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DVD Release Preview for Fall

August 25, 2008

BY MELANIE ADDINGTON

(as printed in the Oxford Town)

This is the chance for a lot of us to see films that never made it on the big screen in Oxford and, for others, a chance to finally catch up on their favorite shows (I know I will be buying “Heroes season 2!”). The end of summer and beginning of fall (Aug. 26) brings us two very different films. “What Happens In Vegas” was the Ashton Kutcher-Cameron Diaz roman-tic comedy success of the summer. On the other end of the spectrum is Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden,” taking a look at our current foreign policy and worldview of America. No, he doesn’t find him, but it’s still worth the viewing.

To kick off September (2) is the release of Helen Hunt’s “Then She Found Me” about a schoolteacher whose life gets turned upside down. The film premiered at SXSW in March to mixed reviews. It is Hunt’s directorial debut and stars Colin Firth (“Bridget Jones Diary”). The following Tuesday is the release of Tina Fey’s “Baby Mama” about a woman who decides to hire a surrogate and hilarity ensues thanks to Amy Poehler (the baby mama).

The big release date is Sept. 16. First is “88 Minutes,” the Al Pacino thriller that didn’t exactly thrill critics during its theatrical release. Still, it’s Pacino, so how can you miss it? But if you just aren’t in the mood for a suspense action flick, then check out the fantastic independent film, “Kabluey.” Directed, written and starring Scott Prendergast, “Kabluey” won the Hoka for Best Feature at the 2008 Oxford Film Festival. This is one I will not rent. I will purchase it so I can watch and rewatch. “Made of Honor” starring Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan, the romantic comedy that did so-so at the box office also releases this day. As does “Snow Angels,” the beautiful story of relationships and their precarious nature. And if that is not enough for you, then “Speed Racer” also releases on Sept. 16, but I highly discourage anyone to waste their time. It will be on cable soon enough.

Mid-football season, “Leatherheads” will be avail-able (Sept. 23). The story of the early days of football (mid 1920s), the film stars George Clooney, Renee Zellweger, and John Krasinski (“The Office”). And ladies, if the origins of football are not your thing, then the always fabulous four New Yorkers of “Sex and the City” have their DVD release that day as well. And, to provide a little gender neutrality that week is the Simon Pegg comedy, “Run Fat Boy Run,” about a guy who decides to try and win a marathon to win back his girlfriend.

But the best was saved for the last of September when “Iron Man” and “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” come out on the 30th. “Iron Man” was the big hit of the summer until the Bat stole away his superhero prize. Starring Robert Downey, Jr., “Ironman” will be a must own. “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” will release a rated and unrated 3-disc version. Written and starring Jason Segal, the romantic comedy is a look at break-ups and risking your heart again. Plus, it’s just got plenty of dumb humor which made me love it.

“The Happening” comes out Oct. 7. M. Night Shyamalan’s environmental warning film. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it unless you are a severe Shyamalan junkie like myself. Thomas McCarthy’s beautiful independent film, “The Visitor” also comes out the same day. Go rent that and see what the talk is all about with McCarthy. He is definitely a talent to keep your eyes on. The film is about an economics professor that upon a chance brief encounter in New York and discovers a new life.

As we creep closer to Halloween, the horror movies become readily available. The best of the batch starts us off on the 14th with Gregg Bishop’s zombie flick, “Dance of the Dead.” I have seen this movie three times and I can’t get enough of it. For a campy-zombies-attack-the-prom-plot, the movie is chock full of some very well choreographed scenes and fun new approaches to zombies. Plus, the entire cast and crew is from the Atlanta area – so support Southern filmmakers and buy the film!

Oct. 21 is “The Strangers” release starring Liv Tyler. I heard mixed reviews about the film, but the premise is good – and right before Halloween, it might be worth the rental.

Oct. 28 is “Zombie Strippers,” another campy but slightly dirtier zombie film than the previous.

Not too many November and December DVD releases have been announced yet, but Dec. 9 is set for “Horton Hears A Who.” The Dr. Seuss book come to life with the help of Jim Carrey as the elephant that discovers the tiny world of the Whos. For a complete overview of DVD releases each week, visit my blog on Mondays, www.oxfordfilmfreak.wordpress.com.

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