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Sidewalks Of New York (dvd)
$13.99
Sidewalks Of New York (dvd)
A documentary film crew follows the lives of six New Yorkers as their lives unexpectedly intersect - or at least that's what writer, director, and actor Edward Burns would like you to believe in this comedy-drama that looks at the rocky road of relationships in the Big Apple. After sharing the stories of their earliest sexual experiences with an interviewer, six people are trailed by a cameraman through the course of an average day. Tommy (Edward Burns) is a successful television producer (and unsuccessful novelist) who becomes quickly infatuated when he meets Maria (Rosario Dawson) in a video store. Maria is a teacher at an upscale private school who has just gotten out of a bad marriage with Ben (David Krumholtz), a struggling musician with a day job as a doorman. Ben, on the other hand, finds himself attracted to Ashley (Brittany Murphy) when she waits on his table at a coffee shop. Ashley, as it happens, is involved in an affair with Griffin (Stanley Tucci), a dentist who is chronically unfaithful to his wife Annie (Heather Graham). Annie, a real estate agent, also happens to be friends with Tommy, one of her customers, bringing the circle to a close. Shot in only 16 days, Sidewalks of New York marked a return to (relatively) low-budget filmmaking for Edward Burns, who directed two less-than-successful major studio projects following his breakthrough with the independent feature The Brothers McMullen~Mark Deming
Best Buy
The Rugrats Movie (dvd)
$5.99
The Rugrats Movie (dvd)
Based on the popular Nickelodeon TV series Rugrats, this is the first full-length feature animated movie to star the little tots. It's the story of diaper-clad kids, told from a baby's point- of-view, and they were one of the hottest-selling toy franchises of the late '90s. The film features a hilarious musical number in the hospital nursery, where newborns have the voices of major rock stars that include Jakob Dylan (Bob Dylan's son), Iggy Pop, Lou Rawls, Lisa Loeb, and Patti Smith, to name a few. The story escalates when self-proclaimed leader Tommy Pickles is thrust into an impossible situation with the birth of his new brother, Dil Pickles. This new kid is grabbing all the attention and won't stop crying. With the help of other toddlers Lil and Phil, Tommy decides that the baby should be returned to the hospital for fixing. They all hop on their little wagon and take a high-speed ride straight into the deep woods where they realize they're lost. Chased around by animals (or so they think), the Rugrats clan must get home in one piece. Other celebrity voices include Whoopi Goldberg and The Rocky Horror Picture Show's Tim Curry, as well as Saturday Night Live's Andrea Martin and David Spade~Chris Gore
Best Buy
Road To Perdition (dvd)
$5.99
Road To Perdition (dvd)
The acclaimed graphic novel from crime writer Max Allan Collins becomes this big budget Dreamworks drama from director Sam Mendes and screenwriter David Self. Tom Hanks stars as Michael Sullivan, a morally conflicted Depression-era hit man committing murder in the name of his employer, John Rooney (Paul Newman). A kindly, aging Irish crime boss who raised Sullivan as his surrogate son, Rooney is affiliated with Al Capone in Chicago and thus wields great power in the "Tri-Cities" of Moline, IL; Rock Island, IL; and Davenport, IA. Curious about his father's mysterious profession, Sullivan's son, Michael Jr. (Tyler Hoechlin), stows away in his father's automobile one night and witnesses the execution of a man at the hands of Sullivan and Rooney's biological son, Connor (Daniel Craig). Although Michael keeps his promise to remain silent about what he's seen, the paranoid and unstable Connor tries to wipe out the entire Sullivan clan anyway, succeeding only in killing Sullivan's wife, Annie (Jennifer Jason Leigh), and youngest son, Peter (Liam Aiken). Enraged at this and another surprise betrayal by the Rooneys, Sullivan embarks on a path of bloody retribution, Michael in tow. Although he intends to leave his boy with relatives in the rural town of Perdition once the coast is clear, he ends up exposing Michael to the goriest aspects of his talents, slaughtering former associates as he dodges contract assassin Maguire (Jude Law) and cripples the cash flow of the Rooney and Capone organizations through a series of bank robberies, attempting to force either mob family to offer up the sequestered Connor as a sacrifice. Inspired by the popular Japanese comic book series Lone Wolf and Cub and based loosely on an episode from the life and career of notorious real-life crime figures John and Connor Looney, Road to Perdition co-stars Stanley Tucci as legendary Chicago mobster Frank Nitti~Karl Williams
Best Buy
Collateral [blu-ray]
$8.99
Collateral [blu-ray]
A taxi driver is unexpectedly taken on the ride of his life in this stylish thriller from acclaimed director Michael Mann. Max (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver who hopes to some day open his own limo company; one night behind the wheel begins promisingly when he picks up Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), an attorney working with the federal government who is attractive, friendly, and gives him her business card after paying her fare. Max thinks his luck is getting even better when his next fare, Vincent (Tom Cruise), offers him several hundred dollars in cash if he'll be willing to drop him off, wait, and pick him up at five different spots over the course of the evening. Max agrees, but he soon realizes Vincent isn't just another guy with errands to run - Vincent is an assassin who has been paid to murder five people who could put the leaders of a powerful drug trafficking ring behind bars in an upcoming trial. As circumstances force Max to do Vincent's bidding, the cabbie has to find a way to prevent Vincent from killing again and save his own skin, a task that becomes especially crucial when he discovers Annie is one of the names on Vincent's hit list. Collateral also stars Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, and Bruce McGill as police detectives hot on Vincent's trail~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Trading Places (dvd)
$5.99
Trading Places (dvd)
