A New York City subway dispatcher draws on his extensive knowledge of the subway system in order to outsmart a dangerous criminal mastermind who's hijacked a subway train in this remake of the 1974 thriller inspired by John Godey's best-selling book. Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is drifting through his daily routine when he receives word that a heavily armed gang of four has hijacked a subway train and are holding the passengers hostage. Led by cunning master thief Ryder (John Travolta), the gunmen will begin executing everyone aboard unless authorities deliver a sizable ransom in just one hour. Walter races to save the hostages before the shootings begin. But through it all, there's one part of Ryder's plan that Walter can't quite comprehend: Even if the thieves do succeed in getting their money, how could they possibly get out of the tunnels undetected? Vitals: Director: Tony Scott. Stars: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro, Luis Guzman, Michael Rispoli, James Gandolfini.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 201 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $64.970 million, Sony.
Aliens in the Attic
Kids on a family vacation who must fight off an attack by knee-high alien invaders with world-destroying ambitions -- while the youngsters' parents remain clue less about the battle. It's summer vacation, but the Pearson family kids are stuck at a boring lake house with their nerdy parents. That is until feisty, little, green aliens crash-land on the roof, with plans to conquer the house and Earth. Using only their wits, courage and video game-playing skills, the youngsters must band together to defeat the aliens and save the world -- but the toughest part might be keeping the whole thing a secret from their parents. Vitals: Director: John Schultz. Stars: Ashley Tisdale, Robert Hoffman, Carter Jenkins, Austin Butler, Ashley Boettcher, Henri Young, Regan Young, Tim Meadows, Gillian Vigman, Kevin Nealon.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 86 min., Family Sci-Fi Comedy, Box office gross: $23.778 million, Fox.
I Love You, Beth Cooper
When a geeky high-school valedictorian (Paul Rust) throws caution to the wind by expressing his love for a popular cheerleader (Hayden Panettiere) during his graduation speech, life finally starts to get interesting in this coming-of-age comedy adapted from the book by journalist-author-screenwriter Larry Doyle. Vitals: Director: Chris Columbus. Stars: Hayden Panettiere, Paul Rust, Jack Carpenter, Lauren Storm, Lauren London.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 102 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $14.772 million, Fox.
G.I. JOE: The Rise of Cobra
The G.I. JOE team travels the world from the Egyptian desert to the polar ice caps and the streets of Paris in a high stakes pursuit of COBRA, an evil international organization threatening to use a technology that could bring the world to its knees. Armed with the coolest hi-tech gadgets and weapons, including jaw-dropping accelerator and camouflage suits, G.I. JOE is the last line of defense against those intent on world domination. Based on the Hasbro action figure and comic book/cartoon series. Vitals: Director: Stephen Sommers. Stars: Dennis Quaid, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller, Ray Park, Rachel Nichols, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Said Taghmaoui, Marlon Wayans, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Arnold Vosloo, Christopher Eccleston.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Action, Box office gross: $147.415 million, Paramount.
Documentary lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing how our food supply is controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. Reveals surprising -- and often shocking truths -- about what we eat, how it's produced and who we have become as a nation.
Vitals: Director: Robert Kenner.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 94 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $4.361 million, Magnolia Home Entertainment.
Pixar animated feature follows the uplifting tale of 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and
flies away to the wilds of South America. But he discovers all too late that his biggest nightmare has stowed away on the trip: an overly optimistic 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell. Their journey to a lost world, where they encounter some strange, exotic and surprising characters, is filled with hilarity, emotion and wildly imaginative adventure.
Vitals: Director: Pete Docter. Stars: Voices of Ed Asner, Jordan Nagai, Christopher Plummer, Bob Peterson, Delroy Lindo, John Ratzenberger.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 96 min., Animated, Box office gross: $279,583 million, Walt Disney/Pixar.
The Ugly Truth
Abby Richter (Katherine Heigl) is a romantically challenged morning show producer whose search for Mr. Perfect has left her hopelessly single. She's in for a rude awakening when her bosses team her with Mike Chadway (Gerard Butler), a hardcore TV personality who promises to spill the ugly truth on what makes men and women tick. She reluctantly gets embroiled in a series of outrageous tests by the chauvinistic correspondent as he tries to prove his theories on relationships and help her find love. His clever ploys, however, lead to an unexpected result.
Vitals: Director: Robert Luketic. Stars: Katherine Heigl, Gerard Butler, Eric Winter, John Michael Higgins, Nick Searcy, Kevin Connolly, Cheryl Hines.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $87.565 million, Sony.
Director J.J. Abrams' phenomenal reimagining of the legendary adventure, here with a young, adventurous crew. The fate of the galaxy rests in the hands of bitter rivals. One, James T. Kirk (Chris Pine), is a delinquent, thrill-seeking Iowa farm boy. The other, Spock (Zachary Quinto), was raised in a logic-based society that rejects all emotion. As fiery instinct clashes with calm reason, their unlikely but powerful partnership is the only thing capable of leading their crew through unimaginable danger, boldly going where no one has gone before!
Vitals: Director: J.J. Abrams. Stars: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Ben Cross, Bruce Greenwood, Simon Pegg, Winona Ryder, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Anton Yelchin, Eric Bana, Leonard Nimoy, Marlene Forte, Jimmy Bennett.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $261.970 million, Company.
Borat trickster Sacha Baron Cohen returns to the big screen to offer yet another stinging dose of sociopolitical satire in this comedy that finds him assuming the persona of gay fashionmonger Bruno, the self-proclaimed "voice of Austrian youth TV." Originally conceived as part of Cohen's cult television series "Da Ali G Show," the character of Bruno offered a cleverly costumed Cohen the opportunity to highlight the absurdities of the fashion industry by interviewing unsuspecting fashion icons and other haute couture hangers-on. Vitals: Director: Larry Charles. Stars: Sacha Baron Cohen, Alice Evans, Candice Cunningham, Trishelle, Sandra Seeling, Ben Youcef, Emerson Brooks, David Hill, Alexander von Roon.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 83 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $59.992 million, Universal.
