If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Somewhere deep in the swirling mists of memory, the childhood emotional crisis I had watching Disney's "The Fox and the Hound" got mixed up in my recollections. In short, I spent the entire re-watch of the film waiting nervously for a cuddly animal death. While still darker than a lot of their other animated offerings (for a film that seems to skew very young, there's a lot of guns and dealing with the concept of death) I'm gonna spoil it for ya here and tell you that everything turns out all warm and fuzzy by the end. The upshot of the message here is, don't let your culture define who you can be friends with. I couldn't bring myself to watch the sequel (or midquel, a term I was unfamiliar with until now), included here as well, which tells a story from the carefree youth of the two animal friends, as it was a direct-to-video thing and, well, who cares, right? But the original is still a classic and looks mostly great with the HD transfer, albeit clearly not with as much perfection as we've come to expect from these Disney Blu-Ray releases. Sadly, you're not gonna find much worth looking at in the bonus features, even though there's two DVDs of them, and it's the kind of kiddie stuff you expect with lesser releases than Disney's. Even worse, they're almost all on the DVDs and not on the blu-ray. Not much of an upgrade, really, at all. Hey Disney, "The Fox and the Hound" might not be what YOU consider a prestige title from your vaults, but I certainly did. How about a little more respect next time?
--CLICK HERE TO BUY The Fox and the Hound / The Fox and the Hound Two
PAUL (Blu-Ray and DVD)
I hate it when a movie isn't as funny the second time. You might remember from our Spill review, I defended this film quite a bit against Korey and Leon who didn't care for it as much as I did. I mean, come on, it's a geek movie by geeks for geeks. That's me. Hell, it's got Simon Pegg and Nick Frost together in it: that alone should be a slam dunk, right? Well, not quite. The story has them as two brits doing a post-ComicCon tour of America's UFO hotspots in a rented RV, when they run into an actual alien, the titular Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen). He'd been around for a few decades, hanging out in the warehouse from the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark", giving the US government advice on technology, and Hollywood advice for entertainment. But, since they've largely exhausted what info he'd been willing to share, now it's dissection time. So Paul stole a car and escaped, and driving skills not being one of his advanced alien abilities (short legs, dontcha know), he hooks up with the two geeks to help him on his way to where his mother ship can come rescue him. A Blues Brothers-sized cadre of folks are hot on the heels of the trio, including Jason Bateman as a Man in Black government agent and his two lesser flunkies (Bill Hader and Jo Lo Truglio, and a freshly ex-religious nut and new love interest for Pegg (Kristin Wiig) whose still nutty father, played with effectively menacing intolerance by John Carroll Lynch, is determined to get his little girl back and destroy the demon. It's not that "Paul" isn't funny, especially to us geeks who its almost too specifically slated for. It's that it all too often falls back TOO heavily on referencing for the source of its humor, often throwing in jokes that are so out of place that you have to pause the film to go look them up to make sure they meant what you think they did (I'm looking at you, "Lorenzo's Oil" joke). It's clear that these two guys, when they're trying to make this sort of movie, might actually need the editorial voice of Edgar Wright, as director Greg Mottola doesn't seem to know when to say enough is enough. Even so, there's a lot to like here anyway, both in laughs and the amount of heart the movie has, and the blu-ray adds a sizable package of bonus features to make it worth the purchase.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Paul (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy)