Synopsis: In this high-octane sequel, hitman Chev Chelios’ (Jason Statham) launches himself on an electrifying chase through Los Angeles in pursuit of the Chinese mobster who has stolen his nearly indestructible heart.
Cast: Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Bai Ling, Corey Haim; Directed By: Mark Neveldine, Brian Taylor
Genres: Comedy Spoof
Synopsis: A rich, white girl from the suburbs finds herself on a series of misadventures when she moves to the mean streets of the inner-city.
Synopsis: Once the high school cheerleading captain who dated the quarterback, Rose Lorkowski (Amy Adams) now finds herself a thirty something single mother working as a maid. Her sister Norah, (Emily Blunt), is still living at home with their dad Joe (Alan Arkin), a salesman with a lifelong history of ill-fated get rich quick schemes.
Desperate to get her son into a better school, Rose persuades Norah to go into the crime scene clean-up business with her to make some quick cash. In no time, the girls are up to their elbows in murders, suicides and other…specialized situations. As they climb the ranks in a very dirty job, the sisters find a true respect for one another and the closeness they have always craved finally blossoms. By building their own improbable business, Rose and Norah open the door to the joys and challenges of being there for one another—no matter what—while creating a brighter future for the entire Lorkowski family.
Cast: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clifton Collins Jr., Jason Spevack; Director: Christine Jeffs
Commentary with writer Megan Holley and producer Glenn Williamson
A Fresh Look at a Dirty Business
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Synopsis: Oscar® winner Julia Roberts and Clive Owen reunite for “Duplicity,” from writer/director Tony Gilroy (seven-time Oscar®-nominated “Michael Clayton”). In the film, they star as spies-turned-corporate operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair. When they find themselves embroiled in a high-stakes espionage game, they discover the toughest part of the job is deciding how much to trust the one you love.
CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence to cash in on the highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure the formula for a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first.
For their employers—industry titan Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) and buccaneer CEO Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti)— nothing is out of bounds. But as the stakes rise, the mystery deepens and the tactics get dirtier, the trickiest secret for Claire and Ray is their growing attraction. And as they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their schemes endangered by the only thing they can’t cheat their way out of: love.
Cast: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Billy Bob Thornton, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti; Directed by: Tony Gilroy
Feature Commentary from Writer/Director Tony Gilroy and Editor/Co- Producer John Gilroy
My Scenes (Blu-ray)
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A coming-of-age comedy set in the summer of 1987 about an uptight recent college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) who is forced to take a job at a local amusement park when he realizes he can’t afford his dream European vacation.
It’s the summer of 1987, and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), an uptight recent college grad, can’t wait to embark on his dream tour of Europe. But when his parents (Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin) announce they can no longer subsidize his trip, James has little choice but to take a lowly job at a local amusement park. Forget about German beer, world-famous museums and cute French girls-James’ summer will now be populated by belligerent dads, stuffed pandas, and screaming kids high on cotton candy. Lucky for James, what should have been his worst summer ever turns into quite an adventure as he discovers love in the most unlikely place with his captivating co-worker Em (Kristen Stewart), and learns to loosen up.
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig; Directed by: Greg Mottolalex Proyas
Shawn MacArthur (Channing Tatum) has come to New York City with nothing. Barely earning a living selling counterfeit goods on the streets, his luck changes when scam artist Harvey Boarden (Terrence Howard) sees that he has a natural talent for streetfighting. When Harvey offers Shawn help at making the real cash, the two form an uneasy partnership.
As Shawn’s manager, Harvey introduces him to the corrupt bare-knuckle circuit, where rich men bet on disposable pawns. Almost overnight, he becomes a star brawler, taking down professional boxers, mixed martial arts champs and ultimate fighters in a series of staggeringly intense bouts. But if Shawn ever hopes to escape the dark world in which he’s found himself, he must now face the toughest fight of his life.
Cast: Channing Tatum, Terrence Howard, Luis Guzman, Brian J. White, Flaco Navaja; Directed By: Dito Montiel
Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) is a successful real estate agent who, upon getting engaged to the woman of his dreams, Zooey (Rashida Jones), discovers, to his dismay and chagrin, that he has no male friend close enough to serve as his Best Man.
