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New this week: '127 Hours' DVD

Also 'Burlesque,' 'Faster' and 'Love & Other Drugs.'

February 27, 2011|By Noel Murray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Christina Aguilera in "Burlesque."
Christina Aguilera in "Burlesque." (Stephen Vaughan, Screen…)

127 Hours

Fox Searchlight, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

James Franco scored a well-deserved Oscar nomination for playing cocky thrill-seeker Aron Ralston in director Danny Boyle's true-life adventure "127 Hours." When Ralston's arm gets pinned by a boulder in a remote Utah canyon, the hiker does what it takes to stay alive including, eventually, hacking away at the limb. The subject matter is harrowing and gruesome, but Boyle turns the story into more of a celebration of life and companionship — sometimes to the movie's detriment. "127 Hours" is consistently entertaining, but it could've stood to be a little more punishing. The DVD and Blu-ray are unreservedly worthy though, adding deleted scenes; a commentary by Boyle, his producing partner Christian Colson and co-writer Simon Beaufoy; and featurettes that cover the real Ralston's story.

Burlesque

Screen Gems, $28.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

A sort of "Showgirls"-lite, the campy musical "Burlesque" stars Christina Aguilera as an Iowa barmaid who comes to Los Angeles to become a star and ends up slinging drinks in a high-class cabaret. As the heroine works her way up the ladder, she deals with a taskmaster boss (played by Cher) and a backstabbing rival (played by Kristen Bell). The movie's neither bad enough to be funny nor energetic enough to be fun, though the big dance routines are pretty to look at and Aguilera is surprisingly deft playing a small-towner fighting to prove herself. The DVD and Blu-ray include a commentary track by writer-director Steven Antin, featurettes, a blooper reel and the option to skip straight to the music.

Faster

CBS, $24.96; Blu-ray, $34.95

The fact that the brutal revenge thriller "Faster" includes characters named "Driver" (played by Dwayne Johnson), "Cop" (played by Billy Bob Thornton) and "Killer" (played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen) should indicate what kind of movie this is. Writers Joe and Tony Gayton and director George Tillman Jr. aren't interested in subtlety in their story of an ex-con going after the crooks who ruined his life; "Faster" is all about archetypes and over-the-top action sequences, delivered with a sincerity that, while undeniably dopey, is often more enjoyable than the recent glut of tongue-in-cheek actioners. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and a pair of featurettes.

Love & Other Drugs

20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99

Writer-director Edward Zwick's "Love & Other Drugs" journeys back to the halcyon days of the 1990s, when pharmaceutical reps roamed the land, trying to persuade doctors to prescribe anti-depressants and erectile dysfunction medications. Jake Gyllenhaal plays one of those reps, while Anne Hathaway plays the free spirit he tries to tame, a young woman suffering from early onset Parkinson's disease. Based fairly loosely on Jaime Reidy's memoir "Hard Sell," Zwick's movie is a little all over the map in terms of its plot, but Gyllenhaal and Hathaway make a good couple, and it's always welcome to see a Hollywood movie that affirms adult sexuality. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and featurettes.

And...

"Bambi" (Walt Disney, Blu-ray, $39.99); "Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould" (Lorber, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95); "Murder Investigation Team: Series One" (Acorn, $49.99); "The Norman Conquests" (Acorn, $59.99); "Pioneers of Television: Season Two" (PBS, $24.99); "The Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy" (Walt Disney, Blu-ray, $72.99); "Troubadours: The Rise of the Singer-Songwriter" (HEAR, $19.98).

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