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Rudderless (dvd)
$9.99
Rudderless (dvd)
A father destroyed by the death of his son finds inspiration in the most unexpected of places in the feature directorial debut of veteran actor William H. Macy, who co-authored the screenplay with Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison. In the wake of his son's death, successful advertising executive Sam (Billy Crudup) moves aboard a docked sailboat, and drifts into an alcohol-induced haze. Something deep within Sam begins to stir however, when he discovers his late son's demo tapes, and decides to take a listen. Deeply moved by his son's artistry and determined not to let the boy's dreams die with him, Sam determines to learn each song note-for-note, and later summons the courage to perform one of them publicly. That performance, in turn, prompts aspiring musician Quentin (Anton Yelchin) to approach Sam, and together they form a band that transforms their lives in ways neither ever dreamt possible. Selena Gomez, Felicity Huffman, and Laurence Fishburne co-star~Jason Buchanan
Best Buy
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
Hustle & Flow (dvd)
$5.99
Hustle & Flow (dvd)
One man's struggle to rise above his circumstances prompts him to try a career in music in this acclaimed drama from writer and director Craig Brewer. Djay (Terrence Howard) is a low-level pimp and drug dealer who scraped together a living in the ghettos of Memphis, TN. Djay isn't happy with his life, and the realization that he's reached the same age when his father unexpectedly died has made him start thinking about changing his ways. Djay has always had a gift for spinning stories, and after picking up a cheap keyboard, he begins picking out beats to go along with his rhymes. After bumping into an old high-school buddy who works in gospel music, Key (Anthony Anderson), Djay decided to take the plunge and remake himself as a rapper. With the technical know-how of Key and the musical input of a local beat maker named Shelby (DJ Qualls), Djay begins turning his way with words and his first-hand knowledge of the street life into music, as his two live-in girlfriends, Lexus (Paula Jai Parker) and Shug (Taraji P. Henson), add their musical input and emotional support and Nola (Taryn Manning) continues to turn tricks to pay the bills. When local boy-turned-nationwide hip-hop star Skinny Black (Ludacris) comes to town to pay a visit to Arnel (Isaac Hayes), a club owner friendly with Djay, he sees an opportunity to put his demo in the hands of someone who can bring his music to the masses, though it turns out to be far more difficult than he expected. Hustle & Flow had its world premiere at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, where it received a number of rave reviews and took home the Audience Award~Mark Deming
Best Buy
Pretty In Pink (dvd)
$5.99
Pretty In Pink (dvd)
John Hughes crafts an exemplary '80s Brat Pack romance out of the standard Cinderella story in Pretty in Pink. Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is a teenager who lives in the dingy part of town with her terminally underemployed dad (Harry Dean Stanton). She works at a record store with eccentric Ionia (Annie Potts) and is considered a misfit at her uppity high school, but somehow she rises above them all. Her oddball best friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer), is hopelessly in love with her, so he causes trouble for her romantic pursuits. When local rich kid Blaine (Andrew McCarthy) develops a fascination with her, they go out on a date together. Visiting the home bases of each social clique, they are basically ridiculed for their audacity to date one another. When Blaine eventually asks the delighted Andie to the prom, he is threatened by his rich friend Steff (James Spader). The romance versus high school social politics finally culminates at the big night of the prom~Andrea LeVasseur
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
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (dvd)
$5.99
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (dvd)
