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Monday, June 21, 2010

Out on Blu-ray/DVD

Releases for the Week of 6/15/10 - 06/20/10 (Ratings Out of Four Stars.)

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THE BOOK OF ELI

(2010)

* * (C)

Directed by Albert and Allen Hughes

Starring Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson, Jennifer Beals, Ray Stevenson, Evan Jones, Michael Gambon, Tom Waits, Frances de la Tour

Warner//Rated R//Sci-Fi//118 minutes

Available on: DVD or Blu-Ray

Thirty years after the final war, solitary Eli is the ultimate survivor. Portrayed by a graying Denzel Washington, Eli possesses a rare remaining copy of the bible and carries a machete -- wielded against anyone foolish enough to try and take it. When he stops at a settlement for water and to recharge his iPod battery, Eli keeps the bible hidden because he believes the tome is necessary to rebuild civilization. Running the settlement, Carnegie (Gary Oldman) scours the land for a bible because he believes its scripture can be used to cement his rule. Carnegie's plaything is beautiful, blind Claudia (Jennifer Beals), who, having taken Eli's measure, instructs her daughter (Mila Kunis) to leave with him. The film dares to takes itself seriously, except when Oldman's comic book villain is in play and during a brief sequence that introduces an elderly pair (Frances de la Tour and Michael Gambon) employing a daring survival strategy. Bleached filmstock gives the effect of watching the movie with the sun in your eyes, but you don't mind until the final twist, which reads poorly. DVD features: Additional scenes, Lost Tales: Chapter 1 - animated, English, French or Spanish language tracks, widescreen. 2-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack same plus: Digital Copy, featurettes: Starting Over, Soundtrack, Eli's Journey, 40 minutes of PIP commentary with Denzel Washington and the Hughes Brothers, and 10 Focus Points.

THE HORSEMAN

(2008)

* * * (Grade B)

Directed by Steven Kastrissios

Starring Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy, Brad McMurray, Evert McQueen, Christopher Sommers

Screen Media Films//Rated R//Action//95 minutes

Available on: DVD or Blu-Ray

After learning his deceased daughter was drugged and raped while making a pornographic film, Christian Forteski (Peter Marshall) goes on a killing spree of unparalleled violence. A father frustrated by the failure of his marriage and his inability to protect his daughter, Forteski delivers her persecutors their comeuppance at close quarters using crowbars, fish hooks and other commonly available items. Though bloodied and battered in the process, he can not stop. While heading north to Queensland, Christian picks up reckless teen hitchhiker Alice (Caroline Marohasy). He senses she needs help and signs on as her protector. Considering the maiming and torture on display, the film's R-Rating is generous, but the hideous violence, realistically depicted, is the outward manifestation of Forteski's anger and self-loathing. From a screenplay penned by director Steven Kastrissios, this disturbing Australian sleeper should leave you queasy, but it certainly won't bore you. DVD or Blu-Ray features: commentary, making of featurette, English language tracks, widescreen.

YOUTH IN REVOLT

(2010)

* *1/2 (B-)

Directed by Miguel Arteta

Michael Cera, Portia Doubleday, Jean Smart, Mary Kay Place, Justin Long, Fred Willard, Ray Liotta, Steve Buscemi, Ari Graynor, Zach Galifianakis, Eric Knudsen, M. Emmet Walsh

Sony//Rated R//Comedy//90 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-ray

Michael Cera plays both 16-year-old Nick, and Nick's imaginary alter ego, the bold, mustached Francois Dillinger. Hormonal Nick watches his divorced parents (Buscemi and Smart) indulge in sexual flings, a frustrating situation for Nick who is unable to connect with a girl. Then Nick hits it off with Sheeni (Doubleday) and contrives to move his mother to Sheeni's hometown. Absurd plot twists emanate from Nick's alter-ego Francois -- determined to get Nick a girlfriend at any cost. Gifted with a topnotch cast and the sassy narrative of C.D. Payne's 1993 novel, this comedic cocktail mixes a full dose of libido with a dash of intellect. DVD features: Director and Michael Cera's Commentary, deleted scenes, deleted and extended animated sequences, Audition Footage, English language tracks, widescreen. Blu-Ray features same plus: movieIQ sync connection to real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie.

WHEN IN ROME

(2010)

*1/2 (C-)

Directed by Mark Steven Johnson

Starring Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Danny DeVito, Kate Micucci, Bobby Moynihan

Touchstone//Rated PG-13//Comedy//91 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-ray

Unlucky in love, young, ambitious New Yorker Beth (Bell), plays by her own rules when visiting Rome. Instead of tossing her coin into the Fountain of Love as the Romans do, Beth steals the coins tossed in by others, inadvertently casting a spell over the coins' owners (DeVito, Heder, Shepard, and Arnett) who become uncontrollably attracted to her. Hearing of Beth's plight, a journalist (Duhamel) interviews her and romantic sparks fly. Meant to be Bell's big screen breakout, the actress tries to hold her own opposite a fleet of comic veterans, but can't survive the film's awful script. Hopefully, fans of Bell's roles on "Heroes" and "Veronica Mars," are willing to take her back. DVD features: Kerplunk! Bloopers From Rome, deleted scenes, "Starstrukk" "Stupid Love Letter" music videos, English, French or Spanish language tracks, widescreen. Blu-Ray features same plus: Alternate Opening and Ending, Mischief From The Set, Extended Scenes, Additional deleted scenes.

