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New on DVD – July 20, 2010 – The Runaways and Cop Out

From Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning’s rock biopic, The Runaways, to the Tracy Morgan-Bruce Willis comedy Cop Out, here’s an extremely opinionated glance at what is coming out this week on DVD and Blu-ray.

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Twilight‘s Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning play Joan Jett and Cherie Currie in this attitudinal biopic about the groundbreaking mid-seventies all-girl rock band the Runaways. While our critic was happy enough with the subject matter, he found that the film as a whole was “shopworn and all too familiar.”

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Kevin Smith took time out from making films about Jay and Silent Bob to direct this cop-buddy comedy with Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis, which was widely seen as a throwback to the genre classics of the eighties, classic synth score and all. We found it to be “serviceable fodder for a buddy-cop flick, and Willis and Morgan are game, bouncing banter off each other with aplomb.”


somewhat tongue-in-cheek eighties homage, this movie is an adaptation of the
action-packed comic series about a band of highly-trained special-ops
soldiers left for dead in the Bolivian jungle who plan to take revenge
on the guy who sold them out. While our critic said “such a throwback
mentality is refreshing,” he thought the film “kind of limps along,
stopping off every now and then to favor us with a gun battle or beat
down before continuing on its casual way.”

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Our critic
sums up his take on this manic stop-motion-animated film this way:
“Imagine, if you will, that the Robot Chicken, Wallace, and Gromit had a child. Then imagine you could watch that child in fast
motion and that child never stopped screaming. In French.”

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acclaimed South Korean director Joon-ho Bong (The Host) returns
with this bracing small-town procedural about a troubled young man
accused of murder and the shocking lengths his mother will go to defend
him. We were very impressed by the film’s “twisted psychological
terrain,” calling it a “troubling and ambiguous thriller.”

The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers 2-star-rating.gif
Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of the man who, at the
height of the Vietnam War, leaked the sensitive military-planning
documents that became known as the Pentagon Papers, which, ultimately,
helped lead to the war’s end. While the subject matter couldn’t have
been more dramatic, our critic found the film nothing more than
suitable, saying “it fails spectacularly to capture or convey anything
that wouldn’t be covered in a high-school history class.”

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