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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 and bloodshed. 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- cisiveness causing 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 likes being bearer No No one one likes being the the bearer of of bad bad news, week 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 easier way. will will take take it it easier that that way. GEMINI - May 22/Jun GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 21 have problem needs fixing, You You have a a problem that that needs fixing, don’t know where turn. How but but don’t know where to to turn. How about special friend whom about that that special friend whom you you often look advice? This person often look to to for for advice? This person won’t mind helping won’t mind helping out. out. CANCER - 22/Jul CANCER - Jun Jun 22/Jul 22 22 You’re right being suspicious You’re right in in being suspicious of of your mate. hasn’t been your mate. He He or or she she hasn’t been tell- tell- truth may 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 confrontational. time to to be be confrontational. LEO - 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 time. now, enjoy ways in in no no time. For For now, enjoy the the quiet time. rest rest and and quiet time. VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 22 your love lacking, Virgo? Is Is your love life life lacking, Virgo? It It could because looking could be be because you you are are looking in in wrong places your perfect all all the the wrong places for for your perfect match. you’re involved already, match. If If you’re involved already, spice things with variety. spice things up up with variety. LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 23 You’ve determined pretty You’ve determined that that a a pretty face face isn’t always match, Libra. isn’t always the the best best match, Libra. Best look stability good 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 behave. long-term if if you you behave. SCORPIO - 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, you’re others 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 earlier. earlier. SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 21 may time your relationship It It may be be time to to take take your relationship next level. singles could to to the the next level. For For singles this this could mean marriage. couples, expand- 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 CAPRICORN - 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. AQUARIUS - 21/Feb AQUARIUS - Jan Jan 21/Feb 18 18 Penny pinching only good certain Penny pinching is is only good in in certain situations. Learn 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. PISCES - 19/Mar PISCES - Feb Feb 19/Mar 20 20 impending nervous, 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, focus you’ll have tion, so so focus on on the the fun fun you’ll have instead. Take Scorpio along. instead. Take Scorpio along.