Blu Tuesday: Gotham and Angry Birds

Every Tuesday, I review the newest Blu-ray releases and let you know whether they’re worth buying, renting or skipping, along with a breakdown of the included extras. If you see something you like, click on the cover art to purchase the Blu-ray from Amazon, and be sure to share each week’s column on social media with your friends.

“Gotham: The Complete Second Season”

WHAT: When wealthy aristocrat Theo Galavan (James Frain) returns to Gotham and runs for mayor, Detective James Gordon (Ben McKenzie) becomes obsessed with exposing his true intentions. Meanwhile, as young Bruce Wayne continues his training alongside Alfred (Sean Pertwee) and Selina Kyle (Camren Bicondova), a new wave of criminals begins to terrorize the city, including Edward Nygma (Cory Michael Smith), Victor Fries (Nathan Darrow) and Arkham Asylum’s chief of psychiatry, Hugo Strange (BD Wong).

WHY: It’s fitting that “Gotham” isn’t associated with the other DC Comics TV shows, because unlike those fan-friendly series, the Fox drama might as well be taking place in an alternate universe – one that doesn’t seem at all interested in staying true to its roots. There’s nothing wrong with a little reinvention, but when the heroes and villains no longer resemble their comic book counterparts, it sort of defeats the purpose of making a show called “Gotham.” For instance, James Gordon’s Season Two arc is not only completely out of character, but it boxes him into a corner that has irreparable repercussions. It’s a frustrating occurrence that happens far too often during the course of the season, damaging the overall quality of the show in the process. The ensemble cast makes the most of the material provided, and there’s a certain joy in seeing Batman’s rogue’s gallery brought to life (even if they’re watered down versions of the characters), but for a series that started off so promising, “Gotham” doesn’t provide many reasons to continue watching.

EXTRAS: The Blu-ray release includes the 2015 Comic-Con panel, a trio of featurettes covering the show’s film noir style, the relationship between Alfred and Bruce Wayne, and the origin of Mr. Freeze, as well as additional cast interviews and more.


“The Angry Birds Movie”

WHAT: When their peaceful island paradise is invaded by mysterious green piggies with a hidden agenda, a trio of outcast birds – short-tempered Red (Jason Sudeikis), speedy Chuck (Josh Gad) and volatile Bomb (Danny McBride) – set out to stop the villainous pig king (Bill Hader) from completing his plan.

WHY: “Angry Birds” may be one of the most popular apps of all time, but it hardly warrants its own movie. In fact, the mobile game is so simplistic that there isn’t much of a story to tell, and yet the film spends nearly an hour setting up what the game does in mere seconds. Everything that precedes the inevitable slingshot-flinging finale is just noisy filler – an insufferable assault of bright colors and lame bird puns that will have you reaching for your phone. Though Jason Sudeikis is well-cast as the snarky and sardonic Red, the rest of the ensemble is horribly wasted; Josh Gad’s Chuck is basically Olaf in bird form, while Bill Hader’s pig king sounds so much like Rip Torn that it makes you wonder why Sony didn’t just hire him instead. Even more troubling is the movie’s shockingly xenophobic message (which suggests that you shouldn’t trust others who don’t look like you), because although it was probably just an oversight by the filmmakers, the fact that no one involved realized it goes to show how little effort went into making this film.

EXTRAS: There are some behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, four animated shorts and much more.



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