‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and more on DVD

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On Dec. 9 ”Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD.  The film, a big summer hit, is a great holiday gift idea for young and old alike who are fans of Marvel Comics. In the film Chris Pratt (TV’s “Parks & Recreation“) plays Peter Quill, a brash young space adventurer who steals a mysterious orb. As a result he becomes the object of a relentless bounty hunt.

On Dec. 9 ”Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” will be available on Blu-ray and DVD.  The film, a big summer hit, is a great holiday gift idea for young and old alike who are fans of Marvel Comics. In the film Chris Pratt (TV’s “Parks & Recreation“) plays Peter Quill, a brash young space adventurer who steals a mysterious orb. As a result he becomes the object of a relentless bounty hunt.

To evade capture he forges an uneasy alliance with a gun- toting raccoon named Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper who is hilarious),  a tree-like humanoid named Groot (Vin Diesel), the deadly female assassin, Gamora (Zoe Saldana of “Avatar”) and the revenge-driven Drax (Dave Bautista).  They are joined by several other misfits in a desperate battle to save the galaxy.  Along with the action and adventure, there are plenty of laughs. The film is rated PG-13. 

Both the Blu-ray and DVD contain never-before-seen deleted scenes as well as an exclusive look at “Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron.” The Blu-ray version has even more bonus material and includes a feature on the making of the film.  

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“Dolphin Tale 2,” is a continuation of the inspiring true story of Winter, a young dolphin who was given a prosthetic tail. Now, two years later, Winter loses her surrogate mother, leaving her alone, grieving and unwilling to interact with anyone, even her best human friend, a young boy named Sawyer. When Dr. Clay Haskett (Harry Connick, Jr.) and his dedicated team can’t find her a companion, it looks like they may lose their beloved Winter… until an unexpected turn of  events brings them Hope.  Warner Bros., rated PG. 

Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain the feature: “Dolphin Tale 2: True Story.”  The Blu-ray combo  includes even more additional features plus a blooper reel.  Lots of heart-warming entertainment for family viewing.

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For grown-ups, check out “Frank,” a critically acclaimed comedy starring Michael Fassbender,  Dombnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhall. This bizarre, offbeat comedy deals with a young wannabe musician Jon (Gleeson) who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious Frank (Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head that he never removes while performing.

Gyllenhall is Frank’s terrifying, protective band-mate, Clara. The DVD includes deleted scenes and many additional features. From Magnolia Home Entertainment, rated R for language and some sexual content.

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Here are a few suggestions for 2theatre gift giving:

On Dec. 2 the Stephen Sondheim fairytale “Into Woods” comes to the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts and runs through December 21.  The Center will also present “Love, Noel: The Letters and Songs of Noel Coward” from December 5-21 on its second stage. The show, staring Harry Groener and Emily Bergl, is back by popular demand.  Come and enjoy an evening of intimate, sophisticated comedy.  For tickets and information, call 310-746-4000 or online at thewallis.org.

The Pantages in Hollywood has had a fabulous season, starting with such hits as “Jersey Boys,” “Pippin” and “Kinky Boots.”  Next, just in time for the holidays, comes the wonderfully wicked musical “Wicked”—the perfect gift for your daughters and for the whole family as well. In the new year the Pantages will present “Newsies” and “Phantom of the Opera.” For tickets and info go to HollywoodPantages.com.

For Old World holiday wonder, check out the New Year’s Concert “Salute to Vienna” where you can celebrate the new year with Strauss waltzes and operetta arias, featuring European singers, dancers and a full orchestra. At the Music Center’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.  For tickets call 1-800-745-3000.

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If a fast paced British farce is your cup of tea, check out “What the Butler Saw” at the Mark Taper Forum, through Dec.21.  Written by Joe Orton, who also penned “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” and the hilarious comedy, “Loot,” the story unfolds in a London psychiatric clinic run by the very promiscuous Dr. Prentice, played by Charles Schaughnesy (TV’s “The Nanny.”)  As the tale begins, he is attempting to seduce the perky, pretty Miss Geraldine Barclay (Sarah Manton) who is applying for a secretarial position. The not-so-good doctor tells her to take her clothes off for closer inspection, to insure she is in good health.  It’s all part of the procedure, he tells the trusting young lass.  At this point, Mrs. Prentice comes barging in, forcing the shrink to hide the scantily clad Miss Barclay and her clothes. 

His wife (Frances Barber) is also no saint.  She is being pursued by a hotel bellboy (Nicholas Beckett) who claims she had her way with him in the hotel linen closet.  She can’t afford to be blackmailed, so she tries to force her husband to hire the bellboy as his new secretary.  Can things get worse, screwier and more screwed up?  Yes!  And as each spouse tries to hide their under-aged objects of affection from one another, a government inspector, Dr. Rance (a very droll, pompous Paxton Whitehead) enters from one of the many clinic doors, to do his thing.  At this point a policeman (Rod McLachlan) shows up looking for Miss Barclay. 

Orton keeps the silliness, laced with social comedy and satire, moving at break-neck speed and so does the all-British cast under the mad-cap direction of John Tllinger.  Sadly Orton’s career ended all too soon when he was murdered by his lover who was envious of his success.  He was only 34.

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