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Out on Blu-ray/DVD

Releases for the Week of 08/31 - 9/06/10 (Ratings Out of Four Stars.)

Sep. 14, 2010
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* * * * (A)

Directed by David Levien, Brian Koppelman

Starring Michael Douglas, Mary-Louise Parker, Jenna Fischer, Jesse Eisenberg, Imogen Poots, Susan Sarandon, David Costabile, Danny DeVito

Anchor Bay//Rated R//Drama//90 minutes

Available on Blu-ray and DVD

Michael Douglas returns as Wall Street's Gordon Gekko on Sept. 24, but for now mean-Michael is on display in the biting drama, Solitary Man. He appears as disgraced car dealer Ben Kalmen. Ben's rapier wit and candor partially disguise his impossible narcissism. Poised on the precipice of disaster, Ben's debauchery is both amusing and pitiful. His daughter (Jenna Fischer) has had enough, but finds it difficult to banish her young son's hero. Ben's ex-wife (Susan Sarandon) accepts his reckless ways, but he's expected to tow the line by his girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker) in return for her help securing him a car dealership. Ben's dreams of recapturing his glory days are sabotaged by his penchant for crossing the line, yet you can't dismiss him due to a great script that capitalizes on Douglas's intense charm. DVD and Blu-ray features: commentary with Directors Brian Koppelman and David Levien and actor Douglas McGrath, Behind the scenes with the cast, Theatrical Trailer, English language track, Spanish subtitles, widescreen.

THE OFFICE: Season Six

* * * * (A)


Created by Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant

Starring Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Ed Helms, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak, Angela Kinsey, Craig Robinson, Kathy Bates, Ellie Kemper

Universal//Not Rated//Comedy//604 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-ray

Those working for Dunder Mifflin paper company in Scranton, PA, undergo an upheaval when they are purchased by Sabre, a printer manufacturer. Branch manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell) reluctantly adjusts to prolonged office visits from Sabre's demanding CEO (Kathy Bates). Psychotic salesman Dwight (Rainn Wilson) plots to take down his longtime nemesis Jim (John Krasinski) who begins to ascend the corporate ladder after wedding coworker Pam (Jenna Fischer). Ed Helms plays lovelorn Andy, afraid to pursue his crush on the new office receptionist. A dozen supporting characters are woven into storylines that make season six uncomfortably funny. 5-Disc DVD or 4-Disc Blu-ray features: features: Blooper reel, 2 hours of deleted scenes, Welcome to Sabre company video, original digital short, English language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen.



* *1/2 (B-)

Hosted by Brian Cox

BBC Video//Not Rated//Documentary//293 minutes

This BBC series, hosted by mop-topped scientist Brian Cox, aspires to examine our solar system. Each episode covers a space phenomenon, and finds Cox scouring our home planet for practical examples. He shows us numerous breathtaking earthscapes, and small doses of extraterrestrial footage. The series moves slowly compared to the History Channel's "The Universe," taking time to feature Cox astride sand dunes and icebergs as he chats, sometimes rambling off-topic. His series represents a lesser alternative, but holds the appeal of his abundant enthusiasm. 3-Disc DVD and Blu-ray features: Two horizon programs hosted Brian Cox: What on earth is wrong with gravity?, Do you know what time it is?, English language tracks, widescreen.



 * *1/2 (B-)

Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Starring Michelle Pfeiffer, Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Jason Flemyng, Robert De Niro, Peter O'Toole, Sienna Miller, Billie Whitelaw, Ricky Gervais

Paramount//Rated PG-13//Fantasy//127 min

Available on: Blu-ray

Lamia, played by bright-eyed Pfeiffer, is a witch seeking to consume the heart of a fallen star to regain her youth. A star falls to earth and takes the form of human girl Yvaine (Claire Danes). The girl possesses another valuable asset, a necklace essential for any prince to become king of Stormhold. Yvaine is found by Tristan (Charlie Cox), a sweet-natured youth hoping to win the love of an indifferent young woman (Sienna Miller) by bringing Yvaine to her. The three parallel stories take some interesting. Robert De Niro is humorous as a cross-dressing cancan-dancer, Ricky Gervais well cast as none-too-bright Ferdy the Fence, and Melanie Hill frightens as a gypsy spell-caster. Aside from these bit players, Peter O'Toole appears as a conniving king, but the story frequently trips over its romantic aspirations. Blu-ray features: commentary by director Matthew Vaughn and Writer Jane Goldman, Making of featurette, Nothing is True..., deleted scenes, Blooper Reel, HD Theatrical Trailer, English, French, German, Italian or Spanish language tracks, widescreen.



