This week we bring you an exclusive look from the DVD release of Smart People, starring Dennis Quaid and Ellen Page as a father and daughter whose intellect outweighs their social graces; imagine a higher-strung Juno obsessed with high test scores instead of hamburger phones. Also check out what’s new on DVD: Stephen Chow‘s CJ7, new seasons of South Park, The Wire, and Prison Break, and the ickiest father-daughter romance of the week, starring David Duchovny and Juno sidekick Olivia Thirlby.

Smart People



Tomatometer: 49%

A high IQ does not a happy person make, as the smarty pants in Noam Murro’s directorial debut prove. Father and daughter Lawrence (Dennis Quaid) and Vanessa (Ellen Page) are an intellectually superior but socially self destructive pair in this textbook Sundance flick. Critics were split, which means checking it out on DVD could be a smart move (pun intended).

Bonus Features:

Smart People assembles a fine cast, who all appear in bloopers, outtakes, interviews and features on the DVD. Exclusive footage from the film’s Sundance Film Festival premiere adds a nice touch. Director Murro and writer Mark Jude Poirier also contribute a commentary.

Watch an exclusive clip from the Smart People DVD below, in which Quaid and the filmmakers reveal why and how they developed his grumpy character, Lawrence. Smart People is out this week on DVD.

South Park, The Wire, Prison Break, and more! Click for this week’s new releases!



CJ7



Tomatometer: 49%

Actor-director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) switches gears to bring us his oddly sweet take on the family film, with a nod to ET: The Extra-Terrestrial, Lilo & Stitch, and a sprinkling of CGI kung fu action. Chow stars as Ti, a father who brings home a glowing green toy that turns out to be a doglike alien with magical powers.

Bonus Features:

Chow contributes a brisk full-length commentary track, and a handful of featurettes provide insight into the making of the film. Plus, learn “How to Bully a Bully” from Stephen Chow himself.

Irina Palm



Tomatometer: 72%

Rock icon Marianne Faithfull stars in this drama as Maggie, a 50-something grandmother who desperately takes a job as a hostess in a London sex club in order to pay for her grandson’s operation. Why they call her “Irina Palm”…well, let’s just say the name fits the service. Ahem.

Bonus Features:

Besides trailers and cast and director interviews, there’s not much in the way of bonus material. Critical praise and sheer curiosity value considered, however, Irina Palm should be one of the week’s more interesting releases.


South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season


Tomatometer:
N/A

If the kids of South Park aged in real time, Cartman would be elephant-walking his way through freshman orientation and hazing Kyle, Stan, and Kenny in college. But by Season 11, the boys are still where they belong: elementary school. Check out South Park: The Complete Eleventh Season in all of its uncensored, foul-mouthed glory for episodes like “Guitar Queer-O” and the three-part, Emmy-nominated “Imaginationland” saga.

Bonus Features:

Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker offer mini commentary tracks on all 14 episodes.



The Wire – The Complete Fifth Season


Tomatometer: N/A

Complete your collection of one of HBO’s most celebrated original series when the fifth and final season of The Wire hits DVD this week. The Peabody Award-winning show — a gritty, sprawling portrait of urban Baltimore that centers on a different crumbling Baltimore institution each season — ends with a focus on the city’s news media. Pick up Season 5 and finish the series some television critics called better than The Sopranos.

Bonus Features:

Ex-cop and creator David Simon joins cast and crew members on six commentary tracks. A documentary on the role of the media augments Season 5’s theme, while a show retrospective revisits the milestones of the previous four seasons.


Prison Break – Season Three


Tomatometer: N/A

Who ever thought a primetime drama about a guy breaking out of jail would turn into a hit show, let alone run for four seasons? In Season 3, we find Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) and his prison buddies on the lam in Panama — but more importantly, fans get a shocking surprise appearance, a la Se7en, by Michael’s sweetheart, Dr. Sara Tancredi.

Bonus Features:

The 13 hour-length episodes come with featurettes, “director’s takes” on characters and life on set, spotlights on cast members, and a bonus episode of The Unit.


The Secret


Tomatometer: N/A

Each week plenty of direct-to-DVD films flood the market, and if you’re like us, you ignore most of them. But sometimes a title catches your eye, and you wonder, what were they thinking? Enter The Secret. (Enthusiasts of the best-selling self-help book, beware; this is not an adaptation.) David Duchovny stars as a man whose wife (Lili Taylor) and 16-year-old daughter (Olivia Thirlby) are involved in a fatal accident, leading the mother’s spirit to inhabit her daughter’s body. Still in love, Duchovny and Thirlby (as the mom) struggle to help their daughter’s spirit survive — and, you know, avoid technically committing incest. Ick.