My Sister's Keeper
Based on the novel "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age 13, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia
that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged ... until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
Vitals: Director: Nick Cassavetes. Stars: Cameron Diaz, Alec Baldwin, Abigail Breslin, Jason Patric, Thomas Dekker, Sofia Vassilieva, Joan Cusack.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Melodrama, Box office gross: $48.073 million, New Line.
Is Anybody There?
Ten-year-old Edward lives in his family-run retirement home. While his mother struggles to keep the family business afloat and his father copes with the onset of a mid-life crisis, Edward leads an increasingly lonely existence until he meets Clarence, a retired magician and grieving widower who refuses to give in gracefully to old age. The two strike up an unlikely friendship that helps them both remember what magic is possible when life is lived to its fullest. Disappointing small film whose script holds out more than is realized on the big screen; but Caine turns in a bravura performance.
Vitals: Director: John Crowley. Stars: Michael Caine, Bill Milner, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey, Thelma Barlow, Linzey Cocker, Rosemary Harris.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Melodrama, Box office gross: $2.024 million, Magnolia Home Entertainment.
The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) is a jack-of-all-trades who cares about one thing and one thing only ... selling cars. The ultimate hustler faces the greatest challenge of his legendary, and notorious, career when he attempts to save a local struggling car dealership from bankruptcy. In just one week Ready and his crew need to move over 200 cars and prove that when it comes to conning, conniving and all kinds of bad behavior, they've got the goods. For rental only; sell-through date Dec. 15.Vitals: Director: Neal Brennan. Stars: Jeremy Piven, Ed Helms, David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn, Alan Thicke, James Brolin, Rob Riggle, Ving Rhames.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $15.102 million, Paramount.
Angels & Demons
The team behind the global phenomenon "The Da Vinci Code" returns for "Angels & Demons," based upon the bestselling novel by Dan Brown. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Harvard religious expert Robert Langdon, who once again finds that forces with ancient roots are willing to stop at nothing, even murder, to advance their goals. When Langdon discovers evidence of the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati -- the most powerful underground organization in history - he also faces a deadly threat to the existence of the secret organization's most despised enemy: the Catholic Church. When Langdon learns that the clock is ticking on an unstoppable Illuminati time bomb, he jets to Rome, where he joins forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and enigmatic Italian scientist. Embarking on a nonstop, action-packed hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even to the heart of the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra will follow a 400-year-old trail of ancient symbols that mark the Vatican's only hope for survival.
Vitals: Director: Ron Howard. Stars: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgard, Pierfrancesco Favino, Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Armin Mueller-Stahl.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 138 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $133.375 million, Sony.
When upscale, happily unmarried San Francisco couple Kate (Reese Witherspoon) and Brad (Vince Vaughn) find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning, their exotic vacation plans morph into the family-centric holiday they had, until now, gleefully avoided. Out of obligation -- and unable to escape -- they trudge to not one, not two, but four relative-choked festivities, increasingly mortified to find childhood fears raised, adolescent wounds reopened ... and their very future together uncertain. As Brad counts the hours to when he can get away from their parents, step-parents, siblings and an assortment of nieces and nephews, Kate is starting to hear the ticking of a different kind of clock. And by the end of the day, she is beginning to wonder if their crazy families' choices are not so crazy after all. Vitals: Director: Seth Gordon. Stars: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen, Jon Favreau, Tim McGraw, Dwight Yoakam, Skyler Gisondo, Jon Voight.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 82 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $120.136 million, Warner.
George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a famous stand-up comedian who learns that he has a terminal illness and less than a year to live. When, he meets Ira, a struggling comedian at a comedy club where both are performing, George hires Ira to be his personal assistant and opening act at his performances. The two forge a close friendship as George helps Ira with his career and Ira helps George find closure in his legacy. However, when George learns that his disease has gone into remission and an ex-girlfriend re-enters his life, he's inspired to reevaluate what is important to him and what truly gives meaning to his life.
Vitals: Director: Judd Apatow. Stars: Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen, Leslie Mann, Eric Bana, Jason Schwartzman, Jonah Hill, Aubrey Plaza, RZA, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, Norm MacDonald, Andy Dick.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 146 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $51.814 million, Universal.
Family adventure set in the suburb of Black Falls, where all the houses look the same and everyone works for Black Box Unlimited Worldwide Industries Incorporated, whose Mr. Black's Black Box is the ultimate communication and do-it-all gadget that's sweeping the nation. Other than keeping his parents employed, however, Mr. Black's Black Box has done nothing for 11-year-old Toe Thompson, who just wants to make a few friends ... until a mysterious rainbow-colored rock falls from the sky, hits him in the head and changes everything. The Rainbow Rock grants wishes to anyone who holds it. Before long, wishes-gone-wrong have left the neighborhood swarming with tiny spaceships, crocodile armies, giant boogers ... and outrageous magical mayhem around every corner. But it's not until the grown-ups get their hands on the Rock that the trouble really starts. Now Toe and his newfound friends must join forces to save their town from itself, discovering along the way that what you wish for is not always what you want.
Vitals: Director: Robert Rodriguez. Stars: Jon Cryer, William H. Macy, Leslie Mann, Kat Dennings, Jimmy Bennett, Devon Gearhart, Leo Howard, Trevor Gagnon, Rebel Rodriguez, Jake Short, Jolie Vanier, James Spader.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 89 min., Family, Box office gross: $20.346 million, Warner.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.