March 9, 2010 - New DVD and Video Releases:
John Travolta and Robin Williams star in this family comedy released by Disney. Longtime best friends Charlie (Travolta) and Dan (Williams) are unmarried middle-aged guys who enjoy not having to deal with any kids in their lives. But their world is turned upside down when Dan's ex-wife (Kelly Preston) has to serve two weeks in jail, and Dan must take care of their seven-year-old twins. Charlie gets drafted into helping out his old pal, and slapstick and sight gags ensue. Misadventures include a camping trip, a goofy golf outing and a zoo visit that goes awry.
This family-oriented animated cartoon is basically a spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies. Voices heard include those of Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, Justin Long, Jessica Biel and Seann William Scott. The story takes place on faraway Planet 51, which is a lot like the 1950s US, except it is populated with little green humanoids having antennas and webbed feet. The humanoids go into a state of high anxiety when an American astronaut (voiced by Johnson) lands, and a general and a mad scientist set out to get him. But the astronaut is helped by a nerdy teenage humanoid (voiced by Long).
Set in 1987 Harlem, this is a grim, edgy drama. The main character is an overweight 16-year-old African-American girl named Precious Jones (newcomer Gabourey Sidibe in a fine performance). Her father has impregnated her twice, one of the kids having Down syndrome. Also, she is emotionally abused by her mother (Mo'Nique in a brilliant performance). Furthermore, Precious is illiterate, but she does get into a special program that gradually makes some headway with that problem, improving her self-esteem. Mariah Carey appears in a supporting role as a social worker.
Nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, this nonformulaic mix of comedy and drama stars George Clooney. He and his two costars, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, all received Oscar nominations for their performances. The story centers on Ryan Bingham (Clooney), who gets paid to tell people in face-to-face meetings that they're being laid off. He flies from city to city, spending nearly all his time in airplanes, airports and hotels. He likes the lifestyle, but his outlook is affected in different ways by two women (Farmiga and Kendrick) who come into his life.