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Catfish (Blu-ray)

ROGUE

MOVIE B

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 6.5

(OUT OF 10)

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Fake or not, this supposed documentary about a New York photographer's strange Internet romance is a good—if uncomfortable—watch, and a nice companion piece to The Social Network when it comes to films about human interaction through computer keyboards.

Photographer Nev Schulman gets a MySpace message from a little girl named Abby who is doing paintings of his Manhattan photographs. Naturally, he finds this intriguing, and starts a correspondence, which eventually leads to him meeting Abby's older sister, Megan, through Facebook. For eight months, the two exchange messages and chat on the phone. Nev falls in love.

Then some fishy stuff starts happening, and Nev—along with directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (who just happened to be filming the whole saga from the very beginning)—decides to travel all the way to Michigan to meet Megan, Abby and their mother, Angela.

I won't reveal what happens, but the whole thing is very creepy and sad ... and it seems just a little too convenient to be true. Nev Schulman and the filmmakers insist everything in the movie is real, but I believe only fragments may've been authentic. It's too big of a stretch to believe these guys are this naïve.

Time will tell: A recent lawsuit filed by an artist whose music figures prominently in the film may force Nev Schulman and the filmmakers to discuss, under oath, the truth about their film.

After the splendid hoax that was Joaquin Phoenix's I'm Still Here, I'm thinking everybody has their guard up when it comes to questionable documentaries. Still, I'm curious about the outcome of that trial.

SPECIAL FEATURES: There's a 25-minute interview with Nev Schulman and the filmmakers, during which they vigorously defend the film as true.


Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (Blu-ray)

WARNER

MOVIE B-

SPECIAL FEATURES B

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 6

(OUT OF 10)

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This fantastic-looking, slightly scary CGI animated movie featuring adventurous owls was promptly ordered out of the Blu-ray player in favor of The Sound of Music by my 2-year-old niece who didn't appreciate the dark tone.

Director Zack Snyder's owl movie is for older children and adults. Don't pop it in for your toddlers and then go do the dishes. You will be met with "too scare-wee!" protests. When I watched it again, I found it enjoyable (and quite beautiful), but I agreed with my niece's assessment that she was not ready for this sort of thing.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You can watch the movie in "Maximum Kid Mode," in which one of the owls guides you through the film; it's cute. There are also some art galleries, a new Looney Tunes cartoon and much more.


The American (Blu-ray)

UNIVERSAL

MOVIE B-

SPECIAL FEATURES B

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 6.25

(OUT OF 10)

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This film—starring George Clooney, whose character makes special weapons while hiding out in Italy—requires some patience. The pacing is slow, slow, slow. But Clooney is very good as a lonely man who risks everything after falling in love with a woman and potentially blowing his cover.

Director Anton Corbijn has constructed something akin to a lonely samurai movie, and Clooney continues his streak of good performances and risky choices. I like him here, but there's a good chance that viewers seeking a high-octane thriller will not. Even though I liked the film, I admit I got a little impatient with it at times.

The Italian setting looks great and was probably quite convenient for Mr. Clooney, who has an estate in the country. One can't blame him for wanting to spend large amounts of time there, because it makes for sumptuous eye candy.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A director's commentary, a making-of documentary and deleted scenes.


Cyrus (Blu-ray)

20TH CENTURY FOX

MOVIE B+

SPECIAL FEATURES B-

BLU-RAY GEEK FACTOR 7

(OUT OF 10)

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I love John C. Reilly and Marisa Tomei, and I usually like Jonah Hill—and getting a chance to see the three of them in the strangest of love triangles is a dark, funny treat.

Reilly is John, a loner who meets the impossibly perfect Molly (Tomei) at a party, and they hit it off. Things are going nicely until John meets Cyrus (Hill), Molly's bizarre grown son. Cyrus still lives with his mom, composes strange music, constantly seeks attention and steals John's shoes. In short, he's a super-creep.

Reilly excels in awkward moments, as do Hill and Tomei. They make things funny where others might make them excruciating. The movie is a nice stretch for Hill, who gets to differ from his motor-mouth-wisecracker routine. As for Tomei, she continues to be one of the better, more understated actresses working today.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A couple of deleted scenes, and a Q&A with the directors of the film. You also get some Fox Movie Channel profiles of Reilly and Hill.

More by Bob Grimm

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