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Published on October 24th, 2012 | by Greg

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Peo­ple Like Us: New On Blu-Ray

We’ve got a pair of film re­views to­day- one is the lat­est sea­son in a TV se­ries that, love it or hate, keeps the dra­ma com­ing. And speak­ing of dra­ma, we’ve al­so got a new movie that care­ful­ly toes the line be­tween touch­ing and cliche. It’s said that all fam­i­lies are strange. And each fam­i­ly, to para­phrase an old quote, is strange in their own way. What would you do if you found out, af­ter your fa­ther’s death, that you had a sis­ter that you didn’t know about?

That’s the con­cept be­hind Peo­ple Like Us (new on two-disc Blu-ray/DVD com­bo). Star­ring Chris Pine and Eliz­a­beth Banks and di­rect­ed by Alex Kurtz­man, even the sec­ondary cast led by Michelle Pfeif­fer and Olivia Wilde are rec­og­niz­able. De­spite some mo­ments of over-act­ing and fair­ly over­drawn char­ac­ters, and a few scenes that feel con­trived, the film as a whole is bet­ter than you might ex­pect from the plot sum­ma­ry. Death and long-held se­crets aren’t the light­est of top­ics, and the movie doesn’t hold back from some re­al sad­ness and trou­ble. Treat­ed with less of a deft touch, it might have veered in­to cloy­ing ter­ri­to­ry, but Peo­ple Like Us man­ages to stay on track, al­beit a nar­row one that has us wait­ing a bit im­pa­tient­ly for the mo­ment when Chris Pine re­veals his iden­ti­ty.

The score and cin­e­matog­ra­phy, as well as the trans­fer, are pret­ty sec­ondary here- ev­ery­thing is up to par and per­fect­ly ac­cept­able. This is worth watch­ing, if you’re in the mood or gen­er­al­ly en­joy movies with re­al­is­tic sit­u­a­tions and emo­tions, well-act­ed and script­ed. Im­per­fect, to be sure, and with an end­ing that had one of us left un­sat­is­fied and oth­ers quite hap­py. We liked the bonus fea­tures- a cou­ple of sol­id au­dio com­men­taries were a bit un­usu­al for a movie like this, and a few delet­ed scenes and a bloop­er reel were fun, even if they didn’t add much.

Rat­ed PG-13, and avail­able now from Walt Dis­ney Stu­dios. 113 min­utes. $25 or so.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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