Peter immediately sets out to rectify the situation, embarking on a series of bizarre and awkward ‘man-dates,’ before meeting Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), a charming, opinionated man with whom he instantly bonds. But the closer the two men get, the more Peter’s relationship with Zooey suffers, ultimately forcing him to choose between his fiancée and his newfound ‘bro,’ in a story that comically explores what it truly means to be a ‘friend.’
Cast: Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones; Directed by: John Hamburg
The Making of ‘I Love You, Man’
Outtakes and Gag Reel
Extended Scenes and Deleted Scenes
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Mike O’Donnell seemingly had it all. He was a star athlete headed straight for a college scholarship until he decided to give it all up to settle down with his high school girlfriend Scarlett. Now at 37, Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) has become a miserable and unhappy businessman who wishes that he could go back and become the young Mike O’Donnell (Efron) he once was, and correct all the mistakes he made which resulted in him becoming the unhappy businessman he has now become. His wish soon becomes reality as he turns 17 again and gets to live his life over again.
Cast: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Matthew Perry, Michelle Trachtenberg, Melora Hardin, Hunter Parrish, Jim Gaffigan; Directed by: Burr Steers
“Way Cool” Tell All Trivia Track
Zac Goes Back (Blu-ray)
Going Back to 17 (Blu-ray)
Zac’s Dance Flashback (Blu-ray)
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Will & Grace star Eric McCormack headlines X-Files veteran R.W. Goodwin’s feature directorial debut, a playful send-up of 1950s-era sci-fi films tracing the bizarre events that unfold after a mysterious space object crashes into a California mountaintop. Based on a story by James Swift and Steven Fisher (who also penned the screenplay), the Technicolor-flavored genre-bender follows a benevolent alien (McCormack) as he attempts to fend off a seriously strange invader. Robert Patrick, Jenni Baird, and Jody Thompson co-star.
Cast: CEric McCormack, Jenni Baird, Dan Lauria, Robert Patrick, Jody Thompson, Aaron Brooks, Sarah Smyth, Andrew Dunbar, Sage Brocklebank, Tom McBeath, Vincent Gale, Jerry Wasserman, Jonathan Young, Michael Roberds; Directed by: R.W. Goodwin
These are the new DVD releases for August 4, 2009.
Derek Charles (Idris Elba), a successful asset manager who has just received a huge promotion, is blissfully happy in his career and in his marriage to the beautiful Sharon (Beyonce Knowles). But when Lisa (Ali Larter), a temp worker, starts stalking Derek, all the things he’s worked so hard for are placed in jeopardy.
Cast: Beyoncé Knowles, Idris Elba, Ali Larter, Christine Lahti, Bruce McGill, Scout Taylor-Compton, Ron Roggé; Directed By: Steve Shill
Playing Together Nicely
Obsessed: Dressed to Kill
Race to Witch Mountain
For years, stories have circulated about a secret place in the middle of the Nevada desert, known for unexplained phenomena and strange sightings. It’s called Witch Mountain, and when a Las Vegas cab driver (Dwayne Johnson) finds two teens with supernatural powers in his cab, he suddenly finds himself in the middle of an adventure he can’t explain. They work together to discover that the only chance to save the world lies in unraveling the secrets of Witch Mountain, and the race begins.
Columnist Steve Lopez (Robert Downey Jr.) is at a dead end. The newspaper business is in an uproar, his marriage to a fellow journalist has fallen apart and he can’t entirely remember what he loved about his job in the first place. Then, one day, while walking through Los Angeles’ Skid Row, he sees the mysterious bedraggled figure Nathaniel Ayers (Jamie Foxx), pouring his soul into a two-stringed violin.
At first, Lopez approaches Ayers as just another story idea in a city of millions. But as he begins to unearth the mystery of how this alternately brilliant and distracted street musician, once a dynamic prodigy headed for fame, wound up living in tunnels and doorways, it sparks an unexpected quest. Imagining he can change Ayers’ life, Lopez embarks on a quixotic mission to get him off the streets and back to the world of music.
