DVDs In Brief: November 17, 2010

DVDs In Brief: November 17, 2010

Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right (Universal), in which the children of a lesbian couple (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore) meet the man whose sperm gave them life (Mark Ruffalo), could have been a film about the hot-button issue of gay marriage. It isn’t that it’s not about that, but as unconventional as the family is, Cholodenko’s movie is ultimately about any family, and the ways it can strain, age, and perhaps grow stronger as the years pass. The cast is universally excellent, the humor loose, and the emotions movingly real…

Back in March, Disney Studios parted ways with ImageMovers Digital, the animation studio behind the motion-capture technique that brought Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express and Disney’s A Christmas Carol (Buena Vista) to life. Though the news was sad, the rationale was understandable: Technology that had been touted as cutting-edge in its (creepy) digital recreation of human beings had just been massively eclipsed by the marvels of Avatar. Plus, the style is completely charmless and antiseptic, which the quickly forgotten A Christmas Carol makes abundantly clear…

On the other hand, A Christmas Carol looks like a holiday classic next to swill like Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore (Warner Bros.) which also uses digital animation, but to more nefarious, animal-manipulating ends. A nine-years-late sequel that nobody asked for, Cats & Dogs extends the original movie’s pernicious anti-cat propaganda, casting Bette Midler as a “radical felinist” who invents a leash designed to get dogs to turn on their owners…  

The best news about M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender (Paramount) coming to DVD? It isn’t in 3-D—or in this case, poorly converted 3-D—so the images presumably won’t be as dark and blurry as they were in theaters. The bad news? It’s still The Last Airbender, meaning that it keeps the wooden dialogue, confusing mythology, dismal performances, and everything else that makes it a frontrunner for the worst movie of 2010.