New on DVD and Blu-ray:

”THE BOX,” starring Cameron Diaz and James Marsden. Writer-director Richard Kelly continues to squander the considerable benefit of the doubt he achieved with 2001’s enigmatic but intriguing ”Donnie Darko.” Here, as in his second effort, ”Southland Tales,” you’re likely to find yourself more frustrated than entertained. A couple (Diaz and Marsden) are approached by a sinister stranger (Frank Langella, lending the proceedings some class) with a box, attached to which is a button that, when pressed, will grant the couple a million dollars but will also end the life of someone they don’t know. An intriguing premise (loosely based on an old ”Twilight Zone” episode and a short story by Richard Matheson) begets some effectively creepy moments, but ultimately only Kelly really knows what he’s going for here. All the same, one gets the impression that time will be kind to Kelly’s stylish head-scratchers, and a devoted cult following is all but assured. Special features include an interview with Matheson. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, some violence and disturbing images. Running time: 1:55.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99.


”THE INFORMANT!” starring Matt Damon and Scott Bakula. Ever-unpredictable filmmaker Steven Soderbergh (”The Girlfriend Experience”) gives Damon a prime opportunity to show off his considerable but too rarely exhibited comic chops. In this uncomfortably hilarious and fact-based tale, Damon plays Mark Whitacre, vice president of one of the largest corporations in America, who agrees to wear a wire to help the FBI (well represented here by Bakula of ”Quantum Leap” and Joel McHale of ”Community”) crack down on corruption in his company. His attempts to pull one over on both sides of the law make for fascinatingly cringe-worthy viewing, the type of anything-goes entertainment Soderbergh does so well. Special features include additional scenes. Rated R for language. Running time: 1:48.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99.


”SORORITY ROW,” starring Briana Evidgan and Rumer Willis. Not half-bad remake of the 1983 slasher ”The House on Sorority Row,” with a fair amount of decent gags strewn about the usual blood, guts and co-eds. Special props to director Stewart Hendler (”Whisper”) for having the good sense to cast the great Carrie Fisher as the house mother. Special features include cast interviews and outtakes. Rated R for strong bloody violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and partying. Running time: 1:41.

Suggested retail price: DVD $26.99; Blu-ray $34.99.


”TRAILER PARK BOYS: COUNTDOWN TO LIQUOR DAY,” starring Robb Wells and John Paul Tremblay. The best Canadian import since hockey, ”TPB” generally manages to find the perfect mix of high- and lowbrow, following the colorful misadventures of its titular denizens and their questionable yet highly entertaining pursuits. An ideal way to bring the show’s seven-year run to a close while still managing to remain accessible to those who haven’t seen it.

Special features include deleted scenes and a making-of featurette. Rated R for pervasive language and drug content.

Suggested retail price: DVD $24.99; Blu-ray $29.99.

New on DVD:

”EVERYBODY’S FINE,” starring Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore. De Niro makes up for nearly a decade of mostly lackluster performances with his turn as a widower attempting to reconnect with his children in this sincere and affecting film from writer-director Kirk Jones (the excellent ”Waking Ned Devine”). Rounding out the cast as De Niro’s children are Barrymore, Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale and Austin Lysy (”Hitch”). That rare tearjerker that comes by its waterworks honestly, ”Everybody’s Fine” is a refreshingly earnest family drama that is well worth checking out. Special features include deleted scenes. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and brief strong language. Running time: 1:39.

Suggested retail price: $29.99.


”JERSEY SHORE: SEASON 1 UNCENSORED,” starring Julissa Bermudez and Pauly Del Vecchio. Either the best reality show in years or a grievous insult to the Italian race and humankind in general (depending on whom you ask), MTV’s undeniably entertaining account of eight young people indulging in the various excesses available to them in scenic Seaside Heights definitely has people talking. Whether or not that’s a good thing is best left to the individual viewer to decide. Not rated, contains nonstop profanity, drinking and sexual content. Running time: 7:20.

Suggested retail price: $29.95.


”NIGHT COURT: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON,” starring Harry Anderson and Markie Post. Once considered the raciest show on TV, the courtroom hijinks on this highly enjoyable ’80s sitcom now seem positively quaint. Amiably wacky throughout, the third season is most notable for the addition of the beautiful and bountifully coiffed Markie Post as attorney Christine Sullivan, but as always, the entire cast (including judge/comedian Harry Anderson, Emmy winner John Larroquette and bizarre bailiff Richard Moll) is a lot of fun. Not rated, contains mild language and crude humor. Running time: 7:46.

Suggested retail price: $29.98.


New on Blu-ray:

”THE CRAZIES,” starring Lane Carroll and W.G. McMillan. Released in tandem with the upcoming (and sure to be inferior) remake, this 1973 thriller from the great George Romero (”Night of the Living Dead”) concerns a Pennsylvanian town infected by a virus that either results in instant death or severe insanity, and the military’s generally unsuccessful attempts to get control of the situation. As is always the case with Romero, there are laughs to be had amidst the carnage, and a sly current of social commentary beneath it all. Special features include a commentary from Romero and TV spots. Rated R for bloody violence and language. Running time: 1:43.

Suggested retail price: $29.95.


”GRUMPY OLD MEN”/ ”GRUMPIER OLD MEN,” starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The comfortably crotchety bickerings and one-upmanship between the Minnesotan octogenarians of the title arrive on Blu-ray this week. Not the formidable duo’s most dignified moment, but a lot of fun all the same. Rated PG-13 for sexual references. Running time: 1:43.

Suggested retail price: $24.98.


Videoport picks:

”DEAD SNOW (DOD SNO),” starring Vegar Hoel and Stig Frode Henriksen. Those viewers who felt ”Inglourious Basterds” and ”Zombieland” would have benefited from being squashed into one insane movie (we know you’re out there) will have found their new favorite film in ”Dead Snow.” It’s an agreeably unhinged horror comedy that drops a group of young medical students in the middle of a snowy Norwegian forest in a rundown cabin, and as if that weren’t bad enough, foists a mob of Nazi zombies on them. Skimping on neither laughs nor gore, ”Snow” looks great considering its relatively low budget, and is far and away this week’s best bet for viewers looking to shut their brain off and laugh incredulously for an hour and a half. Not rated, contains language, sexual content, thematic material and gore. Running time: 1:31.

Suggested retail price: DVD $24.98; Blu-ray $29.98.


”NURSE JACKIE: SEASON ONE,” starring Edie Falco and Haaz Sleiman. The next step in Showtime’s thus far seemingly legitimate quest to become the top name in made-for-cable entertainment, ”Nurse Jackie” purloins the best part of HBO’s former best show, Edie Falco of ”The Sopranos,” and gives her center stage as an incredibly talented but morally unsteady nurse. Able to broach situation and topics that network medical dramas such as ”ER” and ”Grey’s Anatomy” wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot hypodermic, ”Jackie” fits right in with Showtime’s lineup of singular dark comedies, and only gets better as the season progresses. Not rated, contains graphic medical footage, language, sexual content and drug use. Running time: 6:00.

Suggested retail price: DVD $39.98; Blu-ray $39.99.

— Courtesy of Videoport


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