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Pandorum (Blu-Ray)

ANCHOR BAY

MOVIE B-

SPECIAL FEATURES B

DVD GEEK FACTOR 6

(OUT OF 10)

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This movie rips off a lot of films that came before it. Event Horizon, The Descent and Alien come to mind while taking in the atmosphere and story of Pandorum.

Derivative as it may be, I found myself entertained by the film's mystery and the central performances of Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster as two members of a deep-space flight crew who awake from their hibernation to discover that very bad things have been happening on their ship. Quaid is great as the commander who can't figure out what happened to his crew, as is Foster as a guy who travels deep into the ship and discovers some rather disgusting things.

This film was released in the fall, a standard dumping time for films in which studios have little faith. While it might not have been the best night out at the movies, it's definitely worth a visit on home video.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A director's commentary, deleted and alternate scenes, and behind-the-scenes featurettes.


Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Two-Disc Blu-Ray+DVD)

SONY

MOVIE B-

SPECIAL FEATURES B+

DVD GEEK FACTOR 6.25

(OUT OF 10)

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There was a lot of great animation in 2009. This one, about a young mad scientist (the voice of Bill Hader) inventing a way to make the skies rain food, fell somewhere in between good and great. Its particular brand of animation is amusing and looks pretty good. I liked the visuals of flapjacks and pasta falling from the sky and landing on buildings, people, etc.

The movie is absurd fun, helped along by Anna Faris as the voice of a brainy TV news anchor, and Mr. T as an overly athletic cop. Most appreciated is the appearance of Bruce Campbell as a gluttonous mayor who has taken a particular liking to the food storms. All in all, it's a decent movie that should please parents and kids alike.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A director's commentary that also features the very entertaining Hader. There's making-of material, extended scenes and even a sing-along. Most importantly, there's a "Splat!" button that allows you to throw food at the screen while watching the movie.


10 Things I Hate About You (10th Anniversary DVD)

TOUCHSTONE

MOVIE B-

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

DVD GEEK FACTOR 5.75

(OUT OF 10)

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Heath Ledger got his first major starring role in 1999 in this relatively cute reworking of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. He played high school student Patrick Verona, who got paid by cruel classmates to woo the rebellious and difficult Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles). Of course, the fake wooing becomes true love—something that hits a roadblock when Kat discovers the original plan.

Ledger, who would get an even bigger break in 2000 by co-starring in the Mel Gibson vehicle The Patriot, showed his charms right off the bat. Scenes like his football-stadium performance of "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" displayed his ability to captivate; both he and Stiles manage to rise above occasionally stale material.

Also worth noting: The film counts Joseph Gordon-Levitt among its co-stars. With this year's (500) Days of Summer, it feels like Gordon-Levitt just broke into film a few years ago. The guy has been at it for 21 years!

Ledger didn't get many chances to be funny in his career. What I like most about this film, in retrospect, is that it features him just clowning around and having a blast.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A look back 10 years later with the director, writers and archival footage of cast members. The box boasts deleted scenes and casting footage, but it's all in the 10-year anniversary featurette. It's sad to see a young Ledger, all happy and chipper, in behind-the-scenes footage. You also get a commentary.


Winnie the Pooh: A Valentine for You (Special Edition)

DISNEY

SHOW B

SPECIAL FEATURES C

DVD GEEK FACTOR 6

(OUT OF 10)

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I was a huge fan of the old Winnie the Pooh shorts with Sterling Holloway providing the voice of the bear. When I was a kid, and one of them was on TV, life was very good. I even had Winnie the Pooh footy pajamas. I was mortified one night when a girl I liked dropped by with her mom, and I was wearing them. They were retired after that.

I have to say, this modern-day rendering of Pooh is not bad at all. Recent Pooh productions are a little slick, but they still retain that Pooh charm. This is a cute treatment of Valentine's Day, and it has a few fun lessons. Kids will love it, and parents just might get those footy pajamas out of the mothballs.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You get two stories, "A Valentine's For You" and "Un-Valentine's Day." Plus, you get "My Hero" from The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, which actually aren't very new: They were produced 20 years ago.

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