COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

Daniel Radcliffe

PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows: Part 2” (PG-13) — The forces of evil are in full swing, and it’s up to Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his wizard friends to bring the final confrontation to Voldemort and save the world. Seeds planted long ago come to full fruition, as the children cast in the original films have all grown into talented performers, capable of handling the more intense drama of the final films.

What you probably saw in the previews was a lot of dirt-stained youths looking serious spliced with darkened images of computer-generated destruction. While this is indicative of the cataclysmic action in the movie, it leaves out the emotional climaxes in the story — it’s not all gloom and lightning bolts.

“Life in a Day” (PG-13) — If YouTube and the “It’s a Small World After All” ride could be combined into a motion picture, it would this jumbled, yet touching collective documentary. Produced by Ridley Scott and directed by Kevin Macdonald, more than 4,500 hours of footage from people around the world all going about their lives on the same day is assembled into a single movie about living on Earth.

It’s grand in scope and perhaps a little gimmicky, but there is something — however shallow or profound — to see here. Specific segments will strike a chord while others will simply bore. However, it’s the contrast between segments and the heartwarming similarities between different lives that gives the documentary its true energy.

DOGS OF THE WEEK
“The Change-Up” (R) — This here is a body-swap comedy that will certainly go down as one of the many unpleasant and forgettable body-swap comedies. Jason Bateman plays a guy with a family and responsibilities; Ryan Reynolds is a swinging bachelor who still feels unfulfilled. The two slightly different pals swap lives through the supernatural forces of dull cinematic cliches.

The novelty of this movie is that it has a perfect display of Hollywood’s new favorite failure — the no-laugh gross-out gag. It’s been an escalating trend that gross humor has a place in all adult comedies. This means that the audience can see a baby spray fecal matter all over a protagonist before the opening credits, and thus have low expectations secured throughout the remainder of the experience.

“Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” (PG-13) — Author Ayn Rand’s novel about powerful thinkers going against the grain makes it to the big-screen. Too bad it has the looks of a made-for-TV affair. With a “no talent, no problem” cast and amateurish direction, any philosophical content could be missed between eye-rolls. The film portends to be the first in a trilogy, but it could be getting ahead of itself in that regard.

TV RELEASES
“Law & Order: The Complete Series”
“Doctor Who: The Sixth Series, Part 2”
“The Wild Thornberrys: Season Two, Part One”
“True Crime Series Volume 1: Secrets, Sins and Stalkers”

© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.

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