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DVDs Nuts!



Away We Go Director Sam Mendes has tackled dysfunctional American families plenty of times before – American Beauty, Revolutionary Road – but never with the light touch he has in this look at a couple (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) on the brink of parenthood and in search of a place to call home. Written by acclaimed author Dave Eggers and his wife, novelist Vendela Vida, the boy and girl at the heart of the film often seem condescendingly adrift and their surrounding players overreaching stereotypes, but a few well-placed, spectacular performances by Melanie Lynskey and Paul Schneider (in his second scene-chewing assist of the year, along with Bright Star) redeem what could have been sappy and make ; it golden. (R)


He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Complete Series For a powerful prince, He-Man can't catch a break. Although the animated series of the '80s and its toy line were massively popular at the time, subsequent attempts to further the story of Eternia's guardian have flopped. That includes the short life of this 2002 update by animator Nam Jong-Sik, which only lasted two seasons. Boasting beautiful renderings and more mythological story lines, the series was quickly shut down. Which is a shame, because it gave us a glimpse at the possibilities inherent in the original's silly execution. More bad news for the muscle-bound Aryan: As of the day this was written, the planned 2011 live-action movie, Grayskull, has been canceled by Warner Bros. Where's that "power," dude? (NR)


Nightwatching This 2007 thriller from writer-director Peter Greenaway is expectedly lush, grand and erotic. It may also have been too much, but to watch the effort of Greenaway and Martin Freeman, as Dutch painter Rembrandt, to run through every conspiracy theory imaginable behind the artist's infamous work "Night Watch" is to admire their unrestricted and messy imaginations. Whether anything in the film is true or not couldn't be further from the point. (R)


Trumbo The Joseph McCarthy–led Hollywood blacklisting of screenwriters claimed many casualties, but none as fiery, witty or enduringly fearless as Dalton Trumbo. Pre-Communist accusations, Trumbo wrote some of Hollywood's best and smartest scripts, from A Guy Named Joe to Spartacus. He even wrote an Oscar-winner, Roman Holiday, under an assumed name. The guy simply could not be quieted, not even after his death in 1976, as this remarkable documentary proves. Helmed assuredly by Peter Askin and combining archival footage of Trumbo's interviews, Washington, D.C., testimony and readings of Trumbo's letters by Paul Giamatti, Liam Neeson and others, what emerges is a portrait of a man with a strong will and a mighty American pen. (PG-13)


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