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New on DVD, July 1, 2008

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 titles below you can also now find the third season of TNT's The Closer on DVD, along with the brutal but stunning Brazilian film City of Men.


Mad Men: Season 1
I'm excited for the release of Mad Men's first season because I've been running around town, preaching to anyone who will listen that they should hurry up and watch it before the second season starts Sunday July 27! The series initially flew under the radar, as it was AMC's first venture into original programming, but it much-deserved attention and credibility by winning multiple Golden Globes.

The series is set in 1960s Manhattan, in the heart and soul of the advertising industry. It follows the trials and tribulations of one Madison Avenue firm's employees who (true fact) named themselves "Mad Men." The attention to detail in this show is impeccable, right down to the coned-bras and smoking in the work place. The series is as wonderful to look at as it is dark, and it doesn't flinch from the politically incorrect behavior of the era, including uncomfortable scenes rife with sexual harassment, racism, and anti-semitism. It may leave your soul a bit shattered and battered at its portrayal of America during this time, but it's so well-executed you'll probably recover fast. Plus, Don Draper is among the dreamiest characters to come along in a while (despite the fact that his behavior is often repugnant).

Special features include cast and crew interviews, a photo gallery, Mad Men music, and commentaries on every episode.

Two more great choices up next so read more.


My Blueberry Nights
My Blueberry Nights has a great-looking cast that includes Natalie Portman, Norah Jones, Rachel Weisz and Jude Law. It's the first English-speaking film by Chinese director Wong Kar Wai and while it got an average response from the critics, I'm curious to check it out for myself.

Here's how Netflix describes the plot: "Elizabeth (Norah Jones), a restless young woman, travels cross-country working a variety of waitressing jobs and connecting with an odd assortment of characters along the way, including policeman Arnie (David Strathairn), his unfaithful wife, Sue Lynne (Rachel Weisz), and a flighty young gambler (Natalie Portman). But she realizes that her touchstone is Jeremy (Jude Law), the owner of a café she haunted back home in New York."

Special features include a making of My Blueberry Nights featurette, and a Q&A with director Wong Kar Wai.


Vantage Point
I saw Vantage Point and thinking back on it, it strikes me more and more as a fabulous home movie-watching choice. It's a good thriller-mystery with a decent amount of action, and while it feels gimmicky and familiar at points, those weaknesses probably won't matter with an at-home crowd just looking for a fun escape.

The cast is top-notch and includes Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Sigourney Weaver and Forest Whitaker playing characters whose destinies collide when the US president is shot in Spain. Special features include titles like "Surveillance Tapes: Outtake," and "An Inside Perspective: Interviews With the Cast & Crew."

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