It’s “The Hangover” with younger dumbasses. The night before his big medical interview, Justin Chon’s buds take him out for one beer that turns into an all-night debauch. The buds, Skylar Astin and Miles Teller, get all the best lines, Chon suffers all the comic physical pain and humiliation, and local babe Sarah Wright (a Seneca grad) licks a great lollipop while wearing too many beads. These things are becoming formulaic, but that’s not to say they aren’t damn funny, damn sexy and … damn, we wish we were 21 again!
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
2013; $14.98-$44.98; PG-13
Young Jack (Nicholas Hoult) unwittingly releases a legendary race of CGI giants from their cloud kingdom in this goofy fun tale. Eleanor Tomlinson plays the requisite princess with a combination of charm, verve and really, really nice hooters, but it is Ewan McGregor’s cock-sure knight who has all the best lines (including a parody of his “Star Wars” standard, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this”). All in all a rollicking, kinda silly romp through a fairytale kingdom with little of the cloying Disneyesque trappings that seem to infect such things. A great couch-flick, family-night movie or high school first-dater; gangs of big dumb fun.
2013; $14.98-$29.98; UR
When we first read the title, we thought, “Uh oh, the SyFy Channel is at it again,” but we were pleasantly surprised to find that this is a dramatic nature tale about the “real” life of Speckles (“Spotty” in the original Korean), a young dino who learns to hunt with his mother. But life is harsh, and too soon he finds himself alone and afraid; eventually he must confront One-Eye, the cunning and savage adversary who took away everything he loved. Something of a coming-of-age tale told with the latest in South Korean CGI tech. Aka “Tarbosaurus 3-D” or “Jeom-bak-i: Han-ban-do-eui Gong-ryong 3-D.”
2011; $14.98; UR
This low-rent indie horror about a wildly dysfunctional family reminds us of Hammer Studios’ early manor-house psycho-thrillers. Scream queen Debbie Rochon appears as “The Governess” to a family who are incapable of leaving their home (we won’t spoil why). Their isolation devolves into a sick game that inevitably turns violent, and that’s when they discover just how screwed they really are. Not the best movie we ever saw, but a classic case of inventive filmmakers learning to do more with less money.
2012; $22.98-$24.98; UR
A very entertaining drama based on the true story of a losing Ohio high school baseball team — winning only six of 23 games in their season — which magically turned itself around to win eight post-season games and the state championship. But this isn’t really a “sports” movie: The filmmakers wisely treat it as a coming-of-age tale, complete with first love, belief in yourself and others, and the simple, unexplainable mysteries that make life so wonderful. We liked it.
2012; $14.98-$39.98; PG-13
This Dustin Hoffman-directed arter with Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and, especially, Maggie Smith in a tale of manners and elder intrigue within a retirement home for world-class musicians. It seems that the four were once a famed quartet that broke up when Dame Maggie’s star ascended alone, her ego destroying her marriage in the process. Now Maggie is coming to live at the home, and the quartet is to be reformed — except that the haughty diva completely refuses to sing. Can harmony ever be found once it is lost? Wonderful.
RON ASHETON: TRIBUTE CONCERT WITH IGGY & THE STOOGES AND FRIENDS
2013; $14.98-$16.98; UR
If you don’t recognize the name, we’ll forgive you this one time. Ron, who died New Year’s Day 2009, was a guitarist and songwriter for proto-punk masters The Stooges since their inception in 1967. In 2012, he was awarded No. 60 in Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Yet despite being a godfather of the seemingly self-absorbed punk movement, he was also a philanthropist who created an animal welfare foundation and helped launch the careers of scores of struggling musicians. All profits from this doc-concert, featuring Deniz Tek on guitar and the incomparable Henry Rollins, go to Ron’s charities.
SPRINGHILL: SERIES 1
1996; $41.98-$59.98; UR
Fans of “Coronation Street” are trembling with excitement over this exceptional BBC drama, never seen on these shores save bootleg VHS. A seemingly happy Liverpool family with five irrepressible boys begins to slowly implode when a vengeful woman from their past arrives — a woman who knows the family’s darkest secrets. Brilliantly written by the likes of Russell T. Davies (“Doctor Who,” “Queer as Folk”), with the cream of British acting talent, this is a powerhouse drama — with just a hint of the Christian supernatural — that revels in laying bare societal taboos, shocking crimes and loathsome characters hiding in plain sight. Trust us: You will love this.
THE LAST EXORCISM PART II
2013; $21.98-$35.98; UR/PG-13
We’ll ignore that nonsensical title (“last” and “sequel” seem mutually exclusive) and focus on the positives. After returning to New Orleans, amnesiac Ashley Bell struggles to remember the terrifying events of “Part 1,” which killed her entire family. But — surprise! — the evil isn’t done with her yet, leading to more painful scenes of contorted levitation and shopping with her buds.
WILFRED: SEASON 2
2013; $32.98; UR
No one expected this to go a second season — hell, no one expected it to air a first season! — but Elijah Wood and Jason Gann somehow made it back for another truly weird and wonderful look at a man and his dog. This season Wood (who sees the dog as a human-size guy-in-a-rug, played by Gann) gets both a real job and an actual girlfriend, but his life isn’t complete — or a complete train wreck — without Gann teaching him the underlying meaning of it all. Or something like that. Frankly, we’ve never been able to figure this out, but we can’t deny that it is courageously and subversively damn funny.