Transformers: Dark Of The Moon (Available 9/30)
Coolest extra: Nada; a "special edition" packed with bonus features is slated for a Christmas release—you've been warned. (DVD/Blu-ray)
Complex says: Back in July, when Transformers: Dark Of The Moon hit theaters, we were quite high on Michael Bay’s third warring robots flick. A vast improvement over its careless predecessor, 2009’s Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen, Dark Of The Moon continued the franchise’s tradition of thin characters getting overshadowed by superlative visual effects, but, for Bay’s third entry, those effects were better than ever. The film’s last act, set in a desolate Chicago wasteland, is a nearly-hour-long blitzkrieg of impeccable CGI, fearless camerawork (first-person POV sky-diving shots), and rousing action, all greatly suited for the big screen.
At home, though, Transformers: Dark Of The Moon loses much of its gusto. The visuals are still impressive, of course, but there’s something lost in the translation from IMAX screens to rinky-dink television sets; without a multiplex’s grandiosity as a distraction, the vapid script’s inefficiencies are easier to spot. It’s easier to re-watch Ken Jeong’s pointless and obnoxiously unfunny appearance, laugh at Bay’s shamelessly unsubtle ogling of leggy co-star Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s sick physique (a bonus, no doubt), and scoff at the wooden acting from Josh Duhamel and Tyrese Gibson.
So is it worth picking up Transformers: Dark Of The Moon on DVD or Blu-ray? Only if your TV is 50-inches or larger, or you’re a Michael Bay apologist. Otherwise, wait for its cable premiere and just click through our own Rosie Huntington-Whiteley photo gallery, which requires the same amount of brainpower as watching Dark Of The Moon.
Buy it now: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
How To Make It In America: The Complete First Season
Coolest extra: “The Get By: Making It On The Streets of NYC” featurette, about skateboarders hustling in the Big Apple (DVD/Blu-ray)
Complex says: For Entourage die-hards, the last few weeks must have been unbearably tough. Now that Ari Gold and the gang have hit TV’s old dusty trail, Sunday nights are much less breezy, humorous, and, admit it, formulaic and predictable. But, starting this weekend, the cable network’s East Coast answer to Entourage’s Hollywood storytelling returns, with the second season of How To Make It In America, also executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, debuting at 10 p.m. EST.
Just in time for the premiere, the first season’s home video set is here for the uninitiated. So what’s in store for the unaware? Nothing that much different from Entourage, for better or worse. Rather than an actor and his tightly knit crew of friends, How To Make It In America centers on a couple of everyman hustlers (Bryan Greenberg and Victor Rasuk) traversing their way through Manhattan’s cutthroat fashion scene. Other differences: This one’s without a scene-stealer of Jeremy Piven’s caliber, but, on the positive end, its lead actors are far more charismatic and likeable than Adrian Grenier.
Only eight episodes long, How To Make It In America’s first season is a quick, unimposing watch, but the set’s biggest draws are its bonus features, namely a look at NYC skateboarders whose real-life hustles are not unlike the pursuits of the show’s main characters. Though, you might be left wishing that HBO would produce a show about those guys instead.
Hung: The Complete Second Season
Coolest extra: “Hung: Behind The Series” featurette (DVD/Blu-ray)
Complex says: How To Make It In America might have much more swag, but, in terms of HBO’s new Sunday night lineup, the best half-hour comedy is Hung (also restarting this Sunday night), the Thomas Jane-starring series about a financially strapped, divorced high school baseball coach, Ray Drecker (Jane) who moonlights as a gigolo thanks to his enormous joint.
You’d think that a side job that involves nothing more than profitable sex with random strangers would be a great look, but, as Hung reasons, it’s actually difficult and mentally taxing work. But executive producer Alexander Payne (director of Election and Sideways) and his team don’t turn the show into a woe-is-me fest; Jane’s frustrations with having to constantly “get it up” for frustrated housewives are wisely played for awkward laughs.
Hung’s high-quality second season focuses on Ray’s hopes of getting back together with his ex-wife (Anne Heche), and how the possibility of reconnecting his failed marriage plays into his bone-for-cash second job. How serious does it get? Just look at a few of the episode titles: “Just The Tip”, “”Tucson Is The Gateway To Dick”, “Bang Bang Bang Motherfucker”, and “Beaverland”. Yeah, Hung understands its inherently raunchy humor quite well, and deserves a larger audience for that refreshing self-awareness, frankly.