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The Double (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

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They sure did manage to assemble a respectable cast for this mess. Richard Gere, Topher Grace, Martin Sheen and Stephen Moyer (True Blood) all participate in this espionage thriller that embarrasses each and every one of them.

Grace plays an FBI agent obsessed with the case of a disappeared assassin, and Gere plays a retired guy who gets off his porch to help him investigate the possible re-emergence of the long-inactive killer. Sheen plays a grizzled old-timer who just looks grouchy about everything.

It's hard watching Gere play his way through the ridiculous plot twists. You get a sense that he knows he's working in a complete turd, and it shows on his exhausted face. Grace has become accustomed to mediocre fare below his talents, so he seems a little more at home.

The final twist is so laughable that it almost turns the film into a comedy. Make a solid effort to avoid this one.

SPECIAL FEATURES: A director's audio commentary and a making-of featurette.

Annie Hall (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

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For a long time, I knew this as the stupid movie that beat out Star Wars for the Best Picture Oscar in 1978. I was 10; I felt this movie was stupid and yucky, and Darth Vader should've prevailed.

I've grown up a lot since those days. I still think Star Wars should've smoked its ass, but I admit that Woody Allen struck gold. Diane Keaton, who won an Oscar for the title role, proved to be the perfect counterpart to Allen's already-patented neurotic shtick.

This has the very best of Allen. I find a lot of his recent attempts at humor quite tired (Midnight in Paris is overrated), but he was at his peak as comic Alvy Singer. Whether he is fighting lobsters, clubbing spiders with a tennis racket or sneezing into a pile of cocaine, Allen is a physical and verbal genius here. Keaton anchors the whole thing with an endearing goofiness that still feels fresh—and you have to love that wardrobe.

Allen followed this one up with Manhattan in 1979, another good if slightly overrated rom-com shot in black and white. It's also newly available on Blu-ray.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You get nothing but a stupid trailer.

Justified: The Complete Second Season (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

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I am quite late to the Timothy Olyphant party. I started watching Season 1 a couple of weeks ago, got hooked, and just finished Season 2. Next to Breaking Bad, this is my favorite current TV drama.

Olyphant kicks ass as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, a guy who means it when he says he's going to shoot you if you don't comply. Walton Goggins is equally good as Boyd Crowder, a former buddy who goes through some seriously strange personal changes from episode to episode. He has some major issues, especially after the events of the Season 1 finale.

This season introduces a great character in Mags Bennett (Margo Martindale), a moonshiner who sells a little weed every now and then. It's simply terrific what the writers of this show give Martindale to do.

Supporting players include Jacob Pitts as a sharpshooter and general wise guy, and the ever-reliable Jeremy Davies as Mags' son, Dickie. Raymond J. Barry is as reprehensible as it gets as Raylan's awful father.

The main reason to get on this show right now if you haven't is Olyphant, who finally has a role that is perfect for him. Justified is currently in its third season, airing Tuesdays on FX.

SPECIAL FEATURES: You get some outtakes, some deleted scenes and a couple of making-of featurettes. Not bad, but nothing too fancy.

50/50 (Blu-ray)





(OUT OF 10)

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When I first saw this, I figured Joseph Gordon-Levitt would certainly get an Oscar nomination. I thought Seth Rogen could get some Oscar consideration for his great supporting performance, too. Heck, screenwriter Will Reiser would at least get a nod for the script, right?

Nope. Everybody got snubbed. Reiser's script was better than the nominated Midnight in Paris and Margin Call, and Rogen just doesn't get any respect. As for Gordon-Levitt—so good here as a young cancer patient trying to keep things together—he got edged out by other equally good performers.

Oscar snubs aside, this is a good movie with great work across the board, including Rogen as the best friend trying to cheer up Gordon-Levitt, and Anna Kendrick as the counselor we all wish we could have in life.

SPECIAL FEATURES: An audio commentary that includes Rogen and Reiser is very much worth taking in. You also get some deleted scenes and featurettes.

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