What It's About: It's the fourth outing in the popular series -- this time in 3D. As with the three previous films, this one opens with our hero having a premonition of death -- this time at the races where a bizarre sequence of events causes multiple cars to crash, sending flaming debris into the stands -- and he persuades his friends to leave before the events come to fruition. But death can't be cheated, and it again comes calling in a variety of gruesome and gory ways.
It's Kinda Like: 'Final Destination' 1, 2 and 3
What We Say: This series consistently comes up with more carnage and more and more elaborate Rube Goldberg-inspired ways to die. And there's plenty of objects willing to help out: swimming pool suction pumps, acetylene tanks, gas can spills and power mowers. And death haunts a beauty salon and a multiplex theater. Forget the characters -- they're just there to die. What more could gore diehards want? The fun is in the trip, not the final destination. Especially when they throw lethal objects at you from the screen.
'Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs'
What It's About: A charming animated tale about an inventor whose latest contraption works too well -- it turns water into food. When Flint Lockwood's latest invention accidentally destroys the town square and rockets up into the clouds, he thinks his inventing career is over ... until cheeseburgers start raining from the sky, turning him into a celebrity and putting his town on the map. But then the machine starts to run amok, unleashing spaghetti tornadoes and giant meatballs that threaten the world.
It's Kinda Like: 'Ratatouille' meets 'The Absent-Minded Professor' and 'Colossus: The Forbin Project'
What We Say: Though adults will be amused with the premise of the film and the imaginative animated characters and story line, it's really a tale for the kids -- it is, after all, based on a 30-page 1978 children's book. Still, it's an absorbing 90-minute ride with a spectacularly elaborate science fiction ending. And the 3D version is like being immersed in a college food fight.
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The typical rom-com premise -- a lovely New York schoolteacher falls for a socially inept but handsome guy -- gets a new spin by theater director Max Mayer. Hugh Dancy plays a brilliant young electronic engineer who meets his new neighbor (Rose Byrne) and the two start to fall for each. The complication: Adam has a developmental disorder known as Asperger's syndrome, which makes it difficult for him to interact with others.
It's Kinda Like: 'Forrest Gump' meets 'Untamed Heart'
What We Say: Given the problems that people with Asperger's have in maintaining relationships, the film could have wallowed in self-pity -- but doesn't. There's no pat resolution for these two mismatched lovers but there is an emotionally potent performance by the generally underrated Dancy, and Byrne's radiance lights up the screen. There's gently offbeat humor, honesty, and warmth -- it's a touching film that says a lot about the strength and resilience of the human heart in facing the obstacles that get in the way of love.
Other New January 5 DVD Releases:
'Fifty Dead Men Walking'
Check out more January 5 DVD releases