New on DVD, 'Slumdog,' 'Marley & Me'

New on DVD, 'Slumdog,' 'Marley & Me'

Danny Boyle is one of my favorite directors. I just think he's terrifically talented, having put out great movies that are so varying in subject and tone, yet still stylish and original in their own ways: 1995's blackly comic Shallow Grave, depressing drug movie Trainspotting in '96, the '02 undead horrorfest 28 Days Later, and the sad, scary, beautiful Sunshine in '07.

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Critics have always appreciated Boyle, but this year he received the highest honors from his filmmaking peers: the Best Director Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, a heartfelt, vibrant rags-to-riches story about a poor Indian kid (aka "slumdog") who hits big on a TV game show. The story's black-and-white morality tale is told in vivid color, with elements of romance, tragedy, comedy and suspense all wrapped up in a inspirational underdog story.

ImageAnother new release this week involves a dog of the leg-humping, house-destroying kind. Marley and Me's golden-haired family consisting of Jennifer Aniston, Owen Wilson and their yellow Lab puppy goes through a lifetime in dog's years of trying to get Marley to behave. The trouble with most animal-centric movies is no matter how much you laugh, you know how it ends. And in this case, the conclusion starts about a half hour before the end, and if you've ever lost a pet, it'll give you plenty of time to draw from that well of tears.

Seven Pounds reunites Will Smith with his Pursuit of Happyness filmmaking team for this serious drama in which he plays an IRS agent who changes the lives of seven randoms he meets through work. The pretzel-twisting plotline is kinda morbidly wack, but Will Smith turns in a terrific performance as does Rosario Dawson as a dying woman with whom he bonds.

You also might check out: Just in time for Vin Diesel's return in Fast & Furious comes the hi-def debut of his sci-fi actioners The Chronicles of Riddick and Pitch Black. Both releases feature exclusive content to the Blu-ray, like picture-in-picture interactivity, in-depth info on the mythology of the character, BD Live capability and lots more.

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