Movies New on DVD & Download-8 January 2008

N E W • T H I S • W E E K
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3:10 to Yuma (2007) [R]-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $14.50
Review-lite: James Mangold's directs Christian Bale and Russell Crowe in this tour-de-force remake. Casting, scenery, gorgeous wild west settings outstanding to superstar performances, great gun fights, and a final suspense-filled fifteen minutes from 3 o'clock to fifteen after that will rivet even the most jaded to his or her seat. The ending plays a morality twist a whole herd of people are going to find hard to believe. To get it, to accept it, to own it, they may have to see the film at least a second time paying ever so close attention again to this character triangle between a father, a son, and an admired outlaw and the way in which the three impact each other's lives. 3:10 to Yuma stands out as an early front-runner in the pursuit of Academy Award® hardware and the odds on favorite, to date, for Best Picture of the Year. (click for full details and complete review)

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3:10 To Yuma [Blu-ray](2007)
3:10 To Yuma [DVD](2007)
3:10 To Yuma (Widescreen Version) [DVD](2007)
Additional Related Features:
3:10 To Yuma [DVD](1957)
3:10 To Yuma (Special Edition) [DVD](1957)

Black Irish (2007) [R]

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Black Irish [DVD](2007)
Outstanding performances highlight this low-key drama that chronicles the struggles of the Irish-American McKay clan: hard-drinking patriarch Desmond (Brendan Gleeson), his devout Catholic wife Margaret (Melissa Leo), delinquent son Terry (Tom Guiry), daughter Kathleen (Emily VanCamp) who's dealing with an unplanned pregnancy, and youngest son Cole (Michael Angarano) who is on the road to becoming either a priest or a professional baseball player. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English.

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Death Sentence (2007) [R]-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $12.25
Review-lite: Previously proven suspense director James Wan commands in Death Sentence Kevin Bacon who demonstrates the carnal rage of a scorned father (Nick Hume) mourning the death of his son scoring both more serious dramatic résumé points. As it nears its climax, it starts to border on the absurd as the inevitable showdown between Billy Darley (Garrett Hedlund)—the leader of the gang that murdered Nick's son—and Nick plays out. Maudlin music and surreal lighting for the scene enhance the near ludicrous nature of it. The plot suffers from a single-mindedness whereby once the main event happens, the rest presents simply the logical un-spooling of the lives of the pro- and antagonists making for a less-than-meaty film with an ending that arrives as predictably as the passing of seasons. Death Sentence pops out as a very alarming social statement yet quickly devolves into a variation of Moby Dick. (click for full details and complete review)

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Death Sentence [DVD](2007)

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Dragon Wars (2007) [PG-13]-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $11.00
Review-lite: Considered the 'George Lucas' of Korea, Writer / director Hyung-rae Shim's latest film, Dragon Wars: D-War, shares a lot in common with the Star Wars films. The acting, storyline, and dialogue in Star Wars was nothing spectacular. It was the special effects that captured people's imaginations. Dragon Wars: D-War falls about 15 steps down into the cellar in this comparison, yet, it does deserve notice for bringing new mythology to life as well as for the exceptional CGI work. The acting, story, and dialogue came out amateurish, no doubt, but give the artisans involved some due and recognize they are a couple of decades behind in these areas, but right at the forefront when it comes to the rest of the technology. (click for full details and complete review)

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Dragon Wars [DVD](2007)
Dragon Wars (UMD For PlayStation Portable)(2007)

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Joshua (2007) [R]-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $09.00
Review-lite: The Good Son, The Bad Seed, The Omen, the list of films featuring children gone terribly wrong is long. What motivated co-writers David Gilbert and George Ratliff, who also directed, to believe the genre needed one more look, this time through the chronology of new baby sister, Lily, as her days tick by, brother Joshua (Jacob Kogan) grows mysteriously evil, isn't clear. Though nothing's set in stone as to whether he is or isn't responsible for the string of awful incidents including the death of all the caged rodents in his school classroom or eventually his grandmother, every sign is that the odd child piano prodigy with a fascination for Egyptian mythology is up to no good. Sam Rockwell plays his doting father who tries to hold the family together despite the continued regression into mental psychoses experienced by his wife, Abby (Vera Farmiga). Great acting and characters, unfortunately, were unable to elevate the film toward 'must see' status, as the motivations of the lead character was insufficiently explained. (click for full details and complete review)

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Joshua [DVD](2007)

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Sunshine (2007) [R]-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $13.00
Review-lite: While Danny Boyle's previous films have had huge appeal in the USA, from Trainspotting to 28 Days Later…, Sunshine represents, perhaps, his first film with the potential for universal appeal. Not everyone loves films about heroine addicts or pseudo 'zombie' films. While Sunshine is a sci-fi genre film, really it is a film about our inner capacity for great service and self-sacrifice or misguided evil and self-importance. The incredibly diverse cast has immersed themselves in this whole-heartedly and believably. Even Chris Evans who plays a character not far from those he's played in the past demonstrates, ultimately, the potential for true courage and leadership amid virtual catastrophe. Sunshine ignites the inner soul of human creation in light of our drive to survive in a remarkably beautiful cinematic achievement. (click for full details and complete review)

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Sunshine [Blu-ray](2007)
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The Invasion (2007) [R]-- W.I.P. Scale™ Rating: $13.00
Review-lite: At the top of her game, Nicole Kidman delivers one of her best performances ever as Dr. Carol Bennell, the psychiatrist mother who helps to bring down an alien invasion in this Oliver Hirschbiegel's remake of David Finney's original novel Invasion of the Body Snatchers called simply, The Invasion. Wasting no time, an alien virus, brought to earth in the debris from the fictional Space Shuttle Patriot's burn up upon re-entry, infects leaders of the US government and the populous, converting them into docile, emotionless pod people while they sleep. Rescuing her son from her pod-person husband becomes Bennelle's sole focus, as this social and political allegory forces us all to confront the inhumanity that makes us human or does it? (click for full details and complete review)

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The Invasion [Blu-ray](2007)
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