The "nature-nurture" theory that motivated so many Three Stooges comedies is the basis of John Landis's hit comedy. The fabulously wealthy but morally bankrupt Duke brothers (Ralph Bellamy and Don Ameche) make a one-dollar bet over heredity vs. environment. Curious as to what might happen if different lifestyles were reversed, they arrange for impoverished street hustler Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy) to be placed in the lap of luxury and trained for a cushy career in commodities brokerage. Simultaneously, they set about to reduce aristocratic yuppie Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd to poverty and disgrace, hiring a prostitute (Jamie Lee Curtis) to hasten his downfall. When Billy Ray figures out that the brothers intend to dump him back on the streets once their experiment is complete, he seeks out Winthorpe, and together the pauper-turned-prince and prince-turned-pauper plot an uproarious revenge. With the good-hearted prostitute and Winthorpe's faithful butler (Denholm Elliott) as their accomplices, they set about to hit the brothers where it really hurts: in the pocketbook~Hal Erickson
Best Buy
Charlotte's Web 3 Movie Collection (dvd)
$9.99
Charlotte's Web 3 Movie Collection (dvd)
Wilbur the Pig and his friends from Zuckerman's Farm return in this direct-to-video sequel to the animated feature Charlotte's Web, which was based on the beloved children's story by E.B. White. After the passing of his pal Charlotte the spider, Wilbur (voice of David Beron) befriends Cardigan (voice of Harrison Chad), a homesick lamb who has just arrived on the farm. Wilbur and Cardigan become the best of friends, but one day Cardigan disappears and Wilbur learns Farmer Zuckerman has sold the lamb. Afraid of the fate which may befall Cardigan, Wilbur teams up with Templeton the Rat (voice of Charlie Adler) and three of Charlotte's daughters, Nellie (voice of Amanda Bynes), Joy (voice of Anndi McAfee), and Aranea (voice of Maria Bamford), to bring him back home~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Hugo (dvd)
$5.99
Hugo (dvd)
Martin Scorsese's adaptation of Brian Selznick's award-winning novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret stars Asa Butterfield, as an orphan boy who lives in a Parisian train station. Sent to live with his drunken uncle after his father's death in a fire, Hugo learned how to wind the massive clocks that run throughout the station. When the uncle disappears one day, Hugo decides to maintain the clocks on his own, hoping nobody will catch on to him squatting in the station. His natural aptitude for engineering leads him to steal gears, tools, and other items from a toy-shop owner who maintains a storefront in the station. Hugo needs these purloined pieces in order to rebuild a mechanical man that was left in the father's care at the museum - the restoration was a project father and son did together. When Georges (Ben Kingsley), the old man who runs the toy stand, catches on to the thievery, he threatens to turn Hugo over to the station's lone police officer (Sacha Baron Cohen, who makes every effort to send any parentless child in the station to the orphanage. But Hugo's run-in with Georges leads to a friendship with the elderly gentleman's goddaughter, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz), who unknowingly possesses the last item Hugo needs to make the mechanical man work again~Perry Seibert
Best Buy
Ten Commandments (dvd)
$9.99
Ten Commandments (dvd)
Based on the Holy Scriptures, with additional dialogue by several other hands, The Ten Commandments was the last film directed by Cecil B. DeMille. The story relates the life of Moses, from the time he was discovered in the bullrushes as an infant by the pharoah's daughter, to his long, hard struggle to free the Hebrews from their slavery at the hands of the Egyptians. Moses (Charlton Heston) starts out "in solid" as Pharoah's adopted son (and a whiz at designing pyramids, dispensing such construction-site advice as "Blood makes poor mortar"), but when he discovers his true Hebrew heritage, he attempts to make life easier for his people. Banished by his jealous half-brother Rameses (Yul Brynner), Moses returns fully bearded to Pharoah's court, warning that he's had a message from God and that the Egyptians had better free the Hebrews post-haste if they know what's good for them. Only after the Deadly Plagues have decimated Egypt does Rameses give in. As the Hebrews reach the Red Sea, they discover that Rameses has gone back on his word and plans to have them all killed. But Moses rescues his people with a little Divine legerdemain by parting the Seas. Later, Moses is again confronted by God on Mt. Sinai, who delivers unto him the Ten Commandments. Meanwhile, the Hebrews, led by the duplicitous Dathan (Edward G. Robinson), are forgetting their religion and behaving like libertines. "Where's your Moses now?" brays Dathan in the manner of a Lower East Side gangster. He soon finds out. DeMille's The Ten Commandments may not be the most subtle and sophisticated entertainment ever concocted, but it tells its story with a clarity and vitality that few Biblical scholars have ever been able to duplicate. It is very likely the most eventful 219 minutes ever recorded to film-and who's to say that Nefertiri (Anne Baxter) didn't make speeches like, "Oh, Moses, Moses, you splendid, stubborn, adorable fool"?Hal Erickson
Best Buy
Ghost (dvd)
$5.99
Ghost (dvd)
An interesting hybrid of popular film genres, Ghost showcases the talents of its entire cast. While out on the town one evening, New York couple Sam (Patrick Swayze) and Molly (Demi Moore) are confronted by a mugger. After submitting to his demands, Sam is murdered anyway. He then finds himself a disembodied spirit, invisible to the living world, wandering without hope until he finds a spiteful spirit aboard the subway (Vincent Schiavelli) who gives him some helpful pointers on how to co-exist. Soon Sam comes back into contact with those he knew in life, and he begins to learn piece-by-piece of his close friend and co-worker Carl's (Tony Goldwyn) embezzling plot which caused his death; the apparent mugging was, in fact, a premeditated murder. In the meantime, Carl has designs on Molly, and Sam is determined to extract revenge. He contacts a psychic (Whoopi Goldberg), and together, the two set out to serve justice and stop the maniacal Carl from getting to Molly. Blending comedy, romance, action, and horror, Ghost was a box-office smash and managed to garner five Academy Award nominations, including "Best Picture," "Best Supporting Actress" (Goldberg), "Best Original Screenplay," "Best Editing," and "Best Score"; Goldberg won her first Oscar~Jeremy Beday
Best Buy
Grease [blu-ray]
$9.99
Grease [blu-ray]
