It’s a good week to catch up on your favorite shows before the new TV season begins (Heroes Season Two) and a good week to satisfy your curiosity for a certain guilty pleasure (Uwe Boll‘s Postal). Read on for exclusive clips from Heroes Season Two and Postal, and find out what new releases you should be looking for this week on DVD, including Redbelt, What Happens in Vegas, Son of Rambow, and more!

NBC’s Heroes was a pop culture phenomenon from the get-go, a riveting comic book come to life that followed a host of heroes — and villains — as they gradually developed their powers. Season 2, on DVD this week, continues the epic story as the line between good and evil becomes blurred, new characters emerge, and the fate of the world once more lies in the hands of Peter Petrelli.

We’ve snagged an exclusive clip from the Heroes Season Two DVD release, in which cast member Zachary Quinto (who will also appear as Spock in next year’s Star Trek) sheds light into the motivations of the show’s preeminent villain: the all-powerful sociopath (we think he’s just misunderstood) Sylar.

But wait, there’s more! We’ve got another exclusive bonus clip for you from another of this week’s most anticipated — and notorious — titles: Postal, from director-businessman-pugilist Uwe Boll. (Get an intriguing rare glimpse into the mind of Boll in our interview here.) Postal, adapted from the video game of the same name, offers an irreverent, bawdy, and violent satire of American society and politics made the only way Uwe Boll could have done it: with a star-crossed romance between George W. and Osama bin Laden, full frontal Dave Foley, Verne Troyer as himself, and a cameo by none other than…Uwe Boll!

As a treat for our readers, we exclusively bring you a sneak peek at the full “Raging Boll” bonus feature from the DVD release of Postal. Watch and see why Uwe earned his pugilistic nickname, as he enters the ring to go head-to-head with Something Awful critic Richard “Lowtax” Kyanka!

Click on for this week’s exciting new releases, including What Happens in Vegas, Redbelt and more!

What Happens in Vegas

Tomatometer: 27%

If only this movie had stayed in Vegas. The unholy union of pretty boy Ashton Kutcher and bubbly blonde Cameron Diaz was a summer event destined for boffo box office returns, released smack dab in the middle of wedding season as the chick-friendly alternative to muscular blockbusters like Iron Man and Indiana Jones. And, thanks to their combined powers of evil — vapid good looks and daffy charm, the movie-star equivalent of a smile and nod — Ashton and Cameron raked in a whopping $211 million in worldwide returns.

Bonus Features:

A single-disc and an extended “Jackpot” edition are available, which begs the question: is it worth the gamble? You’ll find extra features galore on both DVD releases, though seven deleted and extended scenes are only available on Blu-ray.


Tomatometer: 9%

Shockingly, it would seem Uwe Boll‘s projections for Postal, his latest video game adaptation, is far from Fresh. Congrats are nevertheless in order, since Uwe Boll’s comically violent, self-referential political satire is, at nine percent on the Tomatometer — his highest-rated film since debuting with 2002’s Blackwoods (11%). So celebrate his career upswing (and satisfy your own morbid curiosity, dear reader) as Postal debuts on DVD this week.

Bonus Features:

Uwe Boll is a smart man. And he knows what we want. The media-savvy filmmaker includes a feature commentary on Postal‘s DVD release, footage of his infamous “Raging Boll” boxing matches, a clip of Verne Troyer as Indiana Jones, and more. Showing their support for what Boll hath wrought from their video game, the makers of Postal have included the complete PC game Postal 2 in the release (creator Vince Desi also cameos in the film as himself).

**Reminder: Buying Postal on DVD is exactly what Uwe Boll wants you to do. If you watch it, he wins…and we all lose.


Tomatometer: 71%

If you did a double take when you heard of Redbelt, join the club. A Mixed Martial Arts movie written and directed by…David Mamet?? Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tim Allen, and Randy Couture star in the favorably-reviewed morality play, written with less of Mamet’s signature talkiness. Watch it in a double feature with the other MMA drama of 2008, Never Back Down.

