DVDs of the week: Get Smart with Kung Fu Panda
Two big films release on DVD and both are solid additions. Kung Fu Panda and Get Smart are at polar opposites of the comic spectrum, but both share similar attributes and extras.
Kung Fu Panda is furiously funnyJack Black, Angelina Jolie and Dustin Huffman bring the martial arts to life in this animated treat from DreamWorks.
Black plays Po, a panda who longs to be a Kung Fu master. Kung Fu Panda was an enormous box office hit in the early summer and with the DVD's release, it is easy to see why.
Kung Fu Panda is equally fun as it is comical and inspiring. Rarely have animators showed Asian cultures as brilliantly in animation as is seen in Kung Fu Panda.
What is especially thrilling about the Kung Fu Panda release is it comes with an accompanying movie premiere. Secrets of the Furious Five follow Jack Black and his band of merry warriors as they continue the adventures began in Kung Fu Panda.
This entire package is a pure delight for the entire family. Extras on both discs are both entertaining and enlightening. Want to learn the Dumpling Shuffle? No problem, the full steps are in living color on the Furious Five DVD extras.
The Kung Fu Panda DVD itself is also a marvel of home video packaging. Loaded with extras, the highlights include the Dragon Warrior Training Academy and a fab Food Network piece on creating the finest noodle recipes.
Our only improvement is if audiences are treated to another visit to the world of Kung Fu Panda - give Angelina Jolie's character a little more to do!
Getting Smart with Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway and 62% more laughsSure, how often does a comedy DVD yield truth on its claim that it is funnier than the theatrical version? If it was so funny, why didn't you include it in the film in the first place!
With that said Get Smart lands on DVD this week and with the promised 62 percent more humor in the hands of one Steve Carell, consider the work done.
Anne Hathaway also stars as Agent 99 and if you were a fan of the original show from the '60s, you may feel a little off. But, go with it, Get Smart is great fun in a manner mirroring the original. Instead of pure deadpan, with Carell, audiences get a Maxwell Smart who is a tad suave in his ineptitude.
Although the age difference is clear, the sparks between Carell and Hathaway work. Her Agent 99 is the experienced field operative to his neophyte and the age difference is why so much of their chemistry is comic.
This is a comedy, but the sense of spy realism is still high, as it should be with a Get Smart vehicle. Illustrating the seriousness of that point is one of the extras on Get Smart called The Right Agent for the Right Job giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at the training of Carell and Hathaway to portray CIA-type agents.
And again, given that the star of this film is Steve Carell, the gag reel on the DVD extras is a must. Frankly, watch that first and then enjoy the film!