By DNA Smith
“Watchmen” (Director’s Cut) — Based on the critically acclaimed and most-popular graphic novel of the past two decades, “Watchmen” combines the elements of a classic noir thriller with alternative history and superheroes to create a pop-culture pastiche that is both gripping and a visual delight.
Set in alternate 1985, President Nixon is in his fifth term; the Cold War is about to get hot; and someone has murdered The Comedian, a superhero who has been forced into retirement thanks to a law outlawing costumed crime-fighters.
The other superheroes think there may be a plot to exterminate the remaining crime-fighters, so one of them, Rorschach, a sadistic and mentally unstable hero whose mask is a white hood with an ever-changing ink blot, decides to investigate the Comedian’s murder — and gets more than he bargained for.
For non-comic-book fans, “Watchmen” may be a little difficult to get into at first, but I think the performances — especially that of Jackie Earle Haley (as Rorschach) and Carla Gugino — plus the special effects, will be enough to pull them in. Geeks like me, obviously, have already pre-ordered the movie.

“Coraline” (Two-Disc Collector’s Edition) — Based on the popular novella by Neil Gaiman, “Coraline” is a brilliant stop-motion animated film that is part “Alice in Wonderland,” part Tim Burton and a little Edgar Allen Poe.
“Coraline” is about a little girl named Coraline Jones who discovers a passage to an alternate world where there are bizarrely different versions of her parents and neighbors. At first it seems like a magical and wonderful place, until she discovers that her Other Mother is actually an evil witch who has imprisoned the souls of three children, taking their eyes with her as well.
Coraline must then find a way to recover the children’s eyes and transport their spirits back to the real world so they can travel to the afterlife.
“Coraline” is an amazing little film that is just so different and engaging that you can’t afford to miss it. For fans of the macabre, this is a must-have for your collection.

“Robot Chicken: Star Wars — Episode II”
“This American Life” Season Two
“Monk” Season Seven
“Pushing Daisies” The Complete Second Season
“Psych” The Complete Third Season
“Jon and Kate Plus Ei8ht” Season Four, Volume Two — The Big Move
“The Lucy Show” The Official First Season
“Charlie’s Angels” Complete Fourth Season
“Stargate SG-1: Children of the Gods”
“Prison Break: The Final Break”
“The Donna Reed Show” The Complete Second Season
© 2009 King Features Synd., Inc.