Rumor has it some folks out there haven't yet seen 'Slumdog Millionaire,' the Cinderella story that nearly went straight-to-DVD but instead won Best Picture at the Oscars. We can only assume you've been waiting to watch it at home on DVD with a plate of chicken tikka masala. That day has arrived.
Also new today: Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston show remarkable restraint by not strangling the world's worst dog in the dramedy 'Marley and Me,' and Will Smith plays one generous stranger in 'Seven Pounds.'
Get the full scoop on this week's DVD releases, plus our recommendations from weeks' past.
What It's About: The nuggets of wisdom an uneducated teen (Dev Patel) learns growing up in the cruel slums of Mumbai (and beyond) correspond perfectly with the questions he faces on India's version of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?'
It's Kind of Like: 'Quiz Show' meets 'City of God'
What We Say: For having a plot as gimmicky as detailed above, the fact that 'Slumdog' works so well is almost shocking. It's a fantasy steeped in a harsh reality that combines elements of drama, comedy, romance, action and adventure in conjuring up pure movie magic. Now I wish every movie ended with a Bollywood dance number.
Oscar Buzzed: Unless you've been living under a rock (or outhouse), you know 'Slumdog' completed its Cinderella story of nearly going straight-to-DVD to winning a Best Picture Oscar. If you still haven't seen it, we can only assume you've been waiting to watch it at home on DVD with a plate of chicken tikka masala. That day has arrived.
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'Marley & Me'
What It's About: A husband (Owen Wilson) and wife (Jennifer Aniston) stay loyal and committed to their mischievous yellow labrador retriever Marley no matter what he eats, destroys or makes stinky mess on.
It's Kind of Like: 'The Story of Us' meets 'Beethoven'
What We Say: 'Marley' is more than just "a movie about a dog," sure; stories of growing pains and life lessons abound, and there are some very touching moments. But it's still a movie dog lovers are going to enjoy and appreciate considerably more than others. Am I the only one who thought Marley was kind of a jerk?
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What It's About: Will Smith is a tortured, enigmatic man who seeks to redeem himself by changing the lives of seven strangers (including an ailing Rosario Dawson and blind Woody Harrelson). Think 'Extreme Makover's' Ty Pennington, except a total buzzkill.
What We Say: 'Pounds' took a beating from most critics, who labeled it preposterous and manipulative. Those critics were a little too harsh. While certain plot points are indeed absurd (particularly one involving a jellyfish), there's still some intriguing melodrama here.
Star to Watch: The big draw here is obviously Smith, who audiences would pay to watch work 9-5 as an actual IRS agent. But Dawson gives arguably her best performance yet as a sickly (yet sexy!) woman who threatens to foil Smith's master plan.
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Other New Releases:
'Tell No One'
New on Blu-ray:
'Chronicles of Riddick'
'Ghosts of Mars'
'An American in Paris'