OnVideo SEPTEMBER Video Reviews
FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL
Struggling musician Peter Bretter (Jason Segel) has spent six years idolizing his girlfriend, television star Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). He's the guy left holding her purse in paparazzi photos and accidentally omitted from acceptance award speeches. But his world is rocked when she dumps him and Peter finds himself alone. After an unsuccessful bout of womanizing and an on-the-job nervous breakdown, he sees that not having Sarah may just ruin his life. To clear his head, Peter takes an impulsive trip to Oahu, where he is confronted by his worst nightmare: his ex and her tragically hip new British-rocker boyfriend, Aldous (Russell Brand), are sharing his hotel. But as he torments himself with the reality of Sarah's new life, he finds relief in a flirtation with Rachel (Mila Kunis), a beautiful resort employee whose laid-back approach tempts him to rejoin the world. He also finds relief in several hundred embarrassing, fruity cocktails.
Director: Nick Stoller. Stars: Jason Segel, Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, Russell Brand, Bill Hader, Paul Rudd, Jack McBrayer, Jonah Hill. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Drama, Box office gross: $62.877 million, Universal. Available: 9/23.
Based on the long-running Marvel comic book series, "Iron Man" tells the story of Tony Stark, the enigmatic heir to the Stark Enterprises fortune. A driven inventor and executive who seems to have it all, Tony is haunted by his dark side. When Stark is kidnapped and forced to build a diabolical weapon, he instead uses his intelligence and ingenuity to construct an indestructible suit of armor and escape his captors. Once free, Stark discovers a deadly conspiracy that could destabilize the entire globe, and dons his powerful new suit on a mission to stop the villains and save the world. Though he commands his empire by day, by night he secretly becomes "Iron Man," the living embodiment of decades of defense spending and innovation. Strapping on billions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art armor and weaponry each night to fight crime, terrorism and corporate espionage, Tony begins to crack under the strain of his fractured lifestyle and must ultimately confront the one enemy he can never beat -- himself.
Director: Jon Favreau. Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges, Shaun Toub, Leslie Bibb, Bill Smitrovich, Nazanin Boniadi, Micah Hauptman. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 125 min., Action, Box office gross: $314.925 million, Paramount. Available: 9/30.
Romantic comedy set against the backdrop of America's nascent pro-football league in 1925. George Clooney plays Dodge Connolly, a charming, brash football hero who is determined to guide his team from bar brawls to packed stadiums. But after the players lose their sponsor and the entire league faces certain collapse, Dodge convinces a college football star to join his ragtag ranks. The captain hopes his latest move will help the struggling sport finally capture the country's attention. Welcome to the team Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski), America's favorite son. A golden-boy war hero who single-handedly forced multiple German soldiers to surrender in WWI, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed on the field. This new champ is almost too good to be true, and Lexie Littleton (ReneeZellweger) aims to prove that's the case. A cub journalist playing in the big leagues, Lexie is a spitfire newswoman who suspects there are holes in Carter's war story. But while she digs, the two teammates start to become serious off-field rivals for her fickle affections. As the new game of pro-football becomes less like the freewheeling sport he knew and loved, Dodge must both fight to keep his guys together and to get the girl of his dreams. Finding that love and football have a surprisingly similar playbook, however, he has one maneuver he will save just for the fourth quarter.
Director: George Clooney. Stars: George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, John Krasinski, Jonathan Pryce, Stephen Root, Ezra Buzzington, John Vance, Dan John Miller. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 114 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $31.199 million, Universal. Available: 9/23.
LOVE GURU, THE
Pitka (Mike Myers) is an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus. He moves back to the U.S. to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) and his estranged wife.
Director: Marco Schnabel. Stars: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Omid Djalili, Ben Kingsley. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 88 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $32.074 million, Paramount. Available: 9/16.
MADE OF HONOR
Tom loves his life as a serial dater, until he realizes he also loves his best friend Hannah. But when Hannah gets engaged to a dashing Scotsman and asks Tom to be her maid of honor, Tom faces hostile bridesmaids, bridal showers, and bad hair days, all in an effort to pull off the perfect wedding and steal the bride. He's a maid of honor with a plan: he wants to stop the wedding and woo her.
Director: Paul Weiland. Stars: Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Sydney Pollack, Kadeem Hardison, Beau Garrett, Richmond Arquette. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 101 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $45.744 million, Sony. Available: 9/16.
Harry (Chris Cooper) and Pat (Patricia Clarkson) have a nice, respectable marriage. But when Harry falls in love with the young and lovely Kay (Rachel McAdams), he decides he must kill his wife because divorce would cause her too much pain. Meanwhile his caddish best friend Richard (Pierce Brosnan) wants to win Kay for himself. As Harry implements his maladroit plans for murdering his wife, the other characters are entangled with their own deceptions. Like Harry, they race towards their passions but trip over their scruples, seemingly well-intended towards all, but truthful to none.
Director: Ira Sachs. Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Chris Cooper, Patricia Clarkson, Rachel McAdams. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Dark Comedy, Box office gross: $1.504 million, Sony. Available: 9/2.
