Movies New on DVD & Download-21 August 2007

N E W • T H I S • W E E K
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The Ex (2007) [PG-13]

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The Ex [DVD](2007)

The Ex (Unrated Version) [DVD](2007)

The Lives of Others (2006) [R] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.75
Review-lite: Undoubtedly, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, writer and director, of last year's Oscar®-earning Best Foreign Language Film, made a good movie in The Lives of Others which focuses on the lives of artists in East Germany prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Playwright, Georg Dreyman (Sebastian Koch) and his favorite actress Christa-Maria Sieland (Martina Gedeck) become embroiled in a state affair as the minister of culture Bruno Hempf (Thomas Thieme) is smitten by her, and sets his best man, Hauptmann Gerd Wiesler (Ulrich Mühe), onto the task of defaming Dreyman to clear his way to the girl. von Donnersmarck has done a wonderful job of recreating the era and the bland coloration of East Germany. High marks should go to Ulrich Mühe for his Kevin Spacey-like performance. Still, the best part of the film is its last half hour. Certainly, this was a great film with vast political lessons and surprising twists and turns, but it lacks the conviction of its rivals. (click for full details and complete review)

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The Lives Of Others [Blu-ray](2006)

The Lives Of Others [DVD](2006)

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Perfect Stranger (2007) [R] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $11.00
Review-lite: Despite shared top billing, Perfect Stranger, directed by James Foley, really is, a Halle Berry tour de force film. With a shocking twist ending, the story employs the art of misdirection with the skill of David Copperfield. Chalk up some success of the twist to the uncommonly skillful trailer which aids in setting up rather than giving away too much. The story follows the personal investigation into the death of a childhood friend by an NYC investifative journalist (Halle Berry). Her prime suspect is Harrison Hill (Bruce Willis), an advertising executive with a powerful wife and a penchant for other beautiful women. With a nearly-too-plausible plot, the film's weakness may lie strictly in the times. The current political and social landscape makes this story read a bit like one ripped from the front page of any big city newspaper causing a loss of some shock value. (click for full details and complete review)

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Perfect Stranger [Blu-ray](2007)

Perfect Stranger [DVD](2007)

Perfect Stranger (Widescreen Version) [DVD](2007)

Perfect Stranger (UMD For PlayStation Portable)(2007)

The Surfer King (2006) [PG-13] -- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $9.00
Review-lite: The Surfer King is a harmless, in parts really funny, but nonetheless smaller budget film. It reminded me of a slightly more juicy Disney® Channel film one might watch on an afternoon when it was too rainy to go to your local water park. The characters are all likeable. The concept of having a kid come to Colorado and be given no choice but to surf in the wave pool is funny—the script didn’t take that much advantage of this ‘fish out of water’ aspect of the story as it could have, and I wish it would have. Mr. Wayne and Mr. Zif did a great job of punching realism into the dialog and making it seem authentic. Their on-screen chemistry, actually, might well be the highlight of the film, no disrespect to Ms Wagner nor Mr. Thicke, their parts are supporting roles, and we simply did not get to see enough of them. Personally, and perhaps too sentimentally, I would have liked to have seen much more of Lindsay Wagner. (click for full details and complete review)

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The Surfer King [DVD](2006)


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