The most tasteless third graders on television graduate to the big screen, as Trey Parker and Matt Stone expand their animated series with foul-mouthed humor that might breach the boundaries of basic cable. In the small Colorado town of South Park, good-natured Stan Marsh, slightly neurotic Kyle Broflovski, fat and petulant Eric Cartman, and perpetually doomed Kenny McCormick are psyched for the premiere of the first feature film from flatulent Canadian TV performers Terrance and Phillip, entitled "Asses of Fire." The movie is rated R, but that's not about to stop the boys from sneaking into the theater. However, when the boys' language gets bluer by the minute after seeing the film, their parents and school administrators decide that something must be done. Kyle's mother comes up with the ideal solution: blame Canada. Terrance and Phillip end up in jail for corrupting America's youth, while the Canadian Air Force retaliates with an air strike targeting the Baldwin brothers. The boys soon organize a children's underground resistance force to free Terrance and Phillip before they can be executed; meanwhile, in a sensitive subplot exploring relationship issues, we're permitted an inside look at the domestic problems of Satan and his lover, Saddam Hussein. As on the TV show, Parker and Stone perform the voices of most of the characters, and they also wrote several songs for the film; George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Eric Idle, Dave Foley, and Mike Judge contribute voices. Not to spoil the plot, but rumor has it that Kenny dies~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
Shooter (dvd)
$5.99
Shooter (dvd)
A top Marine sniper who previously abandoned the military after a routine mission gave way to tragedy is double-crossed by the government after reluctantly being pressured back into service in Training Day director Antoine Fuqua's adaptation of Stephen Hunter's novel Point of Impact. There was a time when Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) was the best trigger-man in the military, but after growing disillusioned with the system, he disappeared without a trace. When high-profile government officials locate him at his remote mountain retreat following an extensive search, Swagger is coerced back into service in order to stop a determined assassin from taking out the President of the United States. In the process of carrying out his mission, however, Swagger suddenly realizes that he has been betrayed when he becomes the subject of a nationwide manhunt. Now wounded and desperate to reveal the culprits behind the conspiracy before it's too late, Swagger sets into motion a revenge plan that will send shock waves rippling to some of the most powerful and corrupt leaders in the free world. Danny Glover, Rhona Mitra, and Ned Beatty co-star in this conspiracy-driven action thriller that asks what it truly means to serve one's country~Jason Buchanan
Best Buy
Old School [blu-ray]
$8.99
Old School [blu-ray]
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
Sabrina (dvd)
$5.99
Sabrina (dvd)
Billy Wilder directs the lighthearted romantic comedy Sabrina, based on the play by Samuel A. Taylor. Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) is the simple, naïve daughter of a chauffeur, Thomas Fairchild (John Williams). They live on an estate with the wealthy Oliver Larrabee (Walter Hampden) and his two sons: workaholic older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) and fun-loving younger brother David (William Holden). Sabrina adores the charming David, but he thinks of her as just a kid. Her father sends her away to Paris for chef school, where she meets Baron St. Fontanel (Marcel Dalio), and she returns a worldly, sophisticated woman. David immediately falls for her, but he is already engaged to marry heiress Elizabeth Tyson (Martha Hyer). Sabrina wants to break up the wedding in order to finally catch the man of her dreams, while Linus fights to keep the marriage on in the interest of family business and Mr. Tyson's (Francis X. Bushman) fortune. In order to keep Sabrina away from David, Linus pretends to court her himself. In doing so, they eventually realize their true feelings for each another~Andrea LeVasseur
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
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button [blu-ray]
$9.99
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button [blu-ray]
David Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's story, re-teams the director with Brad Pitt, who takes on the title role. What makes Button such a curious case is that when he is born in New Orleans just after World War I, he is already in his eighties, and proceeds to live his life aging in reverse. This sweeping film follows the character's unusual life into the 21st century as he experiences joy and sadness, loves lost and found, and the meaning of timelessness. Cate Blanchett co-stars along with Tilda Swinton, Elias Koteas, and Julia Ormond~Perry Seibert