Grease," said the poster and the Barry Gibb song, "is the word." Transferring its setting from Chicago to sunny California, and adding a dash of disco to the ersatz '50s score, producer Allan Carr and director Randal Kleiser turned this long-running Jim Jacobs-Warren Casey Broadway smash into the biggest blockbuster of 1978. 1950s teens Danny (John Travolta) and Australian transfer Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) spend their "Summer Nights" falling in love, but once fall comes, it's back to Rydell High and its cliques. As one of the bad-boy T-Birds, Danny has to act cool for best pal Kenickie (Jeff Conaway) and their leather-clad mates Sonny (Michael Tucci) and Doody (Barry Pearl, in the role Travolta played on-stage). Despite befriending Frenchy (Didi Conn), one of the rebel Pink Ladies, virginal Sandy is "too pure to be Pink," as the Ladies' leader, Rizzo (Stockard Channing), acidly observes. Declaring their devotion in such ballads as "Hopelessly Devoted to You" and "Sandy," Sandy and Danny split, reconcile, and split again amidst a pep rally, dances, drive-ins, and a drag race, before deciding "You're the One That I Want" at the climactic carnival. With Travolta white-hot from Saturday Night Fever (1977), Grease soundtrack singles climbed the charts and summer movie crowds poured in. With the presence of Joan Blondell, Eve Arden, Sid Caesar, Edd "Kookie" Byrnes, and Frankie Avalon appealing to grown-up memories, Grease became the highest-grossing film of 1978, the highest-grossing movie musical ever, and the third most popular film of the new blockbuster '70s after Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975). Its sequel, Grease 2, did not exactly set the world on fire in 1982~Lucia Bozzola
Best Buy
Collateral (dvd)
$5.99
Collateral (dvd)
A taxi driver is unexpectedly taken on the ride of his life in this stylish thriller from acclaimed director Michael Mann. Max (Jamie Foxx) is a cab driver who hopes to some day open his own limo company; one night behind the wheel begins promisingly when he picks up Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith), an attorney working with the federal government who is attractive, friendly, and gives him her business card after paying her fare. Max thinks his luck is getting even better when his next fare, Vincent (Tom Cruise), offers him several hundred dollars in cash if he'll be willing to drop him off, wait, and pick him up at five different spots over the course of the evening. Max agrees, but he soon realizes Vincent isn't just another guy with errands to run - Vincent is an assassin who has been paid to murder five people who could put the leaders of a powerful drug trafficking ring behind bars in an upcoming trial. As circumstances force Max to do Vincent's bidding, the cabbie has to find a way to prevent Vincent from killing again and save his own skin, a task that becomes especially crucial when he discovers Annie is one of the names on Vincent's hit list. Collateral also stars Mark Ruffalo, Peter Berg, and Bruce McGill as police detectives hot on Vincent's trail~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Nebraska [blu-ray]
$9.99
Nebraska [blu-ray]
Director Alexander Payne (Sideways, The Descendants) takes the helm for this black-and-white road-trip drama starring Bruce Dern as a tempestuous Montana father who is convinced he's won a million-dollar magazine sweepstakes, and Will Forte as the son who begrudgingly agrees to drive him to Nebraska to claim his winnings. The first time we meet taciturn Woody Grant (Dern), he's walking down the shoulder of a busy road in Billings, MT - so determined to reach his unknown destination that he fails to acknowledge the kindly police officer who's struggling to get his attention. When Woody's dutiful son David (Forte) arrives at the local police station to pick him up shortly thereafter, we learn exactly why the old man was so singularly focused on his stride: Having recently received a sweepstakes letter stating that he has won one million dollars, Woody is determined to claim his prize in person at the company's head office in Nebraska. Although David discerns right away that the letter is little more than a scam to sell magazine subscriptions, stubborn Woody already has tunnel vision - nothing will stop him from obtaining his jackpot, even if he has to walk 800 miles on his own two feet to do so. Of course, this doesn't sit well with Woody's outspoken wife Kate (June Squibb) or career-driven son Ross (Bob Odenkirk), but David is determined to humor his befuddled father nonetheless, eventually agreeing to drive him to the sweepstakes office personally despite having to call in sick to work to get the time off. Shortly after the two set out, however, the road trip threatens to get sidetracked when longtime alcoholic Woody winds up in the hospital following a drunken fall. Pushing their schedule back to make time for his recovery, the pair plan to take a detour to David's Aunt Peg's house in his father's hometown of Hawthorne, where Kate and Ross will soon arrive for an impromptu family reunion. When Woody runs into his old pal Ed Pegram (Stacy Keach) at a local tavern and shoots his mouth off about his recent "windfall," he becomes something of a local celebrity, and familiar faces come out of the woodwork to claim their fair share of the prize. Meanwhile, David learns more about his family during this one eventful weekend than he did during his entire childhood, prompting some deeply personal reflection that offers him a whole new perspective on the father who was always something of a mystery~Jason Buchanan
Best Buy
The Gambler [blu-ray]
$9.99
The Gambler [blu-ray]
In this remake of the James Caan 1974 vehicle The Gambler, an English professor (Mark Wahlberg) who is also a compulsive gambler finds that the only people who will have anything to do with him are those to whom he owes money. Wahlberg stars as Jim Bennett, a lecturer reeling from the death of his beloved grandfather (George Kennedy). His all-or-nothing personality gets him in debt for more than a quarter of a million dollars to the no-nonsense Mr. Lee (Alvin Ing), who runs an illegal gambling den. Jim attempts to play his way out of the hole by borrowing money from vicious criminal Neville Baraka (Michael Kenneth Williams), but his strategy backfires and leaves him owing the latter as well. His wealthy mother (Jessica Lange) initially refuses to give him any more money, which prompts Jim to make contact with Frank (John Goodman), a loan shark who offers to front him the cash he needs, but promises that failure to repay will lead to the death of his "bloodline."At the same time, Jim teaches a class of college kids about Shakespeare and Camus. His best student, Amy (Brie Larson), openly flirts with him, but he's also preoccupied with trying to get through to Lamar (Anthony Kelley), a star basketball player whom the university higher-ups want him to pass so he can continue to play~Jeremy Wheeler
