Home movies

Home movies

Goal! The Dream Begins

An immigrant living with his family in Los Angeles dreams of escaping poverty by playing soccer, but puts his dreams on hold when he’s forced to take on numerous jobs. When an English soccer team scout sees potential in Santiago (Kuno Becker), he’s recruited to try out for Newcastle United. Coming-of-age drama and underdog sports movie collide in this enjoyable and inspirational tale. Becker wins hearts and games as Santiago, a young man looking to score on and off the field. Featurette, filmmaker audio commentary and music video add insight. (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

Stick It

Given a choice between military school and gymnastics camp, perpetual troublemaker and former gymnast Haley Graham (Missy Peregrym) chooses military school, yet finds herself under the tutelage of opportunistic coach Burt Vickerman (Jeff Bridges). Haley is instantly disliked by the other gymnasts, espec

ially spiteful Joanne (Vanessa Lengies). After some hilarious soul searching, Haley gives in and becomes part of the team, offering Burt hope for a win. Lots of laughs fuel this bitchy comedy. DVD piles on the extras, including numerous featurettes, deleted scenes, bloopers and music videos. (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

Loverboy

Kyra Sedgwick delivers a haunting performance as an obsessive single mom in this riveting drama. Under the direction of her husband, Kevin Bacon, Sedgwick cautiously invites us into the misunderstood world of Emily, whose relentless overprotection of her son Paul (Dominic Scott Kay) takes us on a harrowing, at times unthinkable, journey. Even as you suspect where the film is headed, it’s impossible to look away. The cast, including Marisa Tomei, Campbell Scott, Matt Dillon and Sandra Bullock, is so exceptional and effective you have no choice but to follow their lead. Their demands end up being our reward. (Screen Media Films)

Curious George

The animated adventures of mischievous little monkey Curious George and museum guide Ted (aka The Man in the Yellow Hat) swing onto the big screen with this colorful tale that finds Ted (voice of Will Ferrell) scouring Africa for an artifact to save the day and keep the museum from closing. Instead, Ted encounters and accidentally brings back George to the jungles of the big city, where Ted is forced to contend with his new friend and devise a plan to stop the museum from being turned into a parking lot. Duplicating the look of the books by Margret and H.A. Rey, Curious George is packed with animated adventure, a family film for families. Drew Barrymore provides the voice of love interest Maggie, while Jack Johnson’s songs complement the tone and look of the film. Deleted scenes, sing-a-longs, drawing lessons and a tree full of games and activities complete the fun. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

The Proposition

In 1880s Australia, brothers Charlie (Guy Pearce) and Mikey (Richard Wilson) are captured by local law enforcer Captain Stanley (Ray Winstone). Implicated with heir brothers in the brutal murder of a local family, Charlie is given an opportunity to save younger brother Mikey from the gallows: hunt down and kill older brother Arthur (Danny Huston). With only days until the hanging, Charlie rides off into the Outback looking for Arthur and salvation. Written by Nick Cave and directed by John Hillcoat, The Proposition is appropriately bleak and dirty. It looks and feels authentic, with Pearce and Winstone standing out as two men looking for the same thing. Emily Watson brings beauty to the ugliness as Stanley’s wife, while John Hurt has a potent cameo as a bounty hunter. Hard hitting and thoughtful. Commentary and five featurettes are included. (First Look Home Entertainment)

Home movies

Home movies

The Wild

Computer animation brings this colorful tale of fatherly pride to life. Kiefer Sutherland voices Samson, king of the jungle and star attraction at the New York Zoo. When his son, Ryan, is accidentally shipped off to Africa, Samson and his zoo friends set sail to rescue him. Similar in theme to Madagascar, there’s enough material and terrain to make The Wild its own animal. I especially liked when Samson and friends landed in Africa and had to face the elements for the first time. The various critters and creatures make the trip engaging and entertaining. DVD adds goofs and blunders, deleted scenes and a music video. (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

Lucky Number Slevin

Director Paul McGuigan (Gangster No. 1) unleashes another brutal tale of revenge. Josh Hartnett is magnetic as Slevin, a likable guy who attracts bad luck. When Slevin stumbles into an ongoing feud between two rival crime lords (Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley), he finds himself caught between two rocks and a hit man, played by Bruce Willis. Nothing is what it seems in this clever slice of film noir, which walks its own walk and talks it own talk. Characters say and do things which would only be acceptable in this film, but once we accept them, we find ourselves on the ride of our lives. Tricky, smart and loads of fun, the film makes good use of an eclectic cast and unique canvas. DVD serves up commentary with the stars, writer and director, alternate ending and featurette. (Weinstein/Genius)

