers achieved their remarkable, up-close footage. A music video is included as well.
A Haunted House 2 – Marlon Wayans returns for a sequel to his Paranormal Activity spoof. The first film trafficked in controversial humor that many critics found racially offensive and homophobic, so viewer discretion is advised.
Wayans, director Michael Tiddes, and co-writer Rick Alvarez provide audio commentary, and there are a series of deleted and extended scenes.
Rage – Nicolas Cage plays a reformed criminal who returns to his old ways when his daughter is kidnapped. Aside from being a fairly blatant Taken ripoff, Rage is badly acted and poorly plotted, with action scenes that are considerably less than exciting. It isn’t hard to see why the film got only a token theatrical release.
Supplements are five minutes of making-of footage, plus fifteen minutes of deleted scenes.
Also hitting shelves are Locke, a critically-acclaimed thriller starring Tom Hardy, Batman: Assault on Arkham, the latest DC Cinematic Universe direct-to-DVD feature, and Scream Factory’s collector’s edition of the great 1980 horror-comedy Motel Hell.
Which of this week’s new releases do you plan to buy or rent? Give us your picks in the comments section.