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Home Movies/Out on Digital: Sept. 24

Sep. 25, 2013
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The English Teacher

Julianne Moore is believable as an inspiring educator in her high school classroom but a lonely heart at home. Literature has set a high bar of manhood that the puerile, arrogant, dim guys she meets can never reach. Life gets more exciting when a male former student returns with a great play she wants performed at her school. The English Teacher is a modestly amusing story about finding inspiration in a banal world populated by clichés. Also stars Nathan Lane and Greg Kinnear.

■ “Top Gear: The Worst Car in the History of the World”

Fast-paced as American cable but suffused with British drollery, this BBC-TV special test drives a plethora of truly dreadful motorcars, including Communist Poland’s sputtering Polanez and India’s cheap Mahindra jeep knock-off. Worse still: such expensive rubbish as Ferrari’s Mondial, a slow-moving, poor handling, ergonomically ridiculous budget buster. The hosts have fun pitting a dashing BMW against a lumbering Lincoln, showing Detroit’s finest to be an ostentatious slug by contrast.

■ “The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts”

Dean Martin looked a bit tipsy at times while hosting his televised celebrity roasts—all 12 collected on this six-DVD set—but that only infused the scripted romps with spontaneity. The casts assembled for a single episode were often a little mind-boggling. Picture fright-wigged Phyllis Diller with Gen. Omar Bradley in full dress and Nipsey Russell tossing a barb at Gov. Ronald Reagan. Some of the humor has evaporated over time but many moments still crackle with hilarity.


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will hear the case to determine if Wisconsin Republicans’ redistricting maps are too partisan. Do you believe the U.S. Supreme Court will order Wisconsin to redraw our legislative maps so the majority of legislative districts are competitive and voters will actually have a real choice between a Democrat and Republican?

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