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
Charlotte's Web [blu-ray]
$7.99
Charlotte's Web [blu-ray]
E.B. White's classic children's story comes to the screen in this live-action adaptation with an all-star voice cast. Fern Arable (Dakota Fanning) is a young girl growing up on her family's farm. When a sow gives birth to some piglets, Fern's father (Kevin Anderson) intends to do away with the runt of litter, but Fern has become attached to the little pig and persuades her father to let him live. The pig, named Wilbur (voice of Dominic Scott Kay), becomes Fern's pet, but when he grows larger, he's put in the care of Homer Zuckerman (Gary Basaraba), a farmer down the road. Fern is still able to visit Wilbur regularly, and it soon occurs to both of them that pigs tend to have a limited life expectancy on a farm, and that unless something unusual happens, Wilbur will eventually becomes someone's dinner. Charlotte, a friendly spider, hatches a plan to make Wilbur seem special enough to save by weaving messages about the "terrific" pig into her web, and she soon persuades her barnyard friends to join in her plan. Charlotte is voiced by Julia Roberts, while the other actors who provide the voices of the animals on Zuckerman's farm include Robert Redford, John Cleese, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Buscemi, Kathy Bates, Cedric the Entertainer. Thomas Haden Church, and André Benjamin~Mark Deming
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
Footloose (dvd)
$5.99
Footloose (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
Best Buy
Flight (dvd)
$5.99
Flight (dvd)
In Robert Zemeckis' drama Flight, alcoholic pilot Whip Whittaker (Denzel Washington) does a miraculous job crash-landing a plane that has suffered a severe mechanical breakdown in midair, however the mandated investigation into the incident will inevitably lead to the discovery that he was flying the plane while drunk and on cocaine. As he attempts to sober up, Whip befriends a fellow addict he meets during his post-accident stay in the hospital. Soon he fails in his attempts to white-knuckle himself to sobriety, and with the help of his favorite drug-dealer (John Goodman) and his lawyer (Don Cheadle), Whip must prepare to testify about what happened on that fateful flight~Perry Seibert
Best Buy
Interstellar [blu-ray]
$17.99
Interstellar [blu-ray]
Interstellar opens on Earth in the distant future, as Mother Nature is waging war on humanity. Famine is widespread, and all of mankind's resources are now dedicated to farming in a desperate fight for survival. A former NASA pilot and engineer named Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) has become a homesteader in order to support his teenage son Tom (Timothee Chalamet) and 10-year-old daughter Murph (Mackenzie Foy). Unfortunately, even that begins to look like a futile endeavor after a sandstorm ravages their close-knit community. Meanwhile, a seemingly supernatural mystery begins to unfold when the "ghost" that dwells in Murph's room sends her a mysterious set of coordinates - which lead the curious father/daughter duo to a clandestine underground base housing the remnants of NASA. There, renowned physicist Professor Brand (Michael Caine) has been working with a team of astronauts and scientists to find a new planet capable of sustaining human life. Brand quickly persuades Cooper to pilot a mission that will hopefully carry the seeds of human life to a habitable planet in another galaxy. Cooper is soon bound for space with Brand's daughter Amelia (Anne Hathaway) and researchers Doyle (Wes Bentley) and Romilly (David Gyasi).
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
Breakfast At Tiffany's (dvd)
$8.99
Breakfast At Tiffany's (dvd)
In an idealized New York City during the early '60s, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) is a charming socialite with a youthful zest for life who lives alone in a nearly bare apartment. She has such a flippant lifestyle that she won't even give her cat a name, because that would be too much of a commitment to a relationship. Maintaining a childlike innocence yet wearing the most perfect of designer clothes and accessories from Givenchy, she spends her time on expensive dates and at high-class parties. She escorts various wealthy men, yet fails to return their affections after they have given her gifts and money. Holly's carefree independence is changed when she meets her neighbor, aspiring writer Paul (George Peppard), who is suffering from writer's block while being kept by a wealthy woman (Patricia Neal). Just when Holly and Paul are developing their sweet romance, Doc (Buddy Ebsen) appears on the scene and complicates matters, revealing the truth about Holly's past. Breakfast at Tiffany's was nominated for several Academy awards, winning Best Score for Henry Mancini and Best Song for Johnny Mercer's classic tune "Moon River"~Andrea LeVasseur
