Picks of the Week
‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2’
(PG-13, 115 minutes, Lionsgate): For those with no vested interest in this protracted and supernatural soap opera, this will be a silly and somewhat cheesily made waste of time.
It opens with our once-mortal heroine, Bella (Kristen Stewart), who has just given birth to a half-human, half-vampire baby, Renesmee, with her new, undead husband, Edward (Robert Pattinson).
The story clicks in after word reaches the Volturi – the vampire world’s governing elite – that Renesmee may be a vampire baby who threatens to expose their carefully hidden vampire subculture. As Aro, the leader of the Volturi, Michael Sheen is a rare delight as he attempts to determine whether Edward and his family must be punished and Renesmee destroyed.
Contains sensuality and violence. Extras: commentary with director Bill Condon; seven-part making-of documentary; “Two Movies at Once” featurette on the simultaneous shooting of both “Breaking Dawn” parts, “Jump to” features that allow viewers to watch only their favorite Edward or Jacob scenes; “The Forgotten” Green Day music video.
(PG-13, 94 minutes, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment): North Korean soldiers substitute for the original Soviet bad guys in a remake of the 1984 action film about high school kids from the American heartland forced to become guerrilla warriors when their small town is invaded.
This amped-up retread is a big improvement over the original, but that’s not saying much. Much of the speechifying comes from Jed (Chris Hemsworth), a brooding Marine on home leave who is left in charge of his brother Matt (Josh Peck) and several of Matt’s teenage friends after they slip through the clutches of the brutal North Korean prefect.
Jed quickly recruits the kids to the cause of resistance, and the rest of the film is spent showing their training and tactics as they evolve into a crack squad of freedom fighters. It’s moderately good fun, even if it comes with a heaping helping of baloney.
Extras: four making-of featurettes.
(PG, 108 minutes, Disney): The 3-D animated comedy is the story of a goofy bad guy out of a retro arcade game who “game jumps,” leaving his cloistered universe in search of fulfillment in other games.
It’s a clever and original idea, but the narrative itself is overly busy, noisy and unengaging, with little of the heart that charmed “Toy Story” viewers.
The voice casting here works well. In the title role of a hulking destroyer who dreams of becoming a hero, John C. Reilly evokes the pathos of an outsider. And Sarah Silverman is pretty perfect as Vanellope von Schweetz, a tomboyish driver in a kiddie drag-racing game. Like Ralph, Vanellope aspires to video-game greatness. Their unexpected friendship is one of the nicest things about the movie.
Contains mild video game violence and bathroom humor. Extras: “Bit by Bit: Creating the Worlds of Wreck-It Ralph” behind-the-scenes featurette; alternate and deleted scenes; “Paperman,” Oscar-winning animated short film that played in theaters before “Wreck It Ralph.” Also, on Blu-ray: “Disney Intermission: The Gamer’s Guide to Wreck-It-Ralph,” 10 video segments offering an inside look at the many video game references, Disney references and other hidden surprises featured in the film. WashingtonPost