Bonus Features:

The disc includes interviews and behind-the-scenes features, but did we mention that parent-child sexual tension? Initial revolt aside, the French production (helmed by actor-director Vincent Perez) has skyrocketed to the top of our Netflix queue.

‘Til next week, happy renting!

This week
at the movies, we’ve got prehistoric passion (10,000 B.C., starring
Steven Strait and
Camilla Belle), travel travails (College Road Trip,
starring Martin Lawrence and
Raven-Symone), and
hard-boiled heists (The Bank Job, starring
Jason Statham). What do the
critics have to say?

If you’re
looking for subtlety,
Roland Emmerich is not your man. That’s not to say he’s a
bad filmmaker; he’s made some quality big-budget, high-concept yarns (Independence
Day
springs to mind) that deliver thrills aplenty. Unfortunately, critics say
his latest,

10,000 B.C.
, is mired in the stone age. B.C. stars

Steven Strait and
Camilla Belle
as a pair of hunting-and-gathering honeys; when
Belle gets kidnapped, Strait and members of their tribe journey into the unknown
to save her — and run across saber-toothed tigers, wooly mammoths, and other
civilizations. The pundits say 10,000 B.C. doesn’t lack for compelling
visuals, but it’s weak on plot and characterization and filled with
unintentional comedy. At 12 percent on the Tomatometer, 10,000 B.C. is a
Mesolithic mess. It’s also the worst-reviewed film of Emmerich’s career.




“Jiminy Jilickers! Just missed the Red Bull Flugtag!”

With
College Road Trip,
Martin Lawrence joins
Ice Cube and
Robin Williams in the pantheon
of once-edgy performers toplining poorly-reviewed family road trip comedies.
Lawrence stars as the overbearing father of
Melanie (
Raven-Symone), whose plan for a just-the-girls trip to look at schools
is undermined by her dad’s insistence on going along for the ride; subsequently,
laffs are had and lessons are learned, at least in theory. The pundits say Road
Trip
features over-the-top gags and a remarkable shortage of comic
imagination. At zero percent on the Tomatometer, this is the worst-reviewed film
of Lawrence’s career, edging out the five percent
Big Momma’s House 2
.




Maiden voyage of the Battleship Pigtemkin.

After
touring the martial arts circuit in movies like
The Transporter
and
War
,
Jason Statham returns to his grimy thriller roots with

The Bank Job
.
Based on the real-life 1971 robbery of security deposit boxes, he stars as a
petty thug in over his head as the job spirals out of control. It’s a throwback
to the heist movies of yore, and according to the critics (to quote
The French
Connection
‘s tagline) the time is right for an out-and-out thriller like this.
Director Roger Donaldson never lets the pace flag, forging a movie that’s
dramatic, funny, and plain entertaining. At 73 percent on the Tomatometer, The Bank Job is looking like a solid investment. (And
check out our Total Recall feature on heist movies

here
.)




“Who knew Louise Brooks could bend like that?”

Also
opening this week in limited release:




Testing out the rumor that Stratocasters taste like fried banana.

Recent
Roland Emmerich Films:
—————————————–
46% — The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
62% — The Patriot (2000)
25% — Godzilla (1998)
62% —

Independence
Day
(1996)
43% — Stargate (1994)

You’ve probably heard
Stephen Chow‘s working on bringing us
a new Kung Fu Hustle, but the Chinese writer/director/actor has got another
project in store while we patiently wait:
CJ7
, Chow’s sci-fi-comedy hybrid
that’s coming out this Friday. We’ve got
an exclusive clip for you here called
“The Most Violent Dog on Earth,” which starts with an introduction recorded by
Chow just for Rotten Tomatoes readers!



Chow stars as Ti, an unskilled laborer too poor to afford
his son (reportedly to actually be played by a girl) the latest toy, but
stumbles upon something even better: a squishy, happy alien-dog type thing.
Dubbed CJ7 the elastic extraterrestrial adds an interesting quirk to their lives
as the single father looks for work and romances women and his son contends with
school and bullies.

CJ7 is out in theaters March 7. Click
here to watch the
clip. And check out the trailer with its quick cut of somebody kicking a soccer
ball with rocket shoes. (Shaolin Soccer holla!)

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