Mark Wahlberg plays shoot 'em up in 'Payne,' while torture enthusiasts get their fill with yet another 'Saw.'

The rapper-turned-actor formerly known as Marky Mark's had one busy year. He ran like from the wind in 'The Happening,' scared the living daylights out of his own impersonator, Andy Samberg, on 'SNL,' and killed all sorts of baddies in 'Max Payne,' new on DVD today.

Also new: Your yearly dose of gruesome torture in 'Saw V.' If that's too much blood and guts for you, though, look no further than the winning inspirational sports drama, 'The Express.'

Get the full scoop on this week's DVD releases, plus our recommendations from weeks' past.


'Max Payne'
What It's About: With the help of an impossibly sexy sidekick (Mila Kunis), Mark Wahlberg plays shoot 'em up with corrupt police, the mob and evil corporate businessmen. Rest assured, none of their mothers will be getting "Hellos."

Critical Consensus: The latest videogame-turned-movie didn't exactly wow critics, winning approval from only 18 percent of them on RottenTomatoes.

Special Features? The single-disc version includes only commentary, but a special edition comes with a production featurette and the animated graphic novel, 'Michelle Payne.'

Recommended If You Liked: Playing 'Max Payne' on Xbox or Playstation 2.

Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon I Watch trailer & clips

'Saw V'
What It's About: The latest "cool" new contraptions for ghastly torture (like heads in boxes!).

What We Say: Even 'Saw' fanatics admitted this latest torture fest was lame. But it still scared up $57 million at the box office, which means you can expect 'Saw VI' next Halloween. (And likely a new 'Saw' every year for the rest of eternity.)

Where It Ranks: We found it torturous alright. The sequel ranked #6 on our list of 2008's 10 worst movies.

Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon | Watch trailer & clips

'The Express'
What It's About: The life-affirming yet tragic story of Ernie Davis (Rob Brown), the nation's first black Heisman Trophy winner, and his tumultuous relationship with his Syracuse coach, Ben Schwartzwalder (Dennis Quaid).

What We Say: Well played, Universal, releasing this winner on the day of the inauguration of the nation's first black president. You typically know exactly what to expect with an "inspirational sports drama," and this one doesn't disappoint, though it requires a few more tissues than most.

Recommended If You Liked: 'Remember the Titans,' 'Glory Road,' 'Brian's Song'

Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon | Watch trailer & clips

Other New Releases:
'City of Ember'
'Repo! The Genetic Opera'
'Igor'
'Henry Poole is Here'
'The Children of Huang Shi'
'National Lampoon's Stone Age'

Special Editions:
'The Notebook': Special Edition

Recent DVD Recommendations

    'Pineapple Express'
    Release Date: Jan. 6
    What It's About: A stoner (Seth Rogen) and his pot dealer (James Franco) attempt to stay sober enough to run for their lives after one witnesses a murder.
    What We Say: You don't actually have to be stoned stupid to find yourself giggling non-stop at this endearing bromantic comedy that builds up to an outrageously violent (but hilarious!) climax.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch Rogen-Franco Unscripted

    Sony

    'The Wackenss'
    Release Date: Jan. 6
    What It's About: A pot-dealing teen ((Josh Peck) who trades weed for therapy ((Sir Ben Kingsley plays the bong-smoking shrink) comes of age in NYC, 1994.
    What We Say: Those who grew up on hip-hop, namely the "Golden Era" sounds of Notorious B.I.G., A Tribe Called Quest and the likes, will revel in the nostalgia of this funny and sincere flick.
    Add to Netflix queue | Read Olivia Thirlby Q&A

    Sony Classics

    'The Duchess'
    Release Date: Dec. 28
    What It's About: Keira Knightley plays Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, a socialite who was like the Paris Hilton of 18th Century England (only charming, talented and likable).
    What We Say: Like many Oscar bait dramas this year, this one is noteworthy for its performances above anything, but it's still a stirring historical soap opera.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch trailer & clip

    Paramount Vantage

    'Burn After Reading'
    Release Date: Dec. 21
    What It's About: Two bumbling gym employees (Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand) attempt to blackmail a bumbling ex-spy (John Malkovich) when they find a lost disc. A bumbling George Clooney co-stars.
    What We Say: As far as the Coen brothers oeuvre goes, it falls smack dab in the middle of 'Fargo' (being their best) and 'Ladykillers' (their worst).
    Add to Netflix queue | Read Coen brothers Q&A

    Focus Features

    'American Teen'
    Release Date: Dec. 21
    What It's About: Documentarian Nanette Burnstein follows five Indiana high school seniors -- and each fits perfectly into a classic stereotype.
    What We Say: It's an amusing, heartfelt, incredibly entertaining portrait of Middle America High, complete with heroes (we love you, Hannah!) and villains (damn you, Megan Krizmanich).
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch exclusive DVD clip

    Paramount Vantage

    'The Dark Knight'
    Release Date: Dec. 9
    What It's About: You already know. But for fun: A vigilante dresses up like a flying rodent (Christian Bale) and battles a man even crazier, the Joker (Heath Ledger).
    What We Say: There's a reason this baby made $530 million at the box office, second only to 'Titanic' all time: It rocks. Now bring on the posthumous Oscar for Heath.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch exclusive DVD clip

    Warner Bros.

    'Horton Hears a Who!'
    Release Date: Dec. 9
    What It's About: The unlikely relationship between an elephant (voiced by Jim Carrey) and the specks of dust on his back.
    What We Say: Thank you Hollywood for finally animating Dr. Seuss! (Anyone else still suffer bad 'Cat in the Hat' flashbacks?). 'Horton' is sweet, charming and a treat to watch.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch exclusive DVD clip

    Fox

    'Man on Wire'
    Release Date: Dec. 9
    What It's About: The amazing story of Frenchman Philippe Petit, who tightrope-walked between World Trade Center towers in 1974.
    What We Say: The best-reviewed film of all time, according to RottenTomatoes.com, this doc combines interviews and actual footage with impressively non-corny reenactments, and is 100% breathtaking.
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch trailer & clips

    Magnolia

    'Wanted'
    Release Date: Dec. 2
    What It's About: An everyday Joe (James McAvoy) is recruited by a secret society of assassins who kill to orchestrate fate ... which is determined by a loom.
    What We Say: It's all style, no brains (see Loom of Fate); both ridiculously cool and just-plain ridiculous. Those with a low threshold for nonsensical plots be warned. The rest of us can just sit back and enjoy the ride.
    Add to Netflix queue | Read James McAvoy Q&A

    Universal

    'Step Brothers'
    Release Date: Dec. 2
    What It's About: Two 40-something man-children (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) become siblings first, enemies second, and finally, BFFs.
    What We Say: This proudly vulgar comedy doesn't always work, but there are enough moments of hilarity to recommend a DVD viewing. (Warning: Contains disturbing images of Will Ferrell's bits.)
    Add to Netflix queue | Watch Ferrell-Reilly Unscripted

    Sony

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