Best Buy
American Beauty (dvd)
$5.99
American Beauty (dvd)
Noted theater director Sam Mendes, who was responsible for the acclaimed 1998 revival of Cabaret and Nicole Kidman's turn in The Blue Room, made his motion picture debut with this film about the dark side of an American family, and about the nature and price of beauty in a culture obsessed with outward appearances. Kevin Spacey plays Lester Burnham, a man in his mid-40s going through an intense midlife crisis; he's grown cynical and is convinced that he has no reason to go on. Lester's relationship with his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) is not a warm one; while on the surface Carolyn strives to present the image that she's in full control of her life, inside she feels empty and desperate. Their teenage daughter Jane (Thora Birch) is constantly depressed, lacking in self-esteem, and convinced that she's unattractive. Her problems aren't helped by her best friend Angela (Mena Suvari), an aspiring model who is quite beautiful and believes that that alone makes her a worthwhile person. Jane isn't the only one who has noticed that Angela is attractive: Lester has fallen into uncontrollable lust for her, and she becomes part of his drastic plan to change his body and change his life. Meanwhile, next door, Colonel Fitts (Chris Cooper) has spent a lifetime in the Marine Corps and can understand and tolerate no other way of life, which makes life difficult for his son Ricky (Wes Bentley), an aspiring filmmaker and part-time drug dealer who is obsessed with beauty, wherever and whatever it may be. American Beauty was also the screen debut for screenwriter Alan Ball~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Old School (dvd)
$5.99
Old School (dvd)
Three men relive their carefree college years by killing off as many brain cells as possible in this over-the-top comedy. Mitch (Luke Wilson) returns home from a less-than-pleasant business trip one evening to discover his wife, Heidi (Juliette Lewis), involved in a ménage à trois with two blindfolded strangers. Feeling less than welcome at home after this, Mitch rents a house near the campus of a nearby college; two of Mitch's old college buddies, Beanie (Vince Vaughn) and Frank (Will Ferrell), stop by to cheer him up. They soon become regular guests at Mitch's place, despite the fact that Frank only recently wed Marissa (Perrey Reeves), while Beanie and his wife, Lara (Leah Remini), are busy with two kids. Beanie decides to throw a housewarming party for Mitch, and since Beanie sells audio equipment for a living, he's able to trick out the big bash with a massive PA system and an appearance by Snoop Dogg. Mitch soon finds he's the not-entirely-willing proprietor of the school's leading party spot, which raises the ire of Pritchard (Jeremy Piven), a dean at the college who was the target of Mitch, Frank, and Beanie's abuse when they were all students. Pritchard arranges to have Mitch's neighborhood zoned into a student housing district, but Beanie and Frank respond by forming a fraternity and making Mitch's home their headquarters. Mitch, however, is not enthusiastic about the idea, especially as he's trying to impress Nicole (Ellen Pompeo), a beautiful divorcee who is less than enchanted with Frank and Beanie's "party hearty" lifestyle. Old School director Todd Phillips knows more than a bit about the seamy side of fraternity life as director of the infamous unreleased documentary Frat House~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Clueless (dvd)
$5.99
Clueless (dvd)
Jane Austen might never have imagined that her 1816 novel Emma could be turned into a fresh and satirical look at ultra-rich teenagers in a Beverly Hills high school. Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash), both named after "great singers of the past that now do infomercials," are pampered upper-class girls who care less about getting good grades than wearing the right clothes and being as popular as possible. But Cher, who lives with her tough yet warm-hearted lawyer dad (Dan Hedaya) and hunky, sensitive stepbrother (Paul Rudd), also has an innate urge to help those less fortunate - like the two introverted teachers she brings together ("negotiating" herself improved grades in the process) and new friend Tai (Brittany Murphy), who starts out a geek and ends up a Cher prodigy. Cher also possesses her own sensitive side, and she is looking for the perfect boyfriend, whom she ends up finding where she least expected~Don Kaye
Best Buy
Forrest Gump (dvd)
$8.99
Forrest Gump (dvd)
Stupid is as stupid does," says Forrest Gump (played by Tom Hanks in an Oscar-winning performance) as he discusses his relative level of intelligence with a stranger while waiting for a bus. Despite his sub-normal IQ, Gump leads a truly charmed life, with a ringside seat for many of the most memorable events of the second half of the 20th century. Entirely without trying, Forrest teaches Elvis Presley to dance, becomes a football star, meets John F. Kennedy, serves with honor in Vietnam, meets Lyndon Johnson, speaks at an anti-war rally at the Washington Monument, hangs out with the Yippies, defeats the Chinese national team in table tennis, meets Richard Nixon, discovers the break-in at the Watergate, opens a profitable shrimping business, becomes an original investor in Apple Computers, and decides to run back and forth across the country for several years. Meanwhile, as the remarkable parade of his life goes by, Forrest never forgets Jenny (Robin Wright Penn), the girl he loved as a boy, who makes her own journey through the turbulence of the 1960s and 1970s that is far more troubled than the path Forrest happens upon. Featured alongside Tom Hanks are Sally Field as Forrest's mother; Gary Sinise as his commanding officer in Vietnam; Mykelti Williamson as his ill-fated Army buddy who is familiar with every recipe that involves shrimp; and the special effects artists whose digital magic place Forrest amidst a remarkable array of historical events and people~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Ultimate Warrior Collection: Braveheart/gladiator/hercules (dvd)
