Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) are lazy hunter-gatherer cavemen banished from their tribe who stumble out of the mountains into an epic journey of biblical proportions. One's a bumbling hunter, the other's a gentle gatherer; together, they become unlikely participants in history's most pivotal moments. Vitals: Director: Harold Ramis. Stars: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Hank Azaria, David Cross, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd.
2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $41.880 million, Sony.
My Life in Ruins
Nia Vardalos ("My Big Fat Greek Wedding") stars as Georgia, a discouraged single woman looking for a way to reconnect with her soul and find her kefi -- Greek for "mojo." Working as a tour guide in her native country, she leads a motley group of eccentric and crass tourists on a dilapidated tour bus through Ancient Greece, while waiting to land her dream job as a history professor. Georgia is fed up and ready to give up -- until her new confidant Irv (Richard Dreyfuss) opens her eyes and heart to a simple fact: There's no finer way for a woman to find her kefi than to lose herself in the arms of the "Greek god" (Alexis Georgoulis) who's been hiding right under her nose.
Vitals: Director: Donald Petrie. Stars: Nia Vardalos, Richard Dreyfuss, Alexis Georgoulis, Rachel Dratch, Harland Williams, Maria Adanez, Maria Botto, Alistair McGowan.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 95 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $8.631 million, Fox.
Eddie Murphy comedy about a powerful financial executive, whose career was sent spiraling down the drain due to sudden lack of confidence, finds the answers to his inexplicable setback in an imaginary world dreamt up by his young daughter.
Vitals: Director: Karey Kirkpatrick. Stars: Eddie Murphy, Thomas Haden Church, Nicole Ari Parker, James Patrick Stuart, Vanessa Williams, Larramie Doc Shaw, Robb Derringer.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 107 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $15.972 million, Paramount.
Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) terrorizes her publishing house co-workers with her abrasive, take-no-prisoners management style, especially her overworked assistant Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). But when Margaret is threatened with deportation to her native Canada because of an immigration technicality, the quick-thinking exec announces that she and Andrew are engaged to be married. Ambitious Andrew agrees to go along with her scheme -- if there;s a long-awaited promotion in it for him. Everything goes according to Margaret's plan, until an overzealous immigration official makes it his business to prove that the couple's engagement is bogus. To demonstrate her commitment to her new fiance, Margaret agrees to celebrate the 90th birthday of his colorful grandmother (Betty White) in Alaska. The editor's type-A ways put her at odds with her eccentric future in-laws with hilarious consequences, until the Paxtons teach Margaret a thing or two about family.
Vitals: Director: Anne Fletcher. Stars: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Malin Akerman, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Oscar Nunez, Betty White, Dennis O'Hare.
2008, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 107 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $154.751 million, Disney.
Land of the Lost
On his latest expedition, Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is sucked into a space-time vortex alongside his research assistant and a redneck survivalist. In this alternate universe, the trio make friends with a primate named Chaka, their only ally in a world full of dinosaurs and other fantastic creatures. Based on the classic television series created by Sid & Marty Krofft. Vitals: Director: Brad Silberling. Stars: Will Ferrell, Danny McBride, Anna Friel, Jorma Taccone.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min., Fantasy-Comedy, Box office gross: $49.392 million, Universal.
Drag Me to Hell
Christine Brown (Alison Lohman) is an ambitious L.A. loan officer with a charming boyfriend and a good life until the mysterious Mrs. Ganush arrives at the bank to beg for an extension on her home loan. Instead of following her instincts and giving the old woman a break, she denies the extension to impress her boss and get a leg-up on a promotion. Bad decision. In retaliation, the old woman places the powerful curse of the Lamia on Christine, transforming her life into a living hell. Haunted by an evil spirit and misunderstood by her skeptical boyfriend, she seeks the aid of seer Rham Jas to save her soul from eternal damnation. To help the shattered Christine return her life to normal, the psychic sets her on a frantic course to reverse the spell. As evil forces close in, Christine must face the unthinkable: how far will she go to break free of the curse? Vitals: Director: Sam Raimi. Stars: Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Jessica Lucas, Lorna Raver, David Paymer, Adriana Barraza, Fernanda Romero, Reggie Lee.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 99 min., Horror, Box office gross: $42.057 million, Universal.
Atom Egoyan's "Adoration" speaks to our connections -- with each other, with our family history, with technology and with the modern world. A high school French teacher gives her class a translation exercise based on a real news story about a terrorist who plants a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend. The assignment has a profound effect on one student, Simon, who lives with his uncle. In the course of translating the assignment, Simon re-imagines that the news item is his own family's story, with the terrorist standing in for his father. Years ago, Simon's father crashed the family car, killing himself and his wife, making Simon an orphan. Simon has always feared that the accident was intentional. Simon reads his version to the class and then takes it to the Internet. In essence he has created a false identity that allows him to probe his family secret. As Simon uses his new persona to journey deeper into his past, the public reaction is swift and strong. Then an exotic woman revels her true identity and the truth about Simon's family emerges. Vitals: Director: Atom Egoyan. Stars: Arsinee Khanjian, Scott Speedman, Rachel Blanchard, Devon Bostick.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $.271 million, Sony.