Bonus Features:

Featurettes on the making-of process and Mixed Martial Arts put the focus on the fighting, as do “Fighter Profiles” and an interview with UFC President Dana White. The crown jewel of Redbelt‘s DVD release is its feature-length commentary, which presents the unlikeliest of duos together, at long last: David Mamet and Randy Couture.

Son of Rambow


Ever daydream as a child and find yourself smack dab in the middle of your favorite movie? Young Will (Bill Milner) does just that, as a chance viewing of Rambo: First Blood inspires him to let his imagination fly, leading him and his friends to make their own sequel for a local filmmaker’s competition. It’s a throwback to the sounds, sights, and great action flicks of the ’80s (and ladies, catch Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick in a supporting role). If you see one new release this week, make it this gem of a film, which is Certified Fresh to boot.

Bonus Features:

Director Garth Jennings and producer Nick Goldsmith (the filmmaking team known as Hammer & Tongs, who also made 2005’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and their tremendously poised young actors Bill Milner and Will Poulter provide a commentary and look at the making of the film, including peeks inside their production offices, parked on barges on a London canal.

Where in the World is Osama bin Laden?

Tomatometer: 36%

The most interesting discovery in Morgan Spurlock‘s latest documentary isn’t whether or not he actually finds Osama bin Laden (guess what — he doesn’t) but what he learns along the way. As with his Oscar-nominated Super Size Me, Where in the World relies a bit too heavily on gimmicks (such as a faux-video game showdown between a pixilated Spurlock and bin Laden), but unearths common ground between Americans and the people of nations halfway around the world.

Bonus Features:

Additional interviews with political figures and an animated history of Afghanistan bolster Spurlock’s cross-cultural debate.

A/k/a Tommy Chong

Tomatometer: 70%

As one half of the duo Cheech & Chong, Tommy Chong became one of the biggest pro-cannabis celebrities in Hollywood; in 2003, that fame also made him one of the biggest targets in a $12 million DEA sting, one of the biggest “enemies” in the War on Drugs. Director Josh Gilbert’s involving documentary follows the actor-comedian as he grapples with the government, pleads guilty, and is sentenced to nine months in prison for financing a glass pipe company owned by his son — a conviction pursued and intentionally made harsher because of Chong’s famous onscreen persona. (Last May, 10,000 copies of A/K/A Tommy Chong DVDs were seized by federal agents under the direction of U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, the same prosecutor who spearheaded Tommy Chong’s case.)

Bonus Features:

Chong appears with former partner Cheech Marin for an interview (the duo reunited for a road show following Chong’s incarceration) and sits down to discuss his case with his family in an additional featurette.

Heroes – Season Two

Tomatometer: N/A

Having aired only eleven episodes during its second season (thanks, writers’ strike!), Heroes didn’t have the chance to show us what it really had in store for Peter Petrelli, Claire Bennett, Hiro Nakamura and the rest of the super gang…until now. Snag Heroes Season Two on DVD to hear insightful episode commentaries and deleted scenes — but most importantly, learn of the Season Two that might have been. Think plague, contamination, and large-scale action set pieces — elements that might have saved Heroes from its perceived sophomore slump.

Bonus Features:

Watch the alternate ending and a featurette that delves deeper into the original story arcs planned for Season Two, plus deleted scenes, faux documentaries, and a sneak peek at Season Three!

Entourage – Season Four

Tomatometer: N/A

Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and Co. go on location for a film about a Columbian drug lord, then take it all the way to the Cannes Film Festival in the Emmy-nominated fourth season of HBO’s Entourage. Watch for guest stars like Anna Faris, M. Night Shyamalan, Snoop Dogg, and Kanye West.

Bonus Features:

Three episode commentaries and the fake trailer for Vincent’s film, Medellin, should prove entertaining, but core fans will really love a panel filmed during the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, featuring Entourage‘s cast and crew as interviewed by critic Elvis Mitchell.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas 2-Disc Collector’s Edition

Tomatometer: N/A

It always seems to happen this way; your favorite movie comes out in a special edition DVD, only to be upgraded years later with yet another, more special, collector’s edition! If you can come to terms with this inevitability, you’ll do a celebratory skeleton dance for the latest home video release of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which has been digitally restored (read: more vivid colors, previously unnoticeable visual details) and is available in a 2-disc Collector’s Edition, an Ultimate Collector’s Edition that comes with a talking Jack Skellington bust, and on Blu-ray.