$11.99
Ultimate Warrior Collection: Braveheart/gladiator/hercules (dvd)
A man robbed of his name and his dignity strives to win them back, and gain the freedom of his people, in this epic historical drama from director Ridley Scott. In the year 180, the death of emperor Marcus Aurelius (Richard Harris) throws the Roman Empire into chaos. Maximus (Russell Crowe) is one of the Roman army's most capable and trusted generals and a key advisor to the emperor. As Marcus' devious son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) ascends to the throne, Maximus is set to be executed. He escapes, but is captured by slave traders. Renamed Spaniard and forced to become a gladiator, Maximus must battle to the death with other men for the amusement of paying audiences. His battle skills serve him well, and he becomes one of the most famous and admired men to fight in the Colosseum. Determined to avenge himself against the man who took away his freedom and laid waste to his family, Maximus believes that he can use his fame and skill in the ring to avenge the loss of his family and former glory. As the gladiator begins to challenge his rule, Commodus decides to put his own fighting mettle to the test by squaring off with Maximus in a battle to the death. Gladiator also features Derek Jacobi, Connie Nielsen, Djimon Hounsou, and Oliver Reed, who died of a heart attack midway through production~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Tropic Thunder (dvd)
$5.99
Tropic Thunder (dvd)
Ben Stiller's satirical look at Hollywood, Tropic Thunder concerns the production of an epic Vietnam War film that quickly derails thanks to the giant egos of everyone involved in the production. Stiller stars as Tugg Speedman, an action hero trying to segue out of that genre. Jack Black plays Jeff Portnoy, a drug-addicted fat comic also attempting to change his image by taking on such a serious film. They star alongside Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.), one of the world's most awarded actors, and a man who insists on immersing himself totally in a role. In this case, that means Lazarus has had his skin dyed in order to portray an African-American soldier. After their outrageous behavior lands the film's director, Damien Cockburn (Steve Coogan), in very hot water with producer Les Grossman (Tom Cruise), Cockburn takes the advice of grizzled Vietnam vet Four Leaf Tayback (Nick Nolte); in order to gain control of his performers, Cockburn drops the actors off in the jungle, planning to film the movie guerrilla-style with hidden cameras. When the group stumbles upon a heroin production camp, the actors are unaware that they are in very real danger~Perry Seibert
Best Buy
Braveheart (dvd)
$8.99
Braveheart (dvd)
Mel Gibson, long-time heartthrob of the silver screen, came into his own as a director with Braveheart, an account of the life and times of medieval Scottish patriot William Wallace and, to a lesser degree, Robert the Bruce's struggle to unify his nation against its English oppressors. The story begins with young Wallace, whose father and brother have been killed fighting the English, being taken into the custody of his uncle, a nationalist and pre-Renaissance renaissance man. He returns twenty years later, a man educated both in the classics and in the art of war. There he finds his childhood sweetheart Murron (Catherine McCormack), and the two quickly fall in love. There are murmurs of revolt against the English throughout the village, but Wallace remains aloof, wishing simply to tend to his crops and live in peace. However, when his love is killed by English soldiers the day after their secret marriage (held secretly so as to prevent the local English lord from exercising the repulsive right of prima noctae, the privilege of sleeping with the bride on the first night of the marriage), he springs into action and single-handedly slays an entire platoon of foot soldiers. The other villagers join him in destroying the English garrison, and thus begins the revolt against the English in what will eventually become full-fledged war. Wallace eventually leads his fellow Scots in a series of bloody battles that prove a serious threat to English domination and, along the way, has a hushed affair with the Princess of Wales (the breathtaking Sophie Marceau) before his imminent demise. For his efforts, Gibson won the honor of Best Director from the Academy; the movie also took home statuettes for Best Picture, Cinematography, Makeup, and Sound Effects~Jeremy Beday
Best Buy
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Second Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
$9.99
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Second Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
The most conspicuous change in The Brady Bunch during its second season is manifested in the series' familiar theme music. Whereas a rock group called the Peppermint Trolley chanted the "Story of a Lovely Lady" ballad at the beginning of each first-season episode, the shows seen during season two were heralded by the Brady kids themselves singing the now-familiar title theme. Need anyone be reminded that those "kids" consist of Greg (Barry Williams), Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Peter (Christopher Knight), Jan (Eve Plumb), Bobby (Mike Lookinland), and Cindy (Susan Olsen)? And can there be a TV addict alive who doesn't know that the kids' parents are Mike and Carol Brady (Robert Reed, Florence Henderson), or that the family's housekeeper is the kind-hearted, level-headed Alice (Ann B. Davis)? (And five points for everyone who remembers that the Brady's pet dog is named Tiger - you know, the one who chased Fluffy the cat to parts unknown in the series opener.) The most memorable of the series' second-season episodes include "The Dropout," in which Greg Brady is talked out of forsaking college by no less than baseball legend Don Drysdale; "The Slumber Caper," which served to reunite series star Robert Reed with his former co-star on The Defenders, E.G. Marshall; "A Fistful of Reasons," wherein Peter Brady goes head-to-head with a school bully for the sake of stepsister Cindy; "Confessions, Confessions," a case study in misguided family loyalty; "Where There's Smoke," in which Greg Brady not only nearly picks up a nasty habit but also performs a song; "The Liberation of Marcia Brady," wherein the titular heroine strikes a blow for gender equality; and "Alice's September Song," a poignant tale of romance and remembrance focusing on the Brady housekeeper.
