New on DVD

2013-11-21T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T10:40:23Z New on DVDThe Washington Post Arizona Daily Star
November 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

“We’re the Millers” (R, 109 minutes, Warner): There’s nothing special about this raunchy, druggy, profanity-laced comedy, a movie made to exploit the hard-R successes of “The Hangover” and “Bridesmaids,” but it would be dishonest to claim it isn’t funny. The laughs may come in fits and starts, usually by way of sight gags and set pieces, but they do come. Jason Sudeikis plays David, a middle-aged pot dealer whose career as easygoing weed man takes a turn when his boss (Ed Helms) forces him to travel to Mexico and bring back “a smidge” of marijuana. David lights on the idea of making the run in an RV while impersonating the clean-cut dad of an all-American family. He enlists a stripper named Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a runaway named Casey (Emma Roberts) and his young neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) to scrub up and pretend they can stand one another. “We’re the Millers” is machined for maximum exploitation, whether it’s Aniston showcasing her killer bod or Sudeikis’ bland affability juxtaposed against a stream of f-bombs and coarse, crass one-liners.

“Planes” (PG, 92 mintues, Disney): A plucky crop duster (voice of Dane Cook) desperately wants to compete in an international air race and prove he’s capable of achieving great speed. This pleasant yet bland DisneyToon Studios production is a spinoff of Pixar’s “Cars” and its sequel, “Cars 2.” “Planes” features some genuinely exhilarating scenes, and its message about pursuing big dreams — the only kind of dreams, by the way, that a crop duster with people eyes can have —is unobjectionable, but also uninspired. Contains mild action and rude humor. Extras: deleted scenes; a behind-the-scenes featurette on director Klay Hall’s personal journey during the making of the film, including his family connection to aviation; “Meet the Racers” featurettes introducing four of the main characters; “Franz’s Song” music video; and “Top 10 Flyers,” a look at the 10 greatest aviators in history hosted by ESPN’s Colin Cowherd.

“The To Do List” (R, 104 minutes, CBS Films): Just as “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” proved women can excel in buddy comedies, “The To Do List” establishes that female characters in a teen sex farce can be as vulgar, one-track-minded and hilarious as guys. The uproarious first feature from writer-director Maggie Carey is set in the 1990s and follows Brandy (Aubrey Plaza), a recent high school grad whose type A approach to academics lands her valedictorian honors and admission to Georgetown University. Failure has never been an option for Brandy, so when she realizes she’s been a dunce at making-out, she remedies the situation the only way she knows how. She opens her Trapper Keeper and charts the sexual skills she has yet to master. And with a little work, by summer’s end, she will no longer be a virgin. With the help of her promiscuous sister Amber (Rachel Bilson), Brandy comes up with a list, most of which the academic superstar doesn’t understand (and nearly all of which can’t be printed here). This being before the age of Internet enlightenment, the former mathlete must rely on an encyclopedia, the library and her best friends to decipher the meanings of the occasionally elegant-sounding euphemisms.

“2 Guns” (R, 109 minutes, Universal): Big guns, cool cars, tough talk and hats rule the day in this action comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington in which the chemistry between the two stars packs far more heat than the explosions. Playing bank robbers with a hidden agenda, Wahlberg and Washington bang-bang their way into our hearts and each other’s. Still, “2 Guns” depends on your acceptance of guns used as props, fetishes, phallic symbols and, most tastelessly, jokes. If the reckless gunplay is offensive, the verbal repartee is too often stale (i.e., a running gag involving police officers and doughnuts). Along with the slow-motion gun fights, over-the-top truck chases, brutal torture involving a baseball bat and an angry bull, and an over-arching tone of crass cynicism, “2 Guns” feels like it’s all been done before.

“The World’s End” (R, 101 minutes, Universal): We’ve seen the world crumble in previous films, but never has the breakdown of social order been depicted with as much wit. Director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost first broke out with the zombie rom-com “Shaun of the Dead” (2004). “The World’s End” merges the Armageddon genre with an arrested-male-adolescent trope into a sci-fi, coming-of-middle-age, apocalyptica-comedy. “The World’s End” understands that entering one’s 40s often feels like the end of the world, so it asks, “Hey, what if after hitting 40, it turned out the world actually was ending?” It’s a twisted, boozy, tongue-in-cheek window into the early-’90s nostalgic soul of Generation X. No Gen Xer is more nostalgic for the early ‘90s than 40-something Gary King (Pegg), the alcoholic misfit at the heart of “The World’s End.” Gary has not moved beyond the night that he and his buddies attempted a pub crawl but failed to make it to their final destination, a bar called the World’s End. More than two decades later, Gary persuades his more mature friends (Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan) to return to Newton Haven, England, and complete the crawl.

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