DVD of the Week: 'Rango.' Plus: Hair-Raising Horror in 'Insidious,' 'Thor' Gets Release Date

Rango (available July 15)  Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) directs this first animated film from Industrial Light & Magic, starring Johnny Depp as a chameleon sherriff of a Wild West desert town, which proves a worthy competitor in the genre: The visuals pop (with no need for 3D, by the way), a sophisticated script pays homage to rather than apes Western clichés, and obvious tearjerking is thankfully absent (yes, Pixar, I’m glaring at you).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The movie might be a little tough for the younger kids…this isn’t your average silly, googly-eyed cartoon, and it makes some adult references that might not be appropriate for some children. Meaning: You might screen this first before showing your little ones. Extras: Theatrical and extended version, commentaries, "Real Creatures of Dirt" featurette with animal experts, 10 deleted scenes (DVD/BD); the BD also offers "A Field Trip to Dirt," "Breaking the Rules: Making Animation History" with Gore Verbinski, and picture-in-picture storyboards.

Insidious Saw guys James Wan and Leigh Whannell bring us this paranormal horror story about a haunted family whose son falls into a coma and if that isn't bad enough, suddenly they all start hearing strange bumps in the night. Shadowy, unsettling and intense, it proves that this writing/directing team doesn’t need to rely on graphic gore—here, what you don’t see is just as effective, and the scares aren't cheap and easy like your average horror flick.  Extras: Featurettes, "Horror 101: The Exclusive Seminar," "On Set With Insidious," "Insidious Entities" (DVD/BD)
 
The Lincoln Lawyer Matthew McConaughey, long written off as ripped-ab, goofy rom-com eye candy, turns in possibly his best performance ever as a crinkle-eyed Los Angeles shyster who works out of his Lincoln Continental and relies on cohorts like a private eye played by William H. Macy in crumpled garb and long hair. It’s business as usual, until he takes on the defense of a rich kid (Ryan Phillippe) accused of killing a call girl. Extras: Featurettes, "Making the Case: Creating The Lincoln Lawyer," "At Home on the Road," "One on One with McConaughey and [author Michael] Connelly" (DVD/BD)
 
Arthur (available July 15) Russell Brand stars as the titular boozehound in this unnecessary remake of the Dudley Moore classic in which he must choose between his true love and losing his fortune, or staying rich and marrying the nasty b**ch his family chose for him. Extras: Deleted scenes (DVD); "Arthur Unsupervised," additional scenes, gag reel (BD)
 
'Thor' Release Date Announced
Coming to DVD/BD: Thor, Kenneth Branagh's take on Marvel’s hammer-wielding God of Thunder, proved surprisingly successful both critically and at the box office. It hits DVD and Blu-ray on Sept. 13 in single DVD, two-disc BD/DVD combo and 3-disc 3D/BD/DVD set with more than 80 minutes of extra footage, including a sneak peek at The Avengers. Other features include an in-depth look at the Marvel universe, and a behind-the-scenes feature with director Branagh.
Tell us: Will you buy, rent or ignore Thor on DVD?
 
 

 

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