But even as he fights to save Ayers’ life, he begins to see that it is Ayers—with his unsinkable passion, his freedom-loving obstinacy and his valiant attempts at connection and love—who is profoundly changing Lopez.
Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Jamie Foxx, Catherine Keener, Stephen Root; Directed by: Joe Wright
Commentary by director Joe Wright
An Unlikely Friendship: Making The Soloist
Kindness, Courtesy and Respect: Mr. Ayers + Mr. Lopez
One Size Does Not Fit All: Addressing Homelessness in Los Angeles
Length: 85 minutes theatrical version 100 minutes uncut version MPAA Rating: Rated PG for intense sequences of action/violence and brief mild language
Based on the Japanese manga series, this live-action movie is a martial-arts fantasy. On his 18th birthday, the film’s hero, Goku (Justin Chatwin), is given a Dragonball, a mystical shiny sphere, by his grandfather. Whoever unites this Dragonball with six others will be granted a wish. It turns out the evil Lord Piccolo (James Marsters) is trying to obtain all seven spheres and destroy the world. The only way to stop Piccolo is to get the Dragonballs before a solar eclipse, and Goku sets out on that quest, assisted by characters played by Chow-Yun Fat and Emmy Rossum.
Cast: Justin Chatwin, Joon Park, Christopher Sabat, Jamie Chung; Directed by: James Wong
Selected DVD Special Features:
Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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Fast & Furious
Length: 107 minutes MPAA Rating: PG-13 for for intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references
This actioner is the follow-up to The Fast and the Furious (2001), 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003) and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006), and Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez and Jordana Brewster reprise their characters from the initial movie. The 2009 film opens with Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez), still a couple, hijacking a huge truck in the Dominican Republic. Then Dom heads back to L.A., where he reunites with Brian (Walker), now an FBI agent trying to bring down a drug kingpin. Soon the romance between Brian and Dom’s sister Mia (Brewster) gets rekindled.
Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, John Ortiz, Laz Alonso, Gal Gadot, Shea Whigham, Tego Calderon, Liza Lapira; Directed by: Justin Lin
Selected Two-Disc Special Edition DVD Special Features:
Selected Single-Disc DVD Special Features:
Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
Watch the “Shooting the Big Rig Heist Bonus Feature Clip”:
Length: 90 minutes MPAA Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use
A young man (Zach Cregger) awakens from a four-year coma to hear that his once virginal high school sweetheart (Raquel Alessi) has since become a centerfold in one of the world’s most famous men’s magazines. He and his sex-crazed best friend (Trevor Moore) decide to take a cross-country road trip in order to crash a party at the magazine’s legendary mansion headquarters and win back the girl.
A high-definition stop-motion animated feature – the first to be originally filmed in 3-D – with spectacular CG effects, based on Neil Gaiman’s international best-selling book. A young girl (Dakota Fanning) walks through a secret door in her new home and discovers an alternate version of her life. On the surface, this parallel reality is eerily similar to her real life – only much better. But when this wondrously off-kilter, fantastical adventure turns dangerous, and her counterfeit parents (including Other Mother [Teri Hatcher]) try to keep her forever, Coraline must count on her resourcefulness, determination, and bravery to get back home – and save her family.
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Keith David, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French; Directed by: Henry Selick
The Making of Coraline
Voicing the Characters
Feature Commentary with Director Henry Selick
Creepy Coraline (Blu-ray)
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A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, Watchmen is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock”—which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union—is permanently set at five minutes to midnight.
When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion—a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers—Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity… but who is watching the Watchmen?
Cast: Patrick Wilson, Billy Crudup, Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan; Directed by: Zack Snyder
Director’s Cut (additional 25 minutes)
The Phenomenon: The Comic That Changed Comics
Warner Bros. Maximum Movie Mode (Blu-ray)
Real Superheroes, Real Vigilantes (Blu-ray)
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How many superheroes does it take to save the world? The creators of The Naked Gun and Scary Movie answer this question in hysterical “David Zucker” fashion with the uproarious comedy Superhero Movie.