Best Buy
Rango [blu-ray]
$8.99
Rango [blu-ray]
A pet chameleon who has lived his entire life in the confines of a cozy glass terrarium discovers adventure beyond his wildest imagination in this animated Western adventure from Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski. When we first meet Rango (voice of Johnny Depp), the sheltered pet chameleon is safe in his terrarium, and embarking on epic adventures through the power of imagination. Then, suddenly, his safe existence is irrevocably upended thanks to a bump in the road that sends him soaring out of a car window and right onto the searing-hot asphalt of a desert highway. On the advice of a wise armadillo who relays the story of the Spirit of the West, our conical-eyed hero sets out in search of a town called Dirt, narrowly escaping a hungry hawk and encountering a self-sufficient pioneer named Beans (voice of Isla Fisher) along the way. Upon arriving in the dusty desert town, Rango wanders into the local bar and convinces the townspeople that he's a notorious gunslinger with a lightning-fast trigger finger. When one of the locals challenges Rango to a showdown on Main Street, the hawk that menaced our hero on his way to town shows up looking for a rematch, and ends up beak-down in the dirt. Convinced that Rango is the real deal, the Mayor (voice of Ned Beatty) decides to name the brave chameleon their new sheriff. But Rango's honeymoon in Dirt is short-lived when bandits steal the town's entire supply of water, and the newly christened sheriff forms a posse in order to get it back. Little do they realize they were all being manipulated by one greedy power-monger who's determined to keep the people of Dirt under his thumb with the help of a diabolical villain named Rattlesnake Jake (voice of Bill Nighy) whose Gatling-gun tail makes Swiss cheese of all challengers. Now, if Rango can just locate the Spirit of the West (voice of Timothy Olyphant) and summon the courage to realize his true potential, perhaps he can finally free the people of Dirt from the tyranny that binds them, and discover his true destiny under the scorching desert sun~Jason Buchanan
Best Buy
Ferris Bueller's Day Off [blu-ray]
$8.99
Ferris Bueller's Day Off [blu-ray]
Teenaged Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a legend in his own time thanks to his uncanny skill at cutting classes and getting away with it. Intending to make one last grand duck-out before graduation, Ferris calls in sick, "borrows" a Ferrari, and embarks on a one-day bacchanal through the streets of Chicago. Dogging Ferris' trail at every turn is high-school principal Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), determined to catch Bueller in the act of class-cutting. Writer/director John Hughes once again tries to wed satire, slapstick, and social commentary, as Ferris Bueller's Day Off starts like a house afire and goes on to make "serious" points about status-seeking and casual parental cruelties. It brightens up considerably in the last few moments, when Ferris' tattletale sister (Jennifer Grey) decides to align herself with her merry prankster sibling. A huge moneymaker, Ferris Bueller's Day Off eventually spawned a TV sitcom~Hal Erickson
Best Buy
School Of Rock (dvd)
$5.99
School Of Rock (dvd)
The world's least-employable heavy metal guitarist is entrusted with the minds of upstate New York's best and brightest in this fish-out-of-water comedy. Jack Black plays Dewey Finn, axe-bearer for a fitfully successful bar band determined to win a regional battle-of-the-bands competition. There's only one thing standing in their way: the self-indulgent solos and crowd-diving antics of their "embarrassing" lead guitarist. When his band votes him out in favor of a would-be rock god, Dewey has to make the rent somehow, and after intercepting a call for his substitute-teacher roomie Ned (Mike White), the pot-bellied slacker finds himself in front of a class of elite elementary school students. At a loss for a lesson plan, Dewey takes offense at the pre-teen prodigies' staid musical regimen and makes it his goal to preach them the gospel of The Who, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC - with the ulterior motive of getting them to compete against his former band for a cash prize. But no matter how willing his pupils, Dewey runs up against the consternation of the school's stern headmistress Principal Mullins (Joan Cusack), the battle-of-the-bands' promoter (Frank Whaley), and not least, his identity-deprived roomie Ned~Michael Hastings
