Home Theater, August 2012

The Hunger Games
Release Date: August 18, Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Chances are, if there are teenagers in your house, they’ve read The Hunger Games trilogy—a book series about a future society that makes children fight to the death to maintain order between the government and its people—and we wouldn’t fault you if you snuck away with their copies and read them yourself. Director Gary Ross brings a gritty realness to the movie adaptation, and star Jennifer Lawrence, who previously turned heads in Winter’s Bone, makes a tough heroine out of protagonist Katniss Everdeen.

Hatfields & McCoys
Release Date: July 31, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
When History channel broadcast this miniseries back in May, it drew one of its biggest audiences ever, with a whopping 14.3 million viewers.  If you missed out on all of the fussin’ and the feudin’, catch up on DVD. The series also has the distinction of re-teaming star Kevin Costner with his Waterworld and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves director Kevin Reynolds. (Previously, the two had been involved in a feud of their own.)

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Release Date: August 28, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Poor Aardman Animations. The British company, best known for its Wallace & Gromit shorts and movies like Chicken Run, never gets its due in America, always getting drowned out by shoutier, more antic cartoons. It’s a shame, though, because Aardman makes the kind of movies that are aimed at adults and kids in equal measure. In The Pirates, half the jokes come in the form of dry visual puns and clever details going on in the background of the scenes. (Ever see shark-fin soup when the shark is still swimming?)


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