Under the Radar

Family Viewing for the Holiday


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If you're trying to extend family time once the presents have been opened on Christmas, the right movie can keep everyone in the same room for at least a few more hours. Three new home video releases can help extend that holiday togetherness.


The Frozen Sing-Along Edition comes on DVD + Digital or Digital HD. It's the same monster hit movie from 2013 with the same special features but this version adds onscreen lyrics to every song in the movie. Your eight-year-old who's watched the movie 200 times won't need the help, but dads and grandparents will appreciate the help if you can coax them into a family sing. Frozen has already established itself as a modern Disney classic and all the snow in the movie makes it a likely candidate for a Christmas viewing tradition as well.



When the Game Stands Tall (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD) isn't your standard-issue inspirational sports movie: it's about what happens to Coach Bob Ladouceur (Jim Cavaziel) and his De La Salle High School Trojans football team once their 151-game winning streak. Maybe its Cavaziel's quiet intensity in the lead performance, but somehow a sports movie that doesn't end with a big win in the last reel manages to work.

If you can coax the non-sports fans in your family to give it a chance, they'll be surprised by how much this film deals with everyday family and community concerns in a way that most Hollywood films never bother to address.



Guardians of the Galaxy is the year's biggest movie. It's loud and flashy, but it's got a secret weapon to keep old people from fleeing the room: the '70s AM Radio Gold soundtrack offers a new audience a way to get into a Marvel universe that's less serious than the world-ending doom and complicated mythology that dominate most comic book movies. This one's more like a funnier version of Star Wars.

Some of the stuff about Chris Pratt's character's womanizing ways might be be too racy for more straitlaced family members, but Pratt is so silly and sweet about it all that it's hard to get too offended.

Marvel has figured just how much it's loyal audience is willing to spend. They don't sell a Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack anymore and they only way you're getting a Digital copy bundled with a disk is to buy the Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/Digital combo pack. Even if you don't have a 3D TV (and who does?), buying the combo pack is still less expensive than buying the Blu-ray and Digital versions separately.


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