Video News 6-23
Sunday, December 9, 2007

By Jay Bobbin
Tribune Media Services

STARTING THIS WEEK: "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END": It's the last round for Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and company as the Disney studio throws in everything - which is maybe too much, since the result runs just short of three hours - in the final chapter of the adventure trilogy. Here, Jack literally tries to hold onto his soul, which Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) wants. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley are back as Will and Elizabeth, and Rolling Stones music veteran Keith Richards has an amusing role. DVD extras: three "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by director Gore Verbinski; outtakes; new short subject. ** (PG-13: AS, V)

"SUPERBAD": Filmmaker Judd Apatow has had a good movie year with the successes of "Knocked Up" and this raunchy but hilarious comedy, which he produced, and which became a box-office smash without benefit of any star names. Jonah Hill, Michael Cera and - as a lad with the unlikely nickname McLovin' - Christopher Mintz-Plasse play pals assigned to bring the hard drinks to a high-school party. They run into plenty of complications, one being a team of cops (Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote the film, and Bill Goldberg). DVD extras: six "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by Hill, Cera, Mintz-Plasse, Rogen, director Greg Mottola and co-writer Evan Goldberg; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes; table reads; alternate title sequence; cast auditions; press-junket footage; "on-set diaries." *** (R and unrated versions: AS, P)

"THE NANNY DIARIES": The best seller about actual nanny nightmares gets a fanciful spin in this light but enjoyable comedy, boosted by an appealing Scarlett Johansson performance. She plays a recent college graduate who lands a job as a live-in nanny through a case of mistaken identity. The employers are a self-involved socialite and her unfaithful husband (Laura Linney, Paul Giamatti). Chris Evans ("Fantastic Four") plays the inevitable love interest for Johansson, with singer Alicia Keys as the heroine's best friend. DVD extras: two "making-of" documentaries; outtakes. *** (PG-13: P)

ARCTIC TALE: In the spirit of "March of the Penguins," this family-friendly documentary traces the challenges faced by two animal families - walrus and polar bear - in the Arctic. Queen Latifah narrates the saga of older and younger members of each clan and the sacrifices that must be made to ensure survival. The script was co-written by Disney-movie veteran Linda Woolverton ("The Lion King" and "Beauty and the Beast"). *** (G)

"24: THE COMPLETE SIXTH SEASON": Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) is in a bad way when the most recent year of the Fox suspense series begins, having been returned to the U.S. by his Chinese captors - but only so an old enemy can kill him, in exchange for halting a series of terrorist attacks across the country. Typically, things don't go according to plan. Cast additions include James Cromwell as Bauer's father, Peter MacNicol as a presidential counsel and Rick Schroder as a headstrong CTU agent. Among other returnees are Mary Lynn Rajskub and DB Woodside. DVD extras: four "making-of" documentaries; audio commentary by cast and crew members; alternate and deleted scenes; preview of the show's seventh season; Webcast diaries; DVD-ROM featurette. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

"JACK KETCHUM'S THE GIRL NEXT DOOR": Orphaned siblings (Blythe Auffarth, Madeline Taylor) become terrorized captives in this melodrama based on Ketchum's novel, which in turn was based on true events. The girls are held prisoner by an aunt (Blanche Baker) whose sons are just as cruel in their treatment of the two sisters. Also in the cast are William Atherton ("Die Hard"), Catherine Mary Stewart and Grant Show ("Melrose Place"). DVD extras: theatrical trailer; "making-of" documentary; audio commentary by Ketchum, director Gregory Wilson, producer Andrew van den Houten, screenwriters Daniel Farrands and Philip Nutman, and co-producer and cinematographer William M. Miller; cast and crew interviews; screenplay in DVD-ROM. ** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

COMING SOON: "THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM" (Dec. 11): Targeted by a supposed colleague who wants him eliminated, Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) returns to the U.S. to solve the mystery of his past. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

"HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX" (Dec. 11): Expelled from Hogwarts, young wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) establishes a band of magical freedom fighters against dark forces. (PG-13: AS, V)

"HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2" (Dec. 11): The record-setting Disney Channel movie makes its video debut in an "Extended Edition." Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens star. (Not rated)

"HALLOWEEN" (Dec. 18): The saga of murderous Michael Myers gets a reboot in the hands of director Rob Zombie. Malcolm McDowell stars. (R: AS, N, P, GV)

"THE SIMPSONS MOVIE" (Dec. 18): Homer causes an environmental calamity that makes him and his family targets in this animated feature. (PG-13: AS)

"UNDERDOG" (Dec. 18): The classic cartoon series gets live-action treatment in this Disney-studio update; Jason Lee supplies the title character's voice. (PG: AS, P)

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



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