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I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 22, 2012

McG declares war on audiences looking for a good action comedy in This Means War.

This Means War
Among the many burning questions inspired by the two-guys-one-girl romantic action comedy This Means War, the biggest has to be why the heck Reese Witherspoon even gives Chris Pine a second thought when Tom Hardy is standing right there. Apparently, there's no accounting for taste. The other big question is why McG is allowed to continue making movies, as he's consistently demonstrated little aptitude for shooting action, comedy, drama... heck, really anything. Here he takes a potentially fun premise -- a single gal starts dating two dudes, who happen to be James Bond-like secret agents -- and renders it in the dullest, least amusing way possible. The three stars look great (Witherspoon in particular) and try their best to generate some laughs, but This Means War drowns their charms under its sheer banality.
Extras: A commentary track with McG, deleted scenes (including three alternate endings... apparently, nobody knew how to end the movie), a gag reel and a featurette
Click here to read our original review

Red Tails
George Lucas spent two decades trying to get Hollywood to finance his period action epic about the Tuskegee Airmen before finally giving up and making the picture on his own dime. Say what you will about the guy, but you can't argue he doesn't put his money where his mouth is when it comes to a project he feels passionate about. If only the finished product felt worthy of that kind of commitment. While the aerial battles are rousing and the unabashed celebration of the pilots' exploits well-earned, the scenes on the ground are marred by cheesy dialogue and predictable storylines. It's an altogether superficial treatment of a slice of history that deserves more rigor and nuance.
Extras: A documentary about the real-life fighter squad and five making-of featurettes profiling the cast, the special effects and Lucas himself.
Click here to read our original review

The Woman in Black
Daniel Radcliffe took his first steps beyond the Harry Potter franchise with this haunted house story that casts him as a single dad and lawyer in 19th-century England who travels to a remote country manor to execute a will. When he arrives, he discovers that the enormous mansion may still be occupied... by a vengeful ghost. Director James Watkins cribs from some great horror movies -- including The Haunting, The Others and the recent Guillermo Del Toro-produced Don't Be Afraid of the Dark -- but doesn't nail the atmospheric chills quite as effectively as those films. And while Radcliffe holds the screen effectively enough, it's not yet clear based on this performance what kind of range he has as an actor. Still, we're betting that his career will probably outlast some of his ex-Potter players like Rupert Grint and Tom Felton.
Extras: A commentary track with Watkins and screenwriter Jane Goldman and two featurettes.
Click here to read our original review

The Secret World of Arrietty
If you're looking to spend some quality family time in front of your TV over the Memorial Day weekend, pick up the latest feature from the wizards at the Japanese animation house, Studio Ghibli, the studio that's given the world such marvelous productions as My Neighbor Totoro, Grave of the Fireflies and Spirited Away. Adapted from the children's novel The Borrowers, Arrietty follows the diminutive titular heroine as she learns the borrowing trade and commits a cardinal Borrower sin by befriending a human. While not quite in the ranks of Ghibli's best efforts, the film is distinguished by a wonderful attention to detail, a well-paced narrative and a terrific lead character in Arrietty. It's a movie that's both funny and exciting for kids and sophisticated enough for their parents.
Extras: A storyboard version of the film, two music videos, a making-of documentary about one of said videos and original Japanese trailers.

Also on DVD:
One of last year's best movies, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's challenging, endlessly inventive relationship drama/philosophical tract Certified Copy arrives on DVD in a sparkling Criterion edition that includes a bonus film (Kiarostami's 1977 feature The Report) and a making-of documentary. Along with The Secret World of Arriety, two classic Studio Ghibli titles get Blu-ray releases today, Hayao Miyazaki's 1986 fantasy adventure Castle in the Sky and Yoshifumi Kondō's 1995 coming-of-age story Whisper of the Heart. Get up close and personal with Broadway legend Carol Channing in the documentary Carol Channing: Larger than Life and watch Ewan McGregor lock lips (and other body parts) with Eva Green in the indie drama Perfect Sense. And, Mel Gibson's current troubles aside, who could say no to Lethal Weapon Collection, a Blu-ray box set with all four Lethal Weapon movies (we could do without Lethal Weapon 4 to be honest, but the first three are golden) along with new retrospective featurettes. We'll never get too old for that... well, you know.

Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.

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