* (D)

Directed by Brian De Palma

Starring Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, Scarlett Johansson, Hilary Swank, Mia Kirshner, Mike Starr, Fiona Shaw

Universal//Rated R//Drama//122 minutes

Available on: Blu-ray

The actors of Black Dahlia practice the rat-a-tat-tat rhythms of 1940s dialog. It's one of the better efforts undertaken by this attempt to recreate the period's film noir. Adapted from James Ellroy's novel, the story adds conjecture to the known facts of a real-life murder-mystery that becomes a fuzzy psychological study. A love triangle revolves around detective Lee Blanchard (Aaron Eckhart), his girlfriend (Johansson) and Lee's partner, Bucky (Josh Hartnett) -- a dynamic that finds the two men lavishing their emotional energy on one another. Bucky beds heiress Madeleine Linscott (Hilary Swank), a slinky bisexual outfitted as a Black Dahlia look-alike, in one of the many subplots that confuse rather than clarify this murky story. Blu-ray features: Reality and Fiction: The Story of The Black Dahlia, The Case File, The De Palma Touch, BD-Live content, English or French language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen.



* * (C)

Directed by Stephen Hopkins

Starring William Hurt, Gary Oldman, Mimi Rogers, Heather Graham, Lacey Chabert, Jared Harris, Matt LeBlanc, Jack Johnson

New Line//Rated PG-13//Sci-Fi//130 minutes

Available on: Blu-ray

The "Robinson Family" gets lost in space in this futuristic adventure casting Matt Leblanc as the family's hunky star-pilot. Mrs. Robinson (Mimi Rogers) tirelessly berates Mr. Robinson (William Hurt) for checking and rechecking the space-ship that will transport them to colonize Alpha Centuri. Once the mission gets underway, a hyper-gate transport system takes the family to three time-space contingencies and a time-warp. Gary Oldman entertains as the mission's saboteur, but even with the occasional cool special FX, there's insufficient reason to endure the film's tedious construction. Blu-ray features: commentaries: Director Stephen Hopkins and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman or Visual effects supervisors Angus Bickerton and Lauren Ritchie, director of photography Peter Levy, editor Ray Lovejoy and producer Carla Fry, Additional scenes, deleted scenes, featurettes: Building for special effects and the future of space travel, Apollo four forty Lost in Space music video, Q&A with the original cast - TV years, Theatrical trailer, English or Spanish language tracks, Spanish subtitles, French subtitles, widescreen.



* (D)

Directed by Jorma Taccone

Starring Will Forte, Kristen Wiig, Val Kilmer, Powers Boothe, Ryan Phillipe, Maya Rudolph

Universal//Rated R//Comedy//91 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-ray

"Saturday Night Live's" mulletted MacGruber, a parody of TV's MacGyver, gets his own movie chock full of shock humor. The plot makes little sense and the film's envelope-pushing gags quickly wear out. Forte reprises his SNL role as an incompetent ex-special operative, tasked with saving the United States from a nuclear weapon controlled by crazed villain Dieter Von Cunth (Kilmer). Wiig appears as MacGruber's tone-deaf assistant, unable to sing in key, though she never stops trying. Helmed by SNL scribe and director, Jorma Taccone, the film features nudity and vulgarity to the max. DVD and Blu-ray features: commentary with cast and crew, deleted scene, Gag reel, English, French or Spanish language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen.



