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 watch some very funny recorded improv comedy starring Amy Poehler when you rent The Upright Citizens Brigade: Asssscat!
The Kite Runner
If you enjoyed Khaled Hosseini's bestselling novel, you won't be disappointed by how closely the screen adaptation resembles the book in both plot and its ability to tear your feelings apart. I gave this warning in my review and will say it again: The Kite Runner is not for the faint of heart, and some of the most gut-wrenching scenes from the book are even harder to take visually.
That said, there is much to appreciate about this story, which follows two young boys growing up in Afghanistan before and after the Taliban come to power. The relationship between the two friends is beautifully explored, as tense political events unfold around them. When one of the boys stands mutely aside while his best friend is brutalized, the decision sets off a series of mostly agonizing events and haunts him the rest of his life. In the end, however, it's a tale of love and redemption. Special features include commentary from Khaled Hosseini and the filmmakers.
Two more titles to go — one spooky, one that will take you back in time — so
Party of Five: The Complete Third Season
Check out Matthew Fox's hair on that cover. Amazing. I know it's hard to get beyond Lost and Scream and The Ghost Whisperer, but once upon a time, these stars were on a little drama called Party of Five as a family of orphaned Salinger siblings who raise themselves (or is it . . . each other?).
Season Three was a turning point for most of the characters. Charlie's (Matthew Fox) girlfriend and family nanny gets caught plagiarizing a paper for her PhD, Kate (Jennifer Love Hewitt) reveals to boyfriend Bailey (Scott Wolf) that she wants to remain a virgin, Bailey turns into an alcoholic, and sister Julia (Neve Campbell) spends a lot of time dealing with her guilt after a friend's suicide. This is a great addition to your Party of Five collection and it's a fun journey back through the fashions and style of the '90s.
Perhaps you missed the late November release of this spooky Stephen King film, since it's sometimes hard to get in the holiday spirit and see a scary movie at the same time. If that's the case, be sure to add The Mist to your queue this week, as it's pretty much everything one could want out of a scary movie.
The movie follows local townspeople trapped in a supermarket by a thick and deadly fog. While it's spooky to wonder what, exactly, in that mist is killing people, the really scary stuff comes from the way the group deals with the threat, bringing up all kinds of topics around End of Days. Marcia Gay Harden is particularly creepy as the town's religious fanatic Mrs. Carmody.
The special two-disc set includes commentary by writer/director Frank Darabont, deleted scenes, the behind the scenes webisodes, and the complete film in black and white.