Saving Shiloh

Unexpected wave of emotion flows through this second sequel in the series of books by Phyllis Reynolds. Jason Dolley plays Marty, a preteen who lives in a small town in the Midwest. Marty’s best friend, a cute little beagle named Shiloh, helps him navigate the hardships of the elderly (grandmother), siblings (younger sister) and a misunderstood neighbor, Shiloh’s previous owner and the subject of malicious gossip. Heartfelt coming-of-age drama finds Marty and Shiloh learning valuable life lessons. Fans of the previous films and books will want to take this lovable film out for a walk. Music video and interviews complete the DVD. (Warner Home Entertainment)

Dead Man’s Shoes

Returning home after a stint in the Army, Richard (Paddy Considine) vows re-venge on those responsible for the death of his simple-minded brother, Anthony. What sounds like a run-of-the- mill revenge film is actually a meditative look at how the guilty come to terms with their misdeeds. Instead of focusing on the retribution, which is intense and extreme, director Shane Meadows (who wrote the screenplay with Considine) allows the characters to ponder their lives and mistakes, waiting for the inevitable. When it arrives, it’s quick and efficient, much like the film and its protagonist. Considine is electric as Richard, a man capable of deep reflection and viciousness. Powerful stuff. DVD offers commentary, featurette and deleted scenes. (Magnolia Home Entertainment)

The Notorious Bettie Page

1950s pinup sensation Bettie Page (Gretchen Mol in a brave performance) is resurrected in this respectable yet thin biography. Raised in a conservative religious family in Tennessee, Page moves to New York and becomes the toast of the kinky crowd, constantly challenging moral boundaries while standing up to a Senate pornography investigation. Director Mary Harron uses a variety of film techniques to transport us back in time, and carefully avoids exploitation. What emerges is a film that respects its subject and theme. Director-writer commentary on the DVD makes sense of it all, which also includes a nostalgic featurette. (HBO Films)

Kill Zone (Saat po long)

Powerful martial arts action and gritty police drama mix in this potent Hong Kong import. Director Wilson Yip combines old and new school action into this harrowing and explosive tale of an elusive criminal mastermind and how his pursuers are forced to abandon traditional law enforcement methods to catch their prey. Sammo Hung delivers quite a punch as villain Po, always one step a-head of police officer Chan (Simon Yam). When Chan learns he has cancer, he teams up with by-the-book detective Ma (Donnie Yen) to bring down Po and his empire. Brutal, full-contact martial arts action makes this detective thriller explode with kinetic energy. Two-disc ultimate edition features a martial arts war chest of extras, including extensive background features, action documentaries, com-mentaries and star profiles. (Weinstein/Genius)

Home Movies

Home Movies

United 93

Harrowing depiction of the heroic efforts of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 to overtake their hijackers. Written and directed by Paul Greengrass, United 93 grips us from the first frame. Intensely dramatic and riveting, the film takes us on a detailed, guided tour of the events of 9/11 and how they crippled our country. Watch-ing the passengers of United 93 make the most unselfish decision of their lives is hard stuff to take, but it serves as a tribute to their heroism and determination. The film also serves as a fascinating window into the minds of those forced to make split-second decisions. Feature commentary, real-life portraits and a virtual memorial complete the experience. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)

Akeelah and the Bee

Words have power. Just ask Akeelah Anderson (a delightful Keke Palmer), an inner-city-middle school student who honors her father’s memory with a passion for words. When the school principal sees potential in Akeelah, she’s paired up with retired college professor Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne) to train for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Defeating all the odds, including an indifferent yet protective mother (Angela Bassett), Akeelah uses the power of words to advance to the finals. Writer-director Doug Atchison finds plenty of truth, drama and spirit in Akeelah’s journey. DVD offers featurettes, music videos, deleted scenes and gag reel. (Lionsgate)

Take the Lead

Antonio Banderas takes center stage in this based-on-a-true-story tale of ballroom dance instructor Pierre Dulaine, who brings his indomitable spirit and exotic dance moves to troubled students at an inner-city high school. Dulaine more than has his work cut out for him, taking a ragtag group of students in detention and providing them with purpose and pleasure. At first, the principal (Alfre Woodard) and the students, who prefer hip-hop to tango, are skeptical, but when Dulaine decides to enter them in a national competition, the tide begins to turn. This film dances to its own beat. Good cast, good message, great beat. DVD offers deleted scenes, trailers, featurettes, interactive dance demonstration and commentary track. (New Line Home Entertainment)

The Sentinel

Familiar but engaging political thriller stars Michael Douglas as presidential Secret Service agent Pete Garrison, whose loyalty is tested when evidence points to a traitor in the White House. Unable to explain his be-havior due to an affair, Garrison finds himself on the run from fellow agents David Breck-inridge (Kiefer Sutherland) and Jill Marin (Eva Longoria), hoping to prevent a presidential assassination. The cast brings conviction to traditional thriller trappings, especially Douglas as the senior agent looking for truth, and Kim Basinger as the secretive first lady. DVD offers alternate ending and deleted scenes, commentary tracks and two featurettes. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Kinky Boots

