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New Releases: Raunchy laughs, painful truths in 'Bachelorette'

Also reviewed: 'Grimm: Season One,' 'Marley' and 'Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale.'

August 03, 2012|By Noel Murray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Isla Fisher, left, Lizzy Caplan and Kirsten Dunst play high school friends who are asked to join the wedding party of an unpopular girl in "Bachlorette."
Isla Fisher, left, Lizzy Caplan and Kirsten Dunst play high school friends… (Jacob Hutchings / Radius…)

Bachelorette

Available on VOD beginning Friday

Writer-director Leslye Headland's debut feature "Bachelorette" will undoubtedly be compared to "Bridesmaids,"since both films are raunchy, female-fronted comedies about the awkwardness and envy that bubbles up when a friend gets married. But the cast of "Bachelorette" is younger, which makes the tone different — less one of exhaustion and disappointment, more seething anger and recklessness. Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher play three catty friends who are asked to be in the wedding party of an oddball acquaintance (played by Rebel Wilson), and then callously botch the gig in ways both minor and major. The movie starts out rowdy, then turns more serious as the heroines confront their own weaknesses, and while both sides of "Bachelorette" come off as forced at times, the film is consistently funny, and Headland achieves a rare honesty.

Grimm:Season One

Universal, $59.98;Blu-ray, $69.98

Though overshadowed initially by ABC's"fairy-tale characters in modern times" hit "Once Upon a Time,"NBC's similar fantasy/mystery series "Grimm" gradually built a loyal audience for its skewed take on the procedural genre. David Giuntoli plays a police detective who learns that he's from a family of monster-hunters, and discovers that the fight against the supernatural forces of evil continues today, albeit covertly. Each week the hero cracks homicide cases alongside his partner, while trying to keep his actual mission secret. The 22 episodes on the Season 1 DVD set are clever and exciting, and the deleted scenes and featurettes should whet fans' appetites for the upcoming second season.

Marley

Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Bob Marley may be the most popular musician whom fans really don't know that much about. Kevin MacDonald's 2 1/2 -hour documentary "Marley" goes a long way toward remedying that, covering the late reggae superstar's life from his upbringing in rural Jamaica to his unexpected death from cancer in 1981, at age 36. MacDonald gets into Marley's religious faith, his political activism, his complicated personal life, and of course his music, which was so powerful that it bulled its way out of the corrupt, provincial Jamaican music industry. The "Marley" DVD and Blu-ray add bonus interviews, a featurette about Marley's continuing influence in Third World countries and a commentary track by MacDonald and Marley's son, Ziggy.

Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale

Well Go USA, $24.98/$29.98; Blu-ray, $32.98

Wei Te-Sheng's action-packed historical epic "Warriors of the Rainbow" is set during the era when the Japanese occupied Taiwan and tried to exploit the country's natural resources. Lin Ching-Tai plays Mona Rudao, an aboriginal leader who orders his people to rise up and use crude guerrilla booby traps against the enemy's airplanes and machine guns. The film isn't as weighty as it presumes to be; it's more a straightforward good-versus-evil movie, but with a fantastical look and feel, like a mix of war movies, westerns and samurai pictures. The DVD and Blu-ray include a trio of detailed behind-the-scenes featurettes; a special edition with a 4 1/2-hour cut of the film is also available.

And…

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98/$49.98

Strike Back: Cinemax Season One

HBO, $49.98; Blu-ray, $59.96

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