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New on DVD, June 24, 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 bring home the blockbuster hit 10,000 B.C. and kid-friendly The Spiderwick Chronicles.


Definitely, Maybe
It's not a perfect movie, but I found myself totally happy with the charming Definitely, Maybe, despite a few faults. The main characters are nicely thought-out and far easier to identify with than characters in other romcoms this year like, say, Fool's Gold. Plus, Abigail Breslin is always an adorable treat.

The film follows Will Hayes (Ryan Reynolds), a recent divorcee attempting to explain the complications of love to his smart little girl (Breslin). The movie takes on a How I Met Your Mother plot structure, going back in time to the three major loves of of Will's life: Emily (Elizabeth Banks), April (Isla Fisher) and Summer (Rachel Weisz). He doesn't reveal to Breslin's character or the audience who the mother is and it's unclear who he'll end up with. Overall, it's a fun twist on the old romcom formula. If it didn't seem worthy of movie theater prices, you'll definitely (maybe?) feel good about watching this at home.

Special features include commentary with director Adam Brooks and Ryan Reynolds and deleted scenes.

Two more animated movies so read more.


Persepolis
There was a lot of good stuff out in theaters when Persepolis came to theaters and I'm so glad I was able to make the time to see this touching film based on the popular autobiographical graphic novel by Marjane Satrapi. The movie is visually something you never really see in popular animation, mostly drawn in black and white with big, bold, basic shapes. Rather than aiming for realism, the beauty of the animation lies in its simplicity.

The film is voiced in French with subtitles, and follows a young Marjane in 1978 Iran. Set against the backdrop of political upheaval, Persepolis tells Marjane's coming-of-age story, including her eventual separation from her beloved family. Full of warmth, humor, and a unique perspective on growing up in the non-West, it's no wonder the film earned an Oscar nomination.

Special features include an English language version of the film featuring the voices of Chiara Mastroianni, Sean Penn, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands and Iggy Pop, and the 2007 Cannes Film Festival press conference Q&A with cast and crew.


Futurama: The Beast with a Billion Backs
Another feature-length Futurama movie hits DVD stands and once again the fans go wild! In this one, the story picks up where Bender's Big Score left off. Netflix has a good plot summary: "The crew at Planet Express must work overtime to seal a portal between their universe and an alternate universe ruled by the gargantuan alien Yivo (David Cross), whose Earth-conquering plans include making Fry the pope of the alternate realm."

Special guest voices include Brittany Murphy and Stephen Hawking, and special features include: Futurama The Lost Adventure: A long-lost, full-length adventure produced for the Futurama Video Game, and a "Meet Yivo!" featurette with David Cross.

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