In the overtly political (not surprising) Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Rated PG, Universal Studios, 3.5-of-5 stars, $14.99 to $27.99 depending on format and version) the title character speaks for the trees.
In today’s environment, someone has to. Given the problems that face the U.S. and the world for that matter, ecological issues don’t ever seem to occupy a high spot on the list of priorities.
Well they do in The Lorax. Whether that’s good or bad depends upon your views, but there’s little doubt in the wake of gas prices, suspected global warming and the weather associated with it that people are awakening to the prospect that we are doing irreparable harm to the planet. To deliver that message to children, what better way than an animated film based on a Dr. Seuss book?
But beyond the message is there anything else to take? Yup. Mirth and merriment. The film, directed by Chris Renaud of Despicable Me fame, keeps a light tone despite the heavy message when telling the story of the citizens of a city of plastic oblivious to the beauty that nature beholds and how things were once vastly different. Throw in a decent song or two and The Lorax was a good time for the family.
Extras: The most enjoyable goodies to grace the blu-ray release of The Lorax – and there are a plethora of extras – are the mini-movies made just for the package. They possess charm for kids and adults. Add to it a few others including a special a look at translating Dr. Seuss stories to the screen, something that hasn’t been as easy as some might think.
Every coin has two sides. For HBO, the other side to theirs has always been redheaded stepchild known as Cinemax. For those who used its more…umm…titillating content to help them get through puberty, it’s better known as Skinemax.
Although it began as an outlet to air theatrical versions of movies on cable prior to heading to network television (something that no longer happens), HBO, over the years, has done a remarkable job at diversifying its offerings from documentaries to sports to producing and financing their own movies and TV series.
The latter maneuver has really proved to be a goldmine for the channel with successes such as The Sopranos and more recently Boardwalk Empire. They’ve now turned their efforts toward that stepchild with the show Strike Back, a show that doesn’t even pretend to aim for the more subtle fare of HBO. This is a show for adrenaline junkies and with it making its debut on blu-ray only for $59.96, it’s easy to get sucked into the show.
Starring Philip Winchester as a member of an elite British counter-terrorism team and Sullivan Stapleton as an ex-Delta Force member enlisted to help the team with its latest dilemma, it’s essentially non-stop action with a touch of mystery, heaping doses of sex and enough adrenaline and testosterone to power a football team.
I caught the first two episodes of the first season and the tale of terrorism, conspiracy and other aspects of the series captured my attention right away. Even if you don’t want to own it, it’s definitely worth watching it. Consider it a well assembled action flick airing every week. The second season premieres on Cinemax next week.
Extras: The only extras to be found on this box set are five audio commentaries from cast members.
Release news: Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures debuts on blu-ray Sept. 18 and fans of Harrison Ford’s legendary character can look forward to a fifth disc of nothing but extras…A 20th anniversary version of A League of Their Own debuts Oct. 16th…Look for the Denis Leary series Rescue Me in a definitive version Sept. 25