Ah, there's nothing like the relief of having to choose between a number of decent possibilities, rather than grasping at straws...

The Jane Austen Book Club
Like any dramatic comedy that focuses on romance -- especially one that does so under the mighty pen of Jane Austen -- this film is sentimental and romantic, but it's also got a heck of a cast giving great performances and characters that aren't the normal flighty heroines. The Jane Austen Book Club follows five women and one man who come together to discuss Jane's classic works and discover that the old texts speak to each of their lives, whether they're hetero or straight, male or female. Sure, it could easily slip into saccharine, but as James Rocchi says: "The Jane Austen Book Club's light, slight and clever entertainment is occasionally too-clever, but the cast's performances and Swicord's sense of tone give it just enough charm to work." Anyway, too-clever is chic these days -- look at Diablo Cody.

As far as the disc goes, there's a decent number of featurettes, and not all of them are your typical fare. You get: deleted scenes, commentary with cast and crew, a peek behind the scenes, "The Life of Jane Austen," "The Book Club: Deconstructed," and for you red carpet fans out there -- the Los Angeles premiere.

Read James' Review | Buy the DVD


The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
On the more somber side of things, there's the uberly, superly, completely, totally long-awaited The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. After such a long wait, and flipping long title, the film seemed destined for the trash bin or dusty shelf. However, it ended up not only living up to expectation, but also impressing audiences as well. Sure, I have a soft spot for the movie since I used to know a girl who nabbed a role in it, but it's nice when friendly support is not only nice, but totally worth the effort. If you need more reasons, there's Brad Pitt and the increasingly impressive Casey Affleck.

Not surprisingly, this DVD is far from a special feature feast. In fact, there's nothing if you don't count the basic sound/scene perks and a few previews. Luckily, the film makes up for it.

Read James' Review | Buy the DVD

Other New DVD Releases (February 5)

Across the Universe
Elizabeth -- The Golden Age
The Aristocats (Special Edition)
The Brave One
Snow Buddies