Ratatouille DVDRatatouille
Really, what else is there to say about the omnipotence of Pixar? How about this: They're robots from outer-space that have concocted a flawless entertainment formula (typically blending visual mastery, imaginative storytelling, witty humor and John Ratzenberger) that wins over critics and normal human beings alike time and again (even if Cars showed a few slight glitches in the matrix). What's scary is that Ratatouille is one of their best films yet, easily among their top three. What's even scarier is that they appear to challenging themselves, "What can't we make audiences fall in love with? How about a rat who cooks?!" Well, turns out Remy (Patton Oswald) is the most lovable rodent since Splinter, and has surely given his species a fighting chance to coexist more fruitfully with future generations of humanoids. Just think how many kids pleaded for pet rats after this one (hey, hamsters are close). Young buck Peter O'Toole continues chewing up the scenery as a stuffy food critic (Pixar's revenge for the staggering 24% percent of critics on Rottentomatoes who didn't deem Cars fresh pickings?), while Lou Romano marks the studio's latest in-house talent to thrive as the voice of Remy's man-pal Linguini. You have eight months to enjoy repeated viewings of Ratatouille on DVD before Pixar's next film drops: It's called Wall-E, and it's about -- get this -- robots in outer-space.
Read Erik's full DVD review | Go inside the Ratatouille DVD at Pixar

SickoSicko
Michael Moore proudly pitched his latest film to audiences as "a comedy about 45 million people with no health care on the richest country on earth." It's hard to grasp that through the documentary's ultra-depressing first act, which tells horror stories of those who've lost loved ones or body parts because of piss-poor or lacking health insurance. But I suppose we laugh to keep from crying or jumping off bridges in protest. The remaining acts are indeed lighter, with Moore making quirky jaunts to Canada, England and France and gasping at every mention of the words "free" or "no cost," and the subsequent hokey heroism he displays by bringing 9/11 relief workers to Cuba for cheaper meds. Sicko is a major step up from Fahrenheit 9/11 in its overall effectiveness and cohesiveness, and I was curious to see if it would follow in the path of Inconvenient Truth in stoking demands for policy reform. It made virtually the same amount at the box office ($24 M), but that's a sure letdown after 9/11's record-shattering $100 million billion (or something like that). Even in praising the film, some critics pointed out that it's "common knowledge" that health insurance companies are sucky (some might even say satanic), and doubted the film will challenge the status quo. That's so funny it'll bring you to tears.

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Leading Ladies Collection: Vol. 2