Meet Rick Riker. He’s young, he’s cool and he’s got superpowers. Now, if he only knew how to use them… but the world is in danger and no one is safe when Zucker and the gang — headed by the hilarious cast of Drake Bell, Leslie Nielsen, Tracy Morgan, Pamela Anderson, Regina Hall and many others — take aim at some of the biggest blockbusters of our time including Spider-Man, Batman, X-Men, and Fantastic Four, to name a few. On March 28th, learning to fly, spinning a web and busting a gut has never been this much fun.
Cast: Leslie Nielsen, Pamela Anderson, Christopher McDonald, Tracy Morgan, Regina Hall, Craig Bierko, Marion Ross, Brent Spiner; Directed by: Craig Mazin
Audio Commentary by Writer/Director Craig Mazin and Producers David Zucker and Robert K. Weiss – Extended Version Only
In the tradition of such real-life horror movies as “The Exorcist” and “The Exorcism of Emily Rose,” “The Haunting in Connecticut” tells the astounding true story of one family’s supernatural ordeal. When Sara and Peter Campbell’s son Matt is diagnosed with cancer, they uproot their family to Connecticut for his treatment. As the family settles into their new home, Matt grows increasingly disturbed by paranormal activity that seems to inhabit and possess the house. At a loss to help her frightened family, his mother turns to an enigmatic priest who appears to rid the house of its ghosts– until the boy’s condition takes a sudden and unexplained turn for the worse and their lives are put in grave danger.
Cast: Amanda Crew, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Martin Donovan; Directed by: Peter Cornwell
DVD Special Features:
Two Dead Boys: The Making of The Haunting in Connecticut
The Fear is Real: Re-Investigating the Haunting
Memento Mori: The History of Post Mortem Photography
Synopsis: Nicolas Cage stars in “Knowing”, a gripping action-thriller of global proportions about a professor who stumbles on terrifying predictions about the future—and sets out to prevent them from coming true.
In 1958, as part of the dedication ceremony for a new elementary school, a group of students is asked to draw pictures to be stored in a time capsule. But one mysterious girl fills her sheet of paper with rows of apparently random numbers instead.
Fifty years later, a new generation of students examines the capsule’s contents and the girl’s cryptic message ends up in the hands of young Caleb Koestler. But it is Caleb’s father, professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage), who makes the startling discovery that the encoded message predicts with pinpoint accuracy the dates, death tolls and coordinates of every major disaster of the past 50 years. As John further unravels the document’s chilling secrets, he realizes the document foretells three additional events—the last of which hints at destruction on a global scale and seems to somehow involve John and his son. When John’s attempts to alert the authorities fall on deaf ears, he takes it upon himself to try to prevent more destruction from taking place.
With the reluctant help of Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne) and Abby Wayland, the daughter and granddaughter of the now-deceased author of the prophecies, John’s increasingly desperate efforts take him on a heart-pounding race against time until he finds himself facing the ultimate disaster—and the ultimate sacrifice.
Synopsis: A riveting action-thriller, “Push” burrows deep into the deadly world of psychic espionage where artificially enhanced paranormal operatives have the ability to move objects with their minds, see the future, create new realities and kill without ever touching their victims. Against this setting, a young man and a teenage girl take on a clandestine agency in a race against time that will determine the future of civilization.
The Division, a shadowy government agency, is genetically transforming citizens into an army of psychic warriors—and brutally disposing of those unwilling to participate. Nick Gant (Chris Evans), a second-generation telekinetic or “mover,” has been in hiding since the Division murdered his father more than a decade earlier. He has found sanctuary in densely populated Hong Kong—the last safe place on earth for fugitive psychics like him—but only if he can keep his gift a secret.
Nick is forced out of hiding when Cassie Holmes (Dakota Fanning), a 13-year-old clairvoyant or “watcher,” seeks his help in finding Kira, (Camilla Belle), an escaped “pusher” who may hold the key to ending the Division’s program. Pushers possess the most dangerous of all psychic powers: the ability to influence others’ actions by implanting thoughts in their minds. But Cassie’s presence soon attracts the attention of the Division’s human bloodhounds, forcing Nick and Cassie to flee for their lives.
