Rental Central

Tom Doty Times Columnist

December 13, 2013

Nothing but quality entertainment for renters this week, with excellent offerings across the board.

“Despicable Me 2” — The whole family can sit down and enjoy this animated sequel. Once again, you have Steve Carell voicing Gru. He is still a mad scientist, but he now makes a respectable living creating jellies and other sweets with his squeaky-voiced minions while raising his adopted daughters. When a supervillain threatens the world, he is conscripted into service. Lots of fun and fast pacing.

“Doctor Who 50th Anniversary: The Day of the Doctor” — When the universe itself is in peril, the Doctor must reunite with a past version of himself to stop it. Great stuff that sees current Doctor Matt Smith teaming with David Tennant’s previous version of the character. You also get John Hurt (“Alien”) as a guest star. The show has a rich history of bringing back previous versions of the Doctor for spectacular stories, and this effort ranks up there with the best episodes.

“Fast and Furious 6” — The series that won’t stay down is back with its biggest installment yet. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson joins the established cast as a federal agent who calls on them when a group of London-based mercenaries gets out of hand. Turns out our fast driving heroes (Vin Diesel, the late Paul Walker and Michelle Rodriguez) have the perfect skill sets for taking these bad guys down. Mainly, they can steal, soup up and race cars like no one’s business. A talky start gets this off to a slow beginning, but the action bits save it towards the end of the first hour and they never let up. Pretty spectacular with a finale that needs to be seen to be believed, and even then you might question the physics of it.

“Berberian Sound Studio” — Don’t let the awful title put you off if you are up for a decent thriller. Toby Jones (“The Mist”) stars as a sound engineer sent to Italy to work on a horror film. The movie winds up getting under his skin and twisting his reality. Good build up here and a nice homage to the Italian chillers of the 1970s .