CATEGORIES DVDs
We get a bi-coastal dose of crooked coppers in 'Lakeview Terrace' and 'Pride and Glory.'

In 'Lakeview Terrace,' LAPD officer Samuel L. Jackson doesn't so much abuse the law as he does his interracial couple neighbors. In 'Pride and Glory,' however, Edward Norton discovers the corruption runs deep -- real deep -- in the NYPD.

You'll be glad to know there's not anything the least bit corrupt about the sexy sparks the fly in Woody Allen's 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona,' starring Scarlett Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem. At least we don't think so.

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


'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'
What It's About: When vacationing Yanks Scarlett Johansson and Rebecca Hall meet Spanish lothario Javier Bardem (and his beautifully psychotic ex Penelope Cruz), it's mix-and-match-lovers time.

What We Say: Woody Allen ditches the Euro-thriller ('Match Point,' 'Cassandra's Dream') for the Euro-romance, and it's a surprising treat, equal parts sexy and funny. (You guessed it – Woody does not appear.)

Awards & Nominations: Along with Heath Ledger, Cruz became the first certified Oscar contender of '08 this past summer for her electric turn as a Spanglish-speaking firebrand liable to kill in the heat of passion. Rightly so, she earned her second nod last week.

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| Buy from Amazon | Watch DVD clip

'Lakeview Terrace'
What It's About: Outraged that his new neighbors a) are an interracial couple, and b) didn't ask permission to plant those trees, an LAPD cop (Samuel L. Jackson) makes their lives a living hell.

Critical Consensus: Reviewers were split on this domestic thriller, with a modest 48 percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes. The upsides? An angry Jackson is the last man you'd want as your neighbor; and the film's better than his last, who knows, 20-something movies ('Jumper,' 'Cleaner,' etc).

Recommended If You Liked: According to Jeffery Mingo's highly entertaining user list on Amazon.com entitled "Sistas and Whiteguys Flicks": 'Monster's Ball,' 'Besieged' and 'The Bodyguard.'

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'Pride and Glory'
What It's About: An NYPD family is torn apart when Edward Norton's investigation points to dirtiness on the part of his fellow copper brother (Noah Emmerich) and brother-in-law (Colin Farrell).

Critical Consensus: The jury found this cop drama guilty of several cinematic crimes. It registered a mere 34 percent on RottenTomatoes, with the descriptions "hackneyed" and "hokum" popping up impressively often.

Recommended If You Liked: 'Righteous Kill,' 'Street Kings,' 'Cop Land'

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Other New Releases This Week:
'Fireproof'
'Rocknrolla'
'The Rocker'
'College'
'The Lucky Ones'
'Secret of the Magic Gourd'

Special Editions:
'Mary Poppins'

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