Video View 8-9
Monday, May 25, 2009

"REVOLUTIONARY ROAD": Iconic together in "Titanic," Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet redefine their shared screen image in this disintegrating-marriage drama directed by Sam Mendes, Winslet's husband. In the adaptation of Richard Yates' novel, the stars play 1950s spouses whose union isn't quite as ideal as it might seem, offering clear proof that one never knows what happens behind closed doors. Michael Shannon earned an Oscar nomination in a supporting cast that also includes fellow "Titanic" alum Kathy Bates and Kathryn Hahn ("Crossing Jordan"). DVD extras: "making-of" documentary; audio commentary by Mendes and screenwriter Justin Haythe; deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

"DEFIANCE": Daniel Craig demonstrates James Bond isn't the be-all and end-all for him, as he delivers a stirring performance in director Edward Zwick's fine, fact-based drama about several Russian brothers - with Liev Schreiber and Jamie Bell cast as the others - who become protectors and resistance fighters during World War II. They do much to establish a shelter from Nazi rule for others, but nature poses a challenge, as does the German forces' increasing awareness of the siblings. Co-stars include Jodhi May, Alexa Davalos and Iben Hjelje ("High Fidelity"). DVD extras: four "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by Zwick. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

"HE'S JUST NOT THAT INTO YOU": Multiple stories explore modern foibles of romance in this comedy-drama based on a self-help book borne from a theme used in a "Sex and the City" episode. For all the big names on hand - from Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston to Ben Affleck and Scarlett Johansson - the cast member who arguably fares best is Ginnifer Goodwin ("Big Love") as an insecure woman who interacts enjoyably with the character played by Justin Long. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

"PRISON BREAK: SEASON FOUR": Given how specific the first-season setup was, it was no small feat that this recently ended Fox series managed to last three more years. One of the biggest twists in this final round is the return of Sarah Wayne Callies as Dr. Sara Tancredi, who supposedly was killed earlier. Prison escapee Michael (Wentworth Miller) gets his brother Lincoln (Dominic Purcell) and some of their old comrades - including the ever-unpredictable T-Bag (Robert Knepper) to help in the search for her. William Fichtner and Amaury Nolasco also wrap up their roles. DVD extras: two "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by cast and crewmembers on selected episodes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

"WEEDS: SEASON 4": As a prelude to the Showtime series' new, soon-to-start fifth season, the video release of these episodes relocates drug dealer Nancy (Mary-Louise Parker) and her family to the Mexican-American border, where she continues her trafficking activities. A big complication presents itself in the persona of Celia (Elizabeth Perkins), who follows Nancy in the hope of clearing her own name - and develops a much bigger interest in drugs herself. Kevin Nealon and Justin Kirk also remain in the regular cast; Albert Brooks is among the guest stars. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

"ARMY WIVES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON": With this Lifetime series also about to return, this set provides a recap of the characters' preceding trials and tribulations. They begin in the immediate aftermath of a hostage crisis that leaves one military couple in mourning, while another Army wife considers straying maritally over her own developing interests. Continuing cast members include Kim Delaney, Catherine Bell, Sally Pressman, Brigid Brannagh, Brian McNamara, Sterling K. Brown, Wendy Davis and Drew Fuller. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON: "FIRED UP!" (June 9): Athletes (Nicholas D'Agosto, Eric Christian Olsen) would rather spend their summer at cheerleading camp than with other football players. (PG-13 and unrated versions: AS, N, P)

"GRAN TORINO" (June 9): Also the drama's director, Clint Eastwood plays a no-nonsense war veteran who builds an unexpected alliance with the young would-be stealer of his cherished car. (R: AS, P, V)

"THE INTERNATIONAL" (June 9): An Interpol operative and a New York prosecutor (Clive Owen, Naomi Watts) team up to bring down a corrupt banking institution. (R: P, V)

"FRIDAY THE 13TH" (June 16): Murderous Jason Voorhees rises again in this remake of the original film in the horror franchise. Jared Padalecki ("Supernatural") plays one of the new targets at Crystal Lake. (R: AS, P, GV)

"INKHEART" (June 23): A man (Brendan Fraser) who can bring fictional characters to life tries to put a villain back in the book he came out of. Helen Mirren also appears. (PG: AS, P)

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



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