COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

By DNA Smith
PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Invictus” (PG-13) — Morgan Freeman stars as Nelson Mandela in this Clint Eastwood-directed look at the racially charged 1995 Rugby World Cup. Mandela had just recently been elected president of South Africa, and racial tensions (and the threat of civil war) loom large. Mandela hopes that the matches featuring his country’s racially mixed team will act as an example that whites and blacks can work together. Matt Damon co-stars as Franois Pienaar, the captain of the team, who must lead his players in the championship match against the highly favored New Zealand squad. “Invictus” is no “Million Dollar Baby,” but it’s still an Eastwood flick, so it’s well worth a look.

“Extraordinary Measures” (PG) — Harrison Ford stars as research doctor Robert Stonehill in this production that teeters awfully close to being a made-for-Lifetime TV disease of the week disaster. Stonehill has an experimental treatment that may save the lives of two terminally ill children. Brendan Fraser and Keri Russell co-star as the parents of the children who go to Extraordinary Measures to raise the money needed to support Stonehill’s research. If you’re looking for a cheap tearjerker, then look no further, Mr. Weepy Pants.

The Spy Next Door (PG) — Jackie Chan stars as a Chinese secret agent “on loan” to the CIA (stay with me, it gets dumber) who wants to give up the spy game in order to have a relationship with the single mom (Amber Valletta) who lives next door. When one of her kids accidentally grabs a super secret file from Chan’s computer, Chan has to protect them from evil Russian agents. Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez co-star … so, you know, Quality Comedy Backup, am I right?

I’m just gonna say this right now, ’cuz it has to be said: Jackie Chan needs to stop making action movies. It’s becoming painful and embarrassing to watch. He’s just too old. How old is Jackie? He knew General Tso before he became famous for his chicken. That’s how old he is. There. I feel better now.

DOG OF THE WEEK
“Valentine’s Day” (PG-13) — Director Garry Marshall assembles an all-star cast featuring Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel and Jessica Alba and then wastes their talents to make possibly the worst romantic comedy in the history of romcoms. The film is a rapid-fire series of vignettes of various couples spanning different target demographics in the hopes that someone somewhere will actually care about this lukewarm rehash of every chick-flick cliche in the book. Seriously, if your Significant Other makes you watch this turkey, make him or her your Insignificant Other and walk away from the relationship.

TV SERIES
“Breaking Bad” Complete Seasons 1-2
“Greatest American Hero” The Complete Series
“30 Days” The Complete Series
“The Jeff Dunham Show”
“21 Jump Street” Season Two
“Legend of Prince Valiant” The Complete 65 Episode Series
“Dragon Ball Z Kai” Season One, Part One
“Hunter: Season Two”
“The Barbara Stanwyck Show” Vol. 2

© 2010 King Features Synd., Inc.

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