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New on DVD December 23: The Women, Burn After Reading, Hamlet 2

What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday

All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue.


Burn After Reading
The Coen brothers do criminals well and in this film they got an impressive group of actors to play "accidental" criminals in a very funny way. Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand play Chad and Linda, two gym employees who find a CD in the locker room that contains data belonging to a former CIA analyst. Assuming that someone will pay big bucks for the return of the sensitive info, they attempt to blackmail the analyst Osborne Cox (John Malkovich). But old Ozzy is far more concerned about his recent unemployment and impending divorce from his wife (Tilda Swinton), who's having an affair with a pinhead womanizer played by George Clooney.

The whole thing ends up feeling like kids playing a spy game but the laughs are smart and result is solid entertainment.

DVD featurettes include: "DC Insiders Run Amock — An all-star cast creates the world of Washington, DC," and "Welcome Back, George" described as a comedy piece featuring Mr. Clooney as he returns for his third collaboration with Ethan and Joel.

Two more up next so read more.


Hamlet 2
Note: For some reason, this title was released on Dec. 21. Go figure. Anyway, it's still pretty newly on DVD!

This little comedy was all the rage at last year's Sundance Film Festival and then kind of fizzled its way through the theaters without too much notice from audiences. But I think it's the kind of flick destined to have a cult following, so now that it's on DVD it can spread through college dorm rooms and 20-somethings' apartments.

The movie stars Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener and Amy Poehler, and follows a teacher who is trying to save the drama department by writing a sequel to Hamlet. One of the co-writers is Pam Brady, who has written lots of funny stuff like the South Park movie, Team America, and Hot Rod.

Special features include deleted scenes and a sing-along.


The Women
This remake of George Cukor's 1939 classic stars Meg Ryan as Mary Haines, whose fabulous life comes to a screeching halt when she finds out (thanks to her gossipy manicurist, played by Debi Mazar) that her husband is having an affair with the Saks perfume "spritzer girl" (Eva Mendes). Things only get more complicated when her tight group of girlfriends (played by Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Debra Messing) try to help her put the pieces back together.

Special features include additional scenes, a visit with the cast and crew, and a look at the evolution of the story from 1936 stage success to classic 1939 movie to this contemporary update.

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