Rental Central

Tom Doty Times Columnist

October 4, 2013

An ideal week for renters saw only one clunker that will probably still appeal to the kids.

“This Is the End” — The makers of “Knocked Up,” “Pineapple Express,” and “Super Bad” team up for this apocalyptic comedy. The twist is they play themselves. A gathering at James Franco’s house turns out to be the last party, when the end of the planet is announced. This leads to some selfish and hilarious behavior as Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum deal with the news. Crass at times, but that should come as no surprise to the fans who will enjoy seeing these guys poke fun at themselves.

“The Croods” — An animated comedy for the kids. A prehistoric family must venture out into their hostile world when their cave is destroyed. Dad is fiercely protective and resists the journey, but they soon discover that the world has a lot to offer, besides ways to eat them. That said, it is no walk in the park to find a new home. A great message surrounds this story and the kids will probably like it, but it doesn’t have the same appeal for adults.

“The Monster Club” — A writer decides to visit the titular nightspot for a drink, when his vampire friend invites him out. The club appears to be a safe place for monsters to party, but it is also a fantastic spot for a writer, as he hears various spooky stories which unfold like episodes of “Tales From the Crypt.” An excellent cast eases you over the rough spots here, but the film doesn’t always know if it wants to be funny or scary. Vincent Price, John Carradine and Stuart Whitman star.

“Cagney and Lacey: Season 4” — Tyne Daily and Sharon Gless return for a full season of case as a pair of female detectives working the Manhattan beat. The show really hit its stride here and could easily deliver on the action, drama and acting fronts. Turns out, this is really season 5 but nobody acknowledges the first season, where the talented Meg Foster played Cagney. The stories continue to mesh casework with the home lives of the two leads, who cope with domestic challenges as well as the life-or-death ones they face on the job. The acting is second to none.