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New on DVD, January 13, 2009

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. In addition to the selections below, you can also add Kevin Costner's Swing Vote to your queue.

Brideshead Revisited
Here's a movie I never got around to seeing in '08, which makes it my favorite kind of new DVD release! This lavishly costumed period drama starring the wonderful Emma Thompson sort of gives me an Atonement vibe except it didn't get nearly as much critical or box office attention.

Based on the bestselling novel, the movie follows "the memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder who is stationed at Brideshead Castle during WWII and remembers his involvement with the owners of the Brideshead estate: The aristocratic yet Catholic Flyte family and in particular brother and sister Sebastian and Julia."

Special features include deleted scenes, filmmakers' audio commentary, and a segment titled "The World of Brideshead."

Two more up next, so


I enjoy a Western every now and again and Appaloosa, directed by and starring Ed Harris, is a good one. Harris plays Virgil Cole, a man who, along with his partner Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), makes a living off the lawless frontier by helping out towns overrun with criminal activity. Things get complicated when a gal (Renee Zellweger) appears right as they're in the middle of sweeping the bad guys out of town.

It's a good-looking, sometimes funny movie with some great acting and, of course, shoot-em-ups. I recommend bringing this one home.

Special features include additional scenes and commentary by Harris and screenwriter/producer Robert Knott.

Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys
This recent Tyler Perry flick has a large and impressive ensemble cast that includes Kathy Bates, Sanaa Lathan, Alfre Woodard, Rockmond Dunbar and Benjamin Button's Taraji P. Henson. Like other Perry movies, The Family That Preys looks to be heavy on the familial melodrama that, according to Netflix, centers on "a pair of friends — wealthy socialite Charlotte (Academy Award winner Kathy Bates) and working-class Alice (Alfre Woodard) — whose families stand to be ripped apart by greed and scandal."

DVD extras include special featurettes titled "Two Families, Two Legends," "Preying in the Big Easy," "Casting the Family," and "Delving Into the Diner."

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