Movies New on DVD & Download-26 June 2007

N E W • T H I S • W E E K
for home viewing
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Black Snake Moan (2007) [R] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $11.25
Review-lite: After seeing this, Samuel L. Jackson's second film in a row featuring a snake in the title, the latter albeit a metaphor, nonetheless, a word of advice: don't eagerly sign up for films featuring snakes in the title. To be fair, Black Snake Moan, Hustle and Flow's Craig Brewer's new film never should have been given to certain marketers. The ad campaign from the trailer to the poster all emphasize two things: "EVERYTHING IS HOTTER DOWN SOUTH" and Christina Ricci's character locked up in chains by Samuel L. Jackson's character. Neither gives much idea what the film's about, though images of Boxing Helena may pop up. Black Snake Moan should not be confused with a Snakes on a Plane sequel. A good central premise for the film failed to cancel out an insufficiently well-conceived plot. The acting was quite good, while the dialogue and story points were not quite there. (click for full details and complete review)

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Black Snake Moan [Blu-ray](2006)

Black Snake Moan [DVD](2006)

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Dead Silence (2007) [R] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.25
Review-lite: Is it just me or do these 'Saw' people really get how to make clever, modern scary movies with good twists and a bend toward justice, albeit perturbing justice or even vigilantism? Well, they're back now with Dead Silence about the curse of the spirit of a 1920s ventriloquist named Mary Shaw who was implicated in the disappearance of a young boy and later, herself, killed by rogue townspeople. Ever since, however, her dummies and dolls seem to pop up just before other townspeople were killed and left in mysterious poses with their tongues cut out. Directed by James Wan and starring Ryan Kwanten sent away by his father to escape the curse, Dead Silence is pretty scary stuff with a spooky new mythology and a clever set of twists. While not an award candidate, it is entertaining and scary—far better Hostel and The Hills Have Eyes of last year. (click for full details and complete review)

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Dead Silence [DVD](1998)

Dead Silence [DVD](2007)

Dead Silence (Unrated Version) [DVD](2007)

Dead Silence [DVD](1996)

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Pride (2007) [PG] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.25
Review-lite: Pride, Determination, and Resilience represented real-life swimming coach Jim Ellis's mantra derived from the acronym for the Philadelphia Department of Recreation for whom he worked and coached his first team of young African American swimmers at a time in history when the racial diversity of a swim team in the area could spell ruin for its chances to compete. Jim Ellis, charismatically portrayed by Terrence Howard, takes on the establishment, coaches a team of kids on to victory, and proves to the city that keeping the center open in the long run will be a very good idea. With the highly predictable outcome of any David slew Goliath story, the core values are really about overcoming self-doubt, working hard to achieve, and team spirit. Director Sunu Gonera handles the cast well more time on the team's development as a team rather than on neighborhood politics would have improved the film. (click for full details and complete review)

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Pride [DVD](2007)

Pride (Widescreen Version) [DVD](2007)

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Shooter (2007) [R] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.75
Review-lite: Swagger is a great, new, on-screen character. Part vigilante, part MacGyver, part ethics professor, he could logically succeed in a couple of sequels. Mr. Wahlberg credibly portrays the character blending his physical strengths with his honest and reliable face. Without a perfect Boston accent, he comes across as an everyman who knows the value of a human life. Kate Mara and Michael Peña have fun roles as well, playing his co-opted partners in 'crime' as he must get to the bottom of the conspiracy into which he was forcibly drawn. In the end, the film lacks the psychological brilliance of Fuqua's Training Day, and the depth of characters in the performances. Nonetheless, Shooter offers up the right elements of subterfuge, tension, and intrigue creating a worthy action thriller.(click for full details and complete review)

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Shooter [Blu-ray](2007)

Shooter [DVD](2007)

Shooter (Widescreen Version) [DVD](2007)


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