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Page 24 THE VILLADOM TIMES I, II, III & IV • December 24, 2008
Latest DVD releases
(continued from Restaurant page)
made in their home economics class. The sense one gets is
that nuclear war was sold to the American people as a bear-
able inconvenience, not unlike a two-hour power outage.
The icing on the cake in this two-disc collector’s edition
is eight complete government propaganda films, including
“Self Preservation in an Atomic Attack” (1950), “Duck and
Cover” (1951), and “Our Cities Must Fight” (1951). These
black-and-white movies are both funny and creepy in that
they were shown all over America and peddled distorted
ideas about the potency not only of the bomb, but also of the
devastating effects of radiation poisoning.
“Death Race” (Universal) stars Jason Statham, Joan
Allen, Ian McShane, and Tyrese Gibson. In a place called
Terminal Island, in the not-too-distant future, the world’s
hunger for extreme sports and competitions has grown into
reality TV bloodlust. The most extreme racing competition
has emerged and its contestants are murderous prisoners.
Speedway champ Jensen Ames (Statham), an ex-con
framed for the murder of his wife, is forced to put on the
mask of the mythical driver Frankenstein, a Death Race
crowd favorite who seems impossible to kill. Ames is given
an easy choice by Terminal Island’s ruthless Warden Hen-
nessey (Allen): suit up and drive or never see his little girl
again. To claim the prize, Ames must survive contests
against the most vicious criminals, including Machine Gun
Joe (Gibson). Trained by his coach (McShane), to drive a
Mustang V8 Fastback equipped with two mounted mini-
guns, flamethrowers, and napalm, Ames must destroy
everything in his path to win.
The action that takes center stage here, with amaz-
ing stunts combined with computer generated images to
produce one thrill after another. The film is a remake of
“Death Race 2000” (1975), which starred David Carradine
and did not have the benefit of today’s technology.
The unrated edition (which also contains the theatrical
version) has two features that race car lovers will enjoy:
“Start Your Engines: Making a Death Race” and “Behind
the Wheel: Dissecting the Stunts.” There is also commen-
tary with director Paul W.S. Anderson.
“Hamlet 2” (Universal) stars Steve Coogan as Dana
Marschz, a failed actor turned high school drama teacher.
Low on the talent scale, Dana still has ambitions and har-
bors passions, but only at work. At Tucson’s West Mesa
High School, Dana regards himself as an inspirational
teacher, but his adaptations of popular films performed by
his top students, Rand and Epiphany (Skylar Astin, Phoebe
Strole), are not clicking. When his latest effort, recreating
“Erin Brockovich,” is panned by the ninth grade drama
critic and his department is targeted for elimination, Dana
conceives a sequel to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” a Busby
Berkeley-style musical theater extravaganza that will
embrace neither political correctness nor dramatic cred-
ibility. “Hamlet 2” is amusing, but it is not easy to warm up to
Coogan, who plays Dana as a loser deluding himself that he
can spark students with lame notions of innovation. As the
film progresses, however, the viewer becomes involved in
the outrageousness of plot turns and Dana’s dedication to
his art, however strange it may be. The best thing about the
film is Amy Poehler as ACLU attorney Cricket Feldstein.
Extras include deleted scenes and a sing along.
“Savage Grace” (Genus Entertainment, available Dec.
23) is the true story of Barbara Daly (Julianne Moore), a
would-be actress, artist, and social climber who, in postwar
New York, married wealthy Brooks Baekeland, heir to the
Bakelite fortune. Her drinking, public scenes, and adulter-
ous flings made the marriage a living nightmare. She was
a smothering mother to her gay son, Tony, and the family
lived a dysfunctional love triangle that ended in violence
This is Moore’s film all the way. She conveys a sense
of inferiority percolating within, since Barbara married
well above her social station. She needs constant reassur-
ance that she is loved, and craves social acceptance like a
drug. Moore makes a rather unpleasant character interest-
ing. It may be the voyeur effect: The audience is peeking
into a privileged world, seeing all its frayed corners and
cracks in close-up. Stephen Dillane portrays Brooks and
Eddie Redmayne is young Tony. Special features include a
making-of featurette and a mini-documentary on the story
that inspired the movie.