* * (C)

Directed by Robert Luketic

Starring Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher

Lionsgate//Rated PG-13//Action, Comedy//100 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-ray

Following a whirlwind romance, fun-loving computer technician Jen Kornfeldt (Heigl) accepts a marriage proposal from flashy Spencer Aimes (Kutcher), blissfully unaware of his past as a government-hired assassin. For the sake of love, Aimes leaves his dangerous job and the pair becomes a typical suburban couple until Aimes's 30th birthday, when he becomes the target of a well-funded hit. After confessing his past to Jen, the couple search for the killer -- and work to salvage their marriage. Heigl and Kutcher work overtime to remain cute and loveable, but their efforts can't save this one-joke comedy from an early demise. DVD features: Killer chemistry: behind the scenes with the killers cast and crew, Gags, Deleted, alternate and extended scenes, English language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen. Blu-ray features: same plus: Killer Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with the Killers Cast and Crew.



* * (C)

Directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Keanu Reeves, Winona Ryder, Robert Downey Jr.

Warner//Rated R//Sci-Fi//100 minutes

Available on: Blu-ray

First shot as live action, then animated, the screen adaptation of Philip K. Dick's story stars Keanu Reeves as undercover cop Fred. Hooked on a popular drug, Fred develops a split personality, becoming ruthless drug dealer Bob Arctor. Unaware he is also Bob, cop Fred sets out to catch drug-dealing Bob using high tech surveillance. Dick's idea and the animated live-action generate moments of interest, but the talky film is a slow scan. Blu-ray features: Commentary with Reeves, director Richard Linklater, author Jonathan Lethem, Philip K. Dick's Daughter: Isa Dick Hackett, featurettes: The weight of the line: animation tales Theatrical trailer, English language tracks, French or Spanish subtitles, widescreen.



* * (C)

Directed by Iain Softley

Starring Gena Rowlands, Kate Hudson, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, Joy Bryant

Universal//Rated PG-13//Horror//104 minutes

Unrated Version Available on: Blu-ray

Caroline (Hudson) is hired by Violet (Rowlands) to care for Violet's sickly husband Ben (Hurt). When strange noises emanate from the couple's dilapidated mansion, Violet's moods become increasingly unpredictable. After a long trudge through the film's loosely constructed plot, the story offers up a crafty ending that puts a little meat on "Skeleton's" bones. Blu-ray features: English language tracks, French or Spanish subtitles, widescreen.



* * * * (A)

Directed by Oliver Stone

Starring Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, Martin Sheen, Hal Holbrook, Terence Stamp, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young, James Spader, John C. McGinley, Sylvia Miles, James Karen

Fox//Rated R//Drama//126 minutes

Special Insider Trading Edition, Available on: DVD and Blu-ray

Douglas earned his Best Actor Oscar for an outstanding depiction of Gordon Gekko, a ruthless Wall Street con man. Gekko promises new broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen), a fortune and admittance into a rarified world in exchange for performing corporate espionage. The film features fine supporting turns, and owes a debt to director Stone who framed his actors beautifully and gave them room to breathe life into this world fueled by greed. 2-Disc DVD and Blu-ray features: movie money good towards a ticket to the sequel, debuting on September 24, director commentary, director intro, Greed is Good-Featurette, deleted scenes w/optional director commentary, Making of the sequel, Sneak Peek At The New Sequel: Money Never Sleeps, Scrolling Trivia Track, English, French or Spanish language tracks, widescreen.

Also Out This Week



Directed by Damjan Kozole

Starring Nina Ivanisin, Peter Musevski, Primoz Pirnat, Marusa Kink

Film Movement//Not Rated//Thriller - in Slovenian and English//90 minutes

Available on: DVD

Having left her Slovenian village for the excitement of the city, 23 year-old Aleksandra studies English and economics by day, and works as an independent, high-priced call girl by night. Her carefully ordered life begins to disintegrate after an important client dies from a heart attack while using her services. Aleksandra is pursued by both pimps and the police while attempting to sort out her limited options in a film that won more than a dozen film festival awards. DVD features: "Honored," a short film about a young war widow confronting the circumstances of her husband's death.


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