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Hard Candy (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

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Now you can see Ellen Page threaten Patrick Wilson's cock and balls in glorious high-definition. While IMDb classifies this as a drama/thriller, I consider it balls-out horror ... literally.

Ellen Page let her presence be known in the movie world with her portrayal of Hayley Stark, a 14-year-old girl on a mission to humiliate and terrify Jeff, somebody she suspects of pedophilia. The big mystery in the movie is whether or not Jeff is really a degenerate—because if he isn't, Hayley is the very worst of criminals.

Wilson is every bit as effective as Page, as he gives us sufficient reason to doubt his guilt. The movie was directed by David Slade, who went on to direct Twilight: Eclipse, which places Slade temporarily on my shit list.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A nice commentary with Wilson and Page, and another featuring Slade. You also get a making-of documentary and deleted scenes.

Get Him to the Greek: 2-Disc Unrated Collector's Edition (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

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It's ridiculous that Russell Brand was arrested recently for pushing paparazzi out of his way at an airport. A moron totally jumped in Brand's path, and I think Brand actually showed great restraint in not punching him in the face. Off the subject, I know, but I wanted to get my feelings out there.

As for this movie, a spin-off of Forgetting Sarah Marshall ... it's a mixed bag. Brand is good as no-longer-cleaned-up rock-star Aldous Snow, who is partying hard and shooting heroin after his sober appearance in Marshall. Jonah Hill shows up as a record executive; his role has nothing to do with the character he played in Marshall, which feels sort of weird.

Hill's character gets an idea to feature Snow in an anniversary concert, and he must escort Snow across the ocean and to the venue in one piece. The movie is done in by a copout ending that seems all wrong for Brand's character. Still, I wouldn't mind seeing Aldous Snow fall off the wagon again in a future installment.

Brand does all of his own singing, and when the music is good (which isn't always the case), he comes off as a credible rock star.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A director and cast commentary, gag reels, deleted and extended scenes, music videos and concert performances.

Iron Man 2: 3-Disc Combo Pack





(OUT OF 10)

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The second chapter in the Iron Man franchise was good enough, but I'm hoping things get taken up a notch the next time out.

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is dying due to the energy source implanted in his chest. On top of this, he must deal with a very ugly Mickey Rourke as Ivan Vanko, a man displeased with Stark because he thinks the Iron Man suit was his dead father's idea. Sam Rockwell shows up as another villain, weapons-contractor Justin Hammer. Throw in Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (aka Black Widow), and you have a crowded movie.

Director Jon Favreau and screenwriter Justin Theroux have a lot of stories to tell and characters to juggle, and they don't screw it up Spider-Man 3 style. The film is a serviceable sequel that warrants a recommendation largely due to the continuing great work of Downey in the title role.

Iron Man will return in the upcoming The Avengers before he gets another sequel.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A nicely entertaining four-part documentary, a Favreau commentary and deleted scenes are the highlights. The movie is also available in a single-disc Blu-ray and a DVD with leaner special features.

Modern Family





(OUT OF 10)

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This one got big Emmy love this year, and I will declare myself a fairly amused fan—if not a crazily enthusiastic fan.

It's nice to see Ed O'Neill in something after he basically disappeared following the end of Married With Children. He's basically riffing on Al Bundy here, without his hand in his pants. O'Neill plays grouchy well, and he gets ample opportunity to do so in this series.

Of the three families depicted weekly, my favorite would be the dysfunctional Dunphys, played by Julie Bowen and Ty Burrell. You might remember Bowen as Adam Sandler's love interest in Happy Gilmore, and Burrell as an asshole in the Dawn of the Dead remake. The two really shine in an episode during which the three families go on vacation together; it's a consistently funny episode that spends most of its time in the airport.

While this one doesn't get me laughing as hard as 30 Rock or Bored to Death, I do consider it one of the better comedies airing today.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A making-of featurette; deleted, extended and alternate scenes; and a gag reel.

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