NEW IN STORES
Big Momma’s House 2 (PG-13) Martin Lawrence, Elton LeBlanc, Nia Long, Michelle Parylak, Marisol Nichols. The slapstick adventures of master-of-disguise, FBI special agent Malcolm Turner (Lawrence) continue. This time he must go undercover as Big Momma to nail his ex-partner’s murderer. While undercover in the house of the suspected criminal, Malcolm grows attached to the suspect’s three children. 99 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by director John Whitesell, producer David T. Friendly and actor Zachary Levi; 12 deleted/extended scenes with optional commentary; plus the featurette “Big Momma’s Secrets.”
Grandma’s Boy NR and R (DVD includes both) Allen Covert, Linda Cardellini, Peter Dante, Kevin Nealon, Rob Schneider. Comedy from Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison company starring a number of actors that frequently appear as supporting players in his films. Alex (Covert), a 35-year-old video-game tester, is forced to move out of his apartment and in with his grandmother and her two old lady roommates. 96 minutes. DVD INFO: The DVD features both the original theatrical and the unrated versions of the film. Extras include audio commentary by actors Allen Covert, Nick Swardson and Peter Dante; audio commentary by director Nicholaus Goosen; the featurettes “Covert Whacks It,” “Monkey” and “Casting Session” (originally made for Fox Movie Channel); deleted scenes; “Scenes That Went Up in Smoke,” “Unsmoked Material” and “Smoke This” montages; and a music video.
Late Spring: Criterion Collection (NR) Chishu Ryu, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura. From the press notes: The first of a series of intimate family portraits that would cement Yasujiro Ozu’s reputation as one of the most important directors in cinema history, Late Spring tells the story of a widowed father who feels compelled to marry off his only, beloved daughter. In the hands of two of the director’s finest actors — Chishu Ryu and Setsuko Hara — this poignant tale of love and loss in postwar Japan remains as potent and meaningful today as ever. 110 minutes. DVD INFO: In addition to a new, restored high-definition digital transfer of the 1972 film, the double-disc set includes Tokyo-Ga (1985, 92 minutes), legendary director Wim Wenders’ tribute to Yasujiro Ozu; and a 24-page booklet with new essays by critic Michael Atkinson and renowned Japanese-film historian Donald Richie.
Munich (R) Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josee Croze, Geoffrey Rush, Mathieu Kassovitz. Steven Spielberg’s examination of the 1972 massacre of Israeli Olympic athletes and its aftermath is a neatly woven political thriller, reminiscent of morally murky spy thrillers of the 1960s and 1970s, but never quite finds the heart Spielberg is looking for. Don’t expect Schindler’s List-level greatness from this, but do take heart in the fact that Spielberg is stripping himself of the cloying sentiment that weighs down even his best historical films. Just enjoy the tension as Eric Bana leads a hit squad out to kill a group of terrorist masterminds, and marvel at how Spielberg can still stage an incredibly intense, nail-biting scene when the situation calls for it. 164 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include an introduction by Steven Spielberg. A two-disc limited edition also includes the featurettes “Munich: The Mission, The Team,” “Munich: Memories of the Event” (explore and discover the impact of the real events in Munich through documentary footage, film clips, BTS moments and all new interviews with cast and crew including Spielberg), “Munich: Portrait of an Era” (the re-creation of the ’70s with production designer Rick Carter and costume designer Joanna Johnston), “Munich: The On-Set Experience” (an exploration into the art and the politics involve with the making of Munich), “Munich: The International Cast” and “Munich: Editing, Sound and Music” (a discussion with Spielberg and his collaborators, composer John Williams and editor Michael Kahn on the final touches that will be added to Munich with editing, music and sound). —PFPP
Nanny McPhee (PG) Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Angela Lansbury, Kelly MacDonald, Thomas Sangster. In this fable for kids, magical Nanny McPhee (Thompson) enters the household of the recently widowed Mr. Brown (Firth) and attempts to tame his seven exceedingly ill-behaved children. The children, led by the oldest boy Simon (Sangster), have managed to drive away 17 previous nannies and are certain that they will have no trouble with this one. But as Nanny McPhee takes control, they begin to notice that their vile behavior now leads swiftly and magically to rather startling consequences. 98 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. Both versions include audio commentary with director Kirk Jones and children; audio commentary with actor Emma Thompson and producer Lindsay Doran; the featurettes “Casting the Children,” “Village Life,” “Nanny McPhee Makeover” and “How Nanny McPhee Came to Be”; deleted scenes and an alternate opening; plus a gag reel.
The New World 4 (PG-13) Colin Farrell, Michael Greyeyes, Christopher Plummer, August Schellenberg, Wes Studi. Terrence Malick once again explores cultural schisms in mesmerizing, heartbreaking ways, with the environment itself — trees, wind, water — as much a character as his human actors. This time, he re-imagines the relationship between Capt. John Smith (Farrell) and Pocahontas (Kilcher) in Jamestown in 1607 (and beyond). It’s not fair, though: The Naturals (as the English called them) are at home in the wild, at one with nature, while the pasty white Englishmen are soon nothing but bags of pitiable bones. Beware: You may not only be inspired to turn off your cell phone, you may end up throwing it away. 135 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes the 60-minute documentary “Making The New World.” —Jim Poyser
Rumor Has It (PG-13) Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Costner, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Ruffalo. Rumor Has It is a mostly pleasant little romantic comedy with an intriguing premise that starts off fairly well, but quickly loses its way, only to sputter out at the end of its 96 minute run time. Advertisements for the film make it look like one of the juicier comedic offerings of the season, but the finished product is inconsequential. Jennifer Aniston plays an engaged woman who discovers that her grandmother (Shirley MacLaine) was the inspiration for the Mrs. Robinson character in The Graduate. Kevin Costner plays the man who was seduced by Mrs. Robinson. He also bedded her daughter. Uh-oh. The cast is good, especially MacLaine, but the movie is merely amusing. 96 minutes. DVD INFO: Two separately packaged DVDs are available: One preserves the film in the anamorphic widescreen format, while the other hacks off nearly a third of the picture for the fullscreen (aka pan & scan) version. Shop carefully. —EJO
ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13, CINDERELLA MAN, JARHEAD, RUMOR HAS IT and TRAINING DAY.
TV on DVD
THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: SEASON 6, DR. KATZ — PROFESSIONAL THERAPIST: SEASON 1, EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND: SEASON 6, THE FACTS OF LIFE: SEASONS 1 AND 2, THE GOLDEN GIRLS: SEASON 5, LIFE GOES ON: SEASON 1, NORTHERN EXPOSURE: SEASONS 1 AND 2, RESCUE ME: SEASON 2, SCRUBS: SEASON 3, THAT ’70s SHOW: SEASON 4, THE WEST WING: SEASON 6. NOTE: Some studios have the nerve to market box sets of TV series containing episodes that were trimmed down by several minutes each for airing in syndication. Before laying down your money, make sure the box set includes the words “original and uncut.”