Video Verdict: New DVDs for Sept. 23

It’s a good week for comedy, with George Clooney, Simon Pegg and Danny McBride all offering films designed to make us laugh. What’s more, the “Sex & the City” movie has fashion fans everywhere drooling in their cosmos.

Sex and the City
3 stars (out of four)
Rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity and language
New Line
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray

After knocking people out for years on HBO, “Sex and the City” made a successful trip to the big screen this year. And why not? The movie version of “SATC” is a solid relationship drama featuring strong performances in all key roles.

Sarah Jessica Parker is Carrie Bradshaw, a fashion-loving writer who is about to settle down with her on-again-off-again boyfriend “Mr. Big” (Chris Noth). And, because you can’t have a wedding without friends, Carrie’s TV series pals are on hand to help her prepare.

There’s Samantha (Kim Cattrall), the sex addict; Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), the hard-working attorney; and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), the stay-at-home mom. Although the movie is built around Carrie’s impending marriage to Big, each lady gets a complete story arc. That makes the film longwinded, but the solid performances overshadow all dead spots.

Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with the series. Writer-director Patrick King crafted a story that allows viewers to quickly “get” each character, so newcomers and longtime fans can watch and enjoy together.

The movie is available on a single DVD or on a 2-disc special edition featuring an extended cut. Extra features vary.

3 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray

George Clooney can’t seem to do wrong, at least not in the entertainment field. He’s been a fine actor for years, and with 2002’s “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and 2005’s “Good Night, and Good Luck” he proved an adept director.

In “Leatherheads,” he stars and directs, handling both roles beautifully. The film is a throwback to 1930s and 1940s screwball comedies, with Clooney playing Jimmy “Dodge” Connelly, an aging football player trying to keep his professional team afloat during the uncertainty of the 1920s.

Desperate, Dodge hires college football’s biggest star, Carter Rutherford (John Krasinski). His plan works, but it also sparks a classic love triangle, as Dodge and Carter both fall for a no-nonsense reporter played by Renee Zellweger.

“Leatherheads” is essentially an homage to Golden Era movies so it plays like a film made 60 years ago. The dialogue is sharp and the performances stylized, making it perfect for folks who love classic cinema and long walks down memory lane.

DVD extras include deleted scenes, a commentary with Clooney and producer Grant Heslov and several making-of features.

2 stars
Rated R for sexual content, language, brief violence and some drug use
20th Century Fox
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray

One would think a thriller centered on executive sex clubs would be too titillating to fail, but “Deception” is surprisingly bland. Ewan McGregor stars as Jonathan McQuarry, a hard-working accountant who is so immersed in numbers that he doesn’t have a social life. That changes when he meets Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman), a smooth-talking businessman who knows how to live it up.

When Jonathan mistakenly ends up with Wyatt’s phone, he’s introduced to a club where business people routinely hook up for commitment- and guilt-free sex. Jonathan is intrigued but realizes he’s not cut out for such a radical lifestyle when he meets a beautiful blonde (Michelle Williams) that he wants to start a relationship with. Before he can go any further, he learns that he’s been sucked into a radical blackmail scheme with the girl, millions of dollars and his life at stake.

The premise of “Deception” is decent, but director Marcel Langenegger telegraphs several key plot twists, leaving viewers with a thriller that forgets to thrill.

DVD features include deleted scenes, a making-of short, and a commentary by Langenegger.

Run, Fatboy, Run
3 stars
Rated PG-13 for some rude and sexual humor, nudity, language and smoking
New Line
Available on: DVD, Blu-ray

What happens when a middle-aged Brit realizes he made a mistake by running out on his pregnant girlfriend? He tries to make up for it — and prove that he can commit — by competing in the ultimate athletic event, a marathon.

Things would have been easier for Dennis Doyle (Simon Pegg) if he had stuck with his girl (Thandie Newton), especially since she is now involved with a handsome American named Whit (Hank Azaria). But simplicity doesn’t suit a good romantic comedy, and “Fatboy” is good.

Pegg is so winning that he keeps viewer interest even when the plot becomes routine, and his supporting cast — especially Harish Patel as Dennis’ landlord and coach — is equally strong.

Special DVD features include a filmmakers’ commentary, deleted scenes and outtakes.

The Foot Fist Way
1 1/2 stars
Rated R for strong language and some sexual content
Available on: DVD

Danny McBride is no household name, but recent appearances in “Pineapple Express” and “Tropic Thunder” are putting him on the map. While he was a supporting player in those big-budget flicks, he is the main man in “The Foot Fist Way,” an independent comedy about Fred Simmons, a moronic tae kwon do instructor.

As Simmons, McBride is the worst possible leader, speaking to his young students in an inappropriate manner, running down their self esteem, and even placing them in physical danger. The concept has comic value, especially since there are martial arts instructors who have no business working with children. Unfortunately, the gags aren’t consistent enough to merit a recommendation.

DVD extras include bloopers, deleted and extended scenes, an alternate ending and a commentary by McBride and director Jody Hill.


The Godfather — The Coppola Restoration Collection: Might this be an offer you can’t refuse? Classic gangster films “The Godfather” and “The Godfather, Part II” have been painstakingly restored to provide better picture quality, and “The Godfather, Part III” has been digitally remastered for DVD. The films, which are frequently ranked among the best in American cinema, are also available on Blu-ray for the first time.

Reno 911!: Miami — More Busted Than Ever! Unrated Cut: New release of the “Reno 911!” movie featuring an unrated cut and a new “lost” version.

High School Musical 2 — 2-Disc Deluxe Dance Edition: The popular youth-friendly movie gets a new DVD treatment with never-before-seen extra features.

Leave a comment

Filed under Video Verdict

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s