Less-than-memorable films come to home video

By Gary Clift

This month, Hollywood offers for sale on home viewing media a number of movies recently in general release.

For example, film fans will soon be able to own their own copies of box office disappointment “John Carter,” non-sequel “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” with Michael Caine and The Rock, Eddie Murphy’s “A Thousand Words,” and “Wrath of the Titans,” a sequel to a remake of a box office disappointment.

What more could we desire?

Let’s test our aging memories and see if we can name some of the other much publicized movies that will this month make their appearance on the New DVD shelves:

In what recent farcical take on a fairy tale did a young brunette play Snow White to an established actress’s evil Queen? Forget Kristen Stewart and Chalize Theron. This Snow White predates the current one by a couple of months, which moviemakers apparently think is long enough before another remake.

What film won the Best Picture Oscar for last year? It was French. It was a remake of the already several times re-made A Star is Born, this time set in early Hollywood. Dialog wasn’t much of a problem for the film.

What action comedy based on a largely forgotten 80s TV series paired one of the stars of “Superbad” with one of the stars of a movie about a Roman soldier roaming Scotland? The two of them go to a high school prom, though they are obviously too old.

In what recent comedy did poor Paul Rudd have to drag Jennifer Aniston through? It is set in a hippie commune and a features a bout of sexual infidelity? So far it is the front-runner for most of the awards for worst screenplay of 2012.

What teen-age party gone wrong movie was made with the single, handheld camera technique also seen in Blair Witch Project, Chronicle, and half a dozen other fairly limited movies intended for adolescent audiences? Director Todd Philips was advertised as the show’s producer. Viewers may wonder if the maker of “Old School” ever saw the newer film.

In what action film sequel does Stephen Fry get a shot playing a famous eccentric brother? The trouble is, to make room for him the producers had to kill off a character played by Rachel McAdams. With Jude Law. And Robert Downey Jr. And the Reichenbach Falls.

What sequel kept its star—Nicholas Cage—added “Highlander’s” Christopher Lambert, and was directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, makers of imaginative action pictures including “Crank”? Holy flaming hogs, skull head! Whip it good!

And finally, what recent movie about CIA operations in South Africa has a cast including Robert Patrick, Vera Farmiga, Brendan Gleeson, Sam Shepard, Denzel Washington, and Ryan Reynolds, who is playing straight for a change?

This last film, “Safe House,” is amusing enough. So is “Ghost Rider 2: Spirit of Vengeance” with Nicholas Cage, “Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows” with Downey, and “The Artist,” though this silent film seems to be an odd Oscar winner.

I am less enthusiastic about “21 Jump Street,” the Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill movie based on Johnny Depp’s start up TV show. But I liked it better than I did the loud teen party movie “Project X,” the stock plot movie set in a commune “Wanderlust,” or the cutesy Julia Roberts and Lily Collins take on the Snow White story “Mirror Mirror.” Better to watch Duran Duran. To say nothing of the farce “Boeing Boeing.”

Or have we forgotten about that, too? Well, then, it would be fresh again, wouldn’t it?

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