With the help of a team of rogue psychics, the unlikely duo traverses the seedy underbelly of the city, trying to stay one step ahead of the authorities as they search for Kira. But they find themselves square in the crosshairs of Division Agent Henry Carver (Djimon Hounsou), a pusher who will stop at nothing to keep them from achieving their goal.
The Unborn (2009)
Synopsis: Casey Beldon (Odette Yustman) is plagued by nightmare visions of strange looking dogs, and an evil child with bright blue eyes.
While baby-sitting Matty, her neighbor’s son, he attacks her with a mirror. After being hit with the mirror, Casey’s eyes begin to change color, an optician explains that she is experiencing Tetragametic chimerism and Heterochromia. After questioning her father she learns she had a twin brother who died in the womb. Casey begins to suspect that the spirit haunting her is the soul of her dead twin, being possessed by a dybbuk, wanting to be born so it can transfer to the world of the living.
Casey meets a woman named Sofi, who is revealed to be her grandmother. Sofi explains that she had a twin brother who was killed in Nazi experiments in Auschwitz when they were both just children (presumably having been experimented on by Josef Mengele, as Sofi describes him as looking like an angel and Mengele was often referred to as the Angel of Death). The boy was brought back to life by a dybbuk who intended to use his body as a portal into the world of the living. Sofi killed her twin to stop the dybbuk, and now it haunts her family for revenge. Sofi refers Casey to Rabbi Sendak (Gary Oldman), who can perform a Jewish exorcism to remove the dybbuk.
The exorcism is performed, but things go awry as the dybbuk tries to stop Rabbi Sendak from completing the ritual. Several people are wounded and others are killed. The exorcism is finally completed, and the dybbuk is drawn back from the human world. Casey’s boyfriend Mark is severely wounded and later dies with Casey by his side. Casey mourns him and she soon finds out that she is pregnant by him, with twins.
Clint Eastwood stars in the drama “Gran Torino,” marking his first film role since his Oscar-winning “Million Dollar Baby.” Eastwood also directs the film in which he plays Walt Kowalski, an iron-willed veteran living in a changing world, who is forced by his immigrant neighbors to confront his own long-held prejudices.
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Cory Hardrict, John Carroll Lynch, Geraldine Hughes, Brian Haley, Dreama Walker; Directed by: Clint Eastwood
New DVD releases include My Bloody Valentine 3D, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, and Valkyrie.
My Bloody Valentine 3D (Horror) A gory remake of the 1981 Canadian slasher movie about a Valentine’s Day pickax massacre in a mining town, this film showed theatrically in 3-D. A decade ago Tom fled his hometown on the day a miner went berserk and slaughtered a bunch of people. Now Tom returns, and another series of brutal slayings begins. Also, Tom’s ex-girlfriend Sarah is now married to the local sheriff Axel. Axel believes Tom is the killer, but Tom suspects Axel. Or, is it possible that somehow the miner, who is reported to be dead, has come back and is again committing mass murder?
Paul Bart: Mall Cop Kevin James (TV’s The King of Queens) stars as the title character in this family comedy. Paul is a chubby security guard who rides a Segway as he patrols a big shopping mall in New Jersey. He’s a single father, and he’s attracted to Amy (Jayma Mays), the good-looking young woman at the hair-extension kiosk. But on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, a gang of crooks takes over the mall. The police surround the mall, but there’s a standoff because the crooks use Amy and others as hostages. That’s when Paul, who happens to be inside the mall, goes into action. Cast: Kevin James, Keir O’Donnell, Jayma Mays, Bobby Cannavale, Erick Avari; Directed by: Steve Carr
Valkyrie Tom Cruise stars in this dramatization of a true story. Cruise portrays Col. Claus von Stauffenberg, a count who lost an eye and a hand while fighting for Germany during World War II. Later, Stauffenberg became a key man in a 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler and seize control of the German government. Supporting actors in the film include Kenneth Branagh, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Terence Stamp and Eddie Izzard, all of whom play German generals. Directed by Bryan Singer, the movie traces the preparation and attempted implementation of the takeover plot. Cast: Tom Cruise, Manfred-Anton Algrang, David Bamber, Matthias Freihof, Stephen Fry; Directed by: Bryan Singer