Bonus Features:

The limited run Ultimate Collector’s Edition Skellington bust will be a must-have item for diehard fans, something the goth kids won’t be able to pick up at Hot Topic. Otherwise, a host of new featurettes accompany previously released DVD extras, including a tour of Disneyland’s Nightmare-themed Haunted Mansion, a newly recorded commentary track combining the memories of Tim Burton, director Henry Selick, and composer Danny Elfman, and the reading of Burton’s original Nightmare poem read by Christopher Lee, animated in 2-D with Burton’s early concept art.

Want another glimpse of this super-special, hand-painted Jack Skellington bust that doubles as a DVD set and comes with optional Sandy Claws dress-up gear? Disney’s put together a nifty stop-motion demo of their own to show you what it will be like to have Jack sitting on your mantle this Christmas. Watch below.

To read previous installments of RT on DVD, check out our column archives here. ‘Til next week, happy renting!

Josh Gilbert‘s serio-comic documentary "a/k/a Tommy Chong," screened at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival (IndieFest), is a pointed chronicle of the 2003 arrest and prosecution of counterculture comedian Tommy Chong, whose iconic stoner movies and stand-up routines made him an enemy of the Bush Administration’s War on Drugs and landed him in prison — for the manufacture of glass pipes.

Spending time with Tommy Chong and his family after his surprise indictment for manufacturing drug paraphernalia — via Chong Glass, a novelty glass pipe business run by his son, Paris — filmmaker Gilbert deftly combines intimate ride-alongs and interviews with media footage as Chong is sentenced to, and serves, nine months in a minimum-security California prison. From early footage of his counterculture days as half of Cheech and Chong, to scenes of Chong’s post-prison stand-up act, Tommy Chong emerges as an unwavering icon of the American spirit whose fan base was only made stronger by his martyrdom at the hands of the federal prison system.

To be sure, this is no objective documentary; director Gilbert is clearly a firm supporter of Chong, his plight, and his endorsement of marijuana, and effectively portrays the government prosecution as a witch hunt, with Chong their example to drug users and enthusiasts across the country. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan, who spearheaded Operation Pipe Dreams in an attempt to shut down the drug paraphernalia industry, is painted as a sheer opportunist who quickly ascended in the ranks following the high-profile bust; her boss, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft, simply appears ridiculous when he declares America "safe" from terrorism after Tommy Chong is behind bars.

And so, despite the obvious stoner sympathies of the filmmakers, it is not difficult to agree with the absurdity of the government and this particular operation. Interviews with Chong Glass employees reveal the eight month-long sting that finally implicated the company in wrongdoing: after months and months of desperate phone calls, an undercover customer persuaded a rookie employee to send a shipment of pipes to Pennsylvania — one of only two states that forbid the sale of paraphernalia.

Once the law was broken, the U.S. Attorney’s office sent hundreds of armed law enforcement officers to raid Chong’s factory and his empty house in an effort that cost American taxpayers $12 million.

Most notably, Chong was the only one among fifty-five indictees to receive prison time; according to him, prosecutors gave him the choice between serving his sentence and allowing his wife and son to face criminal charges as well. Tommy Chong chose to spare his family and accept his sentence, and emerged from incarceration not only a figure of America’s countercultural past but a symbol of civil liberty as well.


If you’re in the San Francisco Bay Area, swing by IndieFest, which runs through Tuesday, February 14 (that’s Valentine’s Day, in case you fellas forget). They’ve already screened movies like "Initial D," "The Proposition," and "a/k/a Tommy Chong," and this week’s films include the Jackie Chan-produced "House of Fury" and Takashi Miike‘s children’s fantasy, "The Great Yokai War." Check out their full line-up of independent films, here.

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