Best Buy
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Fourth Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
$9.99
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Fourth Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
Even after four seasons and 73 episodes, The Brady Bunch is still the same old story, but a good story indeed: widow Carol (Florence Henderson) is married to widower Mike (Robert Reed), resulting in a household full of children from their respective previous marriages: Mike's sons, Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland), and Carol's daughters, Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen). Riding herd on this crop of humanity is sensible but slightly off-kilter housekeeper Alice (Ann B. Davis). The season gets under way with a three-part story set in Hawaii, replete with guest appearances by Vincent Price and - who else? - Don Ho. Among the most memorable "stateside" episodes during season four are "The Show Must Go On, " a musical extravaganza spotlighting the talents of the entire Brady brood; "Goodbye, Alice, Hello," in which the kids give Alice the silent treatment for betraying a confidence; "You're Never Too Old," featuring Robert Reed in the dual role of Mike Brady and Mike's foxy grandpa, and Florence Henderson likewise double-cast as Carol and Carol's peppery grandma; "A Room at the Top," wherein Greg and Marcia battle over possession of the family attic; and best of all, "The Subject Was Noses," the one in which a misguided football smashes Marcia's nose flat - and we mean flat!
Best Buy
The Brady Bunch: The Complete First Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
$9.99
The Brady Bunch: The Complete First Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
Season one of The Brady Bunch opens famously with the wedding of widow Carol Martin (Florence Henderson) and widower Mike Brady (Robert Reed), attended by Carol's daughters, Marcia (Maureen McCormick), Jan (Eve Plumb), and Cindy (Susan Olsen) and by Mike's sons, Greg (Barry Williams), Peter (Christopher Knight), and Bobby (Mike Lookinland). This occasion also serves as the first - and last - appearance of the girls' pet cat, Fluffy, and is quickly followed by a chaotic "family honeymoon." Certainly an auspicious start for five years' worth of warm-hearted hilarity. The first season's best-remembered episodes include "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," in which Alice the housekeeper (Ann B. Davis) gets the mistaken notion that her services are no longer required; "A Clubhouse Is Not a Home," the first of many episodes in which the Brady kids build an elaborate prop; "A-Camping We Will Go," the contents of which should be self-explanatory; and "Sorry, Right Number," in which Mike installs a pay phone to teach his family a lesson in economizing (this episode also marks the first appearance of Alice's off-and-on beau Sam [Allan Melvin]). Other memorable episodes include "Vote for Brady," a cautionary tale of campaign promises unfulfilled; "Is There a Doctor in the House?" dramatizing a medical "turf war" arising from the kids' measles; "The Undergraduate," wherein Greg Brady develops a crush on his attractive teacher; "Brace Yourself," the story of Marcia's dental misfortunes; "The Possible Dream," with guest star Desi Arnaz Jr.; and "The Grass Is Always Greener," the one where Mike and Carol switch jobs for a day.
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Footloose (1984)/footloose (2011) (dvd)
$8.99
Footloose (1984)/footloose (2011) (dvd)
Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer takes the helm for this remake of the popular 1984 musical romance about a big-city teen who moves to a town that has outlawed dancing. Uprooted from Boston and reluctantly transplanted to the small Bible Belt town of Bomont, Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) finds himself in a repressed community still reeling from a devastating loss. Shortly before he arrived in Bomont, five local teens perished in a tragic car accident following a local dance. As a result, the upstanding Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) and the local councilmen passed a strict ordinance outlawing both dancing and excessively loud music. Convinced that the new law is hopelessly misguided, rebellious Ren puts on his dancing shoes and wins the heart of Reverend Moore's distraught daughter, Ariel (Julianne Hough), while showing his fellow classmates that it's perfectly normal to blow off a little steam with some loud music and good friends~Jason Buchanan
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The Rugrats Trilogy Movie Collection (dvd)
$9.99
The Rugrats Trilogy Movie Collection (dvd)
The biggest babies in the entertainment business take their act to Europe in this sequel to the surprise-hit animated feature The Rugrats Movie. Chuckie (voice of Christine Cavanaugh) has been fretting over his father Chas (voice of Michael Bell) and his status as a single father, as he wants to have a mommy like all of his friends. Chas and his father Stu (voice of Jack Riley) were hired to create a bevy of electronic critters for the newly opened Euro-Reptarland theme park, but the robots are acting up, and park manager Coco La Bouche (Susan Sarandon) is hopping mad. So Stu and Chas are flown to Paris to do some repairs, with Chas bringing Chuckie and all his friends along. Their visit to the City of Lights proves to be one adventure after another, as Chuckie tries to find a suitable mother (with Coco leading the pack) and Tommy (voice of Elizabeth Dailey) somehow gets behind the wheel of the giant Reptar robot. Rugrats in Paris: The Movie features original songs from T-Boz from TLC, The Baha Men, and Mylene Farmer, while John Lithgow, Debbie Reynolds, and Mako contribute to the voice cast~Mark Deming
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South Park: Mini Mega Pack - Seasons 1-5 (dvd)
$34.99
South Park: Mini Mega Pack - Seasons 1-5 (dvd)
