CATEGORIES DVDs, Movies, Blu-ray DVDs

There's laughter, tears and thrills on the docket this week, starting off with an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's 'The Adjustment Bureau,' a science fiction love story about a man who just won't accept what the fates have in store for him. Next up is the fast-paced action-thriller 'Unknown,' with he-man Liam Neeson playing an American doctor who wakes up after a car accident and no longer fits into the world he thought he lived in. And, finally, don't forget 'Cedar Rapids,' a comedy that follows a mild-manner insurance salesman who gets caught up in ribald adventures at a convention in the BIG city. Read on.

'The Adjustment Bureau'
What It's About: Do we control our destiny, or do unseen forces manipulate us? Matt Damon stars in this thriller -- based on the short story 'Adjustment Team' by Philip K. Dick -- as a man who glimpses the future Fate has planned for him and tries to fight it. On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Damon) meets beautiful ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt). But mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of Fate itself -- the men of The Adjustment Bureau -- who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent the two from being together.

It's Kinda Like: 'Dark City' meets 'The Book of Job'

What We Say: We've never met a Philip K. Dick story, novel or big-screen adaptation we didn't like -- but if we had to pick one to anchor the bottom of our list of faves, 'The Adjustment Bureau' would be it. Director George Nolfi just can't seem to put any oomph into the proceedings, and the film can't decide if it's a sci-fi thriller, a conspiracy mystery, a love story or a religious tract -- and given the ending that accedes to a higher power, maybe even He (or She) didn't know either. This one sounds better on paper than it plays.

• Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, featurettes, commentary; the Blu-ray adds "The Labyrinth of Doors: Interactive Map of New York" that allows viewers to use the Adjustment Bureau's network of portals to leap from location to location, triggering a short video in each place that offers a look behind the scenes or a scene from the film.
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'Unknown'
What It's About: While on his way to a convention in Berlin, Dr. Martin Harris' (Liam Neeson) cab crashes and he awakens in the hospital to discover that his wife (January Jones) suddenly doesn't recognize him and, worse, another man (Aidan Quinn) has assumed his identity. Ignored by disbelieving authorities and hunted by mysterious assassins, he finds himself alone, tired and on the run. He joins up with an unlikely ally (Diane Kruger), and the pair plunge headlong into a deadly mystery that will force him to question his sanity, his identity, and just how far he's willing to go to uncover the truth.

It's Kinda Like: 'Taken' meets 'The Lady Vanishes' via 'Flightplan'

What We Say: Liam Neeson's career has always been a mixed bag. One day he's playing Darkman, the next Oskar Schindler. When he's not handling a light sabre as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, he's brandishing a clip board in 'Kinsey.' Lately he's taken up residence as the big screen's elder statesman of action (he just hit 59), first in 'Taken' and now in 'Unknown.' This straight-ahead action-thriller by director Jaume Collet-Serra (who did the freaky thriller 'Orphan') is pushed along by Neeson's charisma and charm but starts to peter out after the plot twist is revealed in the film's last third. Still, we revel in Neeson's "dad-next-door-with-fists-of-steel" persona.

• Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurettes.
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'Cedar Rapids'
What It's About: Ed Helms (of 'The Office' and 'The Hangover' fame) plays naive Tim Lippe, a small-town mid-Western insurance agent who's never left his hometown, never stayed at a hotel, never had a hard-drink ... and he's never experienced anything like Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Sent to represent his company at the annual insurance convention, Tim is soon distracted by three convention veterans (John C. Reilly, Anne Heche and Isiah Whitlock Jr.) who show him the ropes and push his boundaries ... and lend him a hand when his innocence gets him into raunchy trouble.

It's Kinda Like: 'The Office' meets 'The Hangover'

What We Say: Helms is cutting a swathe for himself as kind of an everyman loser who eventually rises to the occasion and saves the day. Here he plays it to the hilt as an insurance salesman whose libido is just on the edge of bursting -- though he doesn't yet know it. On the one hand he's having an affair with his ex-elementary school teacher (Sigourney Weaver), on the other he marvels at the peanuts he's served on his airline flight. The film veers from sweetness and light to nasty bathroom humor with almost nothing in between -- but it all comes together as a kind of goofball Odyssey.

• Extras: Gag reel, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes featurette.
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Other New June 21 DVD Releases:

  • 'Bending All the Rules': A serial dater, who always puts her love life behind her career, finally lands her lifetime dream -- her own photography exhibition -- but things get complicated when she finds herself being romantically pursued by two men. Stars Colleen Porch, David Gail, Bradley Cooper.
  • 'Ceremony': An aspiring children's book author crashes his older ex's wedding in the hopes of winning her back before the nuptials are completed. Stars Uma Thurman, Lee Pace, Michael Angarano, Rebecca Mader, Reece Thompson.
  • 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules': More schoolyard adventures with bully favorite Greg, Rowley and Greg's older brother, Rodrick. Stars Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Peyton List, Devon Bostick, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn.
  • 'The Eagle': A Roman soldier slashes his way through 2nd century Britain to restore the tarnished reputation of his father and find a golden emblem that disappeared with him and thousands of troops 20 years earlier. Stars Channing Tatum, Denis O'Hare, Jamie Bell, Donald Sutherland.
  • 'Elektra Luxx': A recently retired adult film industry superstar (Carla Gugino) tries to make a go of the straight-life by teaching a community college sex education class aimed at housewives, but her past creeps up on her and thwarts her new plans.
  • 'happythankyoumoreplease': A group of twentysomething New Yorkers struggle to figure out themselves, their lives and their loves. Stars Josh Radnor, Malin Akerman, Kate Mara.
  • 'Playing House': In order to afford their dream house, a newly married couple invite their best friend to move in with them, but he brings along a stunning temptress who decides she likes what the newlyweds have and never wants to leave. Stars Mayra Leal, Sarah Prikryl, Craig Welbacher, Matt Lusk.
  • 'To Live and Ride in LA': An exploration of the underground community of inked up bike riders in LA. The documentary examines fixed-gear bike culture and some of the biggest names in the underground movement.

Check out more June 21 DVD releases at OnVideo.