Love and romance are key elements in this week's new DVD and Blu-ray offerings.
"Isn't It Romantic"; 3 stars: Generally, Rebel Wilson gets cast in roles where much of her humor comes from pratfalls. While she's good at physical comedy, she's a talented comedian who can handle smart writing such as in this offering waiting to emerge.
Wilson plays the spunky and independent Natalie, a New York City architect who wants to get noticed at her job but is regularly overlooked. Things change when she is attacked in the subway and wakes up in a different world where she's now the star of her own romantic comedy. This is a world where everyone is in love, sex only happens off-camera and there always is a stereotypical gay best friend.
Natalie is soon being wooed by the billionaire (Liam Hemsworth) who treated her like a servant in her other world. She initially likes the attention but soon longs to find a way to get back to her more cynical existence.
It is a pleasure to see Wilson finally be given a smart script. The jabs at all the elements of a rom-com could have been a little sharper, but overall, this is a sweet and fun comedy that works so well because of Wilson.
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"; 2 stars: It has taken three movies over nearly 10 years to tell the complete story of Hiccup and Toothless. The third offering in the franchise continues to use beautiful imagery, but it is the tale that has lost its steam when it comes to the story.
The original film was emotionally charged as it dealt with the unlikely friendship between a young Viking and a fearsome Night Fury dragon. The second movie helped establish Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) as the village chief and ruler of Berk alongside Astrid (America Ferrera) and Toothless as the dragon leader of his own kind. "Hidden World" is little more than an afterthought to get to an ending.
All the Vikings and dragons of Berk pack their bags and hit the road when they face the evil Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham). At the same time Toothless discovers his soul mate, Light Fury. This puts a strain on the friendship that has been the cornerstone of the series.
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" is the weakest in the series but remains strong enough to make it an acceptable end to the franchise.
ALSO NEW ON DVD MAY 21
"The Upside": Ex-convict (Kevin Hart) forges an unusual friendship with a quadriplegic billionaire (Bryan Cranston).
"Trading Paint": A rift leads to the father-and-son racing duo of Sam (John Travolta) and Cam (Toby Sebastian) facing each other on the track.
"Splash and Bubbles: The Kelp Forest": Splash, Bubbles and Dunk meet the self-appointed Kelp Forest Ranger.
"A Dark Place": Sanitation truck driver (Andrew Scott) becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth about a boy's sudden disappearance.
"Earthquake": Charlton Heston stars in this 1974 disaster film where ordinary citizens must come together in the face of an unstoppable natural disaster.
"Big Brother": Former soldier is recruited to teach a class of teen delinquents.
"The Seduction": The 1982 steamy stalker thriller starring Morgan Fairchild and Andrew Stevens is being rereleased.
"13 Reasons Why: Season Two": Picks up in the aftermath of Hannah's death and the start of the complicated journeys toward healing for those who knew her.
"Crank": The 2006 Jason Statham film is available for the first time on 4K Ultra HD.
"Call the Midwife; Season Eight": In 1957, a young woman helps new mothers when she goes to work at a convent in the East End of London.
BEING RELEASED ON DIGITAL HD MAY 21
"Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral": Family reunion turns into a funeral for Madea. Will be available on DVD and Blu-ray June 4.
"Gloria Bell": Free-spirited divorcee (Julianne Moore) who spends her days at a straitlaced office job and her nights at L.A. dance clubs finds romance. Will be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 4.
"Ladies in Black": Summer job in 1959 has a major impact on a young woman. Julia Ormond stars.
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