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Does this picture make you want to see Max Payne? No? Not even with Mila Kunis, back there in the back? No? What if Mark Wahlberg came to your house and personally made you a nice spaghetti dinner? How about then?

Hey kids, here they are: this week's fabulous new DVD releases!

- Boogeyman 3
- Children of Huang Shi
- Children of the Stones
- El Norte (Criterion Collection directed by Gregory Nava)
- The Express
- George Wallace
- Igor
- Magnificent Obsession (Criterion Collection directed by Douglas Sirk)
- Max Payne
- On Each Side
- President Barack Obama: The Man
- Repo! The Genetic Opera
- Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World (Riccardo Freda)/Ali Baba & The 7 Saracens
- Saw 5

Patrick on Magnificent Obsession -

A reckless playboy (Rock Hudson) is responsible for blinding a beautiful widow (Jane Wyman). He's so wracked with guilt that he decides to become a surgeon and restore her sight. It's not only not the first film where the love of a good woman redeems a good-for-nothing man, it's not even the first time Douglas Sirk toyed with the idea. A while back he played out the same skeleton of a story in A Scandal in Paris, where a thieving rogue reforms himself (much to the chagrin of his partner in crime) for a woman he's fallen for and somewhere along the way applies for Christian sainthood. The same thing happens here, right down to the highly Christian overtones. But the primary way in which it differs (aside from George Sanders's superior performance as the scoundrel, the more humorous tone of the earlier film, and of course the wildly disparate settings) is the dazzling color photography (plus Jane Wyman's superior performance as the object of desire). You may think these things don't matter but they do - adds a depth and resonance to the film, reflecting both the emotional tone and the artificiality of some scenes - and I'm going on the assumption that Criterion will do a fine job mastering/restoring things to the high level of design of which Sirk is capable.

Dex on Saw V:
These flicks used to bum me out - it's like a repertory company putting on a series from Donald Rumsfeld's Copper Green documents - though in my dotage I think I may have come around from my previously blaise take; and while I have no desire to see Saw V (indeed, I haven't been able to do more than 15 minutes of the first one) and can find no reason to suggest that anyone out there in blogland should either, I find myself cheered somehow that people younger than I will have their own craptacular cultural touchstone, a thing they can claim they had a hot make-out session at in a theater or their first experience with substance illegale during. So I toast you, Saw V, and however many of you come after! Long may you be the thing that was on when a teen was doing something he/she shouldn't have been!

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