PopMatters is moving to WordPress in December. We will continue to publish on this site as we work on the move. We aim to make it a seamless experience for readers.

Featured: Top of Home Page

'Meatballs,' 'Cheaper by the Dozen 2' lead new Blu-ray titles

Doug Nye
McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)

An animated movie based on a popular kids' book, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" (Sony, 2009, $39.95), and a well-done sequel, "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" (20th Century Fox, 2005, $29.99), top the latest releases on Blu-ray.

"Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" is about Flint Lockwood, who lives in Swallow Falls, a town located on an island in the Atlantic. The town's big business is canning sardines and shipping them everywhere. Then the factory shuts down and the people in Swallow Falls are left with a diet of nothing but sardines.

Flint, an inventor, is going to remedy the situation. He plans to make a machine that turns water into made-to-order food. Never mind that his previous inventions, such as spray-on shoes and a remote control that causes the TV to walk over to the viewer so he or she can change the channel, were failures.

However, this one actually works. After a rough start, the machine launches a huge cloud and it starts raining cheeseburgers. The citizens of Swallow Falls are ecstatic to be able to eat something besides sardines. Soon, Flint has other foods pouring down on the population.

It's a fun film for all ages. Besides the Blu-ray disc, a regular DVD and a digital copy of the film also are included. Recommended.

"Cheaper by the Dozen 2" is a worthy sequel to the 2003 hit. Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt reprise their roles of Tom and Kate Baker, who oversee a brood of 12 children. Things are changing, however. Their oldest daughters are getting ready to fly the coop. Lorraine (Hilary Duff) is headed for New York and pregnant daughter Nora (Piper Perabo) and her husband are moving to Houston.

Tom thinks it would be great if the whole family spent one more summer vacation together at Lake Winnekta, Wis. After some coaxing, they all agree. It's been a while since they have been there. They're stunned to see how rundown the cabin is that they so fondly remembered. But the cheerful Tom is determined to make the best of it.

Then he discovers that his old rival Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) and his wife, Sabrina (Carmen Electra), along with their eight kids, are staying in the huge, sparkling cabin across the lake. As both families try to enjoy themselves, the old rivalry between Tom and Jimmy flares anew.

This is a funny and often warm family film. Recommended.

Other Blu-ray releases:

"The Green Berets" (Warner Brothers, 1968, $28.99): It could be argued that only someone who grew up after the Vietnam War era could give an unbiased review of this film. Many of us were affected by that controversial period and it colors the way we look at John Wayne's attempt to make a pro-American movie about the conflict. I tried to be as objective as possible. The combat sequences are well done and effective. It's difficult to criticize Wayne, who co-directed and starred, for loving his country, which was his motivation for making "The Green Berets." The truth is, the film is pretty routine and contains just about every war-movie cliche you can think of, including the soldier who is killed the night before he is scheduled to go home. David Janssen plays the skeptical newspaper reporter who eventually comes to support the war. Also in the cast are Jim Hutton, Aldo Ray and George Takei.

"Battlestar Galactica: Season 1" (Universal, 2004-05, $89.98): Edward James Olmos stars as Admiral William Adama and Mary McDonnell stars as President Laura Roslin. The war with the Cylons has ended and the 12 colonies have been destroyed. Now a group of refugees aboard the Battlestar Galactica flee across space searching for a supposed 13th colony known as Earth. Meanwhile, the Cylons attempt to overtake them. Includes 13 episodes on four discs. Recommended.

"Riding Giants" (Sony, 2004, $24.95): This is an absorbing and exciting documentary that tells the story of big-wave surfing. Even those who have never been on a surfboard will find this worth watching. Director Stacy Peralla uses vintage and contemporary footage to chronicle the exploits of pioneer surfers and today's top wave riders. Among them is Greg Noll, nicknamed "The Bull," who became a legend in Hawaii. There's much, much more. It's spectacular in high definition. Recommended.