ARIES - Mar 21/Apr
ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 20
Feeling caught between rock
Feeling caught between a a rock and and a a
hard place, Aries? may your inde-
hard place, Aries? It It may be be your inde-
trouble. cisiveness that that is is causing the the trouble.
Make your mind
particular Make up up your mind on on a a particular
issue stick with
issue and and stick with it. it.
TAURUS - Apr 21/May
TAURUS - Apr 21/May 21 21
bearer No No one one likes being the the bearer of of bad bad
falls news, and and this this week the the task task falls into into
your hands, Taurus.
gentle your hands, Taurus. Be Be gentle and and use use
your words carefully.
recipient your words carefully. The The recipient
will will take take it it easier that that way.
GEMINI - May 22/Jun
GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 21
You You have a a problem that that needs ﬁxing,
don’t know where
but but don’t know where to to turn. How
about special friend whom
about that that special friend whom you you
advice? This person
often look to to for for advice? This person
won’t mind helping
won’t mind helping out. out.
22/Jul CANCER - Jun Jun 22/Jul 22 22
You’re right in in being suspicious of of
your mate. He He or or she she hasn’t been tell- tell-
engaging ing ing the the truth and and may be be engaging in in
activities behind your back. Now’s
activities behind your back. Now’s the the
time to to be be confrontational.
23/Aug LEO - Jul Jul 23/Aug 23 23
haven’t been feeling
yourself, You You haven’t been feeling like like yourself,
Leo. Better head
doctor Leo. Better head to to the the doctor and and get get
check-up. You’ll back your
a a check-up. You’ll be be back to to your old old
ways in in no no time. For For now, enjoy the the
rest rest and and quiet time.
VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept
VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 22
Is Is your love life life lacking, Virgo? It It
looking could be be because you you are are looking in in
all all the the wrong places for for your perfect
match. you’re involved already,
match. If If you’re involved already,
spice things up up with variety.
LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct
LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 23
pretty You’ve determined that that a a pretty face face
isn’t always the the best best match, Libra.
Best to to look for for stability and and a a good
heart. This partner
heart. This partner will will last last for for the the
long-term if if you you behave.
24/Nov SCORPIO - Oct Oct 24/Nov 22 22
have your mind, Scorpio,
You You have a a lot lot on on your mind, Scorpio,
but but you’re not not one one to to let let others in in on on
your feelings unless they
close your feelings unless they are are close
friends. may want
speak friends. You You may want to to speak up up
SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec
SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 21
It It may be be time to to take take your relationship
to to the the next level. For For singles this this could
mean marriage. For For couples, expand-
family a deﬁnite option.
ing ing the the family is is a deﬁnite option.
Answer Week’s Puzzle
Answer to to Last Last Week’s Puzzle
22/Jan CAPRICORN - Dec Dec 22/Jan 20 20
Responsibilities home have
Responsibilities at at home have you you
feeling bogged down. Don’t
feeling bogged down. Don’t fall fall in in to to
pattern hum drum. Find
the the pattern of of the the hum drum. Find a a
head some excitement.
way way to to head out out for for some excitement.
You’ll refreshed afterward.
You’ll feel feel refreshed afterward.
21/Feb AQUARIUS - Jan Jan 21/Feb 18 18
Penny pinching only good certain
Penny pinching is is only good in in certain
loosen situations. Learn to to loosen up up on on the the
checkbook means better quality
checkbook if if it it means a a better quality
Don’t worry, you’re
likely of of life. life. Don’t worry, you’re not not likely
overboard. to to go go overboard.
19/Mar PISCES - Feb Feb 19/Mar 20 20
An An impending trip trip has has you you nervous,
Pisces. You’re prepared
situa- Pisces. You’re prepared for for any any situa-
tion, so so focus on on the the fun fun you’ll have
instead. Take Scorpio along.
instead. Take Scorpio along.