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. This week brings us an exciting list of big titles, many of which got Oscar attention this year. In addition to these recommendations, check out Heath Ledger in the gritty drama Candy, as well as the gorgeous-looking Curse of the Golden Flower, which was up for Best Costumes.
Children of Men
Nominated for three Academy Awards, Children of Men is a frightening sci-fi tale of a not-so-distant future when women are unable to have babies, and humans everywhere, facing extinction, have turned to violence and warfare. Miraculously, one woman named Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey) has managed to conceive and needs help from Theo (Clive Owen) to bring her — and the future of the race — safely to a science center named The Human Project. It's a chilling and dramatic piece of sci-fi that's a far cry from Jar Jar Binks. For more details, check out my full review.
For two more recommendations,
The Pursuit of Happyness
Against Peter O'Toole and Forest Whitaker, Will Smith really didn't have a prayer in this year's Best Actor race. But if his excellent portrayal of Chris Gardner is any indication, Smith should get more chances to win. He is subtle and studious as a salesman who takes an unpaid internship as a stockbroker in hopes of bettering his life and that of his young son (Jaden Smith). Gardner hits such lows that this movie is often painful to watch, but it will also open your eyes. Check out my full review and you'll understand what I mean.
Sure, this is technically a kids' movie, but this one is so CGI-tastic that it won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. The story follows Mumble, a lovable emperor penguin with a woefully bad singing voice. His peers use their vocal skills to attract mates while Mumble, well, mumbles. Luckily, he was gifted in another way: The penguin can dance! The songs are toe-tappingly happy, and there is a serious message about being environmentally responsible. But really, the bottom line is: Who doesn't love penguins?