CATEGORIES DVDs

There's action, love, revenge, singing and dancing in store for film-lovers this week -- what more could one ask for. James Franco kicks off the week with his tour-de-force performance in Danny Boyle's '127 Hours,' about a mountain climber who resorts to drastic measures when his arm gets stuck under a boulder in an isolated Utah canyon. There's love in the air in 'Love & Other Drugs' as Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway trip the light fantastic with and without prescription drugs. Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson straps on the violence to wreak revenge on the men who killed his brother in 'Faster,' a for-guys-only film with fast cars, explosions and a big body count. Lastly there's 'Burlesque,' a failed musical that nevertheless shows off the winning talents of Christina Aguilera and gives our surround speakers a run for the money.

'127 Hours'
What It's About: James Franco was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of mountain climber Aron Ralston, who gets trapped in an isolated canyon in Utah when his arm gets stuck under a boulder. Alone and unable to summon help, Ralston spends the next five days examining his life and summoning the courage to extricate himself from his predicament -- with the aid of his knife.

It's Kinda Like: 'K2' meets 'Cast Away'

What We Say: A remarkable tour-de-force by Franco and Danny Boyle (who can direct just about any genre successfully, from gritty realism to science fiction to Bollywood). The much talked-about amputation scene is indeed excruciating to watch and hear, but the film really excels in it's exploration of the connections between people and the resilience of the human spirit.

• Extras: Commentary by Danny Boyle, a featurette about the events that aided the search and rescue of Aron Ralston.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue




'Love & Other Drugs'
What It's About: Here's an adult comedy with a terrific premise that, however, eventually goes astray. Jake Gyllenhaal plays a smooth-talking ladies man on the fast track to success as a pharmaceutical sales rep who enters the business in the booming 1990s -- just when Viagra hits the market. But his high-flying life is grounded when he falls for a radiantly sexy free spirit (Anne Hathaway) who shows the early signs of Parkinson's.

It's Kinda Like: 'Love Story' meets 'Thank You for Smoking'

What We Say: Anne Hathaway didn't get to bare it all in 'Brokeback Mountain' but she sure makes up for lost time here. Much has been made of the excessive amount of time she bares her breasts on camera and while her role could have been realized without the nudity, we're not gonna complain. What irks us is the maudlin mush that enters the film about two-thirds of the way through, derailing what started out as a subversive anti-drug-industry comedy.

• Extras: Extended and deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue
Watch 'Love & Other Drugs' trailers


'Faster'
What It's About: The Rock returns to form as a cold-blooded killing machine out to avenge the death of his brother at the hands of some nasty men during the aftermath of a bank robbery 10 years earlier. He's got the car, the weapons and the energy to hunt down the murderers and exact revenge and that he does for some 98 minutes of violence.

It's Kinda Like: 'Payback' meets 'Taken'

What We Say: This is typical male-fantasy action with Dwayne Johnson showing off his pecs and more as the carnage mounts around him. There's not a heck of a lot of story -- he just goes after the bad guys -- and the twist at the end is pretty much telegraphed well ahead of time. A sub-plot with a killer hired to track down The Rock is pretty superfluous. We just want The Rock to kick ass.

• Extras: Alternate ending, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue
Watch 'Faster' trailers


'Burlesque'
What It's About: Christina Aguilera plays a small-town girl from Iowa who moves to L.A. to make it as a singer. She stumbles upon Burlesque, a semi-seedy night club on the Sunset Strip with a wildly choreographed stage show right out of Weimar Germany via Madonna, and quickly works her way into the company -- first as a waitress, then as a dancer and, finally, as the star attraction. But not before the obligatory roadblocks, bad affairs and nasty competitors.

It's Kinda Like: 'Striptease' meets 'Cabaret'

What We Say: We were pleasantly surprised with 'Burlesque.' Yes, it's your typical small-town-girl-with-a-big-voice-makes-good-in-the-big-city extravaganza, with your typical characters (tough night-club owner with a heart of gold, cool-hip bartender love interest, fallen star who resents the new girl, etc.), but Aguilera is terrific as the hick who can sing and dance with the best of them, Stanley Tucci is sharp as the quick-witted stage manager, and Cher is, well, Cher. The story may be weak-kneed, but the musical numbers are a heck of a lot of fun -- the sound is fantastic when all five surrounds kick in.

• Extras: Six full musical performances, blooper reel, several behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentary by writer-director Steven Antin.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue
Watch 'Burlesque' trailers | Steve Antin on Oscar Snubs and Razzies



Check out other new March 1 DVD releases at OnVideo.

More about movies on Blu-ray DVD