The party con­tin­ues in pass­able ‘Neigh­bors 2’

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FEATURES - By Amy Longs­dorf

“Neigh­bors 2” (2016, Uni­ver­sal, R, $30), Ni­cholas Stoller’s scat­ter­shot se­quel to the 2014 hit, would be a lot easier to take if al­most ev­ery scene didn’t end with all of the char­ac­ters scream­ing at each other.

That said, there’s a few chuck­les along the way, thanks pri­mar­ily to Zac Efron who not only gets the best jokes but is also given a few sur­pris­ingly poignant in­ter­ludes.

Seth Ro­gen and Rose Byrne stars as for­mer hip­sters who are about to sell their house when mem­bers (Chloe Grace Moretz) of a fledg­ling soror­ity take up res­i­dence next door. There’s tail­gate parties, bond­ing-over-bad-de­ci­sions and a mes­sage about be­ing true to your­self. Ex­tras: gag reel, fea­turettes and commentary by Stoller.

Also New To DVD Teenage Mu­tant Ninja Tur­tle: Out of the Shad­ows (2016, Paramount, PG-13, $30):

A prizewin­ner in the un­nec­es­sary se­quel sweep­stakes, this manic ac­tion movie once again finds our heroes in a half shell bat­tling the vil­lain­ous Shred­der (Brian Tee) who es­capes from prison so he can de­stroy the world via a por­tal to an­other di­men­sion. Me­gan Fox and Will Ar­nett are back to help Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelan­gelo thwart the das­tardly plan. The most sur­pris­ing cast mem­ber is Laura Lin­ney, who, to her credit, de­liv­ers a cred­i­ble per­for­mance in the midst of all the green screen-ery. Ex­tras: fea­turettes.

Stand­ing Tall (2016, Co­hen, R, $25):

An an­gry ado­les­cent named Malony (Rod Paradot), who was aban­doned by his mother (Sara Forestier) at the age of six, strug­gles to put his life in or­der. He’s given count­less op­por­tu­ni­ties to start over again, thanks to a for­giv­ing mag­is­trate (Cather­ine Deneuve) and a pa­tient so­cial worker (Benoit Mag­imel). Di­rec­tor Em­manuelle Ber­cot brings a pow­er­ful, doc­u­men­tary-like re­al­ism to Malony’s stints in ju­ve­nile de­ten­tion cen­ters and half­way houses while Paradot man­ages to cre­ate a com­plex char­ac­ter who, while flawed, is never less than sym­pa­thetic. Ex­tras: deleted scenes, fea­turettes and Ber­cot commentary.

Beauty and the Beast: 25th An­niver­sary Edi­tion (1991, Dis­ney, G, $40):

If you’re go­ing to own only one Dis­ney flick on Blu-ray, let this be the one. The first an­i­mated film to re­ceive a Best Pic­ture Os­car nod, “Beauty” is filled to burst­ing with re­lat­able char­ac­ters, eye-daz­zling an­i­ma­tion and hummable songs writ­ten by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ash­man. The film might tell “a tale as old as time” but it makes it feel fresh again. Ex­tras: three ver­sions of the film, fea­turettes and pre­view of the 2017 live-ac­tion “Beauty and The Beast” with Emma Wat­son and Dan Stevens.

Blood Sim­ple (1985, Cri­te­rion, R, $30):

More than three decades ago, the Coen Broth­ers made a splashy de­but with this riv­et­ing film noir that’s so de­li­ciously twisty, it prac­ti­cally leaves you dizzy. Dan He­daya stars as a sleazy bar owner who hires a shifty pri­vate de­tec­tive (M. Em­met Walsh) to kill his wife (Frances McDor­mand) and her boyfriend (John Getz). Of course, noth­ing turns out as ex­pected thanks to a plot bub­bling over with bru­tal dou­ble-crosses and tragic mis­un­der­stand­ings. Best of all, the Coens find a way to make th­ese char­ac­ters’ schemes darkly funny, all with­out sac­ri­fic­ing an iota of sus­pense. Ex­tras: fea­turettes.

The Mem­ber of the Wedding (1952, Twi­light Time, un­rated, $30):

Has there ever been a more poignant film about the pas­sage of time than this stun­ner based on a play by Carson McCullers? Julie Har­ris is ter­rific as a mis­fit tomboy named Frankie who, fol­low­ing her brother’s an­nounce­ment that he’s get­ting mar­ried, con­vinces her­self she can ac­com­pany the cou­ple on their hon­ey­moon. Sadly, Frankie doesn’t re­al­ize that she’s sur­rounded by a pair of fel­low ec­centrics — maid Berenice (Ethel Wa­ters, in an as­ton­ish­ing per­for­mance) and cousin John Henry (Bran­don deWilde) — who adore her. New to Blu-ray, “Mem­ber” is mov­ing and mem­o­rable. Ex­tras: fea­turettes and com­men­taries.

Un­holy Part­ners (1941, Warner Archive, un­rated, $20):

If you’re a sucker for news­pa­pers dra­mas pop­u­lated with char­ac­ters who have ink in their veins, check out this thriller about a hard-boiled edi­tor (Ed­ward G. Robin­son) who makes a deal with the devil when he al­lows a mob­ster (Ed­ward Arnold) to fi­nance his new, sen­sa­tion-fu­eled tabloid. The pa­per is a suc­cess but when Robin­son de­cides to go af­ter Arnold’s il­le­gal em­pire, Arnold fights back. “Un­holy Part­ners” is es­sen­tially a se­ries of face-offs be­tween Robin­son and Arnold but, boy, th­ese ac­tors know how to draw blood with their words. It’s a mi­nor film with some ma­jor per­for­mances. Ex­tras: none

French Post­cards (1979, Olive, PG, $25):

Writ­ten and di­rected by Wil­lard Huyck and Glo­ria Katz (“Amer­i­can Graf­fiti”), this ensem­ble com­edy tags along with a hand­ful of Amer­i­can stu­dents (Miles Chapin, Blanche Baker, David Mar­shall Grant) study­ing in France for a year. As with “Graf­fiti,” a mood of melan­choly hangs in the air as the kids flit around Paris, look­ing for love in all the wrong places. But unlike “Graf­fiti,” the per­form­ers don’t leave much of an im­pres­sion, es­pe­cially Grant and Baker who fail to flesh out un­der­writ­ten roles. “French Post­cards” isn’t bad , it’s just bland. Ex­tras: none.

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