Skip to content
New on DVD: 'Hancock'; 'Fred Claus'
Hancock Sony, $28.96/$34.95; Blu-ray, $39.95
In the summer of "Iron Man" and “The Dark Knight,” the decidedly rattier "Hancock" came off as something of an also-ran, though in its own way, this offbeat, ground-level adventure was every bit as daring. Will Smith dials back the charm to play a moody, alcoholic superhero whose attempts to save the day always backfire, and Jason Bateman is his typically frazzled self as a corporate do-gooder who tries to save Hancock's public image. Director Peter Berg's jittery, almost documentary-like action sequences go a long way toward selling "Hancock's" puckish critique of how the public treats its heroes. The double-disc DVD and Blu-ray editions contain a generous complement of behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Fred Claus Warner, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99
For those trying to get into the right mind-set for Vince "Mr. December" Vaughn's appearance in this year's holiday comedy "Four Christmases," why not enjoy last year's Vaughn holiday comedy "Fred Claus"? Paul Giamatti plays a harried Santa Claus who asks for the help of his slacker brother Fred (played by Vaughn) when an efficiency expert threatens to shut down the family toymaking operation. Wackiness ensues, followed by yuletide warmth -- all perfectly innocuous. The DVD and Blu-ray editions include deleted scenes and commentary by director David Dobkin.
Meet Dave 20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99
So much went wrong in the making and marketing of the sci-fi comedy "Meet Dave," right down to the decision to change the name of the movie from the catchier "Starship Dave." And though it'd be nice to cut the film some slack and call it merely an amiable misfire, this movie is -- sorry to say -- dire with a capital "D." From Eddie Murphy's painfully broad performance as a human-sized spaceship to juvenile bodily function jokes, "Meet Dave" is as obvious and unsightly as a pimple. The DVD and Blu-ray editions add only a short package of unfunny in-character interviews.
Space Chimps 20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99
"Saturday Night Live's" Andy Samberg provides the voice of a chimpanzee who's living in the shadow of his grandfather -- the first chimp in space -- when he's called in to help investigate the disappearance of a NASA probe. The voice talent in "Space Chimps" is top-drawer and though neither the animation nor the jokes are as impressive as those in "Wall-E" and "Kung Fu Panda," this mild family film is sweeter and funnier than skeptical parents might expect. The DVD and Blu-ray editions limit their special features to a 10-minute promo piece.
Also this week
A Colbert Christmas
The Greatest Gift of All
Comedy Central, $19.99
The Doris Day Show
The Complete Collection
Tantrums and Tiaras
Echo Bridge, $24.95
-- Noel Murray