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 [blu-ray]
$8.99
Tropic Thunder [blu-ray]
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
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
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [blu-ray]
$8.99
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters [blu-ray]
Fifteen years after a horrific experience in a deceptively inviting ginger bread house, an orphan Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become famous for ridding the countryside of witches. Despite their stellar success record, the brother and sister face a unique challenge when an extremely powerful witch is identified as the culprit stealing children from a local village with the intent to sacrifice them in an ancient magical ceremony to be held on the night of the Blood Moon. As Hansel and Gretel race against the clock, making several unlikely allies on the way (among them include a troll and a witch hunter fanboy), they unexpectedly come across a link to their own pasts and the secret their parents took with them when they disappeared. The film was directed by Tommy Wirkola. Actresses Famke Janssen and Pihla Vitala co-star~Tracie Cooper
Best Buy
Nebraska (dvd)
$8.99
Nebraska (dvd)
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 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
It's A Wonderful Life [blu-ray] [2 Discs]
$17.99
It's A Wonderful Life [blu-ray] [2 Discs]
This is director Frank Capra's classic bittersweet comedy/drama about George Bailey (James Stewart), the eternally-in-debt guiding force of a bank in the typical American small town of Bedford Falls. As the film opens, it's Christmas Eve, 1946, and George, who has long considered himself a failure, faces financial ruin and arrest and is seriously contemplating suicide. High above Bedford Falls, two celestial voices discuss Bailey's dilemma and decide to send down eternally bumbling angel Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), who after 200 years has yet to earn his wings, to help George out. But first, Clarence is given a crash course on George's life, and the multitude of selfless acts he has performed: rescuing his younger brother from drowning, losing the hearing in his left ear in the process; enduring a beating rather than allow a grieving druggist (H.B. Warner) to deliver poison by mistake to an ailing child; foregoing college and a long-planned trip to Europe to keep the Bailey Building and Loan from letting its Depression-era customers down; and, most important, preventing town despot Potter (Lionel Barrymore) from taking over Bedford Mills and reducing its inhabitants to penury. Along the way, George has married his childhood sweetheart Mary (Donna Reed), who has stuck by him through thick and thin. But even the love of Mary and his children are insufficient when George, faced with an $8000 shortage in his books, becomes a likely candidate for prison thanks to the vengeful Potter. Bitterly, George declares that he wishes that he had never been born, and Clarence, hoping to teach George a lesson, shows him how different life would have been had he in fact never been born. After a nightmarish odyssey through a George Bailey-less Bedford Falls (now a glorified slum called Potterville), wherein none of his friends or family recognize him, George is made to realize how many lives he has touched, and helped, through his existence; and, just as Clarence had planned, George awakens to the fact that, despite all its deprivations, he has truly had a wonderful life. Capra's first production through his newly-formed Liberty Films, It's a Wonderful Life lost money in its original run, when it was percieved as a fairly downbeat view of small-town life. Only after it lapsed into the public domain in 1973 and became a Christmastime TV perennial did it don the mantle of a holiday classic~Hal Erickson
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.
