Photo: The cast of “Planet 51” as seen on the DVD cover.

Planet 51 (Sony, Blue-ray or standard DVD, PG, 91 min.). A reverse ‘E.T.’ — and ‘E.T.’ is one of more than a half-dozen films referenced here — this fun animated film has Dwayne Johnson voiced astronaut Chuck Baker who, after traveling 20 billion miles to a world with a ring like Saturn’s (hence, rain consists of falling rocks), finds a whole civilization and not the uninhabited world he expected. The reason for that is the still-functioning probe Rover has only sent back photos of rocks.

The story, however, starts with Planet 51 teenager Lem (Justin Long) who is trying to become the second assistant at the observatory where he works. He is less obsessed than his friends including Skiff (Seann William Scott), with the current alien invasion movie series “Humaniacs.” Lem is shy — he’s unable to get up enough courage to tell the girl next door (Jessica Biel as Neera) that he likes her and wants to date — but when Chuck’s space capsule lands in his neighborhood, he decides to help the alien get back to his capsule despite it being surrounded by the military (Gary Oldman voices the lead general). John Cleese voices Professor Kipple, who wants to extract Chuck’s brain for study.

The film’s action is breezy and fun, and the animation looks sharp. It was written by Joe Stillman, who wrote “Shrek,” and he never explains why the little green inhabitants of Planet 51 talk the same English we do. Best of all is the architecture of the planet, mostly based on saucer-like shapes. And the civilization seems stuck in what would be our 1950s, as their TV has only three channels and is still in black and white. DVD extras include three extended scenes, a music video montage; a 12:04 making-of feature; shorts looks at the sets and the voice stars; and, exclusive on Blu-ray, a game with optional iPhone controller App. The Blu-ray edition comes with a second disc that has the standard DVD version and a digital copy of the film. Grade: film 3.25 stars; extras 2.5 stars

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (Sony, Blu-ray or standard DVD, R, 117 min.). Writer/director Troy Duffy’s original 1999 film (recently released on Blu-ray by Fox with both the theatrical and unrated versions) failed miserably at the box office but became a big hit, and a cult film, on DVD. In it, the brothers MacManus — Sean Patrick Flanery as Connor and Norman Reedus as Murphy — wiped out about two dozen mobsters, Russians and otherwise, in the Boston underworld scene, while trying to outsmart FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe), who eventually is tempted to work with the brothers.

The sequel takes place eight years later. The brothers — they actually look like twins — are pulled out of retirement/hiding in Ireland with their father (Bill Connolly) when a priest is murdered in Boston and it is made to look like they did the crime (their signature is two bullets in the back of the head that cross and come out the eyes, which are then covered with pennies. With Smecker out of the picture, Julie Benz (“Angel,” “Dexter”) is on board as Special Agent Eunice Bloom of the FBI. She is all dolled up, has a Southern accent and, like Smecker, images herself in the middle of several shootouts as she reconstructs crime. However, she does not work as a character; it is the film’s biggest flaw. Also new is Clifton Collins Jr. as Romeo, a Mexican who joins the brothers during their passage aboard a freighter to Boston. Judd Nelson plays an Italian mobster seeking revenge on the brothers.

The film, which often looks great, has several flashbacks to 1958 and dad Noah MacManus’ backstory. The music is in your face and there are lots of F bombs let loose, but the story is paper-thin, the comedy often grating and mostly it devolves into shootouts that might as well be at a carnival game of chance. DVD extras are plentiful, with Duffy involved in two audio commentaries; a 25:49 behind-the-scenes feature that shows some scenes being filmed; an unedited encounter between Duffy and Connolly; and two deleted scenes. The Blu-ray version also has a look at the filmmakers visiting Comic-Con, a look at the weapons and cast “confessions from on the set,” as well as the movieIQ option for watching the film. Grade: film 2 stars; extras 3 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Additional reviews are available online at and include “Old Dogs,” a new version of “The Pit & the Pendulum” and several TV shows including season seven of “Walker” and season four of “Have Gun Will Travel.”