"Chuck: The Complete Second Season" (Warner Brothers, 2008-09, $69.97): Secret agent Chuck Bartkowski (Zachary Levi) is back for another round of comedy and action. Yvonne Strahovksi returns as Sarah Walker. This has the 3-D episode of "Chuck Versus the Third Dimension." A pair of 3-D glasses are included. It's 22 episodes on six discs.

"10 Things I Hate About You: Special Edition" (Walt Disney, 1999, $29.99): This supposedly is the high school version of Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew." In this one, Patrick (Heath Ledger) and Kat (Julia Stiles) square off against each other while falling in love.

"Dogtown and Z-Boys" (Sony, 2001, $24.95): Sean Penn narrates this documentary about the evolution of skateboarding, which features kids from the tough Dogtown neighborhood of Venice, Calif. They supposedly took the sport to another level. It includes vintage footage as well as interviews with skateboarding legends.

"The Final Destination 3-D" (New Line, 2009, $35.99): Here's another entry in the bloody "Final Destination" series with both 3-D and 2-D versions. The 3-D isn't bad, especially if you don't mind body parts being hurled at you from the screen.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Books

The Power of Restraint in Sophie Yanow, Paco Roca, and Elisa Macellari's New Graphic Novels

The magical quality that makes or breaks a graphic novel lies somewhere in that liminal space in which art and literature intersect.

Books

'People of the City' Is an Unrelenting Critique of Colonial Ideology and Praxis

Cyprian Ekwensi's People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism's reign.

Music

1979's 'This Heat' Remains a Lodestone for Avant-Rock Adventure

On their self-titled debut, available for the first time on digital formats, This Heat delivered an all-time classic stitched together from several years of experiments.

Film

'The Edge of Democracy' and Parallels of Political Crises

Academy Award-nominated documentary The Edge of Democracy, now streaming on Netflix, lays bare the political parallels of the rise of Bolsonaro's Brazil with Trump's America.

Music

The Pogues' 'The BBC Sessions 1984-1986' Honors Working-Class Heroes

The Pogues' BBC Sessions 1984-1986 is a welcome chapter in the musical story of these working-class heroes, who reminded listeners of the beauty and dignity of the strong, sooty backs upon which our industrialized world was built.

Music

Mary Halvorson Creates Cacophony to Aestheticize on 'Artlessly Falling'

Mary Halvorson's Artlessly Falling is a challenging album with tracks comprised of improvisational fragments more than based on compositional theory. Halvorson uses the various elements to aestheticize the confusing world around her.

Music

15 Overlooked and Underrated Albums of the 1990s

With every "Best of the '90s" retrospective comes a predictable list of entries. Here are 15 albums that are often overlooked as worthy of placing in these lists, and are too often underrated as some of the best records from the decade.

Books

'A Peculiar Indifference' Takes on Violence in Black America

Pulitzer Prize finalist Elliott Currie's scrupulous investigation of the impacts of violence on Black Americans, A Peculiar Indifference, shows the damaging effect of widespread suffering and identifies an achievable solution.

Music

20 Songs From the 1990s That Time Forgot

Rather than listening to Spotify's latest playlist, give the tunes from this reminiscence of lost '90s singles a spin.

Film

Delightful 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' Is Good Escapism

Now streaming on Amazon Prime, Bharat Nalluri's 2008 romantic comedy, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, provides pleasant respite in these times of doom and gloom.

Film

The 10 Best Horror Movie Remakes

The horror genre has produced some remake junk. In the case of these ten treats, the update delivers something definitive.

Television

Flirting with Demons at Home, or, When TV Movies Were Evil

Just in time for Halloween, a new Blu-ray from Kino Lorber presents sparkling 2K digital restorations of TV movies that have been missing for decades: Fear No Evil (1969) and its sequel, Ritual of Evil (1970).

Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.

Music

Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.

Music

Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.

Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.