COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

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Joseph Gordon Levitt, Scarlett Johansson in “Don Jon”

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PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Don Jon” (R) — Jon Martello (Joseph Gordon Levitt) is as buff and tan as he is shallow and vain. The loud-mouthed young man is dubbed “Don Jon” by his friends for his abilities to seduce pretty ladies every weekend. He’s finally challenged by a gorgeous gal (Scarlett Johansson) who won’t “give it up” on the first date. You may think an adorable relationship is blossoming, but they have to get over their respective media delusions: She wants the saccharine romance of terrible romcoms, and he’s addicted to adult entertainment.

This is the directorial debut for Joseph Gordon Levitt — who also wrote the script and took the title role. He’s shown himself to be a capable commander in the director’s chair. There is plenty to dislike about the lead roles, but they somehow come across as charming human beings.

“Last Love” (NR) — Mr. Morgan (Michael Caine) is a crusty old American philosophy professor lamenting his golden years alone in Paris. His hobbies include being alone and talking to his deceased wife. In a chance meeting on a crowded bus, he meets Pauline (Clemence Poesy), an adorable dance instructor who helps Mr. Morgan come to grips with this phase of his life. Add two unaffectionate adult children, and the late-in-life romance is completed with a touch of family drama.

It’s hard to say if much happens in the nearly two-hour-long runtime of the film. While Caine, Poesy and the adult children (Michael Kirk and Gillian Anderson) deliver decent performances, the story doesn’t supply enough drama for the relationships to shine.

“Sweetwater” (R) — In a sun-scorched corner of the Wild West, the dullest revenge story ever told slowly unwraps. Sarah (January Jones of TV’s “Mad Men”) is a reformed prostitute living the frontier life. A local preacher (Jason Isaacs) — crooked as they come — commands the town’s thugs to carry out his will. The best part of the film is the underutilized Ed Harris, playing an eccentric lawman investigating the preacher. For a rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ good time, do not hitch your wagon to this lame horse.

“CBGB” (R) — How can a movie about the cradle of American punk rock be so sweet and tame? That’s the problem in this low-volume tribute to the NYC bar where many an act — including The Ramones and Blondie — tuned their guitars and blew minds. Alan Rickman delivers an underwhelming performance as the bar’s proprietor. The majority of the film involves semi-famous young actors portraying famous music acts, with little edge or insight. Yep, those guys sure are dressed up like The Ramones. The final nail in the coffin is the music scenes — all of the performances are lip-synched to famous recordings, destroying any illusion of energetic live performances.

TV RELEASES
“Perry Mason Movie Collection Volume 1”
“Wolfblood: Season 1”
“WWE: Best Pay-Per-View Matches 2013”
“Watercolor Techniques — Wet Glazing”

© 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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