Fast & Furious 6
(PG-13,130 minutes, Universal): The Fast and the Furious movies will always be about hot cars that get into epic accidents; action sequences that defy the laws of physics; and precariously assembled plot lines that arent really that important anyway.
Most Fast characters will miraculously survive, even though they all clearly should have been killed at least 17 times.
Michelle Rodriguezs Letty Ortiz, supposedly murdered in the fourth chapter, is actually alive and apparently working for a nefarious former SAS officer/terrorism enabler named Shaw. FBI agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson), concludes the only way to stop Shaw is by recruiting the now-wealthy crew led by the love of Lettys life, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), and Brian OConner (the late Paul Walker). Because, you know, everyone else in the FBI is kind of busy, and Chris Ludacris Bridges is way better at tracking intel using high-tech equipment.
Contains intense sequences of violence, action and mayhem throughout, some sexuality and strong language. Extras: commentary with director Justin Lin; deleted scenes; making-of featurette; more on Blu-ray.
Despicable Me 2
(PG, 98 minutes, Universal): The minions are back. The little yellow torpedoes warmed hearts when they shuffled into 2010s animated hit Despicable Me with the bounciness of a beach ball, the elasticity of a rubber band and a vernacular composed mostly of giggles.
Once again, they tickle movie fans big and small, and they very nearly run off with this sequel. But the sweet story holds its own. The Russian-accented Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is a very different villain than when we last saw him. He has traded in a life of crime, including moon thievery and other hijinks, for a more sedate occupation. Gru, his accomplice Dr. Nefario (Russell Brand) and the minions spend their days making jam, and Gru passes his evenings taking care of his adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes.
His biggest stressors are planning Agnes birthday party and coming to grips with Margos interest in boys. But then agent Lucy (Kristen Wiig) of the Anti-Villain League drops in with a lipstick taser and a plan to recruit the reformed bad guy. The league has tracked an under-the-radar supervillain to a mall, and they need Gru to embed himself to discern which of the store owners is responsible.
Contains rude humor and mild action. Extras: commentary with directors Chris Renaud and Pierre Coffin, behind-the-scenes featurettes; more on Blu-ray.
(R, 90 minutes, Fox): This disarming film proves Joseph Gordon-Levitts deftness both behind the camera and in front of a computer screen, writing.
The movie starts as a raunch-fest, reveling in crass language and frank discussions about the relative merits of computer-generated ecstasy over the old-fashioned kind.
But somewhere along the way, the comedy morphs into an incisive satire and, finally, an extremely affecting story about the value of intimacy between two real people not actors, not avatars.
Contains strong graphic sexual material and dialogue throughout, nudity, strong language and drug use. Extras: HitRECord Shorts; more on Blu-Ray.