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Rental Central

Tom DotyTimes Columnist

November 15, 2012

An excellent week for all sorts of renters saw a children’s film and a very adult thriller vying for your dollar.


“Brave” — Any movie from Pixar is worth a look. This one features Kelly MacDonald (“Boardwalk Empire”) as a princess who upsets the traditions of her kingdom by entering a competition for her hand, and winning it. This sets into motion other events that she must unravel with the aid of her suitors. Okay film from a studio that usually delivers meatier entertainment for families with films like “Finding Nemo” and “The Incredibles,” to name a few.


“The Watch” — If it is vulgar comedy you want, then this film delivers a few yuks. Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughan and Jonah Hill star as neighborhood watch volunteers who are a bit overzealous. That said, they are all that stands between their neighbors and an invading force of aliens. Fun stuff, but it falls short of being as good as it sounds, considering the set up and the talent involved.


“Savages” — Oliver Stone is back with a fun crime thriller. This is the type of stuff he does well, when he is not trying to make a statement. The film was based on an excellent novel by Don Winslow and details what happens to a pair of drug dealers when thier mutual girlfriend is abducted by a drug lord who wants the men to get on his payroll. Things get nasty in a hurry, thanks to a brutal enforcer (Benicio Del Toro) and a corrupt DEA agent (John Travolta).


“Twilight’s Last Gleaming” — They don’t make them like this anymore. This film is a chilling reminder of how we should treat our veterans and shows what happens when a band of ex-military guys take over a missile silo. Burt Lancaster is all teeth and gravitas as the leader of a band that includes Paul Winfield, William Smith and Burt Young. They get the silo locked down, but must then contend with a savvy general, played by Richard Widmark. This film played theaters but never hit VHS. Now you can check out the last great film from Robert Aldrich (“The Dirty Dozen”).


Next week brings more excitement with the 1980s action hero extravaganza “The Expendables 2.”