Picks of the week
(R, 134 minutes, Warner): John Lloyd Young reprises his Tony Award-winning portrayal of legendary Frankie Valli, lead singer of The Four Seasons, in this Clint Eastwood film. The movie, like the play, overstuffs the plot.
Valli suffered a harrowing family tragedy that makes its way into the narrative. Yet with so much attention paid to the band and so little to his personal life up until that point, the misfortune feels shoehorned into the story as a way to exhibit the hero hitting rock bottom.
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Overall though, fans of the play will be pleased. And for those who love the Four Seasons’ music but haven’t made it to the play, you can put your fear of missing out to rest.
Contains profane language. Extras: “Oh, What a Night to Remember” featurette. On Blu-ray: “From Broadway to the Big Screen” making-of short and a “Too Good to Be True” featurette.
(R, 96 minutes, Warner): Tammy, Melissa McCarthy’s character, is a graceless, obnoxious, thoroughly unpleasant young woman who gets fired from her fast-food job and returns home to discover that her husband is having an affair; this sends her on a road trip to Niagara Falls with her grandmother, who, for reasons known only to heaven above and the good people of United Talent Agency, is played by Susan Sarandon, decked out in a curly gray wig and prosthetically swollen ankles.
Contains language including sexual references. Extras: a gag reel. On Blu-ray: extended cut, “Tammy’s Road Trip Checklist” and deleted scenes.
‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’
(PG, 102 minutes, DreamWorks/Fox): The second chapter of the animated “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy is brimming with action while remaining mercifully straightforward.
The undoing of many a sequel lies in its insistence on introducing multiple enemies to up the ante. There’s none of that here. Meanwhile, the movie tackles themes of growing up and finding independence; coming to terms with one’s heritage; forgiveness; and how to properly care for a pet.
Contains adventure action and some mild rude humor. Extras: “Dawn of the Dragon Racers” animated short, “Fishleg’s Dragon Stats” (a guide to the film’s fire-breathing beasts) and music videos. On Blu-ray: commentary by writer-director Dean DeBlois, producer Bonnie Arnold, art director Pierre-Olivier Vincent and animator Simon Otto; a 60-minute making-of featurette; deleted and extended scenes; and featurettes covering Drago’s creatures and high-tech weapons, “Berk’s Dragon World” stable and “Hiccup’s Inventions in Flight.”
‘Let’s Be Cops’
(R, 104 minutes, Fox): This stinker depends for laughs on tired bits involving kids swearing, and sustains the audience’s interest with excuses to ogle shapely women dancing provocatively in bars or, in one unsavory instance, on her own skankily disheveled couch.
Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans are gifted comic performers but are given way too little to do in a film that wends its way from set piece to set piece, not with antic glee but desultory and-then-this-happens randomness.
Contains profanity, including sexual references, graphic nudity, violence and drug use. Extras: a “Brothers in Blue” featurette and separate commentary by director Luke Greenfield and by co-writer Nicholas Thomas. On Blu-ray: deleted and alternate scenes, a “Let’s Be Cops” camera test and a “Real Funny” featurette.