DVD of the Week: ‘District 9.’ Plus: ‘Extract,’ ‘(500) Days of Summer,’ More

In a year of sci-fi movies with outstanding special effects, one of the best of them had to be District 9, which had it all—original premise, humor, suspense, soul, and even allegory. If you missed it, the plot is this: aliens have come to earth, but rather than being welcomed, humans relegate the helpless, ugly, shrimp-like beings to the Johannesburg slums. When one naïve government worker tasked with moving them to a new district has an accident and discovers a secret, the movie turns into an action-packed man-on-the-run tale. Oh, and you somehow end up sort of loving those gross things.

 

Extras: Featurettes on creating the world and visuals; a three-part making-of documentary; commentary. Blu-ray only: “God of War III” game demo, interactive map, digital copy and movieIQ.
 
Any time “quirky” and “romance” appear in a movie’s description the hackles go up, especially if Zooey Deschanel is involved, but this sometimes too-cute, non-linearly told look at a failed romance actually is kinda irresistible. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Deschanel as the girl who got away make a terrific duo.
 
Expectations ran high for Mike Judge’s latest directorial effort, and although it has a few funny scenes and Jason Bateman in the lead as the straight man whose business is struggling, it falls short of Judge’s Office Space-level hilarity. Still worth a look, though.  
 
2009 was a big year for Sandra Bullock, with two huge hits…and All About Steve, in which she stars as a sex-crazed crossword puzzle writer who gets all stalker-y and weird on news cameraman Steve (Bradley Cooper) after one blind date. 
 
Jimmy Page, U2’s The Edge and The White Stripes’ Jack White come together to give a glimpse into what it’s like being an electric guitar virtuoso and huge rock star in this intriguing documentary.

 

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