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DVD reviews: 'The Hangover Part III,' 'The Purge' and 'After Earth' [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)]

October 10, 2013

YellowBrix

"The Hangover Part III" (2013, R, 100 min., $28.98) Even though it's a bit better than the second installment of "The Hangover" trilogy, the third is just as forgettable. Writer-director Todd Phillips takes "The Hangover Part III" in a decidedly dark direction, abandoning the drunken debauchery for more of an action movie that puts Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms) and Alan (Zach Galifianakis) on a mission to track down Chow (Ken Jeong), a volatile party animal from the first two films. If the boys can't track down Chow, a gangster named Marshall (John Goodman) kills Doug (Justin Bartha). Chow stole a bunch of money from Marshall in the past, and he wants it back. Those are the basics of the plot, and Phil, Stu and Alan go from Mexico to Las Vegas and back to save their friend's life.

"The Purge" (2013, R, 85 min., $29.98) Although the follow- through is shaky, "The Purge" carries an interesting original storyline that grabs viewers. The film takes place in the future in a world where, for 12 hours of one day for the entire year, crime doesn't carry any consequences. James Sandin's family prefers to stay locked inside, but after an intruder on the run from a murderous gang gets in the house, they have problems. Send out the intruder to die, or the gang comes in and kills everyone. James DeMonaco's film is worth a look -- based on its concept -- but it jumps off the rails in the final act. It tries to make some points about society, but it doesn't know how. Ethan Hawke and Lena Headley are capable players in their lead roles.

"After Earth" (2013, PG-13, 100 min., $30.99) The film puts father Cypher (Will Smith) and his son Kitai (Jaden Smith) on a routine space trip that crashes on Earth, years after humans abandoned it. Cypher is badly injured in the trip, so he has to depend on his son to find a beacon that will send for help. Kitai faces incredible odds on a planet that has evolved into one that's definitely not safe for humans. With Cypher fading fast, the young Kitai has to grow up quickly.

"Much Ado About Nothing" (2012, PG-13, 109 min., $19.98) Filmmaker Joss Whedon provides his own take on William Shakespeare's legendary tale about sparring lovers. Whedon fans will find some of their favorite actors here, including Nathan Fillion, Clark Gregg, Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof.

"Stuck in Love" (2012, R, 97 min., $28.99) Josh Boone -- currently filming "The Fault in our Stars" in Pittsburgh -- makes his debut as a feature-length writer and director with this romantic drama about a family full of writers looking for their own love stories. Jennifer Connelly, Greg Kinnear and Kristen Bell lead a talented cast.

"Europa Report" (2013, PG-13, 90 min., $26.98) When it's learned that there's a possibility that a hidden ocean exists on one of Jupiter's moons, a special team of astronauts is assembled to investigate. After a dangerous technical failure slows down the crew, they must decide if they want to push forward or find a way back.

"Curse of Chucky" (2013, R, 97 min., $29.98) The little killer doll named Chucky is back in this sixth addition to the murderous franchise that began in 1988. In this latest picture, Chucky arrives as a mysterious package to the house of a woman and her family. She doesn't think much of it until people start turning up dead. Also out this week: "Chucky: The Complete Collection, Limited Edition"

TV ON DVD

- "Bones: The Complete Eighth Season"

- "White Collar: The Complete Fourth Season"

- "Psych: The Complete Seventh Season"

- "90210: The Final Season"

- "The Guild: Season 6" and "The Guild: Complete Megaset"

-- Garrett Conti

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