What to watch and play this week


Universal's 100th anniversary celebration has been a boon for movie fans. The first half of the year delivered special-edition Blu-rays of classic movies like To Kill a Mockingbird, All Quiet on the Western Front, The Deer Hunter, and The Sting. This week, one of the studio's all-time best — and the movie that kicked off the whole summer-blockbuster thing back in 1975 — finally comes to Blu-ray in a stunning package. The movie itself holds up on so many levels: a thriller, an action pic, a horror movie, and the sort of audience-pleasing filmmaking that Steven Spielberg launched here. The set comes with a bunch of extras (more than four hours, in fact), like deleted scenes, documentaries about the making of the movie and its legacy, and an archive of photos, posters, and trailers. Plus, the HD restoration brings the blood and guts to the surface.

The Royal Tenenbaums

Wes Anderson's 2001 film, the followup to his breakthrough Rushmore, remains his most Wes Anderson-like, and funniest, movie. Gene Hackman plays the estranged head of a messed-up family who returns to make some peace. The movie makes its Blu-ray debut this week in a terrific Criterion set loaded with extras like outtakes, commentary by Anderson, and interviews with stars Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bill Murray.

The Expendables 2

The body count in the original Expendables, which came out two years ago, clocked in somewhere around 8,000 or so. Expect even more blood and limbless bodies in the sequel, which opens on Friday. Sylvester Stallone once again leads a pack of '80s action heroes (including Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren) on a mission to kick some major ass. Jean-Claude Van Damme and Chuck Norris join the party this time.


Whitney Houston completed her role in this musical drama, a remake of a 1976 movie, just a few weeks before she died. She plays the stage mother of three sisters who make it big in the '60s as a Motown-style group. Jordin Sparks plays the diva hogging the spotlight. Cee Lo Green also stars. Director Salim Akil's previous movie was the awful Jumping the Broom. At least the soundtrack is better in this one. It opens Friday.

Quill: The Life of a Guide Dog

This Japanese movie about a seeing-eye dog has been kicking around overseas since 2004, but it's just now rolling out across the U.S. It's basically the story of a cute little Lab puppy who grows up to be a guide for a cranky blind dude who wants nothing to do with the dog. Do you think he'll be won over in the end? Find out when the film plays at the Cinematheque at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Dexter: The Complete Sixth Season

The latest season of our favorite TV show about a not totally unlikable serial killer comes to home video this week. It's not exactly the series' best season, since the shock and rhythm have worn off a bit since its debut. The three-disc Blu-ray and four-disc DVD sets include all 12 episodes plus extras that pretty much amount to interviews with the show's stars Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, and Colin Hanks.

The Raid: Redemption

This orgy of bullets, blood, and martial arts from Indonesia goes so over the top at times, it's hard to tell if it's a joke. But the crime thriller, which comes to home video this week, is the real deal: a heart-pumping action film that never lets up. A police team storms an apartment building to bring a ruthless drug lord to justice, but the tables are turned when the thugs trap the outnumbered and under-armed good guys. Killer stuff.

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