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New on DVD, April 29, 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 now rent or own the fourth season of Beverly Hills 90210, which — according to Netflix and my memory—includes moments like Andrea finding out she's pregnant and Brandon meeting Bill Clinton!

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is based on an astonishing true story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the one-time glamorous editor of Elle France living the high life when he suddenly suffers a stroke and is rendered paralyzed except for the movement of one eyelid. From a premise that sounds unspeakably bleak, director Julian Schnabel (nominated for an Oscar for his work on this film) takes Bauby's own words and whips them into a film imbibed with gorgeous images and touching performances to tell what is actually a very hopeful and life-affirming tale.

I enjoyed this movie very much and think you should consider bumping it up to the top of your queue today. Special features include a featurette titled "Submerged: The making of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"and a Charlie Rose interview with Julian Schnabel.

Two more titles after the jump, so


27 Dresses
It seems as if we are about to get somewhat bombarded with fun films to see with girlfriends (Sex and the City, Made of Honor) but if you're looking for a head start, you can pick up 27 Dresses this week starring Katherine Heigl.

It's probably no surprise that this is a formulaic romantic comedy; however, despite how predictable the plot was, I couldn't resist its charms and found it extremely enjoyable. You have to be in the mood for love and romance (and wedding cliches) but Heigl is charming as the eternal bridesmaid whose 26th and 27th turn standing beside a bride catch the eye of a journalist even though she's deeply smitten with her boss (Ed Burns). Love triangle! Silly moments! Gather the girls, microwave some popcorn, and settle in for a night of fabulous movie escapism.

The DVD is packed with deleted scenes and special featurettes, including titles like "The Wedding Party" and "You'll Never Wear That Again."

The Golden Compass
The Golden Compass is many things, but at the top of my list of reasons to see this film are the amazing, Oscar nominated visual effects that completely bring to life the world Philip Pullman has created in his novels. The story follows an orphan named Lyra who is given a golden compass that allows her to see the truth of things. Her adventure leads her to an evil icy lady (Nicole Kidman) who claims she wants to help kids by taking away their ability to think freely, and it is up to Lyra to save the children from this plan. Definitely appropriate for anyone looking for a new family friendly rental this week.

Special features include clips that explore the origins of the film and how the filmmakers approached adapting the popular novel for the screen.

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