New on DVD April 14: 'The Reader,' 'The Spirit'

New on DVD April 14: 'The Reader,' 'The Spirit'

The '09 Oscars have come and gone, but now is when last year's winning and nominated movies come out on home video.

ImageIn The Reader, Best Actress winner Kate Winslet takes on the complicated anti-heroine role of Hanna Schmitz, a onetime Nazi guard who has an affair with a young, D.H. Lawrence-spouting boy who re-enters her life when she's on trial for war crimes. Winslet's nuanced performance manages to elicit understanding, if not sympathy, for a woman who has done horrific things in her life.

The Spirit From Frank Miller (Sin City, 300) comes this story about a rookie cop (Gabriel Macht) resurrected from the dead to battle crime and his arch-nemesis The Octopus (Samuel L. Jackson), who craves immortality, while fending off the various wasp-waisted femmes fatales who may or may not be out to get him. Beautifully stylized, but the script pretty much sucks and the acting's even worse.

New on Blu: 8 Mile Yeah, it's a little dated (the movie's only five-plus years old, yet it seems like an eternity since Eminem has been relevant), but his acting debut as -- you guessed it -- a white rapper in a black world still feels genuine and meaningful. Since this isn't an effects movie and extras are almost nil, the real reason to pick up this Blu-ray is for its excellent music presentation and good acting all around.

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