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New on DVD: 'Megamind,' 'Due Date,' and more

'Megamind,' 'Due Date,' 'Get Low,' 'Kings of Pastry'

February 20, 2011|By Noel Murray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Will Ferrell voiced Megamind in DreamWorks Animation's movie "Megamind."
Will Ferrell voiced Megamind in DreamWorks Animation's movie "Megamind." (DreamWorks Animation /…)


Paramount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $49.99

If you see only one supervillain-themed animated comedy this year … well, make it "Despicable Me." But if you have time for two, there's a lot to like about "Megamind." Will Ferrell voices a blue-skinned, big-brained baddie who finally succeeds in besting his archenemy and taking over a city, then can't decide what to do next. A romantic subplot between Megamind and an intrepid reporter (voiced by Tina Fey) drags down the movie and makes it more appropriate for older children than young ones. But the action scenes are as exciting as any "real" superhero saga, and "Megamind" is often very funny. The DVD and Blu-ray add a commentary track and kid-friendly featurettes.

Due Date

Warner, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99

Comedian Zach Galifianakis reunites with "The Hangover" director Todd Phillips in "Due Date," playing a perpetual screw-up who volunteers to help an expectant father (Robert Downey Jr.) get across the country in time for the birth of his first child. Galifianakis and Downey have good buddy-chemistry — the former being dim and agreeable, the latter being savvy and brusque — but there's not much actual plot to the movie, and the jokes start to repeat after a while. Even the outtakes and deleted scenes on the DVD and Blu-ray are disappointingly thin.

Get Low

Sony, $28.95; Blu-ray, $38.96

Director Aaron Schneider's debut feature stars Robert Duvall as a small-town hermit who asks for help planning his funeral, which he wants to take place while he's still alive. "Get Low" has the look and tone of a Hallmark Channel Original but subtler, and it gets more gripping as it approaches the big "funeral party." The movie's also bolstered by two strong supporting performances: one from Lucas Black, who brings his usual twangy authenticity to the role of a young family man encountering the reality behind a local legend; the other from Bill Murray as a mortician who sees this free-spending backwoodsman as the golden ticket he's been waiting for. Schneider and Duvall participate in a genial commentary track on the DVD and Blu-ray, which also contain a handful of featurettes.

Kings of Pastry

First Run, $27.95

Fans of cable TV's various culinary competitions might be the best audience for "Kings of Pastry," D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus' documentary about a quadrennial confection contest for the prestigious Meilleur Ouvrier de France award. On Bravo or Food Network, the focus would be more on arcane techniques, personality conflicts and drool-worthy shots of the finished product, but "Kings of Pastry" viewers will have to provide a lot of that from their imaginations, since Pennebaker and Hegedus are more interested in the cooks' family lives and their exhaustion as the competition grinds on. Still, while this documentary might not have the manufactured drama of a television show, it's a fascinating look at a demanding process. The DVD adds an interview with the filmmakers and bonus cooking scenes.


"Huge: The Complete Series" (Shout! Factory, $29.93); "Last Train Home" (Zeitgeist, $29.99); "The Last Unicorn" (Lionsgate Blu-ray, $19.99); "Memento" (Lionsgate, $14.98; Blu-ray, $19.99); "Mesrine: Killer Instinct, Part 1" (Music Box, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95); "Sweet Smell of Success" (Criterion, $39.95; Blu-ray, $39.95); "Two in the Wave" (Lorber, $29.95); "Zenith" (Cinema Purgatorio, $24.95)

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