SISTER'S KEEPER

(2009)

*1/2 (C-)

Directed by Kent Faulcon

Starring Kent Faulcon, Denise Boutte, Eric Roberts

MTI//Rated R//Action//101 minutes

Available on: DVD

Beautiful small town teacher Diane (Boutte) mistakes Jacob for her long lost brother, unaware he's been hired to kill her. Jacob plays into Diane's assumptions, then finds himself falling in love rather than seeking the best time and place to kill her. When a second group of assassins is sent to do the job, Jacob decides to protect her and to find out who wants Diane dead and why. A shaggy-haired Eric Roberts, appearing in a small role, does little to help this low budget effort overcome its shopworn story. DVD Extras include: director commentary, deleted scenes, cast auditions, cast and crew biographies, trailers, English language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen.

SUPERNATURAL: Season One

(2006)

* * (C)

Created by Eric Kripke

Starring: Jared Padalecki, Jensen Ackles

Warner//Rating NR//Horror//936 minutes

Available on: Blu-Ray

Combing news stories for clues to activated evil entities and the walking dead, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Padalecki and Ackles) hunt demons while crisscrossing the country in their '67 Chevy Impala, silver bullets and wooden stakes piled into the car's trunk. They also hope to find their demon-hunting dad. The concept mines various urban and cultural myths, while exploring the ever-changing dynamics between a pair of headstrong siblings. 4-Disc Blu-Ray features: Interactive U.S. Devil's Road Map to urban legends and factoids featured in this episode set, Paley Festival panel discussion with cast and creators, Unaired and extended scenes, Pilot commentary with creator Eric Kripke, director David Nutter and producer Peter Johnson, Commentary on Phantom Traveler by costars Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, 2 featurettes: Day in the Life of Jared and Jensen, Tales From the Edge of Darkness, Gag reel, English, French or Spanish language tracks, widescreen.

SHOWGIRLS: 15th Anniversary Sinsational Edition

(1995)

*1/2 (C-)

Directed by Paul Verhoeven

Starring Gina Gershon, Kyle MacLachlan, Elizabeth Berkley, Robert Davi, Glenn Plummer, Gina Ravera, Alan Rachins

MGM//Rated NC-17//Drama//131 minutes

Available on: Blu-Ray/DVD combo Pack

Berkley appears as Nomi Malone, the new girl in Las Vegas determined to work her way up from stripper to lead showgirl. She'll do anything with or to anyone to achieve her dream. Spending much of the film naked and surrounded by a sea of flesh, Berkley's meager acting skills and the thin story soon dull the senses. One of the first big-budget Hollywood movies to be released under an NC-17 rating, its box office failure was an important lesson for studios. 2-Disc Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack features: Commentary by David Schmader, Pole Dancing: Finding Your Inner Stripper, Lap Dance Tutorial, Showgirls Fact-Up Trivia, A Showgirls Diary, English, Spanish or French language tracks, widescreen.

Also Out This Week:

AIR BUD: WORLD PUP SPECIAL EDITION

(2000)

Directed by Bill Bannerman

Starring Kevin Zegers, Dale Midkiff, Martin Ferrero, Caitlin Wachs, Brittany Paige Bouck, Frank C. Turner

Disney//Rated G//Family//83 minutes

Available on: DVD

While helping Josh, his teenaged owner, prepare for the state soccer championship, golden retriever Buddy finds love and fathers a litter of puppies. Promoted to capitalize on World Cup fever, this special edition of the "Air Bud" franchise third chapter, features appearances from U.S. Women's Soccer Team notables: Brandi Chastain, Brianna Scurri, and Trisha Venturini. DVD features: The buddies' sports channel: soccer edition, Production featurette, limited edition sports bag, English or Spanish language tracks, widescreen.

SECRET LIFE OF THE AMERICAN TEENAGER, Vol. 4

(2009)

Created by Brenda Hampton

Starring Shailene Woodley, Molly Ringwald

Buena Vista//Rated TV-14//Drama//516 minutes

Available on: DVD

This ABC Family Channel series follows teen mom Amy (Shailene Woodley), her younger sister, the girls' mother (Ringwald), and Amy's friends as they juggle high school jealousies, betrayals and romance, with life at home. 3-Disc DVD features: The Cast on Family, Behind-the-scenes, First diary entry of the new Secret Life teen novel: "The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens," English language tracks, French or Spanish language tracks, widescreen.

FAMILY GUY, Vol. 8

(2008-2009)

Created by Seth MacFarlane

Voices of Seth MacFarlane, Seth Green, Mila Kunis, Mike Henry, Patrick Warburton, Alex Borstein, Lori Alan

Fox//Not Rated//Animated, Comedy - TV//343 minutes

Available on: DVD

The Griffin family goes on one misadventure after another with neither fear nor shame. Promoted for Father's Day, this collection features 15 episodes from the seventh and eighth seasons of the television show. Most episodes include uncensored audio and every episode includes commentary. DVD features: Commentary by series creator Seth Macfarlane, writers, cast and crew, deleted scenes, The road to the multiverse featurette, Family guy Karaoke, limited edition reprint of season eight's premiere episode script, English language tracks, French or Spanish subtitles.