DVD reviews: ‘Baby Mama,’ ‘The Forbidden Kingdom,’ ‘Kill Bill’ on Blu-ray, ‘Something Beneath’

Oh, baby

I would pay to watch “Saturday Night Live” alums Tina Fey and Amy Poehler do most anything — be still, my imagination — so I went into “Baby Mama” predisposed to be amused.

Turns out I liked it but didn’t love it.

The comedy opens understated and droll and remains that way until Poehler enters the frame, revamping the premise into “The Odd Couple” with women.

Poehler plays an unpolished, working-class woman with a few scruples loose. She’s hired by Fey, a successful, single career woman unable to get pregnant, as a surrogate to carry her baby. When Poehler catches her boyfriend cheating, she moves in with control-freak Fey and becomes Oscar Madison to Fey’s Felix Unger.

Steve Martin, with a ponytail, plays Fey’s ethereal boss at a multinational organic-foods chain. Juice-store owner Greg Kinnear eventually becomes her love interest.

The hit-or-miss screenplay by Michael McCullers, another “SNL” alum, who also directs, leaves a handful of gags floundering on the floor. It’s all predictable but cute, witty but not hilarious. (Also on Blu-ray.)

Extras: Commentary by the “SNL” group that includes producer Lorne Michaels; alternate ending; deleted scenes, some of which work; making-of shorts.

Kung fu fun

If you’re suffering from Beijing withdrawal, consider checking out “The Forbidden Kingdom,” a Jackie Chan-Jet Li fantasy shot in colorful parts of China featured in the extras and not seen during the Olympics coverage.

The movie’s a lot of fun, though surprisingly violent in a couple of spots. It targets teens and younger but should appeal to grown-ups, too.

Make that, to grown-ups who enjoy lively, kung-fu fables with genial humor and top-notch stars and fight choreography by “Crouching Tiger’s” Woo-Ping Yuen.

A combo time-travel and coming-of-age saga, the picture also stars Michael Angarano of “Will & Grace” as a contemporary Boston teen who finds an old staff in a Chinese curio shop. Magically, he is transported to ancient China where he teams with three heroes (Li, Chan and China pop star Liu Yifei) to battle an evil warlord and return the staff to the legendary Monkey King (also Li).

Cool visuals, appealing players and well-timed wit make this a good pick for fans of the genre.

Extras: Entertaining blooper reel; nice travelogue-ish piece on the China settings and the huge studio, dubbed Chinawood, where interiors were shot; good piece on lead actresses Yifei and Li Bing Bing; more.

Evil goo

Gray goo oozes through pipes and spatters employees and guests in a new conference center, making them hallucinate and, or, turning them into killers or suicides in “Something Beneath.”

It’s not “The X-Files” but it’ll do on a slow night.

Perhaps scariest of all, Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo plays a priest and he’s not half-bad (making him mostly good). Visuals aren’t half-bad, either, but the writing and secondary performances are, unless you get into the campiness.

Extras: None.

Bill’s back, in Blu-ray

“Kill Bill, Volume 1” and “Kill Bill, Volume 2” are out on Blu-ray, and worth a look for its rich colors and close-ups of the detail work Quentin Tarantino put into the double-feature.

The violence is more vivid, too, but the films are really something in enhanced video.

If you don’t own a Blu-ray disc player yet — like DVD killed VHS, Blu-ray (and digital downloads) will eventually make DVDs dinosaurs — be patient. Prices will drop, bells and whistles will increase and improve, and not only will “Kill Bill” and its ilk still be around, they’ll be cheaper, too.

Also on DVD

“Child’s Play: Chucky’s 20th Birthday Edition”: Includes commentary by Chucky, the killer doll, on select scenes.

“Doodlebops: We Love Our Friends”:
Musical trio rocks preschoolers.

“Fist of Legend — Ultimate Edition”: Chinese student (Jet Li) seeks justice after teacher’s murdered and Japanese forces take over his school.

“Fox Horror Classics”: “Chandu the Magician” (Bela Lugosi), “Dr. Renault’s Secret” (George Zucco), “Dragonwyck” (Gene Tierney, Vincent Price).

“I Want Candy”: Two actors are promised movie roles if they can recruit the Candy (Carmen Electra), the top adult film star; British comedy.

“The Last Days of Left Eye”: About the late rapper Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, who documented her last days before dying in a car crash at 30.

“Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour”: PG-rated chills involving a teenage girl visiting a secretive town haunted by an evil spirit.

“Seed”: A death-row inmate’s not happy after being electrocuted three times and being buried alive in director Uwe Boll’s horror extravaganza.

“Taking 5”: Two high school girls kidnap the world’s most popular boy band (the Click Five) to save their reputations. (Makes no sense to me, either.)

“Unstable Fables: Tortoise vs. Hare”: Slow-and-steady Walter races speedy Murray 15 years after the original go-round; computer-animated.

“We Are Together”: Documentary about children in the Agape orphanage in South Africa and the inspirational effect of singing.

TV on DVD

“Alvin & the Chipmunks Go to the Movies”
“America: Live in Chicago”
“Brian Regan: The Epitome of Hyperbole”
“Clifford The Big Red Dog: A Big Help”
“CSI: Miami — The Sixth Season”
“Edgar & Ellen: Mad Scientists — Season One, Vol. 1”
“Edgar & Ellen: Trick or Twins”
“Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Fourth Season — Expanded” (also on Blu-ray)
“Gulliver’s Travels Special Edition” (Ted Danson version)
“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season Three”
“Jon & Kate Plus Ei8ht: Seasons 1 and 2”; “Legion of Super Heroes: Vol. 3”
“Medium: The Fourth Season”
“Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work”
“Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre” (seven discs, 26 episodes)
“Smallville: The Complete Seventh Season” (also on Blu-ray)”
“Ugly Betty: The Complete Second Season”
“Wings: The Seventh Season”

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