New in stores
The 40-Year-Old Virgin: Widescreen Unrated Edition (NR) Steve Carell, Catherine Keener, Paul Rudd, Romany Malco, Seth Rogen. Note that rating and review reflect the R-rated theatrical version. As you might expect, this R-rated title-explains-it-all comedy is packed with raunchy humor and explicit sexual references. But the movie is also a sweet story that will leave you feeling good. Director Judd Apatow (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy) and star Steve Carrell (Anchorman, The Daily Show) co-wrote the script, and the men were smart enough to realize that their film would be richer if they kept their characters and situations as real as possible. The result is a comedy that is funny, engaging and relatable. FYI: The chest and belly waxing scene is 100 percent real. Yikes. 115 minutes. DVD INFO: Three separately packaged DVDs are available: The Unrated Widescreen Edition preserves the original screen format, while the R and NR Fullscreen (aka pan & scan) versions hack off nearly a third of the picture. Shop carefully. Extras on the Unrated Widescreen Edition, which is 17 minutes longer than the theatrical version, include "You Know How I Know You're Gay?" (with optional commentaries); "Andy's Fantasies" (with optional commentaries); "Cal & Paula" (with optional commentaries); "Advice from Mooj"; deleted scenes (with optional commentaries); "Waxing Doc"; "Date-A-Palooza"; "Line-O-Rama"; "My Dinner with Stormy"; gag reel; plus audio commentary with director/co-writer Judd Apato and actor/co-writer Steve Carell. - EJO
The Bad News Bears (PG-13) Billy Bob Thornton, Greg Kinnear, Marcia Gay Harden, Timmy Deters. A fresh take on the irreverent 1976 comedy hit, The Bad News Bears follows a grizzled former minor league baseball player (Thornton) who is recruited to coach a woefully inept Little League team to a championship against their hated rivals, the Yankees. 114 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 by the director and co-screenplay writers; featurettes; deleted scenes; outtakes; and video baseball cards.
Frank Miller's Sin City: Recut, Extended, Unrated (NR) Jessica Alba, Benicio Del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis. Note rating and review reflect the R-rated theatrical version of the film. Sin City is film noir on steroids. Using the same combination of greenscreen and computer effects he employed in the Spy Kids series, moviemaker Robert Rodriguez takes the outrageously stylized panels from the Frank Miller graphic novels and animates them in all of their lurid glory. The film offers three stories packed with long shadows, wisecracking brutes, beautiful dames and a daunting atmosphere of fear and mistrust. Stylized, but explicit violence abounds - those with weak stomachs should be prepared to close their eyes and go, "Ewww!" a lot. 126 minutes. - EJO
The Island (PG-13) Ewan McGregor, Scarlett Johansson, Djimon Hounsou, Sean Bean, Steve Buscemi. Quasi sci-fi action blockbuster about escaped clones from Michael Bay, director of Armageddon, Pearl Harbor and other cheeseball opuses. The Island starts off with a highly derivative, but still intriguing premise, then devolves into a series of overblown chase scenes employing computer graphics, real-life stuntmen and massive sets, before wrapping up with some phenomenally implausible heroics. The movie gets the job done, but it requires that viewers are willing to turn off their brains. Absolutely. I'm not kidding here. You must question nothing, no matter how preposterous. The logic employed in this flick is as fragile as an Etch-a-Sketch landscape. Don't shake it up by thinking. 133 minutes. DVD INFO: No information available. - EJO
King Kong - Peter Jackson's Production Diaries (NR) Behind-the-scenes documentary about Peter Jackson's mammoth version of the Kong story. During production, Jackson and various cast members (including Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody and Jack Black) documented their experiences through 54 individual video diaries, offering an inside peek at how the epic tale evolved, from scratch through completion. 450 minutes, including bonus materials. DVD INFO: The two-disc limited edition (limited to several hundred thousand copies) gift box includes a 52-page scrapbook of drawings, photographs, images and notes from Peter Jackson; four exclusive production art prints; and, most importantly (get ready for this), a letter of authenticity.
Kronk's New Groove (G) Patrick Warburton, David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt. In this made-for-video sequel to The Emperor's New Groove, lovable lug Kronk (voiced by Warburton) is cooking up trouble with the sly enchantress Yzma (Kitt), trying to make himself look like a success in time for a visit from his father (John Mahoney). After a bunch of big blunders and a massive cheese explosion in the restaurant, Kronk finds himself covered in a heap of trouble. It is only with the help of friends both old and new that Kronk learns to be true to his groove. From Disney. 75 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes "Kronk's Brain Game," "Pyramid Scheme," plus a making-of featurette.
Roll Bounce (PG-13) Nick Cannon, Mike Epps, Lil Bow Wow, Chi McBride. Harmless roller disco period piece. A group of 1978 South Side Chicago teens compete in a big roller disco competition. Yes, the skating scenes are good (they're suppose to be) and the non-skating scenes are by-the-number coming-of-age conflicts. Boys and girls, vain and flashy favorites versus the working class underdogs, sons and fathers, you get the idea. Despite all this, compared to the actual films from the roller disco films of the day (Skatetown U.S.A., Roller Boogie and, yes, Xanadu), this film is the original Rollerball. 111 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 track from Epps, Lee and Bow Wow; a making-of featurette; deleted scenes; a soundtrack mini spot; a music video from Brooke Valentine with Fabolous and Yo-Yo; a gag reel; a 1970s-style featurette; and two newsreel clips packages from the pre-opening promotional tour. - Matthew Socey
The Yards: Director's Cut (R) Mark Wahlberg, Joaquin Phoenix, Charlize Theron, James Caan, Ellen Burstyn, Faye Dunaway. Crime thriller. Released from prison after taking the fall for a group of his friends, Leo Handler (Wahlberg) just wants to get his life back on track. But when he takes a job with his powerfully influential Uncle Frank (James Caan) and reconnects with his old friend Willie (Phoenix), Leo finds himself unwittingly drawn into a world of sabotage, high-stakes payoffs and even murder. Then, he discovers a secret that makes him the target of the city's most ruthless family - his own. 115 minutes. DVD INFO: Includes audio commentary by director James Gray and Steven Soderbergh; deleted scenes; roundtable discussion with Charlize Theron, Mark Wahlberg, James Caan and James Gray; "Visualizing The Yards"; behind-the-scenes featurette; plus original concept art.
ALSO ON DVD
A feast for fans of legendary B-movie maker Roger Corman with new special editions of the cult favorites BIG BAD MAMA (Angie Dickinson is armed and dangerous!), ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL (featuring the Ramones!) and DEATH RACE 2000 (hit-and-run driving as a national sport in the futuristic world of 2000!), not to mention the brand-new DINOCROC (It feeds on fear!). Plus, THE PRODUCERS: DELUXE EDITION (the original, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder), AIRPLANE: DON'T CALL ME SHIRLEY SPECIAL EDITION, GALLIPOLI: SPECIAL EDITION and NEXT STOP GREENWICH VILLAGE.
TV on DVD
THE SIMPSONS: SEASON 7 (woo-hoo!), THE DUKES OF HAZZARD: SEASON 5, FAMILY BONDS: SEASON 1, GILMORE GIRLS: SEASON 5, MIAMI VICE: SEASON 2, REBA: SEASON 2 and TOUR OF DUTY: THE COMPLETE SERIES. 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."