By Billy Sutter

TWO OF the most successful big-screen comedies of 2011 are among the latest batch of DVD releases, among them Bridesmaids, which received two nominations at the weekend for the 69th annual Golden Globe Awards, to be presented on January 15.

The film has been nominated for awards for Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and for the performance of Kristen Wiig, who plays Annie, a thirty-something who has hit a rough patch but finds her life turned upside down when she takes on the maid of honour role for her best friend’s wedding.

In way over her head, but determined to succeed, Annie leads a hilarious ensemble of bridesmaids on a wild ride down the road to the big event in a film that earns this reviewer’s vote as one of the most entertaining movies of 2011. The DVD also features bonus extras that include a gag reel, trailers, deleted scenes, and extended and alternate scenes.

A fun gag reel is also offered as an extra on another big comedy hit now on DVD – THE HANGOVER PART II, the colourful sequel to the tale of a group of pals getting up to mischief during an over-the-top stag party weekend in Las Vegas.

Again starring Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifianakis, Ed Helms and Justin Bartha, and also featuring Paul Giamatti, the sequel has the friends travelling to exotic Thailand for the wedding of Stu (Helms).

Director Todd Phillips’s funny tale demonstrates that though what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, what happens in Bangkok can hardly be imagined!

Also new on DVD racks in time for the holiday season are the following:


Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde pool talents, under the direction of Jon (Iron Man) Favreau, for this action-heavy and fun sci-adventure centred on a cowboy posse that has to save the world from alien invasion. Some great special effects.

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Owen Wilson and Michael Caine are among the voice cast of this animated sequel in which star race-car Lightning McQueen and his pal Mater go overseas to compete in the World Grand Prix. But the road to the championship becomes rocky as Mater gets caught up in an intriguing adventure of his own: international espionage.


Teaming Cameron Diaz, Justin Timberlake and Jason Segel, this comedy directed by Jake Kasdan revolves around a foul-mouthed junior high-school teacher who, after being dumped by her sugar daddy, begins to woo a colleague – a move that pits her against a well-loved teacher. Extras include deleted scenes, a blooper reel and featurettes.


Lonny Price directs Freddie Highmore, Ving Rhames and Patrick Mofokeng in this fine new film version of Athol Fugard’s classic play set in apartheid South Africa. It deals with a white boy stuck between his intolerant father’s outlook of him and that of his black caretaker.


Hunky Chris Evans fills the title role in director Joe Johnson’s film about Steve Rogers who, after being deemed unfit for military service, volunteers for a top-secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America’s ideals. Hugo Weaving and Samuel L Jackson also star. A fun movie.


Ryan Phillippe and Malin Akerman team in writer-director Steven Silver’s captivating drama based on the true-life experiences of four combat photographers capturing the final days of apartheid in South Africa. Worth seeing.


Robert Redford directs James McAvoy, Robin Wright and Tom Wilkinson in a drama focusing on Mary Surratt, the lone female charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination trial of Abraham Lincoln. As the whole US nation turns against her, she is forced to rely on her reluctant lawyer to uncover the truth and save her life.


Chris Hemsworth fills the title role, under the direction of Kenneth Branagh, in this tale of the powerful but arrogant warrior Thor, who is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders. The film also features Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman.


David Hyde Pierce stars in this fun, clever romp about a criminal on the run conning his way into the wrong dinner party, where the host is anything but ordinary. Directed by Nick Tomnay, the film also features Clayne Crawford.


Duncan Jones directs Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan in a complex but clever and captivating action-thriller. It’s about a soldier who wakes up in the body of an unknown man and discovers he is part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train.


A fun comedy, directed by David Gordon Green, which teams Danny McBride, James Franco and Natalie Portman. It’s about a prince, Fabious, who, when his bride is kidnapped, goes on a quest to rescue her… accompanied by his lazy, useless brother Thadeous. Much ribald humour.


Tucker Albrizzi and Diedrich Bader team in a tale of talking puppies on an adventure that takes them to a mysterious mansion where something very spooky is going on. They then get help from some unexpected new friends. One strictly for the little leaguers.