Every Little Step
Documentary captures the magic of Broadway snash hit "A Chorus Line" by following auditions and casting of the successful 2006 stage revival, while at the same time exploring the history the musical, from late director-choreographer Michael Bennett's ground-breaking concept of inviting Broadway chorus performers to tell their real stories, to the show becoming an international phenomenon from the 1970s through the 1990s. "Every Little Step" not only compares and contrasts the original musical with the 2006 revival, it also takes viewers behind the scenes for actual auditions (including peeks at many of the show's beloved song and dance numbers), as well as candid interviews with hopeful performers and those who decide their fate.
Vitals: Director:Adam Del Deo
James D. Stern. 2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 93 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $1.689 million, Sony.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
In this blockbuster sequel,
Decepticon forces return to Earth on a mission to take Sam Witwicky prisoner, after the young hero learns the truth about the ancient origins of the Transformers. Joining the mission to protect humankind is Optimus Prime, who forms an alliance with international armies for a second epic battle. After returning to Cybertron, Starscream assumes command of the Decepticons, and has decided to return to Earth with force. The Autobots, believing that peace was possible, find out that Megatron's dead body has been stolen from the U.S. Military by Skorpinox. Now Megatron is back, seeking revenge and with Starscream and more Decepticon reinforcements on the way, the Autobots -- with reinforcements of their own -- may have more to deal with then meets the eye. Vitals: Director: Michael Bay. Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, John Turturro, Isabel Lucas, Rainn Wilson.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 147 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $396.758 million, Paramount.
An adaptation of Colette's 1920 novel that takes place in late 19th Century Paris -- La Belle Epoque -- where numerous courtesans (or female companions of noblemen who occupied the royal courts) have worked their ways up through the ranks of high society. Two retired courtesans, Charlotte Peloux (Kathy Bates) and Lea (Michelle Pfeiffer) meet for some routine gossip; Lea then meets Charlotte's hedonistic, playboy son, nicknamed "Cheri" (Rupert Friend) and a passionate, erotic affair blossoms for the next six years between Lea and Cheri. Eventually, Charlotte makes an aggressive attempt to interfere with the situation by setting up an arranged marriage between Cheri and the virginal, 18-year-old Emee (Felicity Jones), the daughter of another ex-courtesan, Marie-Laure (Iben Hjejle). Lea feels irritated, and responds by seeking out young male lovers during a vacation in Biarritz, but the attached Cheri is not far behind, and in seemingly no time at all the two resume their bedroom liaisons.
Vitals: Director: Stephen Frears. Stars: Michelle Pfeiffer, Kathy Bates, Rupert Friend, Iben Hjejle, Felicity Jones.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Drama, Box office gross: $2.864 million, Miramax.
Ice Age 3 Dawn of the Dinosaurs
The loveable characters from the two previous "Ice Age" adventures are back. Scrat is still trying to nab the ever-elusive nut (while maybe finding true love); Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah) await the birth of their mini-mammoth, Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth gets into trouble when he creates his own makeshift family by hijacking some dinosaur eggs; and Diego (Denis Leary), the saber-toothed tiger, wonders if he's growing too "soft" hanging with his pals. On a mission to rescue the hapless Sid, the gang ventures into a mysterious underground world where they have some close encounters with dinosaurs, battle flora and fauna that have run amuck -- and meet a relentless, one-eyed, dino-hunting weasel named Buck.
Vitals: Director: Carlos Saldanha. Stars: Voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Simon Pegg.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 93 min., Animated, Box office gross: $192,388, million, Fox.
Woody Allen returns to his native New York (after several films in Europe) for this offbeat comedy about finding love in unexpected places. An eccentric, upper class New Yorker (Larry David) abandons his comfortable lifestyle in favor of leading a more Bohemian existence. After meeting a young Southern girl, he discovers that life among the nonconformists isn't quite as carefree as he'd envisioned it to be. And when the girl's uptight parents arrive in New York to rescue her, they are quickly drawn into wildly unexpected romantic entanglements. Vitals: Director: Woody Allen. Stars: Larry David, Evan Rachel Wood, Patricia Clarkson, Ed Begley Jr., Henry Cavill, Michael McKean.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $5.183 million, Sony.
An outwardly angelic little girl displays an unforeseen devilish streak when she moves into the home of her new adoptive parents. In the aftermath of a miscarriage, prospective parents Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) find their lives turned upside down; their marriage is falling apart, and the demons of Kate's past begin manifesting themselves in a series of horrifying nightmares. Deciding that the best means of achieving some semblance of normalcy is to simply adopt, the dejected couple visits a local orphanage. There, they are drawn to a 9-year-old girl named Esther. But Esther isn't as sweet as first impressions suggest, and almost immediately after welcoming the young child into their home, Kate and John suspect that something is terribly wrong. Kate can see right through Esther's seraphic charm, though her attempts to convince everyone else of the truth go unheeded by her skeptical family and friends. By the time anyone bothers to take Kate seriously, it may be too late.
Vitals: Director: Jaume Collet-Serra. Stars: Peter Sarsgaard, Vera Farmiga, Isabelle Fuhrman, Jimmy Bennett, Lorry Ayers.
2009, CC, MPAA rating: R, 105 min., Horror, Box office gross: $41.038 million, Warner.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.