‘Big Fan,’ ‘Fame,’ ‘I Can Do Bad All by Myself’ and more

Big Fan

Vivendi, $26.99

“The Wrestler” screenwriter Robert Siegel makes his directorial debut with “Big Fan,” which stars Patton Oswalt as a fervent New York Giants fan who has to reassess his commitment to the team after an ugly encounter with a player. “Big Fan” knowingly explores dank Staten Island bedrooms and lavish McMansions, and it captures the kind of people whose identities -- and sense of righteousness -- are bound up in their favorite team. The film sags a bit in the middle, but the final 15 minutes are surprisingly suspenseful, aptly capping a story about the stress of uncertainty. The DVD adds outtakes and interviews.

“The Burning Plain”: The New This Week column about DVD releases in Sunday’s Calendar section listed the Blu-ray price of the film “The Burning Plain” as $34.98. The correct price is $29.98. —


20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

The 21st century version of “Fame” was undoubtedly inspired by the success of “High School Musical,” but the update stays true to the 1980 original, following a diverse group of young actors, dancers and musicians through the four-year grind of performing arts school. The preponderance of characters and story lines makes “Fame” too sketchy, but the extended version available on DVD and Blu-ray helps, as do the formidable talents of a fresh-faced cast. At the least, “Fame” is more down to earth than other recent takes on singing, dancing teens. Extras include deleted scenes, profiles of the youngsters and footage of their “American Idol"-style public tryouts.

The Hurt Locker

Summit, $26.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

The high-risk, low-reward job of army bomb disposal inspires nerve-jangling drama in “The Hurt Locker,” a movie that justifiably dominated the “Best of 2009" lists.

Jeremy Renner plays a thrill-seeking explosives expert who becomes curious about the lives of the locals during his tour in Iraq. Journalist Mark Boal’s screenplay and Kathryn Bigelow’s direction balance naturalism and suspense, and though the movie is a little shapeless, it packs a wallop. The DVD and Blu-ray are fairly bare-bones, features-wise: just a Boal/Bigelow commentary track and a brief behind-the-scenes look.

I Can Do Bad

All by Myself

Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99

Multimedia impresario Tyler Perry reaches way back into his repertoire for “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” based on the 1999 play that introduced Perry’s most famous character: the sharp-tongued busybody Madea. The film version stars Taraji P. Henson as an alcoholic singer who straightens her life out when a local pastor asks her to let a handsome, kindly Colombian immigrant stay with her. As always, Perry balances broad comedy and heavy-handed messages of redemption. Why mess with a winning formula? The DVD and Blu-ray add three featurettes.

In the Loop

MPI, $19.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

The Britcom “The Thick of It” -- an insider-y look at the banality and vulgarity of UK government -- didn’t draw much heat when it briefly aired on American cable, but thanks to the big-screen version “In the Loop,” writer-director Armando Iannucci’s brittle satire is finally getting the notice it deserves stateside. “In the Loop” plays too much like three TV episodes crammed together, but the story of bureaucrats conspiring to manipulate the media and foment a military conflict couldn’t be more relevant. (Or funny.) The DVD and Blu-ray keep laughs coming with a set of deleted scenes.


Sony, $27.96; Blu-ray, $37.95

Sam Rockwell plays the lone human at a power company’s lunar outpost in writer-director Duncan Jones’ “Moon,” a sci-fi exercise that looks like a budget “2001" but plays like a thoughtful indie drama. The movie’s biggest twist is best left unmentioned (though it happens only 20 minutes in), but what happens in its wake gives “Moon” its meaning. Jones and his co-writer could’ve added a touch more action and humor, but their examination of how solitude changes a person proves poignant. The DVD and Blu-ray includes commentary tracks, featurettes and Jones’ 2002 fine short, “Whistle.”



Virgil, $24.99

The Brothers Bloom

Summit, $19.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

The Burning Plain

Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $34.98


E1, $26.98

Downloading Nancy

Strand, $27.99

The Simpsons

The Complete Twentieth Season

20th Century Fox, $49.98; Blu-ray, $59.99

All titles released Tuesday.