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Kicks in Mamet's martial arts flick

August 24, 2008|Noel Murray

Redbelt

Sony, $24.99; Blu-Ray, $38.96

Though the description “David Mamet martial arts movie” sounds about as sensible as "Woody Allen splatter flick," Mamet's "Redbelt" works quite well both as a study of the art of the con and as a visceral punch-'em-up. Chiwetel Ejiofor plays an idealistic mixed martial arts instructor who gets involved in a complicated case of intellectual property theft involving a Hollywood star (played by Tim Allen) and a network of shady business folk (including heavies played by Mamet regulars Ricky Jay and Joe Mantegna). As always with Mamet, the twists are a little ridiculous and the acting style is distractingly wooden, but it's still fun to spend time in his world. The DVD is appropriately spare, including only a short behind-the-scenes featurette.

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What Happens in Vegas

20th Century Fox, $29.99/$34.98; Blu-Ray, $39.98

"What Happens in Vegas" casts Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher as vacationers who get married in a drunken haze, then find themselves in joint possession of a jackpot fortune. It takes about a third of this jangled, shrill movie before the premise kicks in, which wouldn't be a problem if the company weren't so unpleasant. The special edition DVD adds a commentary track by director Tom Vaughan, short jokey interviews with Kutcher and Diaz and meta-featurettes hosted by the movie's comic sidekicks Zach Galifianakis and Rob Corddry.

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Where in the World

Is Osama bin Laden?

The Weinstein Co., $24.95

As entertaining as it was to watch Morgan Spurlock eat himself sick in the McDonald's-bashing stunt-doc "Super Size Me," very little in that film could pass for cogent social commentary. Yet "Super Size Me" is practically a George Will editorial compared to "Where in the World Is Osama bin Laden?," a glib look at the culture of terrorism that sees Spurlock traveling the world in an attempt to learn why we're all trying to kill each other. Higher production values and cutesy animation make the project look even shallower, though the worst offender is Spurlock's faux-naif persona. Oddly enough, the DVD includes some down-to-earth deleted scenes that hint at the more honest, probing film Spurlock could've made.

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And...

"Chicago 10" (Paramount, $29.98); "Delicatessen: Special Edition" (Lions Gate, $19.98); "The Duchess of Duke Street: The Complete Collection" (Acorn Media, $99.99); "Entourage: The Complete Fourth Season" (HBO, $39.98); "Heroes: Season 2" (Universal, $39.98; Blu-Ray, $69.98); "Postal" (Vivendi, $26.99; Blu-Ray, $34.99); "Purple Violets" (The Weinstein Co., $19.98); "The Rape of Europa" (Menemsha, $29.95)

-- Noel Murray

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