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New on DVD: 'Cedar Rapids,' 'The Adjustment Bureau' and more

'Cedar Rapids,' 'The Adjustment Bureau,' 'The Eagle,' 'Unknown.'

June 19, 2011|By Noel Murray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • John C. Reilly, left, Ed Helms and Isiah Whitlock Jr. in "Cedar Rapids."
John C. Reilly, left, Ed Helms and Isiah Whitlock Jr. in "Cedar Rapids." (Kim Simms, Fox Searchlight…)

Cedar Rapids

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

Ed Helms plays a wide-eyed small-town insurance agent who has a raunchy good time in the big city in this comedy that's both vulgar and occasionally quite sweet. Director Miguel Arteta and screenwriter Phil Johnston overplay the "Middle-American types are naive and unsophisticated" card, but they also show how liberating it can be to stay in a clean hotel in a strange city, even for grown-ups. The jokes and performances are wildly uneven, but the movie works overall. The DVD and Blu-ray include a similarly hit-and-miss set of deleted scenes and bloopers.

The Adjustment Bureau

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

Matt Damon stars as a politician who discovers a conspiracy to control his life in this sci-fi drama . Writer-director George Nolfi, working from a Philip K. Dick story, contemplates free will and the scripted nature of politics in a plot that sees the hero pursuing a beguiling young woman (Emily Blunt) at the risk of ruining the plans that his secret masters have for him. Nolfi makes a noble effort, but the genre elements clash with his more serious intentions. The DVD and Blu-ray include a Nolfi commentary, deleted scenes and featurettes.

The Eagle

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

As sword-and-sandal epics go, this is more "Gladiator" than "300"; it's a gritty piece of fictionalized history, not a super-sized hunk of pulp. Channing Tatum plays a Roman soldier who quests through ancient Britain with the help of a local slave, played by Jamie Bell. The plot's a little plain, and director Kevin Macdonald isn't the most dynamic action director around, but Tatum and Bell have an engaging camaraderie, and the olde English scenery is a nice change for a movie like this. The DVD and Blu-ray are fairly simple, adding only a Macdonald commentary track, deleted scenes and a making-of featurette.

Unknown

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $29.98/$35.99

The transformation of Liam Neeson from serious dramatic actor to grizzled action stud continues apace with this thriller, in which Neeson plays a doctor who has a car accident in Berlin, then wakes up to discover that no one knows who he is — not even his wife. Soon he's dodging assassins and learning secrets about his own identity. Neeson is as charismatic as always, and so long as it's is teasing out its mysteries, the movie is quite exciting. Once we learn more about what's really going on, "Unknown" becomes more of a straightforward, middling actioner. The DVD and Blu-ray add a pair of featurettes, including one about Neeson's recent career arc.

And…

Ceremony

Magnolia $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

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

Elektra Luxx

Sony, $24.95

Happythankyoumoreplease

Starz/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Kiss Me Deadly

Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95

Orgasm Inc.

First Run, $27.95

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