RUN FATBOY RUN
A charming but oblivious overweight guy gets cold feet and leaves his pregnant fiancee at the altar on their wedding day. A few years later he realizes that he really loves her -- but she's hooked up with a high-flying, wealthy, handsome go-getter. To prove to her that he's not a quitter -- and to win her back -- he enters a 26-mile marathon.
Director: David Schwimmer. Stars: Simon Pegg, Thandie Newton, Hank Azaria, Dylan Moran, Jade Ramsey, Nikita Ramsey, Ameet Chana, Harish Patel, India de Beaufort. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $5.998 million, Company. Available: 9/23.
SEX AND THE CITY: THE MOVIE
The hit series "Sex and the City" catwalks its way onto the big screen in this feature-film continuation four years after the series ended. Sarah Jessica Parker returns as Carrie Bradshaw, the style-maven journalist whose romantic exploits - and stories about sex, love and the fashion-obsessed -- were the key focus of the show. Also reprising their roles are Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, and Cynthia Nixon, with the series' executive producer Michael Patrick King taking on writing and directing duties. Chris Noth, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler and Jason Lewis return as the women's love interests. "Dreamgirls'" Jennifer Hudson co-stars as Carrie's assistant.
Director: Michael Patrick King. Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth, Jennifer Hudson, Lynn Cohen, David Eigenberg, Evan Handler, Jason Lewis, Candice Bergen. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: R, 145 min., Romantic Comedy, Box office gross: $150.841 million, New Line. Available: 9/23.
Based on the classic 1960s series created by anime pioneer Tatsuo Yoshida that later was retooled for North American audiences. Hurtling down the track, careening around, over and through the competition, Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) is a natural behind the wheel. Born to race cars, Speed is aggressive, instinctive and, most of all, fearless. His only real competition is the memory of the brother he idolized -- the legendary Rex Racer -- whose death in a race has left behind a legacy that Speed is driven to fulfill. Speed is loyal to the family racing business, led by his father, Pops Racer (John Goodman), the designer of Speed's thundering Mach 5. When Speed turns down a lucrative and tempting offer from Royalton Industries, he not only infuriates the company's maniacal owner (Roger Allam) but uncovers a terrible secret -- some of the biggest races are being fixed by a handful of ruthless moguls who manipulate the top drivers to boost profits. If Speed won't drive for Royalton, Royalton will see to it that the Mach 5 never crosses another finish line. The only way for Speed to save his family's business and the sport he loves is to beat Royalton at his own game. With the support of his family and his loyal girlfriend, Trixie (Christina Ricci), Speed teams with his one-time rival -- the mysterious Racer X (Matthew Fox) -- to win the race that had taken his brother's life: the death-defying, cross-country rally known as The Crucible.
Director: Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski. Stars: Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox, Hiroyuki Sanada, Richard Roundtree, Rain, Benno Fuermann, Kirk Gurry, Paulie Litt, Roger Allam. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 135 min.,Action, Box office gross: $43.196 million, Warner. Available: 9/16.
THEN SHE FOUND ME
Adapted from Elinor Lipman's novel, Helen Hunt makes her feature directing debut with this touching story about schoolteacher April Epner (Hunt) and her very unlikely path towards personal fulfillment. Following the separation from her husband (Matthew Broderick) and the death of her adopted mother, April is contacted by her apparent birth month (Bette Midler), who turns out to be a local talk show host Bernice Graves. As Bernice tries to become the mother to April that she was never able to be, April seems to find solace in the arms of the parent of one of her students (Colin Firth), only to find that the mystery to life's questions cannot be solved by a simple revelation.
Director: Helen Hunt. Stars: Helen Hunt, Bette Midler, Colin Firth, Matthew Broderick. 2008, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $3.221 million, ThinkFilm/Image Entertainment. Available: 9/2.
A documentary on a chorus of senior citizens from Massachusetts who cover songs by Jimi Hendrix, Coldplay, Sonic Youth, and other unexpected musicians. Upending assumptions about old age, love, sex and death, the Young@Heart Chorus is comprised of two dozen convention-defying senior citizens from New England who keep their neurons firing and emotions kindled with good-natured humor and dynamic performances covering material ranging from The Clash to Coldplay. Winner of the 2007 Los Angeles Film Festival Audience Award for Best International Feature, "Young@Heart" follows the group during a seven-week rehearsal schedule as they rigorously practice such aptly named modern classics as The Bee Gee's "Stayin? Alive," The Ramones' "I Want to Be Sedated" and Bob Dylan's "Forever Young" in preparation for a one-night only, sold-out concert in Northampton, Massachusetts. Young@Heart takes audiences on an inspirational journey with a group that may be old in body, but who refuse to grow old in spirit. The Young@Heart chorus features former schoolteachers, executives, doctors and food service directors and is guided by their longtime director Bob Cilman. Both hilarious and heartbreaking, the tenacity of these surprising songbirds is not only life-affirming but redefines the meaning of the term "golden years."
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
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September 1, 2008