After years of making the same brown shoe, Price & Sons shoes is given the boot. Desperate to keep the family legacy alive and save the jobs of lifelong employees, son and current owner Charlie Price (Joel Edgerton) realizes the only way to keep up with the competition is to find a new niche. A chance encoun-ter with cross-dressing singer Lola (Chiwetel Ejiofor) provides Charlie with the inspiration to make boots for transvestites. Now all he has to do is break down the barriers between his small-town employees and his big-city muse. Edgerton and Ejiofor make a delightful odd couple, turning convention on its head. DVD kicks up its heels with deleted scenes, featurette and commentary track. (Buena Vista Home Entertainment)

Jamarama Live! Kidsfest

Tune-filled music festival features three popular kid-friendly acts guaranteed to put a smile on their faces and a song in their hearts. Now kids can enjoy the antics of the Laurie Berkner Band, Milkshake, and The Ohmies in their own living rooms. Preschoolers will rock out and learn valuable lessons, while parents can enjoy the show without sitting in an auditorium filled with screaming kids. Trivia games, music videos and activities add to the enjoyment. (Goldhil Entertainment)

Home movies

Home movies

Hoot

When a scheming land developer attempts to build over a protected owl sanctuary, it’s up to three kids to put an end to his scheme. Innocuous comedy-drama makes a statement without preaching, giving both children and their parents something to hoot about. Logan Lerman is extremely likable as the new kid in school, who turns to pretty student Brie Larson to help him stop the developer from destroying the habitat. Good cast (including Luke Wilson and Jimmy Buffet) and amicable direction drive this feature-heavy DVD, which includes deleted scenes, bloopers, games, nature lessons and more. (New Line Home Entertainment)

Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector

Rude, crude, but thankfully not nude (unless you count butt cracks), Larry the Cable Guy is promoted to health inspector in this blue collar comedy which transforms lowbrow humor into a laugh riot. I hate admitting I found this silly and sophomoric film funny, but I could hardly contain myself as Larry and his new partner investigate an outbreak of food poisoning. It’s exactly what you expect, but Larry the Cable Guy always manages to git-r-done! (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Just My Luck

Perpetually lucky Ashley (a sparkling Lindsay Lohan) has it all: a great job, great friends, great fortune. Ashley’s luck changes when she ex-changes a kiss with perpetual loser Jake (Chris Pine), an aspiring band manager working in a bowling alley. Now, everything Ashley holds near and dear turns to crap, while Jake be-comes the hottest promoter in Manhattan. Only in the movies, but Just My Luck takes the premise and runs with it, equaling a lot of fun — especially watching Ashley fall from grace, only to use talent and love to rise above it all. DVD includes deleted scenes and featurettes. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

Scary Movie 4

Spoofs of The Village, War of the Worlds, Saw, The Grudge and many more inhabit this fourth film in the spoof franchise. Anna Faris is back as clueless Cindy Camp-bell, now living next door to equally clueless single father Tom (Craig Bierko). After aliens invade, Tom evacuates his son and daughter to the country, while Cindy goes looking for answers. Director David Zucker and the writers have no shame, spoofing icons and taboos with aplomb. Watching Tom’s daughter undergo extensive trauma almost made me crap someone else’s pants. Unrated DVD pushes the gags way over the top. Special features include extended and deleted scenes, featurettes, special effects breakdown, commentary and more. (Weinstein/Genius)

Silent Hill

After her adopted daughter, Sharon, begins experiencing debilitating nightmares, mother Rose (Radha Mitchell) takes her to the small town of Silent Hill, looking for answers. When Sharon disappears after a wreck, Rose enters Silent Hill, pursued by her puzzled husband, a female cop, creatures from hell and a group of survivors trying to keep the town’s horrible past a secret. Director Christophe Gans (Brotherhood of the Wolf) transforms the video game into a visual freak show, grounded by a strong, determined performance by Mitchell as a mother willing to go to hell and back to save her daughter. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, wondering where this unexpected shocker would take me. I wasn’t disappointed. DVD examines the origins of the film and its production. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Phat Girlz

Comedienne Mo’Nique is a mover and shaker in this inspiring comedy about a sales clerk who dreams of starting her own line of plus-size fashions. I’ve always been a fan of this bodacious babe with attitude, which she unleashes on those who find large ladies too much to handle. When Jazmin Biltmore (Mo’Nique) wins a trip to Palm Springs, she is initially intimidated by the body-beautiful crowd — until she meets an African doctor (Jimmy Jean-Louis) who loves her just the way she is. There’s a great sense of empowerment running through this film, fueled by lots of humor and heart. DVD expands on the good times with deleted scenes, bloopers, commentary and featurettes. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment)

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