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Monday, Aug. 2, 2010

Out on Blu-ray/DVD

Releases for the Week of 7/27 - 08/01/10 (Ratings Out of Four Stars.)

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REPO MEN

(2010)

*1/2 (C-)

Directed by Miguel Sapochnik

Starring Jude Law, Forest Whitaker, Alice Braga, Liev Schreiber, RZA, Carice van Houten

Universal//Rated R//Sci-Fi//112 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-Ray

In the near future, the rich extend their lives using robotic spare parts sold by a corporation calling itself the Union. Organs cost upwards of $600,000 and are financed at 19% interest. Pitchman Frank (Liev Schreiber) persuades the reluctant to sign on the dotted line. The corporation uses repo men to reclaim organs from delinquent borrowers at the point of a scalpel. Repo men Remy (Jude Law) and Jake (Forest Whitaker) partner-up on difficult cases. Though they play their roles straight and serious, Schreiber wades knee-deep in camp. After suffering an on-the-job accident, Remy awakens to learn he has received a company heart transplant, and that he no longer has the spirit to repo organs. Though unable to pay the freight on his own new ticker, Remy attempts to save drug- addicted Beth (Alice Braga) from over-zealous repo men. Based on The Repossession Mambo, a novel by Eric Garcia, the film sags before reviving its story with a clever last-minute twist. DVD and Blu-Ray features: commentary with Director and Writers Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner, deleted scenes, The Union Commercials, Inside the Visual Effects, English, French, or Spanish language tracks, widescreen.

CLASH OF THE TITANS

(2010)

* *1/2 (B-)

Directed by Louis Leterrier

Starring Sam Worthington, Mads Mikkelsen, Alexa Davalos, Jason Flemyng, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Gemma Arterton, Danny Huston, Polly Walker, Luke Evans

Warner//Rated PG-13//Fantasy//118 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-Ray

The latest toga and sandals fantasy loosely remakes 1981's Clash of the Titans. The saga depicts meddlesome Greek Gods unleashing an underlord and his monsters against men and demigods. Ralph Fiennes whispers much of his dialogue as Hades, while hero Perseus is embodied by a bland Sam Worthington. Zeus (Liam Neeson) is the moody ruler of Olympus, while Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) remains a steadfastly passive and saintly human princess. The most memorable characters are man-hating Medusa and Polly Walker as the scene-chewing Queen Cassiopeia. Joining Perseus in his quest to slay Hades, Mads Mikkelsen brings subtle suffering to Draco's heroic determination. Not only can Mikkelsen act rings around Worthington, his charisma virtually erases everyone else from the screen. Calibos is a monster whose tragic past earns our sympathy, heightened by the primal hate Jason Flemyng emotes in the role. While the post-production 3-D looks boxy, the updated special effects are a blast. DVD features: deleted scenes, English, French, or Spanish language tracks, widescreen. 2-Disc Blu-Ray/Combo pack features same plus: DVD, digital copy, alternate ending, picture-in-picture commentary, Maximum Movie Mode: Harnessing the Gods,

Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages.

STARGATE UNIVERSE: 1.5

(2009)

* * 1/2 (B-)

Created by

Starring Robert Carlyle, Justin Louis, Brian J. Smith, David Blue

MGM//Not Rated//Sci-Fi//438 minutes

Available on: DVD and Blu-Ray

This darker "Stargate" spin-off is calculated to appeal to "Battlestar Galactica" fans. The first season's home video release was split into two halves, this being the second half containing its final 10 episodes. The drama follows a group of scientists, soldiers, and ordinary people who travel through a stargate to save themselves from attack. They emerge aboard a spaceship built by the ancients, its predetermined course putting earth ever further in its rear view mirror. While attempting to gain an understanding of the ship, tensions build between the military and civilian camps. Making matters worse they are pursued by extraterrestrials determined to capture the ship. The story mixes wildly disparate characters as it searches for those that will resonate most with the audience. 3-Disc DVD features: commentaries on all episodes, chatting with the Cast, Featurettes: Designing a New Race: Space Aliens, Tanked! Elyse Levesque Goes for a swim, Kino Video Diaries, English or Spanish language tracks, French subtitles, widescreen. Blu-Ray features same plus: SGU: Survival Instinct game.

RAMBO

(2008)

* * * (B)

Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Starring Julie Benz, Matthew Marsden, Sylvester Stallone, Ken Howard, Rey Gallegos, Tim Kang, Jake LaBotz, Graham McTavish

Lionsgate//Rated R (Extended Version Unrated)//Action//99 minutes

Available on: Blu-Ray, Extended Cut

Believing himself to be long past fighting for lost causes, John Rambo now lives rustically on the Thai side of the Salween River that defines the Burmese border. He is hired by idealistic American missionaries, toting medicine and bibles to Christians targeted for ethnic cleansing by the Burmese militia. Cowriter, star, and director of this fourth installment, Stallone conveys the bloodiness of jungle warfare. Several sequences glorify Stallone, a forgivable misstep since the film spotlights a great injustice. An aging Clint Eastwood may be content to substitute clever thinking for youth and vigor, but Stallone pumps up, bronzes his skin, and bandanas his luxurious mop to squash any doubt regarding his iconic status. Never say die. Blu-ray features: Rambo: to hell & back director's production diary, English language tracks, Spanish subtitles, widescreen.

Also Out This Week

ACCEPTANCE

(2009)

Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Starring Mae Whitman, Joan Cusack, Mark Moses, Kiersten Warren, Brigid Brannagh, Rob Mayes, Deepti Daryanani, Jonathan Kelz

Rhino//Not Rated//Drama//88 minutes

Available on: DVD

This Lifetime Original movie stars Joan Cusack as a mother determined to help her daughter (Whitman) gain acceptance into college. Based on the novel by Susan Coll. DVD features: English language tracks, widescreen.

SABRINA THE TEENAGE WITCH: The Final Season

(2002)

Created by Nell Scovell

Starring Melissa Hart Nick Bakay Elisa Donovan John Ducey Soleil Frye Diana-Maria Riva Bumper Robinson Andrew Walker

Paramount//Not Rated//Comedy//480 minutes

Melissa Joan Hart plays the witch Sabrina, no longer a teen in this seventh and final season. The storyline observes Sabrina going to work for an alternative music magazine and getting to know her eccentric coworkers. 3-Disc DVD features: "Sabrina Goes to Rome" TV movie, English language track.