Out on DVD and Blu-Ray this week: A writer creates a female character so entrancing she changes his life, and uncle Martin's last round of adventures with that long-suffering human.
A fanciful romantic comedy from the creators of Little MIss Sunshine, the main caveat is that, as with other lyrical love fantasies like (say) (500) Days of Summer or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ruby Sparks can't decide whether it's about the female protagonist beguiling the poor schlub at the heart of the movie, or the lead actress beguiling us out in the audience. Fortunately, Zoe Kazan can work it for you either way.
Formats: DVD and Blu-Ray.
The story: A novelist struggling with writer's block finds romance in a most unusual way: by creating a female character he thinks will love him, then willing her into existence.
Starring: Paul Dano (Calvin Weir-Fields), Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks), Chris Messina (Harry), Annette Bening (Gertrude), Antonio Banderas (Mort), Aasif Mandvi (Cyrus Modi), Steve Coogan (Langdon Tharp), Toni Trucks (Susie), Deborah Ann Woll (Lila), Elliott Gould (Dr. Rosenthal), Alia Shawkat (Mabel), Jane Anne Thomas (Saskia), John F. Beach (Adam), Eleanor Seigler (Mandi), Emma Julia Jacobs (Party Goer at Langdon's), Wallace Langham (Warren).
Directed by: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris.
Features: Behind the Story; Real-Life Couples: Co-Stars & Directors; Be Careful What You Wish For; Theatrical Trailer; Sneak Peeks of: The Sessions, The Blu-ray Experience and Lola Versus; Getting to Know the Cast; Los Angeles: The Other Character.
My Favorite Martian was pretty darn silly most of the time, but what sells it anyway is the easy rapport that Bill Bixby and Ray Walston develop on-screen: no matter how ludicrous the situations in this sitcom, they play Tim and Martin like real people you can imagine going on with their lives when the camera's not on them. The DVDs have some unusual bonus materials to help you get in that mid-sixties TV sci-fi mindset.
The story: Newspaper reporter Tim O'Hara continues his adventures with a Martian whom he passes off as his Uncle Martin.
Starring: Ray Walston, Bill Bixby, Pamela Britton, Alan Hewitt, Jamie Farr.
Created by: John L. Greene.
Features: Behind-The Scenes Home Movies; Original Sponsor Bumpers & Cast Commercials: Spaceship Miniature Test Footage; Let's Talk to Lucy – long-lost 1964-65 radio shows where Lucille Ball interviews Bill Bixby & Ray Walston; Lost TV Show Pilot: The Man In The Square Suit; Photo Gallery; Animation & Effects.
This is one of those sci-fi indie movies with a great deal of potential in its concept, but the writer-director (Clay Liford, an experienced cinematographer) hasn't quite brought it together.
Formats: DVD (2 discs).
The story: After a mysterious atmospheric event, a small group of people wake up to realize that their entire lives have been a lie. They are in fact aliens disguised as humans. Now they have to make a choice: live amongst men, or try to find a way back home.
Starring: Rebecca Spence, Peter Greene and William Katt.
Directed by: Clay Liford.
Features: No information.