Home movies new on DVD

Home movies new on DVD

Running Scared

Blood-soaked crime thriller grabs you by the throat, rips out your spinal cord, and then uses it to beat you into a frenzy. Writer-director Wayne Kramer (The Cooler) would make Quentin Tarantino crawl up in a corner and quiver with this tale of low-level mobster Joey Gazelle (Paul Walker) and his attempt to track down an incriminating pistol. Delivered with unflinching brutality and un-expected mo-ments of shock and awe, Running Scared constantly amazes you with its audacity. Walker is sensational as a simple man catapulted into a complex web of backstabbing, lies, deceit and pedophiles. Highly recommended. Kramer defends his choices on the exemplary commentary track and in the fascinating documentary. (New Line Home Entertainment)

Freedomland

Fine performances distinguish this dated, so-so social commentary about racial division. Even though director Joe Roth punches all of the hot-topic buttons in writer Richard Price’s script, there’s little to get all hot and bothered over in this tale of a white single mother (Julianne Moore) who claims her son was in a car jacked by a black man. The accusation immediately divides the city, forcing detective Lorenzo Council (Samuel L. Jackson) to learn the truth before all hell breaks loose. Well-acted, directed and written, there’s something strangely remote in the film’s motives. When it doesn’t resemble a Barbara Stan-wyck woman-in-peril thriller, the film plays out like an After-School Special. (Sony Pictures Home Enter-tainment)

Doogal

Kids will appreciate this British 3-D animated adventure reworked for American audiences. While some of the original voice talent (Dame Judi Dench, Sir Ian McKellen) has been retained, American talent (Chevy Chase, Whoopi Goldberg, Wil-liam H. Macy, Kevin Smith, Jon Stewart) now voice the tale of Doogal (Daniel Tay), a playful hound with a sweet tooth, who teams up with his friends to stop an evil sorcerer from turning the Earth into an ice cube. While the animation isn’t as complex, the story has enough heart and a good moral to see it through. (Weinstein Products, Inc.)

Like Mike 2

The magical pair of sneakers finds its way into the hands of hoops fan Jerome Jenkins Junior (the always engaging Jascha Washington), too young, too slow and way too small to play street ball with the big boys. Once Jerome slips on the high-tops, he becomes a force to be reckoned with, taking on all comers while turning his back on friends and family. Direct-to-video sequel features likable characters, plenty of court hijinks, and important life lessons. DVD goes into overtime with deleted scenes and three featurettes. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic

Actress, comedian, singer Sarah Silverman does it all, and takes no prisoners in this hilarious filmed concert featuring outrageous musical videos and hilarious bookends. I love Silverman, and she’s at her best in this unrated Valentine to failed relationships, family, religion, death, sex, ripping each and every topic a new hole. Silver-man is ruthless, a comedian with balls bigger than most of her male counterparts, never afraid to take political correctness behind the barn and put it out of its misery. DVD continues the fun with a commentary track, featurette and more. (Visual Entertainment)

Home movies new on DVD

Home movies new on DVD

Something New

Sanaa Lathan shines as Kenya McQueen, a smart, sexy, young African-American woman with a successful career. The only thing Kenya is missing in her life is Mr. Right, which she finds after her friends set her up on a blind date with Brian (Simon Baker), a sweet, good-natured, hunky white landscaper. Even though her friends and family have issues with the relationship, Kenya lives for the mo-ment until her ideal black man (Blair Underwood) enters the scene. Film does a wonderful job of tackling issues without pulverizing them. Dating tips and featurette complete the DVD. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Cheaper by the Dozen 2

Feeling as if life is passing him by, father Tom Baker (Steve Martin) drags his wife, Kate (Bonnie Hunt), and their brood to a summer lake house for one final family blowout. Unfortunately, Baker’s rival, Jimmy Murtaugh (Eugene Levy) and his gaggle of rich runts are also using the lake for a vacation, setting the stage for family-versus-family competition. All of the original cast members return, making this a real family reunion, one filled with heart, humor and healing. DVD includes director commentary, casting sessions, featurette and more. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Winter Passing

Writer-director Adam Rapp makes his big-screen debut with this fascinating exploration of twisted family dynamics. Zooey Deschanel stars as Reese Holden, a young woman who is approached by a book editor to publish the love letters of her reclusive novelist father (Ed Harris). After returning home to Michigan, Reese is shocked to find her father living with a ragtag group of bohemians, including a frustrated musician (Will Ferrell) and a graduate student (Amelia Warner). How Reese comes to grips with her father, his living situation and his new friends makes for engaging viewing. Behind-the-scenes featurette. (Fox)

London

A going-away bash for London (Jessica Biel) is all the incentive former boyfriend Syd (Chris Evans) needs to crash the party and win back the heart of the woman he loves. A total wreck after their breakup, Syd sees one last shot at redemption. With his dealer (Jason Statham) by his side, Syd camps out in the bathroom, discussing life and mingling with a series of eccentric characters. Writer-director Hunter Richards makes an impressive debut, a film filled with tough characters learning hard lessons. DVD unlocks deleted scenes, commentary and featurette. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist

A parade of comedy giants marches through the office of Dr. Jonathan Katz, a professional therapist with a freeloading son, a sassy receptionist and enough issues to fill a medical journal. Filmed in Squigglevision, the Comedy Central series is noted for its dry wit, sharp observations and hilarious insights. Season One crams six episodes, commentaries and original shorts onto one DVD. (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Dinosaurs

The timing couldn’t be better to release this fuel-efficient prehistoric comedy about a family of dinosaurs trying to make their mark in 60 million B.C. Using puppetry and audio-animatronics, the series updated the family sitcom by sending it back millions of years, allowing the writers to poke fun at history and trends. Even though the mischievous baby (not the Momma) steals the show, there’s plenty to laugh at in this four-disc collection encompassing 24 episodes from the first two seasons. Featurette and Easter eggs add to the fun. (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

Night Stalker

Despite effectively capturing the flavor and creepiness of the original series, this updated supernatural detective thriller failed to capture an audience. The DVD scares up 10 episodes of the series starring Stuart Townsend as investigative reporter Carl Kolchak, including four episodes which never aired. Gabrielle Union co-stars as reporter Perri Reed, assigned to keep Kolchak in line. Two-disc set includes deleted scenes, commentary and insights with the creator, and scripts from unproduced episodes. (Buena Vista)

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