COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Brad Pitt, Laramie Eppler

PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Horrible Bosses” (R) — When three friends share the same cup of sadness, it can be uplifting — unless they’re all sharing the desire to murder their bosses, then it’s comedy gold. It may sound like dark and rocky territory for laughs, but it’s expertly navigated by the freshly minted comedy trio of Jason Bateman, Charley Day and “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jason Sudeikis. Once they’re all on-screen, it seems like simple comedy chemistry to get these three in the same room together.

The aforementioned maligned bosses also are well-cast, as Jennifer Aniston, Colin Farrel and Kevin Spacey are each hilariously hate-able. Now we can only hope that the trio who put in the hours will get the A-list promotion they each deserve.

“The Tree of Life” (R) — Easily the most divisive movie of the summer, “The Tree of Life” is either a bold vision or a murky head-scratcher of a film. From the outside, it looks like a daddy-issue drama with Brad Pitt as the complicated Midwestern father and Sean Penn as the mixed-up grownup looking back on his upbringing. What audiences will get is a meditation on the nature of the universe — from the beginning of time to the existential angst of modernity.

The scope of the film fluctuates from cosmic down to deeply personal, and the narrative skips through time at its own pace. Whether this makes “The Tree of Life” brilliant or just hard to follow, it’s certainly not conventional storytelling. The film should be checked out with an open mind.

DOG OF THE WEEK
“Green Lantern” (PG-13) — DC Comics’ latest champion to step into the big-screen foray is the Green Lantern, a hero with alien powers derived from bravery and willpower. Cocky test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) is the first human ever inducted into the intergalactic peacekeeping force know as the Green Lantern Corps. He’s unique from a Superman or a Batman, so why does this superhero movie feel so … familiar and unexciting?

Whatever the cause, “Green Lantern” feels like a bright green projection of wasted potential. Anyone who isn’t a diehard comic fan might wonder what’s the point in all this green silliness.

CULT CORNER
“Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky” [Blu-ray] (Not rated) — Ricky is an honest young martial artist who has never-quite-explained superhuman strength — he doesn’t punch criminals, he punches through them. In a prison owned and operated by an organized crime ring, it’s up to him to solve problems with outlandish violence. In its first release on Blu-ray, adequately desensitized fans finally can soak in every drop of the absurdity.

TV RELEASES
“Chuck: The Complete Fourth Season”
“Workaholics: Season One”
“Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1 V.1”
“Bones: The Complete Sixth Season”

© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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