Today's DVDs & Blu-rays: The Intouchables, Lay the Favorite, Ultramarines and a Duck Dynasty Season 2 Giveaway
Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's The Intouchables is a feel-good film with its heart in the right place, even if it covers very familiar territory. Based on a true story, the film follows an elderly wealthy Frenchman, Philippe (played to perfection by François Cluzet), who's paralyzed from the neck down. He hires Driss (Omar Sy), a younger, African immigrant, as a caregiver. Neither is quite what the other expects and as Driss works to expand Philippe's life experiences, both men change in profound ways.
François Cluzet and Omar Sy star in The Intouchables; Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano co-wrote and co-directed.
The film's comedy comes from Driss's inexperience in paying attention to the needs of anyone else. He unthinkingly tests Philippe's inability to feel by pouring boiling water on the sleeping man's legs. Another time, while feeding Philippe, Driss is distracted by a beautiful woman walking by and spoons the food into Philippe's eye rather than his mouth. It's Driss's complete lack of guile that makes him endearing rather than cloddish.
The film is in French with English subtitles. There were no extras on the DVD we saw.
Beth Raymer's memoir Lay the Favorite : A Story about Gamblers is the basis for the Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall film Lay the Favorite. Hall stars as Beth, a young woman who joins forces with a criminal-with-a-heart-of-gold bookie named Dink (Bruce Willis). The two make a good if wacky pair until Dink's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) gets jealous and forces Beth out. Once they're apart, both of them are a bit lost. In steps a bad bookie (Vince Vaughn) who complicates the situation. DVD extras include deleted scenes.
Bruce Willis and Rebecca Hall star in Lay the Favorite; Stephen Frears directs.
There's plenty of action in the CGI/motion-captured film Ultramarines. Based on the popular war game, Ultramarines features genetically enhanced super-warriors known as Space Marines. This time they're facing their worst enemy -- other Space Marines. Voiced by Terence Stamp, John Hurt and Sean Pertwee, Ultramarines is the first-ever full-length feature based on the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Four hairy, seriously unkempt and grungy guys are the latest superstars on the A&E channel's Duck Dynasty. We admit we don't get it; self-professed rednecks with seemingly much more money than they have of sense or good taste run an ever-growing empire and millions of viewers tune in every week to watch their escapades. Uh, okay. But hey, just because we aren't hip to the Duck-men's appeal doesn't mean we aren't willing to share the love. We've got a free copy of Duck Dynasty Season 2 to give to a lucky reader. Just send an e-mail with the words "Duck Dynasty" in the subject line to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll pull a random winner on Friday afternoon. Good luck to all you duckers out there.