Picks of the Week
‘Cloudy With a
Chance of Meatballs 2’
(PG, 95 minutes, Sony): Instead of upping the ante, as so many sequels do, “Cloudy 2” merely gets the band back together – including perky weather girl Sam Sparks (Anna Faris), immature bully Brent (Andy Samberg) and Flint’s level-headed father (James Caan) – for a repetitive mission that calls to mind multiple beats from the first movie.
Contains mild rude humor.
Extras: Commentary with directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn; Cody Simpson “La Da Dee” music video and its making-of; seven featurettes including “Anatomy of a Foodimal” on the inspiration behind the food-animal hybrids that take over Swallow Falls, looks at production design and the voice actors; a discussion of how the filmmakers used a mix of 3-D, 2-D, stop-motion and live action; and “The Sasquash,” revealing the places in the film that the Sasquash is hiding.
On Blu-ray: Deleted scenes and short films “Attack of the 50-Foot Gummi Bear,” “Steve’s First Bath,” “Super Manny” and “Earl Scouts.” Available in 3-D.
(R, 123 minutes, Universal): As much escapist fun as “Rush” is as an adrenaline-juiced car-race movie, it’s most interesting as a rare depiction of male vanity, how physical attractiveness informs self-worth and potency, and the role beauty – so often the sole purview of women on screen – plays in men’s relationships and personal insecurities.
Director Ron Howard, cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle and editor Daniel P. Hanley deserve credit for creating a crisp, well-told account that succeeds as a workaday biopic, glamorous period piece, and portrayal of sports culture that seems quaintly scruffy seen from an era taken over by steroids, TV-ready narratives and endorsement deals.
Contains sexual content, nudity, profanity, some disturbing images and brief drug use.
Extras: “Ron Howard: A Director’s Approach” and, on Blu-Ray only, a six-part making-of featurette that covers the screenplay with Peter Morgan, casting Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl in the lead roles, filming Formula 1 racing action, 1970s fashion and “Around the World in One Location”; and a three-part featurette: “Meeting James Hunt and Niki Lauda,” “F1 Racing and the F1 Car” and “The Rock and Roll Circus.”
(PG-13, 104 minutes, Sony): This senior citizen’s version of “The Hangover” is led by a heavyweight ensemble cast including Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro and Michael Douglas.
They demonstrate both the easy chemistry and excitable energy of old friends reconvening after years apart, and they all genuinely seem to be having fun. Kline is especially memorable, and his comedic abilities have hardly diminished in the years since “A Fish Called Wanda.”
Contains sexual content and language.
Extras: Commentary with director Jon Turteltaub and writer Dan Fogelman; a making-of with commentary from the main cast; “Four Legends” look at the ensemble and their insights on working with one another and a glimpse at the character arcs of the four main characters. On Blu-Ray: Location and supporting cast featurettes and “The Redfoo Party.”