Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: A big, bloated summer blockbuster about a war with aliens; a smarter, under-the-radar video franchise installment; a kid who can turn into a phantom and fight ghouls; and a convention of fairy-tale characters catches fire as a network drama.
While it does have great visuals, it's lame even for a summer CGI shoot-em-up blockbuster. As many reviewers said, this is the film that will make you long for the charm and savvy of the Transformers movies.
Formats: DVD, UV Digital Copy, Blu-Ray.
The story: A fleet of ships is forced to do battle with an armada of unknown origins in order to discover and thwart their destructive goals.
Starring: Taylor Kitsch (Lieutenant Alex Hopper), Alexander Skarsgard (Commander Stone Hopper), Rihanna (Petty Officer Cora 'Weps' Raikes), Brooklyn Decker (Sam), Tadanobu Asano (Captain Yugi Nagata), Hamish Linklater (Cal Zapata), Liam Neeson (Admiral Shane), Peter MacNicol (Secretary of Defense), John Tui (Chief Petty Officer Walter 'The Beast' Lynch), Jesse Plemons (Boatswain Mate Seaman Jimmy 'Ordy' Ord), Gregory D. Gadson (Lieutenant Colonel Mick Canales), Jerry Ferrara (Sampson JOOD Strodell), Adam Godley (Dr. Nogrady), Rico McClinton (Captain Browley), Joji Yoshida (Chief Engineer Hiroki), Louis Lombardi (Bartender).
Directed by: Peter Berg.
Features: All Access with Director Peter Berg (HD, 140 minutes); Second Screen Experience; Alternate Ending Previsualization (HD, 8 minutes); USS Missouri VIP Tour (HD, 20 minutes); Preparing for Battle (HD, 11 minutes); All Hands on Deck; Engage in Battle (HD, 7 minutes); Commander Pete (HD, 6 minutes); The Visual Effects (HD, 12 minutes); My Scenes Bookmarking.
This all-CGI sequel to the 1997 Paul Verhoeven sci-fi action classic, from Fullmetal Alchemist veteran designer Shinji Aramaki, is smarter than you'd expect from a late, animated franchise installment, carrying over key characters from the original and developing the Heinlein-originated universe while remaining a high-adrenaline action film.
Formats: DVD, UV Digital Copy, and Blu-Ray.
The story: A distant Federation outpost Fort Casey comes under attack by bugs. The team on the fast attack ship Alesia is assigned to help the Starship John A. Warden stationed in Fort Casey evacuate along with the survivors and bring military intelligence safely back to Earth. Carl Jenkins, now ministry of Paranormal Warfare, takes the starship on a clandestine mission before its rendezvous with the Alesia and goes missing in the nebula. Now, the battle-hardened troopers are charged with a rescue mission that may lead to a much more sinister consequence than they ever could have imagined.
Starring: Leraldo Anzaldua (Ratzass), Luci Christian (Captain Carmen Ibanez), Melissa Davis (Ice Blonde), Justin Doran (Dr. Carl Jenkins), David Matranga (General Johnny Rico), Emily Neves (Trig), David Wald (Major Henry 'Hero' Varro).
Directed by: Shinji Aramaki.
Features: Audio Commentary; Conceptual Art Gallery (1080p); Deleted Scenes (1080p, 1:36); Gag Reel (1080p, 3:24); The Making of Starship Troopers; Previews.
If you're following the exploits of the teen phantom-at-will, we're up to the last ten episodes of season 2—though apparently they're being released on DVD in a different order than as broadcast for some reason.
The story: Danny Phantom returns with more phantasmic adventures in the show’s second season. With the extraordinary ability to turn himself into a super heroic apparition, Danny Fenton--along with his best friends Tucker and Sam--must track down and defeat ghastly ghouls.
Starring: David Kaufman, Rob Paulsen, Kath Soucie, Colleen O'Shaughnessey, Rickey D'Shon Collins, Grey DeLisle, Ron Perlman
Directed by: Wincat Alcala, Gary Conrad, Butch Hartman, Kevin Petrilak.
The first turn of ABC's striking reinvention of every fairy tale character imaginable, adeptly woven into a single storybook, is out on home video in time to prepare for the new season.
Formats: DVD and Blu-Ray (5 discs).
The story: On her 28th birthday, Emma Swan meets Henry, the son she gave up for adoption 10 years ago. Henry believes Emma is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, prophesied to break a powerful curse. Unconvinced, Emma returns Henry to Storybrooke, where she encounters the enigmatic Mr. Gold and clashes with mayor Regina Mills -- the boy's adoptive mother -- who Henry insists is none other than the Evil Queen!
Starring: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jennifer Morrison, Robert Carlyle, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Raphael Sbarge, Jared Gilmore.
Created by: Adam Horowitz, Edward KitsiS.
Features: Featurettes: Fairy Tales In The Modern World, Building Character, Welcome To Storybrooke, The Story I Remember...SNOW WHITE; Fairest Bloopers Of Them All; Audio Commentaries; Deleted Scenes.