This week: Colin Farrell plays a screenwriter who gets an unexpected violent cure for his writer's block in "Seven Psychopaths," a pitch-black British comedy co-starring Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson.
Box Office: $15 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% Fresh
Storyline: Colin Farrell plays Marty Faranan, a struggling screenwriter whose best friend (Sam Rockwell) and his friend's partner in crime (Christopher Walken) make a living by stealing dogs and returning them to their owners to collect cash rewards. Marty inadvertently becomes entangled in the Los Angeles criminal underworld when his kooky pals kidnap a gangster's (Woody Harrelson) beloved Shih Tzu.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a featurette with director Martin McDonagh, interviews with Harrelson and Farrell, "Crazy Locations," and "Seven Psychocats." a funny fake trailer featuring cats dressed up like characters in the movie.
We Say: Absolutely everything works in this pitch-black comedy: the oddball premise, crazy cameos by Harry Dean Stanton and Michael Pitt and unhinged performances by Rockwell, Walken, Harrelson and Farrell. The final confrontation in California's Joshua Tree National Park is unforgettable, and be sure to stick around for a short post-credit sequence that takes place after Marty finally finishes his Seven Psychopaths script and the movie has been released.
Box Office: $147 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 43% Rotten
Storyline: This animated family film has Dracula (Adam Sandler) planning a lavish 118th birthday party for his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), at his exclusive five-stake resort for monsters only. Familiar faces from the monster world — Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf family and more — check in, but no one expects a human (Andy Samberg) to sneak in and ignite a panic.
Extras! The DVD and Blu-ray versions have the "Goodnight Mr. Foot" mini-movie, a Becky G music video, deleted scenes, filmmakers' commentary and a DVD-ROM link to games. The Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D have behind-the-scenes featurettes on "Voicing 'Hotel Transylvania,'" the animation and progression reels.
We Say: This box office hit has a cute premise with monsters being the ones afraid of humans rather than the other way around, but the movie targets younger guests only with its hyperactive characters that scream almost every line, goofy pop-and-rap interludes and gags that involve monster farts and belching. Small children will eat up the juvenile giddiness but anyone old enough to enjoy the quiet dignity of the actual monster movies this one references will be dialing the front desk for an early checkout.
'Paranormal Activity 4'
Box Office: $54 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 26% Rotten
Storyline: Five years after the events in "Paranormal Activity 2" ("Paranormal Activity 3" was a prequel to the first movie), Katie (Katie Featherston) and a mysterious young boy move across the street from a suburban family that begins to experience strange supernatural shenanigans in their home.
Extras!: Both the DVD and Blu-ray of this Unrated Director's Cut contain an additional 30 minutes of "found footage."
We Say: The popular haunted-house horror series is starting to get creaky with this fourth entry that doesn't deviate enough from the now-predictable fright formula established by its predecessors. The addition of the Xbox's infrared Kinect feature adds a welcome new ghostly gimmick but too much of the movie is spent with cameras panning the same rooms over and over until something jumps out for a "boo" moment. And, as per all the other movies, the final scene leads up to a sudden shocker ending, which doesn't do anything to advance the story when it is left hanging there just before the end credits roll.
'Best of Warner Bros. 50-Film Collection'
Box Office: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Storyline: This massive set is to date the largest Blu-ray collection ever assembled as it contains 50 movies, including 16 Best Picture Oscar winners. The films span from 1932's "Grand Hotel" to 2010's "Inception" and include classics like "Gone with the Wind," "The Wizard of Oz," "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca," "North by Northwest," "Ben-Hur," "Doctor Zhivago," "2001: A Space Odyssey," "The Exorcist," "The Shining," "Chariots of Fire," "Amadeus," "Goodfellas" "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "The Dark Knight" and many, many more.
Extras!: The 52 discs are packaged in book-style premium packaging and include two new documentaries: "Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot" and "The Warner Bros. Lot Tour." Also included in the box set are postcards of movie posters and a limited edition poster.
We Say: If you don't already own these movies on Blu-ray, you will be getting a lot of Hollywood's iconic films for $366.99 (its current price on Amazon) — provided you can justify the expense for some less-worthy titles like "The Bodyguard" and "Risky Business."