Video Nes:DVD Reviews
Sunday, December 7, 2008

By Jay Bobbin
Tribune Media Services

STARTING THIS WEEK: "WANTED": An office drone (James McAvoy) doesn't realize that, like his father, he has secret skills as an assassin in this fast-paced adventure based on a comic-book series. With an enemy (Thomas Kretschmann) hot on his heels, he agrees to submit to training by mentors (Angelina Jolie, again channeling her inner Lara Croft, and Morgan Freeman) who help him perfect the art of killing. Terence Stamp and rapper Common also are featured. DVD extras: eight "making-of" documentaries; extended scene; two featurettes. *** (R: AS, P, GV)

"THE LONGSHOTS": Impressive in "Akeelah and the Bee," Keke Palmer also does fine work as the first-ever female player in the history of Pop Warner football in this true story, directed by Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit musical fame. Ice Cube also stars as the young woman's uncle, a former pro player who decides to stick around and serve as an inspiration to her when he sees how proficient she is on the playing field. *** (PG: AS, P)

"THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN": The fanciful Disney-produced versions of the C.S. Lewis fantasy novels continue by taking the youngsters (played again by William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes and Georgie Henley) from the previous story back to the land of Narnia, where much has changed. It's 13 centuries later than when they first were there, and the nobleman meant to rule the land - Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) - has been targeted for death. He involves the siblings in a revolt against the schemers. Peter Dinklage and Eddie Izzard also star. Liam Neeson (in voice only) and Tilda Swinton also return from the first film. DVD extras: audio commentary by director Andrew Adamson and cast members. *** (PG: V)

"STEP BROTHERS": Previously together in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are linked again as forced relatives in this comedy, which will appeal most to those who like seeing grown men act like children. That's the path the two actors take as their characters must live together when their parents (Mary Steenburgen, Richard Jenkins) marry, and it doesn't take long for their rivalry to explode. The tale was directed and co-written by Ferrell's frequent collaborator, Adam McKay. DVD extras: "making-of" documentary; audio commentary by Ferrell, Reilly, McKay and basketball player Baron Davis; extended and alternate scenes; outtakes; music video. ** (R and unrated versions: AS, P)

"THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE": Ten years after the first movie spinoff of the long-running sci-fi series, Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson) are brought back into the FBI to resume their search for the truth behind paranormal occurrences. An agent has vanished, and it's up to the reunited partners to determine what happened. Series mentor Chris Carter returns as director, and Amanda Peet plays another federal operative in a supporting cast that also includes Billy Connolly and hip-hop star Xzibit. DVD extras: two "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by Carter and co-producer and co-writer Frank Spotnitz; deleted scenes; outtakes; photo galleries; music video. *** (PG-13: AS, V)

FAMILY-VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.



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