This week: Will "Battleship" sink or swim on DVD and Blu-ray? The mega-budget summer flop about a naval fleet fighting off alien invaders had a reported budget of about $209 million but had to rely on the foreign box office to keep it afloat.
Box Office: $65 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 34% Rotten
Storyline: Peter Berg directs this epic blockbuster wannabe inspired by the Hasbro board game. Taylor Kitsch, Rihanna, Alexander Skarsgard, Brooklyn Decker, Liam Neeson and many more take on a hostile extraterrestrial spacecraft armada over Hawaii and try to thwart the aliens' destructive plans before all hope is lost.
Extras! Exclusive to the Blu-ray version is a guided tour of the "USS Missouri" — also known as "The Mighty Mo" — with Berg, senior tour guide Reginald H. Johnson and Michael Carr, the president of the museum overseeing the care of the battleship. Arguably more brain power is put into discovering the history of the ship and the real-life Navy officers who served on her in this 20-minute featurette than in the entire film.
We Say: Bombastic and arriving with a bloated budget it couldn't hope to recoup, it was no surprise that "Battleship" sank faster than the Titanic at the domestic box office. It's another big-budget disaster for Kitsch not long after "John Carter," and "Umbrella" singer Rihanna is a soggy failure in a role that requires her to make audiences believe she is somehow tough despite all evidence to the contrary. The rest of what's on screen is just CG overkill to the point where it all looks like a video game, with complete sequences and even water (why?) existing only on a hard drive somewhere.
'The Lucky One'
Box Office: $60 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 21% Rotten
Storyline: Based on yet another tragic love story by author Nicholas Sparks, "The Lucky One" stars Zac Efron as Logan Thibault, a U.S. Marine Sergeant who travels to North Carolina after three tours of duty in Iraq to search for the woman (Taylor Schilling) whose picture he believes has been his good luck charm during combat. Logan inserts himself into her life and befriends her young son, but he needs to come clean about what brought him to town if this romance is to fully blossom while her jealous ex lingers.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "Zac Efron Becomes a Marine," in which the star shares his personal journey of taking on this role and his physical- and life-changing visit with the Marines at Camp Pendleton.
We Say: Certainly, there is an audience for Sparks' trademark brand of syrupy romance, so if you get stirred up — as opposed to giggly — thinking about Schilling ecstatically and rhythmically washing dishes while gazing longingly out the window as a sweaty Efron hauls big bags of dog food, this sudsy dud's for you.
'The Pirates! Band of Misfits'
Box Office: $31 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 86% Fresh
Storyline: Loosely based on the first book of Gideon Defoe's "The Pirates!" series, this stop-motion animated adventure-comedy about the Pirate Captain (voiced by Hugh Grant) and his crew of amateur pirates trying to win the Pirate of the Year competition features the voices of Martin Freeman, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek and many more. It is available in 2D on both DVD and Blu-ray as well as in 3D in a Blu-ray 3D combo pack.
Extras! All the versions contain the new 18-minute short "So You Want to Be a Pirate," featuring the Pirate Captain as a host of his own late-night show.
We Say: "The Pirates! Band of Misfits" got overwhelmingly favorable reviews for not only its skillful animation but for its smarter-than-expected screenplay that doesn't pander only to youngsters.
Also New This Week:
"Think Like a Man"
"Starship Troopers: Invasion"
"Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein" Blu-ray
"Jersey Shore Shark Attack"