Top DVD Releases for the Week of February 17 2009
Here is a list of the DVD Releases for the week of February 17 2009:
Dead Like Me: Life After Death
Synopsis: When George and her colleagues get a new boss whose focus is on moving souls quickly and enjoying life without consequences, the team begins to break the strict reaper rules. While her friends fall victim to their desires for money, success, and fame, George breaks another rule by revealing her true identity to her living family. As the reapers struggle with their roles on Earth, they each find that death can be just as complicated as life. Through its strong storyline, Dead Like Me delves into the intricate mythology and dark comedy created by the TV series and appeals to the show’s legions of fans as well as those new to the world of the reapers.
Cast: Ellen Muth, Callum Blue, Henry Ian Cusick, Sarah Wynter
Recommendations: As a huge fan of the original series, I have to recommend this one. And while the story could have been better and the absence of some of the actors was unfortunate, it was still a very enjoyable movie, that I think fans of the show will really like.
Body of Lies
Synopsis: The CIAs hunt is on for the mastermind of a wave of terrorist attacks. Roger Ferris is the agencys man on the ground, moving from place to place, scrambling to stay ahead of ever-shifting events. An eye in the sky a satellite link watches Ferris. At the other end of that real-time link is the CIAs Ed Hoffman, strategizing events from thousands of miles away. And as Ferris nears the target, he discovers trust can be just as dangerous as it is necessary for survival. Leonardo DiCaprio (as Ferris) and Russell Crowe (as Hoffman) star in Body of Lies, adapted by William Monahan (The Departed) from the David Ignatius novel. Ridley Scott (American Gangster, Black Hawk Down) directs this impactful tale, orchestrating exciting action sequences and plunging viewers into a bold spy thriller for our time.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Carice van Houten
Recommendations: Even though Body of Lies was not a box office success, I have to admit that I really loved it. Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe make a great team, and the story was pretty awesome. I’m actually going to buy it for my dad, so if that’s not an endorsement I don’t know what is (my dad is very picky).
Synopsis: Los Angeles, 1928: On a Saturday morning in a working-class suburb, Christine said goodbye to her son, Walter, and left for work. When she came home, she discovered he had vanished. A fruitless search ensues, and months later, a boy claiming to be the nine-year-old is returned. Dazed by the swirl of cops, reporters and her conflicted emotions, Christine allows him to stay overnight. But in her heart, she knows he is not Walter.
As she pushes authorities to keep looking, she learns that in Prohibition-era L.A., women don’t challenge the system and live to tell their story. Slandered as delusional and unfit, Christine finds an ally in activist Reverend Briegleb (Malkovich), who helps her fight the city to look for her missing boy. Based on the actual incident that rocked California’s legal system, Changeling tells the shocking tale of a mother’s quest to find her son, and those who won’t stop until they silence her.
Cast: Angelina Jolie, Amy Ryan, Jeffrey Donovan, Colm Feore, John Malkovich, Michael Kelly, Jason Butler Harner
Recommendations: I missed Changeling in theaters, but didn’t hear enough great things to warrant a buy, so I think I’ll have to rent it.
Synopsis: Victor Mancini, a sex-addicted med-school dropout, keeps his increasingly deranged mother, Ida, in an expensive private mental hospital by working days as a historical reenactor. At night he runs a scam where he deliberately chokes in upscale restaurants to form parasitic relationships with the wealthy patrons who “save” him. When, in a rare lucid moment, Ida reveals that she has withheld the shocking truth of his father’s identity, Victor must enlist the aid of his best friend, Denny, a recovering chronic masturbator, and his mother’s beautiful attending physician, Dr. Paige Marshall, to solve this mystery before the truth of his possibly divine parentage is lost forever.
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston, Kelly Macdonald, Clark Gregg, Heather Burns, Brad William Henke, Joel Grey, Gillian Jacobs
Recommendations: I did hear goods things about the movie, and really like Sam Rockwell, so I’m definitely curious to check it out to find out if Choke lives up to the hype.
