The weekend of July 15, 2011 offers fresh DVD/ Blu-ray releases at Redbox, Netflix and OnDemand. Invite Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Russell Brand, Jennifer Garner, Helen Mirren, Matthew McConaughey or other stars home for a movie night or rock out with the likes of Celine Dion, Martina McBride, Train, Bob Dylan, David Bowie and more.
The movies currently ruling the DVD rental battle are recent releases Just Go With It, Beastly, Battle: Los Angeles, True Grit, Sanctum, No Strings Attached, I Am Number Four, The Dilemma, Gnomeo & Juliet and The Rite, in that order.
Here’s what’s new at your local or online video outlet:
Johnny Depp reunites with Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski for an animated movie like you’ve never seen. The title character, as voiced by Depp, is an adventurous pet lizard who is given the opportunity to experience thrills he’s been dreaming of and must summon the courage necessary to save a desert town and himself… Above all, Rango is riveting, rejuvenating and renders its audience left completely impressed… When Isla Fisher’s Beans brings Depp’s Rango into the town of Dirt — a place void of water, hope and any kind of justice — the spark in Depp’s performance captures the character of a small lizard with equal parts circus ringleader, Old West sheriff, romantic lead and classic Hollywood hero. Yes, he’s just a lizard. But, that Rango is one extraordinary lizard.
There are films that warrant a remake and with the right actor or actress inhabiting iconic roles, magic happens twice. Such is the case with Russell Brand taking Dudley Moore’s top hat in the delightful update of Arthur… Arthur has heart. The film is hysterically funny while still being sensitive to the issues that face the lead character. Arthur is an alcoholic. He is a lovable drinker, but it is clear he cannot handle the bottle. Despite having hundreds of millions of dollars at his disposal, Arthur is not satisfied with his life and seems to be drinking it away… Enter the ladies of Arthur, who act as a seesaw of power and emotion. Mirren is, as always, impeccable. She effortlessly goes tit-for-tat with Brand’s outlandish humor and wide-spanning characterization of the lovable millionaire. Jennifer Garner is downright evil as Susan, a woman who believes she should be married to Arthur to further her career.
The Lincoln Lawyer
Audiences should be thrilled with Matthew McConaughey‘s return to the courtroom in The Lincoln Lawyer. He stars as Mick Haller, a defense attorney with a knack for producing not guilty verdicts or, at the least, a drastically reduced sentence. When Haller takes the case of Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), it becomes quickly clear that he may have met his match in the game of playing the law. Roulet, a rich kid from Beverly Hills, is being charged with the attempted murder of a woman and Haller sees it as a big case worthy of his time and expertise… William H. Macy, Marisa Tomei, John Leguizamo, Michael Pena, Bryan Cranston, Frances Fisher, Josh Lucas and country superstar Trace Adkins fill out the cast that could be one of the year’s best so far. The Lincoln Lawyer is riveting and robust in its showcasing a true L.A. story. As directed by Brad Furman, it has an almost musical rhythm to it that is only enhanced by the stellar soundtrack.
Brother’s Justice: This Dax Shepard vehicle sounds totally goofy. Motivated by box office statistics, Shepard decides to leave comedy behind to pursue his dream of becoming an international martial arts action star, with the help of buddies like producer Nate Tuck and actor Tom Arnold. Bradley Cooper, Jon Favreau, Ashton Kutcher, David Koechner and Michael Rosenbaum also make appearances.
Dramas: New dramas include the animated tale My Dog Tulip, starring Christopher Plummer, Isabella Rossellini, Lynn Redgrave; Miral, a Willem Dafoe, Freida Pinto and Vanessa Redgrave drama about a Palestinian orphan; and the dark coming of age tale White Irish Drinkers.
Thrills: New horror and thriller titles include Insidious, starring Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne; Maneater, starring Dean Cain; 2012: Ice Age; Chained Heat, starring Linda Blair; Wisconsin Project X and the re-releases of the 1977 post-apocalyptic Damnation Alley and 1980s sci-fi comedy Battle Beyond the Stars.
From abroad: New foreign titles include the 1993 British dramedy Naked, Antonio Banderas’ 1991 drama Terranova, Spanish horror flick [Rec] 2 and Thai comic fantasy Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives.
Collections: If you’re looking to hide out for the weekend — from, say, LA’s Carmageddon! — you might enjoy hosting a marathon with Elvis 4-Pack Volume 1, Charles Bronson Collection, Cult Classics Collection, Dark Moon Trilogy Collection, Midnight Horror Collection: Puppet Master Volume 2, George Romero Presents Deadtime Stories Volume 1, Buster Keaton: Short Films Collection 1920-1923, World War II Commando Collection or one of the new titles from the TCM Greatest Classic Legends series. There’s also A Big Box of Cowboys, Aliens, Robots and Death Rays, which offers eight Westerns containing elements of sci-fi, horror, robots, death rays and mystery.
DVD/Blu-Ray releases: Beyond the Movies
TV: Boob tube fans can bring home Damages: The Complete Third Season, Entourage: The Complete Seventh Season, ER: The Complete Fifteenth Season, America’s Test Kitchen: 11th Season, Eckhart: The Complete Series or MI-5: Volume 9.
Documentaries: New release titles include National Geographic Classics: Oceans, Nova: Power Surge or one of the new HD titles from the Miracles of Nature series.
Music: New releases ready to rock your weekend include Celine Dion: All the Way Decade, Martina McBride / Train: CMT Crossroads, Cypress Hill: Live, Bob Dylan: Other Side of the Mirror, David Bowie: The Road to the Railway, Foreigner: Live, B.B. King: Live, James Taylor: Live at the Beacon Theatre, John Denver: Wildlife Concert, Derek Trucks Band: Songlines Live and Various Artists: Los Amigos Desde El Rancho Vol 2.
For the kids: New titles include Yo Gabba Gabba: Party in a Box, Dora the Explorer: Dora’s Big Party Pack, Veggie Tales Royalty Collection, Animal Atlas: Animal 123s, Barney: 1,2,3 Learn and several titles from the Totally Trucks series.