The first season of South Park wastes no time in serving up the sort of outrageous, in-your-face comedy that its fans craaaaave. Join nervous Stan, neurotic Kyle, obnoxious Cartman, and "Oh My God They Killed" Kenny in their first 13 cartoon adventures. Episodes include "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" (is he controlled by aliens, or a herd of cattle?); "Volcano" (a disastrous hunting trip and the search for "Skuzzle-Butt"); "Weight Gain 4000" (Cartman's award ceremony is interrupted by Mr. Garrison's efforts to assassinate Kathie Lee Gifford); "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride" ("starring" the voice of George Clooney; also, what's up with - or in - Stan's new dog?); "An Elephant Makes Love to a Pig" (cloning run amok); "Death" (Stan's 102-year-old grandpa wants to be euthanized, plus the first appearances of those flatulent Canadians Terrance and Phillip); "Pink Eye" (zombies, space stations, Edward James Olmos, and Jackie Collins); "Starvin' Marvin" (what does Sally Struthers really do with all that charity money?); "Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo" (with the touching Yuletide ballad "The Lonely Jew on Christmas"); "Damien" (the Son of Satan demands a showdown with Jesus - and everyone's placing bets); "Tom's Rhinoplasty" (can the boys become lesbians like their gorgeous substitute teacher?); "Mecha-Streisand" (a Godzilla-like Babs smashes South Park like Tokyo); and "Cartman's Mom Is a Dirty Slut" (who is Cartman's real dad?)~Hal Erickson
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Florence Foster Jenkins (dvd)
$24.99
Florence Foster Jenkins (dvd)
Heiress Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) longs to become an opera star in 1940s New York, despite possessing a horrible singing voice. With the help and encouragement of her husband (Hugh Grant) and a talented musician (Simon Helberg), she finds a very strange kind of success as a performer and recording artist. Rebecca Ferguson and Nina Arianda co-star. Stephen Frears (Philomena) directed this biopic, which is based on the real-life socialite and opera singer of the same name~Daniel Gelb
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Gunsmoke: The Twelfth Season - Volume One [4 Discs] (dvd)
$31.99
Gunsmoke: The Twelfth Season - Volume One [4 Discs] (dvd)
Beginning with its 12th season, Gunsmoke switched from black-and-white to color, one of the last major network series to do so. This necessitated the reshooting of the series' familiar opening sequence, in which Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) outdraws an unidentified desperado on the deserted main street of Dodge City. Happily, the sequence was moved back outdoors, where it belonged: During the past several seasons, the "showdown" opening had been staged in a painfully phony studio "exterior". Also, the addition of color rather surprisingly enhanced rather than detracted from the naturalistic "look" of the four main players, James Arness, Amanda Blake (as Miss Kitty), Milburn Stone (as Doc) and Ken Curtis (as Festus). Unfortunately, for the most part the series was still weighed down by the phlegmatic writing that had plagued season eleven; of the 29 new episodes this season, only a handful (notably the two-part season finale "Nitro!") are truly memorable. Conversely, the season's guest-star roster is much stronger than in the previous year. Among the talented players making one-shot appearances are such up-and-coming youngsters as Bruce Dern (and his then-wife Diane Ladd), Jon Voight, Tom Skerritt) and Zalman King, and such veterans as Carroll O'Connor, Fritz Weaver and Alan Hale Jr. And in the episode "The Jailer", the great Bette Davis etches an searing portrait of an embittered woman who lives only for revenge. With the western format in the doldrums on network television, and with Gunsmoke's ratings lower than ever, the decision was made to cancel the series at the end of season 12. But at the very last moment, CBS president William Paley decided to give the venerable property a new lease on life-and in a brand-new timeslot~Hal Erickson
Best Buy
Gunsmoke: The Twelfth Season - Volume Two [4 Discs] (dvd)
$31.99
Gunsmoke: The Twelfth Season - Volume Two [4 Discs] (dvd)
Beginning with its 12th season, Gunsmoke switched from black-and-white to color, one of the last major network series to do so. This necessitated the reshooting of the series' familiar opening sequence, in which Marshal Matt Dillon (James Arness) outdraws an unidentified desperado on the deserted main street of Dodge City. Happily, the sequence was moved back outdoors, where it belonged: During the past several seasons, the "showdown" opening had been staged in a painfully phony studio "exterior". Also, the addition of color rather surprisingly enhanced rather than detracted from the naturalistic "look" of the four main players, James Arness, Amanda Blake (as Miss Kitty), Milburn Stone (as Doc) and Ken Curtis (as Festus). Unfortunately, for the most part the series was still weighed down by the phlegmatic writing that had plagued season eleven; of the 29 new episodes this season, only a handful (notably the two-part season finale "Nitro!") are truly memorable. Conversely, the season's guest-star roster is much stronger than in the previous year. Among the talented players making one-shot appearances are such up-and-coming youngsters as Bruce Dern (and his then-wife Diane Ladd), Jon Voight, Tom Skerritt) and Zalman King, and such veterans as Carroll O'Connor, Fritz Weaver and Alan Hale Jr. And in the episode "The Jailer", the great Bette Davis etches an searing portrait of an embittered woman who lives only for revenge. With the western format in the doldrums on network television, and with Gunsmoke's ratings lower than ever, the decision was made to cancel the series at the end of season 12. But at the very last moment, CBS president William Paley decided to give the venerable property a new lease on life-and in a brand-new timeslot~Hal Erickson
Best Buy
Kung Fu Panda [ws] [b.o.b. Packaging] (dvd)
$13.99
Kung Fu Panda [ws] [b.o.b. Packaging] (dvd)
A clumsy panda bear becomes an unlikely kung fu hero when a treacherous enemy spreads chaos throughout the countryside in this animated martial arts adventure featuring the voices of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, and Jackie Chan. On the surface, Po (voice of Black) may look like just another portly panda bear, but beneath his fur he bears the mark of the chosen one. By day, Po works faithfully in his family's noodle shop, but by night he dreams of becoming a true master of the martial arts. Now an ancient prophecy has come to pass, and Po realizes that he is the only one who can save his people from certain destruction. With time running short and malevolent snow leopard Tai Lung (Ian McShane ) closing in, Furious Five legends Tigress (Jolie), Crane (David Cross ), Mantis (Seth Rogen), Viper (Lucy Liu), Monkey (Chan), and their wise sensei, Master Shifu (Hoffman), all draw on their vast knowledge of fighting skills in order to transform a lumbering panda bear into a lethal fighting machine. Now, if the noble Po can master the martial arts and somehow transform his greatest weaknesses into his greatest strengths, he will fulfill his destiny as the hero who saved his people during their darkest hour~Jason Buchanan