Flash of Genius
Synopsis: Based on the true story of college professor and part-time inventor Robert Kearns’s (Greg Kinnear) long battle with the U.S. automobile industry, Flash of Genius tells the tale of one man whose fight to receive recognition for his ingenuity would come at a heavy price. But this determined engineer refused to be silenced, and he took on the corporate titans in a battle that nobody thought he could win.
The Kearns were a typical 1960s Detroit family, trying to live their version of the American Dream. Local university professor Bob married teacher Phyllis (Lauren Graham) and, by their mid-thirties, had six kids who brought them a hectic but satisfying Midwestern existence. When Bob invents a device that would eventually be used by every car in the world, the Kearns think they have struck gold. But their aspirations are dashed after the auto giants who embraced Bob’s creation unceremoniously shunned the man who invented it.
Ignored, threatened and then buried in years of litigation, Bob is haunted by what was done to his family and their future. He becomes a man obsessed with justice and the conviction that his life’s work — or for that matter, anyone’s work — be acknowledged by those who stood to benefit. And while paying the toll for refusing to compromise his dignity, this everyday David will try the unthinkable: to bring Goliath to his knees.
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Dermot Mulroney, Alan Alda
Recommendations: An inspirational story always makes a great rental, and I think that’s what we can expect from Flash of Genius.
High School Musical 3
Synopsis: “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” finds high school seniors Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabriella (Vanessa Hudgens) facing the prospect of separation as they head off to different colleges. Joined by the rest of the Wildcats, they stage an elaborate spring musical reflecting their experiences, hopes and fears about the future. With incredible new music and exciting dance numbers designed to take maximum advantage of the big screen, this motion picture extravaganza delivers plenty of high-energy entertainment from East High’s talented ensemble.
Cast: Zac Efron, Ashley Tisdale, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Lucas Grabeel, Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman
Recommendations: Since I have already seen High School Musical 1 & 2 (dare I admit I enjoyed them?), I kind of have to see number 3.
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
Synopsis: After disrupting one black-tie event by allowing a wild pig to run rampant, Sidney catches the attention of Clayton Harding (Jeff Bridges), editor of Sharp, and accepts a job with the magazine in New York City. Clayton warns Sidney that he’d better impress and charm everyone he can, if he wants to succeed. Instead, Sidney instantly insults and annoys fellow writer Alison Olsen (Kirsten Dunst). He dares to target the star clients of power publicist Eleanor Johnson (Gillian Anderson). He upsets his direct boss Lawrence Maddox (Danny Huston) and tries to make amends by hiring a stripper to dance for Lawrence during a staff meeting. Sidney, of course, doesn’t stop there, finding creative ways to annoy nearly everyone. His saving graces: a rising, sexy starlet (Megan Fox) develops an odd affection for him, and in time, Alison whose friendship with him might be the only thing saving Sidney from torpedoing his career.
Cast: Simon Pegg, Megan Fox, Kirsten Dunst, Gillian Anderson, Jeff Bridges
Recommendations: Can’t say that this one sparked my interest when it was in theaters (even though I am a big fan of Simon Pegg), and it still doesn’t interest me now. Sorry.
Synopsis: Television reporter Angela Vidal (Jennifer Carpenter) and her cameraman (Steve Harris) are assigned to spend the night shift with a Los Angeles Fire Station. After a routine 911 call takes them to a small apartment building, they find police officers already on the scene in response to blood curdling screams coming from one of the apartment units. They soon learn that a woman living in the building has been infected by something unknown. After a few of the residents are viciously attacked, they try to escape with the news crew in tow, only to find that the CDC has quarantined the building. Phones, internet, televisions and cell phone access have been cut-off, and officials are not relaying information to those locked inside. When the quarantine is finally lifted, the only evidence of what took place is the news crew’s videotape.
Cast: Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short, Greg Germann, Steve Harris, Dania Ramirez, Rade Serbedzija, Andrew Fiscella
Recommendations: Horror films and me, well let’s say we just don’t jell.