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New On DVD - July 20, 2010

The Runaways (Blu-ray) CityNews.ca Pick of the WeekThe Runaways is a biopic of the ’70s all-girl teenage rock band that consisted of members Joan Jett (guitar, vocals), Cherie Currie (vocals), Sandy West (drummer), Lita Ford (guitar), and Jackie Fox (bass). Going for a lighter approach and geared towards a younger audience it’s less informative than more serious biopics like Ray or The Doors but makes up for it by being an entertaining, stylish film that still gives some insight into how the band came to be, and how they handled (or didn’t handle) their success. Stewart’s and Fanning’s roles are a vast departure from the innocent ones they typically play, and their younger fans might be surprised to see them swearing, smoking, doing drugs, and having sex – and should be warned that this is rated R for a reason. Special features on the Blu-ray include commentary with Joan Jett, Kristen Stewart, and Dakota Fanning, a making of featurette, and more. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).

The Losers (Blu-ray) – After members of a special U.S. task force are double-crossed by their team leader and left for dead in the Bolivian jungle, they go on a hunt to find the man, known simply as Max (Jason Patric), in order to take him out and clear their names. The team, consisting of Clay (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Jensen (Chris Evans), Roque (Idris Elba), Pooch (Columbus Short), and Cougar (Óscar Jaenada) are soon joined by Aisha (Zoe Saldana), a secretive woman who appears to know a lot about the group of “Losers,” and believes she can assist them in getting back into the United States and close to Max. Her motives? Max was behind the murder of her father and she wants to see him dead just as badly as they do. The team lands on American soil and soon guns are blazing and bombs are going off. Adapted from the Andy Diggle comic book series by James Vanderbilt (Zodiac) and actor Peter Berg (Hancock, Very Bad Things), The Losers relies heavily on witty dialogue and quirky scenes in order to make it work, and it succeeds on that level. Sylvain White’s direction is quite cool and hip too, and while not groundbreaking, he’s definitely made up for his hand in the straight-to-video mess I’ll Always Know What You Did Last Summer. Special features on the Blu-ray include making of featurettes, a deleted scene, and more. Film *** Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).

Cop Out (Blu-ray) – NYPD partners Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and Paul (Tracy Morgan) are your typical buddy-cop duo (think Lethal Weapon and then remove half of Mel Gibson’s brain and all of Danny Glover’s brain). Early on in the film they’re suspended without pay for causing some reckless trouble during a takedown. This is bad news for Jimmy, who was planning on paying for his daughter’s $48,000 wedding. He decides to sell a very valuable baseball card in order to make up the difference and while having it appraised the store is robbed by a young thug (Seann William Scott) and the card is stolen. From there the movie turns into a collection of boring, pointless scenes involving a Mexican gang, a stakeout, and a ridiculous subplot where Paul fears his wife is having an affair. This is the first film Kevin Smith has directed that he didn’t write and it shows big time. There is nothing here that is remotely intelligent. It’s the lowest form of toilet humour imaginable and the dialogue is so disjointed it comes out like nonsensical verbal diarrhea. That said, fans of Smith will enjoy the Blu-ray for the ‘Maximum Movie Mode’ option which has Smith hosting a 3-hour feature with picture-in-picture, commentary, facts, and a ton of deleted scenes and more. Film * Blu-ray **** (out of 5 stars).

Watch a CityNews.ca interview with Kevin Smith about Cop Out

More New DVD releases this week: Mother, Jersey Shore Season 1, A Town Called Panic, Barking Dogs Never Bite, Love the Beast

brian.mckechnie@citynews.rogers.com


Top image: A scene from The Runaways. Courtesy E1 Entertainment.