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Shrek 2 [ws] [b.o.b. Packaging] (dvd)
$13.99
Shrek 2 [ws] [b.o.b. Packaging] (dvd)
The cranky beast with a heart of gold returns to the big screen in this sequel to the computer-animated smash hit Shrek. After massive green ogre Shrek (voice of Mike Myers) and his new bride, Princess Fiona (voice of Cameron Diaz), return from their honeymoon, they receive an invitation to visit Fiona's parents, King Harold (voice of John Cleese) and Queen Lillian (voice of Julie Andrews), who are the monarchs of The Land Far, Far Away. However, the king and queen are more than a bit alarmed to discover their new son-in-law is a monster the color of algae, and that their daughter's little problem with a magical spell gone wrong has turned into a full-time skin condition. Certain this isn't the sort of "happily ever after" they dreamed of for their daughter, King Harold decides to take Shrek out of the picture and return Fiona to her former beauty with the help of Prince Charming (voice of Rupert Everett), the Fairy Godmother (voice of Jennifer Saunders), and ogre-slaying feline Puss in Boots (voice of Antonio Banderas). Shrek 2 also features the voice of Eddie Murphy returning as Donkey, as well as Larry King as an Ugly Stepsister~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Ken Burns' America: The Shakers (dvd)
$13.99
Ken Burns' America: The Shakers (dvd)
Under the official title of the United Society of Believers in Christ's Second Coming, the Shakers created one of the most fascinating and idiosyncratic religious movements in American history. In this engrossing volume of the seven-part series America, renowned documentary filmmaker Ken Burns brings to life the unique confluence of history, politics, and dynamic personalities that made this phenomenon possible and that make it symbolic of all that America is and was. Out of the many experimental utopian communities that migrated to America in hopes of finding religious freedom, the Shakers may be the only one to have made a lasting impression upon both the scholarly and the popular imagination. Known to many only for their stunning and influential furniture design, the Shakers were a commune strictly devoted to ideals of work, communal property, celibacy, and prayer. Don't miss this in-depth look at America's religious past~Sarah Welsh
Best Buy
Crown Heights (dvd)
$7.99
Crown Heights (dvd)
Racial tensions between Hasidic Jews and African-Americans come to a boil in the Crown Heights section of Queens in this powder-keg drama based on real-life events that took place in the summer of 1991. Over the course of three days, the tensions between the borough's racially divided citizens would result in a tragic explosion of murder, riots, and chaos. Only through the aid of two devoted community leaders determined to put their differences aside and bring peace back to the streets will this neighborhood be able to begin to heal the deep-rooted wounds of a summer that will forever haunt the citizens of Crown Heights~Jason Buchanan
Best Buy
Shrek [p & s] [b.o.b. Packaging] (dvd)
$13.99
Shrek [p & s] [b.o.b. Packaging] (dvd)
In this fully computer-animated fantasy from the creators of Antz, we follow the travails of Shrek (Mike Myers), a green ogre who enjoys a life of solitude. Living in a far away swamp, he is suddenly invaded by a hoard of fairy tale characters, such as the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, and Three Blind Mice, all refugees of their homes who have been shunned by the evil Lord Farquaad (John Lithgow). They want to save their homes from ruin, and enlist the help of Shrek, who is in the same situation. Shrek decides to offer Lord Farquaad a deal; he will rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona (Cameron Diaz), who is intended to be Farquaad's bride. Accompanying Shrek on his adventure is the faithful but loquacious Donkey (Eddie Murphy), who has a penchant for crooning pop songs. The two must face various obstacles in order to locate the Princess, but they find their world challenged when she reveals a dark secret that will affect the group. Shrek is based on the children's book by William Steig, and features additional voice-work by Vincent Cassel, Cody Cameron, and Kathleen Freeman~Jason Clark
Best Buy
Friday The 13th [with Paranormal Activity 3 Movie Cash] (dvd)
$9.99
Friday The 13th [with Paranormal Activity 3 Movie Cash] (dvd)
One of the longest-running horror film series began with this gory shocker from director Sean S. Cunningham, who had previously produced Wes Craven's classic Last House on the Left. Entrepreneur Steve Christie (Peter Brouwer) re-opens Camp Crystal Lake after many years during which it has been cursed by murders and bad luck. The young and nubile counselors all begin to die extremely bloody deaths at the hands of an unseen killer during a rainstorm which isolates the camp. A woman is chopped in the face with an axe, another has her throat sliced in amazingly gruesome fashion, a male counselor (Harry Crosby) is pinned to a door with arrows, and a young Kevin Bacon has an arrow shoved through his throat from below a bed. Victor Miller's script is not particularly impressive, but Cunningham's tense direction, and some remarkable special-effects by acclaimed makeup artist Tom Savini are enough to make it worthwhile. 1950s quiz show regular Betsy Palmer appears as the cook whose son, Jason (Ari Lehman), drowned 25 years earlier while neglected by romancing counselors. Palmer was reportedly cast because she was willing to drive her own car to and from the set. Trivia buffs should note the decapitation scene near the end, in which the female killer exhibits rather hirsute hands clutching at the air. The hands belong to Savini's assistant, Taso N. Stavrakis. Friday the 13th made over 20 million dollars at the box office and spawned numerous sequels~Robert Firsching
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