October 3, 2008 in Seven

A super job as a superhero

By Dan Webster danw@spokane7.com (509) 459-5483
 

“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”

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What with the success of such comic movie stars as Seth Rogen and, now, Jason Segel, you have to wonder whether we really are experiencing a true revenge of the nerds. (Add in Michael Cera and you may have a convincing argument.) Segel, who had a small but important part in Rogen’s film “Knocked Up,” plays a sad-sack composer who gets dumped by his TV-star girlfriend (Kristen Bell). Our hero flees to Hawaii – only to find his ex and her new love (the hilarious British comic Russell Brand). He, though, finds a chance for new love with a hotel clerk (Mila Kunis). You can explain the success both of Rogen and Segel with three simple words: Judd Apatow produces. DVD, which is available in Blu-ray, includes commentary, deleted, extended and alternate scenes, gag reel. (1:52; rated R for language, sexual content, some graphic nudity)

“Sports Night: The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition”

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Each of the principals of this short-lived TV series, an Aaron Sorkin-created show that ran on ABC for two seasons (1998-2000), went on to do something else. Peter Krause and Josh Charles play the anchors on an ESPN-type sports network (Krause graduated to HBO’s “Six Feet Under,” Charles to a series of movies and the HBO series “In Treatment”). Felicity Huffman (an Oscar nominee for the 2005 film “Transamerica”) plays the producer, while Joshua Malina (who took a role in Sorkin’s other show, “The West Wing”) and Sabrina Lloyd (who’s had a recurring role on “Numb3rs”) were valuable crew members. The show itself was underrated, its whip-smart observations about sports, show-biz and human interaction making standard TV fare look like something that wouldn’t pass muster as cable-access fodder. That, of course, was probably the show’s biggest problem. DVD includes commentaries by creators Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme, plus cast members Krause, Charles, Malina, Lloyd and others, making-of featurettes, 10th-anniversary booklet. (eight discs; not rated)

“Chapter 27”

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This dark little film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, enjoyed a limited theatrical release a year later and has been available for a while on DVD through Blockbuster. It’s now being released wider on DVD, and more hard-core movie fans likely are going to find the wait worthwhile – though others likely will put their fast-forward controls to good use. A virtually unrecognizable Jared Leto (“Requiem for a Dream”) stars as Mark David Chapman, the disturbed Beatles fan who, obsessed with J.D. Salinger’s novel “Catcher in the Rye,” stalks and then murders John Lennon outside Manhattan’s Dakota building (the real-life incident occurred on Dec. 8, 1980). In addition to Leto’s having gained 60-odd pounds to play Chapman, the film gives a chilling portrayal of the character’s mental disintegration – to the point where he supposedly wants to write the next chapter of Salinger’s 26-chapter novel in Lennon’s blood (thus the film’s title). Look for Lindsay Lohan, who is wasted as another Beatles fan who befriends Chapman – albeit temporarily. DVD includes making-of featurette, theatrical trailer. (1:24; rated R for language, sexual content)

Also available: “Buried Alive,” “Ghost Boat,” “Loy Reed’s Berlin,” “The Rebel,” “Soccer Mom”

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