Since we know time is money, here's a quick handy reference guide to recent DVD releases that should be on your radar and, in many cases, on your shelf. Immediately.
Release Date: December 21
What it is:The Jolie Identity, or Mrs. Smith Sans Mr. Brad's better half tries her hand at the lone spy on the run thing, as a CIA agent who gets fingered (hey now) as a possible Russian double agent. And no, this movie was not made in 1953.
Why you need it:Salt does not represent anyone venturing outside their comfort zone. The action sequences are what you'd expect, Angelina Jolie is as much of an ass-kicking heroine as you'd expect, and the story unfolds as you'd expect. That's not to say it isn't entertaining - it's not as completely bland as, say, Knight and Day - it's just not anything all that new. Hell, even the special features are...what you'd expect. Not a must-own, but a decent answer for an action movie jones.
Release Date: December 21
What it is: Emma Stone (Superbad) stars as an "average" high school teen (which, in movie terms, means unbelievably gorgeous) who lies about losing her "V-card" and suddenly finds herself becoming both a guardian angel to the school's losers and a whore-labeled outcast.
Why you need it: This has to be the biggest surprise of 2010. On the surface, Easy A looks like your typical "take a classic work of literature (in this case, Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter) and retro-fit it to modern high school" movie and, well....it is. But it's also smart, funny, and more entertaining than it has any right to be. A lot of that falls on Stone, who oozes brainy sex appeal without ever being precious or annoying. But, sadly, the movie is often stolen out from under her freckled nose by Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her parents. They only have a few scenes, but they are gems. Good stuff, and a great couples night movie.
The Other Guys (Blu-ray)
Release Date: December 14
What it is: Will Ferrell and Mark Walhberg team up as bottom-of-the-totem-pole cops who see an opportunity to step up and be "the guys." Cue much bickering, fumbling, and pimp-slapping.
Why you need it: Remember Cop Out? Yeah, we didn't think so. Well, to summarize - Kevin Smith tried to make a buddy cop movie, but failed to include a plot, jokes, action, or anything else. He basically pointed a camera at Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and filmed them awkwardly trying to come up with dialogue on the spot. In short, The Other Guys is everything Cop Out wanted to be, but failed miserably in its attempt. Wahlberg and Ferrell are an unlikely comedy team, but their mix of oblivious doofus and ernest everyman works wonders. The movie runs out of steam a bit in the second half, but it's funny, quotable, and a solid pick up. But don't just take our word for it...