ShareThis Page
DVD reviews: ‘This is Where I Leave You,’ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘The Skeleton Twins&apo… |

DVD reviews: ‘This is Where I Leave You,’ ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘The Skeleton Twins&apo…

Garrett Conti
| Wednesday, December 17, 2014 9:00 p.m
“This Is Where I Leave You” Four grown siblings are forced to live under the same roof for one week after their father passes away. Starring Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman and Adam Driver. Based on the book by Jonathan Tropper.

“This is Where I Leave You” (2014, R, 103 min., $28.98) Director Shawn Levy’s “This is Where I Leave You” was forecast to be one of 2014’s bright films, but it never cashes in on its potential. The family dramedy carries a terrific cast — Tina Fey, Jason Bateman, Corey Stoll, Adam Driver, Jane Fonda, Timothy Olyphant and Rose Byrne star — but a lackluster screenplay that never hits many emotional highs and lows. It has some nice moments, but they’re not sustained in an uneven disappointment. The film follows a family reunited for the death of its patriarch. The children (Bateman, Fey, Driver and Stoll) are asked to stick around the house for a week to sit Shiva. The time together opens up old and new wounds, and, eventually, brings them together. Blu-ray packages carry a good collection of special features with commentary by Levy and screenwriter Jonathan Tropper and a handful of deleted scenes. Standard DVDs sets don’t carry much in the way of extras. 2 stars

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (2014, PG-13, 101 min., $29.99) Since breaking onto the scene in the 1980s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been in and out of the mainstream. In 2014, the reptiles made another run to the silver screen with hopes of attracting a new generation with a fifth film. Unfortunately, filmmaker Jonathan Liebesman’s action comedy isn’t going to take the Turtles back to their heyday. It isn’t bad, but it’s easily forgettable. Across the board, this latest offering isn’t anything special — and it’s unnecessary. The film is an origin story, as it introduces the birth of the Turtles and how they came to protect the city. Here, they break out of the sewers to take on an evil scientist who is hatching a plan to become incredibly wealthy with the Turtle’s usual nemesis Shredder in his corner. If the pairing succeeds, Shredder will hold the power he’s always wanted. Megan Fox, Will Arnett and William Fichtner give their all in leading roles, but they can’t save this pedestrian picture. No extras are available on standard DVDs, but Blu-ray sets carry an assortment of special features, including a few nice featurettes, a music video and an extended ending. 1.5 stars

“The Skeleton Twins” (2014, R, 93 min., $19.98) Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader deliver two of their best performances in this under-the-radar dramedy from director Craig Johnson, who also penned the script. “The Skeleton Twins” hits all the right emotional notes. Along with Wiig and Hader, there are strong performances from Luke Wilson and Ty Burrell, making this film one of 2014’s more enjoyable ones. When Milo (Hader) attempts suicide, his twin sister Maggie (Wiig) is there for him. The two haven’t talked in 10 years. Maggie invites Milo to come and live with her and husband, Lance (Wilson), for a short time, and he accepts. The experience brings them closer and helps Maggie and Milo work out some of the emotional issues that have been festering for a long time. Standard DVDs and Blu-ray packages hold the same special features, including outtakes a gag reel, commentary from the cast and crew and a making-of featurette that provides an in-depth look at the production. 3 stars

“The Maze Runner” (2014, PG-13, 113 min., $29.98) Based on James Dashner’s 2009 novel of the same name, “The Maze Runner” follows a teen named Thomas who wakes up in a maze with no memory of who he is or where he came from. He’s got company, though, as there are a group of boys who are also trapped. Dylan O’Brien and Will Poulter star.

“The Devil’s Hand” (2014, PG-13, 101 min., $19.98) Tis the season for possession movies. Rufus Sewell, Alycia Debnam-Carey and Jennifer Carpenter star in Christian E. Christiansen’s satanic thriller about six girls born on the same ominous day, which sets in motion an ancient prophecy that will envelop a town when the women reach their 18th birthdays.

“Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever” (2014, PG, 90 min., $14.98) It was only a matter of time before Internet phenomenon Grumpy Cat had her own movie. In a film that originally aired on Lifetime at the end of November, Grumpy Cat finally finds a home after being selected at the pet store by a 12-year-old girl named Chrystal. Aubrey Plaza voices Grumpy Cat.

“Stonehearst Asylum” (2014, PG-13, 112 min., $19.99) Directed by Brad Anderson, this thriller follows a young doctor who takes a job at a mental hospital. At first, the doctor is excited about his new position, but, then, a terrifying discovery changes the way he approaches his work. The solid cast includes Jim Sturgess, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine.


“Arrested Development: Season 4” (three discs, 15 episodes, $29.98)

Categories: Movies TV
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.