Men cause all the problems in this week's spate of DVD releases. In the comedy 'Killers,' starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, Kutcher plays an ex-super secret agent who gets sucked back into the spy game, jeopardizing his wife (Heigl) and neighborhood. In the 'Saturday Night Live" movie spinoff 'MacGruber,' Will Forte plays an ex-soldier-of-fortune who rejoins the fray to track down an arch-enemy and a stolen nuclear warhead. And, Michael Douglas plays a 'Solitary Man' who literally screws over everyone in his life as his search for meaning always ends up in-between the sheets. There's also an overload of Blu-ray releases this week, including 'Tommy the Movie' and six fabulous science fiction films from Warner Home Video. Read on. 'Killers'
What It's About: The ever-lovable Katherine Heigl plays an unlucky-in-love single woman on vacation on the French Riviera with her parents when she meets and falls in love with suave, sophisticated Ashton Kutcher. Unbeknownst to her, Kutcher is a super secret agent with a license to kill, but he gives it all up for her. Three years after they're married, however, Kutcher's past life catches up with him -- and the bullets begin to fly.

It's Kinda Like: 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith' meets 'Grosse Pointe Blank'

What We Say:
A cute rom-com that shows off Heigl's good looks and effervescent personality as well as the better side of Kutcher: his good looks and efferent personality (he's much better here as a cool, accomplished hit man than as the "grown-up kid" he often plays). Despite the leads' chemistry and the plot's comedic twists and turns, the film is a bit too pat and predictable (beginning with Heigl's alcoholic mother, played by Catherine O'Hara, downing every drink in sight). Still, it's a fun outing.
Extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes, a gag reel and behind-the-scene featurettes.
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Watch the 'Killers' Unscripted interview with Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl
Watch an exclusive clip from 'Killers'


'MacGruber'
What It's About: Will Forte brings his 'Saturday Night Live' clueless soldier of fortune to the big screen. In the 10 years since his fiancee was killed, special op MacGruber has sworn off a life of fighting crime with his bare hands. But when he learns that his country needs him to find a nuclear warhead that's been stolen by his sworn enemy, Dieter Von Cunth, MacGruber figures he's the only one tough enough for the job. Assembling an elite team of experts, MacGruber navigates an army of assassins to hunt down Cunth and bring him to justice.

It's Kinda Like: 'Tropic Thunder' meets 'Hot Shots! Part Deux'

What We Say: Crude, lewd and loud, this spoof of Chuck Norris-type action films falls way south of the similarly-themed 'Tropic Thunder' and even fails to nail the inherent disbelievability of the 'MacGyver' TV series it is trying to spoof (actually, that show was already a spoof of itself). It may have worked on 'SNL' as short skits, but it doesn't translate to a feature film.
Extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray add commentaries, a gag reel and deleted scenes.
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Best MacGruber SNL Skits 'MacGruber' Movie Quotes


'Solitary Man'
What It's About: Michael Douglas gives a tour-de-force performance as 60-year-old car magnate Ben Kalman whose business and romantic indiscretions have pretty much sent him into a downward spiral. He was forced out of his car business for corruption, he's divorced from his college sweetheart, constantly disappoints his daughter and grandson and, when he finally gets a shot at getting back into business, he blows it by sleeping with his benefactor/girl friend's 18-year-old daughter. And then things get worse.

It's Kinda Like:
'Crazy Heart' meets 'Wonder Boys'

What We Say: Though Ben Kalman can be despicable, mean and uncaring, there's still something likeable in the man's aging eyes: there's a wisdom and a pain that transcends his irresponsibility. And that all comes through in the Oscar-bound performance by Douglas. You can hate him but you've got to love him at the same time. 'Solitary Man' is definitely not an uplifting movie, but thoroughly watchable from beginning to end.
• Extras: Commentary and a behind-the-scenes featurette.
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Warner Bros. Sci-Fi Action Films Blu-rays

Why the Re-Release? Warner Home Video has remastered six science fiction action films for Blu-ray release: 'Forbidden Planet' (1956), 'THX 1138 Director's Cut' (1971), 'Mars Attacks!' (1996), 'Lost in Space' (1998), 'The Matrix Reloaded' (2003) and 'A Scanner Darkly' (2006). All come to Blu-ray for the first time except 'A Scanner Darkly' and 'The Matrix Reloaded,' which was previously issued' in high-def as part of 'The Ultimate Matrix Collection' Blu-ray set.

Special Features: The special features on all six releases duplicate the extras on the standard DVD issues. The emphasis here is on the films.

Are They Worth Upgrading? With the exception of 'Lost in Space,' these films need to be in any film fan or sci-fi geek's library. In particular, 'Forbidden Planet,' the ultimate thinking-person's sci-fi epic, is a must. Its special effects, ground-breaking all-electronic music score, and superb acting by Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen puts it in the ranks of all-time great classics -- and it's well-served by its high-def incarnation. Likewise the other films in this sci-fi "wave" of releases: the picture and sound are top notch. If you don't already own these, get them now; if you own them, upgrade, beginning with 'Forbidden Planet.'


'Tommy the Movie' Blu-ray
Why the Re-Release? Lest you think me a rock 'n' roll contrarian, let me just say that the Who is one of my favorite rock bands (some 28 years after the release of 'Boris the Spider' I sang that song as a lullaby to my daughter). Likewise, there's little wrong that Ken Russell could do (take that, Tchaikovsky). But I never did like the Who's 'Tommy' and subsequently found Russell's interpretation of the rock opera a bit too over-worked and pretentious. Never-the-less, the album was a smash hit in 1969 and the movie was a hit in 1975. Sony has taken the occasion of the film's 35th anniversary to restore it for Blu-ray.

Special Features:
The bonus here is Sony's movieIQ+sync featuring a 'Tommy' playlist that allows users to access real-time information on the cast, music, trivia and more while watching the movie via BD-Live.

Is It Worth Upgrading?
It's been eight years since 'Tommy' last appeared on DVD, so this edition should be welcomed by fans of the group and the film. The color and images are crisp and spectacular, and the sound is amazing: Sony remastered the original 5.0 Quintaphonic surround soundtrack (and also offers a 5.1 soundtrack) providing a wall of five-channel sound that will blast your ears off (and make enemies of your neighbors). If you're a fan, definitely buy this for your collection.
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Other New September 7 DVD Releases:
'American Cowslip'
'The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond'
'That Evening Sun'
'Woodshop '

Check out other new September 7 DVD releases at OnVideo.
CATEGORIES DVDs