Two and a Half Men: The Complete Twelfth and Final Season
The final season of the long-running Chuck Lorre (Big Bang Theory, Mike & Molly, Mom) sitcom finds Walden (Ashton Kutcher) and Alan (Jon Cryer) doing their thing, with Berta (Conchata Farrell) cleaning their house and Evelyn (Holland Taylor) occasionally showing up as ‘mother.’ But here, the two men, who can’t seem to find love or success, foster a child (Edan Alexander) and discover Charlie’s daughter (Amber Tamblyn). Ultimately, it’s the same sort of humor as what we’ve come to expect since Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen, but the fire wasn’t always there the way it was early on (how could it be, when Kutcher seems so much more ‘normal’?)
This time around, D.B. Sweeney, Mimi Rogers, Aisha Tyler, Michael Bolton, John Stamos, and Christian Slater pass through the scenes with folks we’ve come to know and love (Ryan Stiles!) as Lorre wraps up this particular world. Fans of the show will appreciate the wrap-up; new fans looking for some bawdy humor should check out the earlier seasons first to get the flair of the show overall. rating: borrow it
John Travolta hasn’t done much of late except botch Idina Menzel’s name, but here he tackles a slow-boiling drama about an ex-con grifter released to do “one last job.” The truth about Raymond’s one last job isn’t nearly as interesting as the way he juggles his real reason for getting out of jail: reconnecting with his dying son, Will (Tye Sheridan). The elder Cutter drags his estranged ex-wife (Jennifer Ehle) back into the mix, while his disapproving father (Christopher Plummer) looks on. Sure, there’s some complication introduced by the criminal pushing him back into a life of forgery (Anson Mount) and the cop hot on his tail (Abigail Spencer), but the film just isn’t all that exciting.
While I’m not a huge Travolta fan, it was an interesting familial set-up that director Philip Martin (mostly a TV director) used. It’s not terrifically engaging but it’s better than average for DVD fair in the middle of the summer. rating: rainy day it
The Last Ship (Blu-ray/Digital HD)
Just in time for the latest season of TNT’s The Last Ship, Hank Steinberg’s (The Nine, Without a Trace) thriller about a viral pandemic arrived for review. On the USS Nathan James, a fictitious guided missile destroyer, Eric Dane’s Commander Tom Chandler fights for respect, purpose, and the freedom of those who are unaffected by the virus. He’s joined in his efforts by Rhona Mitchell’s paleomicrobiologist, Adam Baldwin’s Mike Slattery (cop-turned-naval officer), and a host of others. Fans of World War Z and Battleship will probably dig the mashup of the two, but this is one of those breath of fresh air shows to arrive in the midst of the summer doldrums. rating: borrow it