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DVD / NEW THIS WEEK

'The Proposal' amusingly turns tables

Also new: 'Adoration,' 'Drag Me to Hell,' 'Land of the Lost.'

October 11, 2009|Noel Murray

The Proposal

Touchstone, $29.99/$39.99; Blu-ray, $44.99

"The Proposal" offers an overdue twist on the older guy-younger gal romantic comedy dynamic by making Sandra Bullock the "older guy." Bullock plays a high-powered book editor who coerces her ambitious assistant (played by Ryan Reynolds) into marrying her so that she won't be deported to Canada. Then, inevitably, the government comes knocking and the fake couple has to learn to be a real couple. The gender/age reversals give the movie some spark, and Bullock and Reynolds provide the rest of the energy, rejuvenating old cliches with the power of their personalities. The Blu-ray and DVD special editions are similarly charged up, with deleted scenes, an alternate ending, a blooper reel and a commentary track from director Anne Fletcher and screenwriter Pete Chiarelli.

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Adoration

Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $39.95

Canadian writer-director Atom Egoyan makes his most beguiling film in a decade with "Adoration," an elliptical drama about an orphaned teen who pretends to be the son of an infamous terrorist and ignites controversy in his school and on the Internet. The movie's a little dryly intellectual, but Egoyan raises some provocative questions about the power of role-playing and how real outrage can be stirred up by a game of make-believe. The Blu-ray and DVD include some useful tools for decoding what the story's about, primarily via multiple interviews with Egoyan.

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Drag Me to Hell

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

"Spider-Man" director Sam Raimi returns to his horror roots in the wildly entertaining "Drag Me to Hell," a goo-filled slapstick romp that proves Raimi hasn't lost his knack for shock-and-guffaw. Alison Lohman plays a sweet-tempered bank officer who makes one coldblooded business decision and winds up on the receiving end of a relentless gypsy curse. Soon she's being covered in mud, blood and bugs, in the kind of purely fun screamfest that's all too rare these days. The Blu-ray and DVD are light on extras, consisting only of a 30-minute "production diary," but the behind-the-scenes footage in that diary is as cool as the movie itself.

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Every Little Step

Sony, $28.96

The documentary "Every Little Step" follows a group of young performers trying out for a Broadway revival of "A Chorus Line," a show that's about the audition process. Fans will appreciate the doc's detailed history of the original production (including audio excerpts from the interviews that inspired the project) as well as the multiple high-quality performances of the show's songs. And even people unfamiliar with "A Chorus Line" ought to be caught up in the real-life suspense of who's in and who's out, which significantly outstrips the manufactured drama of reality TV. The DVD out-kicks the fine theatrical version, adding more of the original interview tapes, more about the show's creator, Michael Bennett, and a commentary track from the filmmakers that adds another layer of insight.

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Land of the Lost

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

The '70s kids' show "Land of the Lost" is hardly some inviolable text, but it deserved better than this flop movie version, which takes the original's simple premise of a family dodging dinosaurs and turns it into a bloated, scatological mess. Stars Will Ferrell, Anna Friel and Danny McBride are all funny in the right project, but their meta-dumb, slacker style doesn't suit a special-effects blockbuster -- especially one pitched to children. The Blu-ray and DVD contain even raunchier deleted scenes, as well as featurettes and (on Blu-ray only) a commentary track from director Brad Silberling.

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And ...

American Violet

Image, $27.98; Blu-ray, $35.98

Futurama

The Complete Series

20th Century Fox, $199.98

Legend of the Seeker

The Complete First Season

ABC, $45.99

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All titles available Tuesday.

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