Terrorism is the topic of Peter Berg’s “The Kingdom,” a visually stunning film about an attack on U.S. interests in Saudi Arabia and four FBI investigators sent to help bring the perpetrators to justice. The movie does a good job of presenting differences between Muslim and non-Muslim cultures. Jennifer Garner, who kicks serious terrorist back side, stars, along with Jamie Foxx, Jeremy Piven and Jason Bateman.
While the cast is first-rate and the action is hot and heavy, the depiction of cultural and social developments is really what makes the movie worth watching. There’s not a heck of a lot on the DVD, though. There probably will be another release that will include more special features, so that would be the time to buy.
Rent or buy: A must-rent.
THE HEARTBREAK KID
The Ben Stiller-starring “The Heartbreak Kid” is better than typical Stiller fare for a number of reasons. First, there’s no Owen Wilson. Second, it’s an R-rated comedy, packed with f-bombs and gross-out humor. Third, it is a Farrelly Brothers production, which means it has laugh-out-loud moments despite Stiller again just acting like himself.
Stiller plays a single guy who is under severe pressure from his family to get married; when he meets a nice girl through a random incident, he pops the question after six weeks. On their honeymoon in Mexico, her dirty secrets and questionable personality quirks become apparent, and Stiller finds himself eyeing a saner woman he meets at a bar.
The DVD has two director audio commentaries (one in French), deleted scenes and a couple of featurettes, but it isn’t a worthy addition to your collection.
Rent or buy: Rent.
A few years ago, givers of major awards denied director David Cronenberg recognition for 2005’s best film, “A History of Violence.” This year, his “Eastern Promises,” a fascinating tale of violence and responsibility involving the Russian mob, should net better results. Viggo Mortensen stars as a Russian mob driver and enforcer (whose body of tattoos tells his own history of violence) who works with the son of a mob leader. But when a midwife (Naomi Watts) accidentally finds evidence of their crimes, Mortensen and Watts form a relationship that leads to murder, mayhem and deception.
There are just two featuretttes on the DVD; there likely will be a re-release with more extras in the near future. Hold out for that and rent this.
Rent or buy: A great rental.
RUSH HOUR 3 — TWO-DISC SPECIAL EDITION
The martial arts action flick “Rush Hour,” now in its third iteration, is about one-third as creative as the original; both Chris Tucker’s shtick and Jackie Chan’s action are a little long in the tooth. This time, the duo battles an Asian gang in Los Angeles, where they encounter stereotypical assassins, goons and other crazy characters we’ve already seen.
The two-disc special-edition DVD includes an audio commentary from director Brett Ratner, deleted scenes with commentary from Ratner, outtakes, trailers and one featurette.
Rent or buy: Rent.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA 1980 — THE COMPLETE EPIC SERIES
You’re probably thinking, “Battlestar Galactica 1980?” It’s not surprising you don’t recognize it; it was a short-lived “sequel” to the 1970s series of the same name — yes, in 1980. Panned by both critics and ordinary viewers, it only lasted 10 episodes. (It’s unlike the Sci Fi Channel’s modern “Battlestar” series, which has great, meaty stories.) The “1980” is milquetoast in delivery from beginning to end. But diehard fans will likely get a kick out of it.
Rent or buy: Buy, if a classic “Battlestar” fan.
Other DVDs out Wednesday: “Robin-B Hood,” “American Pie Presents: Beta House,” “The Brothers Solomon,” “Lying & Dying” and “Jackass 2.5.”