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NEW RELEASES - November 29 HIGHLIGHTS

FRESH FROM THE THEATERS

Murderball (2004).

A hit at Sundance this year, "Murderball has a lot of integrity, both in visual and conceptual terms, and seamlessly blends entertainment and education," wrote Andrew O'Hehir in Salon this summer. "Hearing the quadriplegic male athletes in this film talk openly and humorously about their sex lives - yes, the machinery still works and, yes, the logistics can be pretty complicated - is a strangely liberating experience, and [directors Henry Alex] Rubin and [Dana Adam] Shapiro get full marks for blowing the doors off that particular taboo. Beyond that, Murderball is a Rocky-esque sports saga with a rowdy, irascible cast of characters who demonstrate conclusively that being in a wheelchair does nothing to dampen the spirit of balls-out macho competition."

March of the Penguins (2005).

The surprise hit of the summer was embraced so warmly by such a wide demographic, it didn't take long for it to become fodder for the tiresome yet persistent culture wars. Whether or not you believe March of the Penguins proves that there is a God who hates gays and can't wait for us to invade another country, we can all agree on one thing: Penguins are cute!

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005).

We don't have to tell you that the PR spun way, way out of control right about the time this hit theaters this summer. However sick you got hearing about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie a few months ago, there's no denying that these are two mighty fine-looking specimens. As for the movie, it's a little frazzled but fun, especially when Vince Vaughn's around.

CLASSICS

Why Change Your Wife? / Miss Lulu Bett (1920).

Gloria Swanson's first leading role was in a Cecil B. DeMille comedy called Don't Change Your Husband (1919). It went over so well the other shoe simply had to drop.

FOREIGN

Caterina in the Big City (2003).

"Paolo Virzì's delightfully deceptive Caterina in the Big City is one of the richest, most satisfying Italian films of recent years," wrote Kevin Thomas in the Los Angeles Times this summer. "Virzì offers a mural of contemporary Italian society as rich as that of Mexico in Y Tu Mamá También but with an even more biting point of view."

Landscape in the Mist (1988).

Originally slated for October, the release was delayed, but here 'tis.

"It is a sad indication of the insularity of American cinema that Theo Angelopoulos, a Greek director with international stature, is virtually unknown in the United States," wrote Stephen Holden in the New York Times. In 1990. Not much has changed - yet. We're hoping that, even though the releases are few and far between, this DVD might help rectify this situation.

As for this film, "Landscape in the Mist is a poignant, lyrical, and allegorical fable on the human struggle for identity and connection," writes Acquarello at Strictly Film School.

FOR THE KIDS

The Muppet Movie (1979).

"Miss Piggy was such a bitch," remembers chloemonster - hopefully with a smile. Live it all over again with this special anniversary release of one of MonkeyPinata's "bright flicks for rainy afternoons."

ANIME

Ah! My Goddess Volume 2: Love Plus One (2005).

"The latest animated adaptation of Kosuke Fujishima's beloved romantic comedy Ah! My Goddess keeps trucking along in volume two, and thankfully, the show starts to pick up a little in the five episodes included on this disc," writes Zac Bertschy for the Anime News Network. "So far, the TV series seems to be the most faithful and appropriate adaptation yet. Fans should be pretty happy with it."

Browse the New Releases Archive for more recent arrivals.

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