Best Buy
The Ring (dvd)
$5.99
The Ring (dvd)
A disturbing videotape appears to hold the power of life and death over those who view it in this offbeat thriller. A strange videotape begins making the rounds in a town in the Pacific Northwest; it is full of bizarre and haunting images, and after watching it, many viewers receive a telephone call in which they are warned they will die in seven days. A handful of teenagers who watched the tape while spending a weekend at a cabin in the mountains scoff at the threat, but as predicted, they all die suddenly on the same night. Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts), the aunt of one of the ill-fated teens, is a journalist who has decided to investigate the matter and travels West with her young son, Aidan (David Dorfman), a troubled child who has been drawing pictures of strange and ominous visions. Rachel managed to find the cabin in the woods and watches the video herself; afterward, she receives the same phone call, and realizes she must solve the puzzle of the video and the person or persons behind it within a week. Rachel turns to her ex, Noah (Martin Henderson), an expert in video technology, who at first is convinced the story is a hoax until he digs deeper into the mystery. The Ring was adapted from a 1996 Japanese film by Hideo Nakata, which became a massive box-office success in Asia and spawned two sequels~Mark Deming
Best Buy
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
Best Buy
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
Best Buy
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Final Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
$9.99
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Final Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
The fifth and final season of The Brady Bunch finds a newcomer amidst the familiar faces. Joining stars Robert Reed and Florence Henderson as Mike and Carol Brady, Barry Williams, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Eve Plumb, Mike Lookinland, and Susan Olsen as the various and sundry Brady kids, and Ann B. Davis as Alice the housekeeper, is child actor Robbie Rist as the infamous Cousin Oliver, whose addition to the family was a gimmick to "freshen up" the then five-year-old series. There are thousands upon thousands of Brady Bunch fans who are of the opinion that the world would be no worse off with one less Cousin Oliver, but thankfully (for these fans) the kid showed up in only six episodes. No matter what one's opinion of the estimable Oliver, it cannot be denied that several of the fifth-season Brady Bunch episodes are among the series' best and most memorable. These include "Adios, Johnny Bravo," in which Greg Brady adopts a new name in preparation for a showbiz career; "Mail Order Hero," distinguished by football legend Joe Namath in a guest appearance as himself; "Never Too Young," featuring a pre-Little House on the Prairie Melissa Sue Anderson as little Bobby Brady's first major crush; "Marcia Gets Creamed," a textbook example of the venerable adage "Never hire your relatives"; "The Elopement," wherein the Brady kids labor under the false assumption that Alice is about to marry her erstwhile beau Sam (Allan Melvin); "Two Petes in a Pod," with series regular Christopher Knight in a dual role; "The Cincinnati Kid," an episode built around the real-life opening of the Kings' Island amusement park in Cincinnati; and the series' final episode, "The Hair-Brained Scheme," the one in which Greg's hair turns orange. Also worth mentioning is the episode titled "Kelly's Kids," the story of a husband (Ken Berry) and wife (Brooke Bundy) who adopt a trio of interracial kids, which was filmed as the pilot for a series that never sold.
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The Brady Bunch: The Complete Third Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
$9.99
The Brady Bunch: The Complete Third Season [4 Discs] (dvd)
Season three of The Brady Bunch is pretty much the same as seasons one and two, not that anyone is complaining. Once again, the diverse members of the Brady clan, brought together two seasons earlier by the wedding of widow Carol Martin (Florence Henderson) and widower Mike Brady (Robert Reed), do their darnedest to live harmoniously under the same suburban roof, with sensible housekeeper Alice (Ann B. Davis) acting as sidelines observer and occasional plot motivator. The season opens with the series' first multi-episode story, in which the Bradys embark upon a memorable trip to the Grand Canyon - and along the way are detained by an eccentric old prospector played by Jim Backus, here working for producer Sherwood Schwartz for the first time since the cancellation of Gilligan's Island. Subsequent episodes worth mentioning include "The Wheeler Dealer, in which oldest son Greg Brady (Barry Williams) buys his first car; "The Personality Kid," which finds middle son Peter (Christopher Knight) adopting a zany new personality and living to regret it (remember the "Porkchops and Applesauce" scene?); "Juliet Is the Sun," wherein oldest daughter Marcia (Maureen McCormick) develops a swelled head the size of Massachusetts when she lands the lead in her school play; "Her Sister's Shadow," an exercise in frustration for middle daughter Jan (Eve Plumb), who for the first - and, astonishingly the last - time utters the immortal rant "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!"; "Getting Davy Jones," the celebrated episode featuring the titular ex-Monkee; "The Teeter-Totter Caper," a potent warning against incipient juvenile delinquency spotlighting youngest Brady kids Bobby (Mike Lookinland) and Cindy (Susan Olsen); and "Sergeant Emma," in which series regular Ann B. Davis delivers a bravura performance in the dual role of housekeeper Alice and her martinet cousin Emma.
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