Director Wolfgang Petersen (The Perfect Storm) reinvents Irwin Allen’s maritime disaster with ferocious intensity, dismissing the melodrama for real-time escape thrills that are breathtaking and cruel. After a rogue wave capsizes luxury liner Poseidon, a ragtag group of survivors (Kurt Russell as the former New York Mayor, gay architect Richard Dreyfuss, gambler Josh Lucas, single mother Jacinda Barrett) struggle through the maze of destruction to reach safety. Even at a streamlined 95 minutes, Poseidon is bigger and badder, literally pulverizing people and property. Two-disc DVD contains waves of additional background information and featurettes. (Warner Home Entertainment)

10.5: Apocalypse

Mini-series sequel shamelessly borrows from numerous disaster films to piece together the continuing story of a seismologist (Kim Delaney) trying to stop a series of devastating earthquakes from ripping the United States in half. Decent special effects put us in harm’s way, but the script is filled with one cliché after another, leaving little for the cast to do but watch and react to the digital disaster. (Echo Bridge Entertainment)

Bring It On: All or Nothing

There’s plenty to cheer about in this second direct-to-video sequel. Privileged Pacific Vista High cheerleading captain Britney Allen (Hayden Panettiere) is at the top of her game, but when her father moves to Crenshaw Heights, Britney becomes an outsider. After proving herself to squad captain Camille (Solange Knowles Smith), Britney lands a spot on the team, and with an appearance in a music video as incentive, agrees to help her new teammates beat her old school. Director Steve Rash (Eddie) knows how to rally the troops, keeping spirits high. The cast is likable and easy to root for. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment)


In order to keep his job, spineless, workaholic father Bob Munro (Robin Williams) cancels his family’s Hawaiian vacation and tricks them into a cross-country RV trip. Hoping to complete his work and reach his business meeting in time, Bob is constantly sidetracked by family and RV-related problems, including an unshakable friendly family. There are some laughs in this road comedy, but the script, like the RV, feels manufactured. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

Don’t Come Knocking

Director Wim Wenders and writer-actor Sam Shepard reunite 20 years after Paris, Texas. While on location for a new film, western icon Howard Spence (Shepard) decides after years of women, drink and questionable behavior, that he needs a break. So Spence walks off the film, heads home to Butte, Mont., where he bumps into old flame Doreen (Jessica Lange). When Spence learns he has two children, his attempts at reconciliation bring about extremely different and unexpected results. Beautiful to look at, the film is too contemplative to be entertaining. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)


Director Lars von Trier’s follow-up to Dogville stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Grace (a role originated by Nicole Kidman), who moves with her gangster father to the American south in 1933. When she discovers the town of Manderlay still practices slavery, Grace convinces her father’s hired guns to help free the slaves, setting into motion a series of events echoing America’s future. Bare bones filmmaking allows von Trier to put the emphasis on the actors, who bring weight to his provocative words. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see both the filmmaker’s fascination and contempt for his subject, creating facts to make a statement and then using characters to defend those statements. Brave but controversial. (IFC Home Video)

Scary Movie 4

Spoofs of The Village, War of the Worlds, Saw, The Grudge and many more inhabit this fourth film in the spoof franchise. Anna Faris is back as clueless Cindy Campbell, now living next door to equally clueless single father Tom (Craig Bierko). After aliens invade, Tom evacuates his son and daughter to the country, while Cindy goes looking for answers. Director David Zucker and the writers have no shame, spoofing icons and taboos with aplomb. Watching Tom’s daughter undergo extensive trauma almost made me crap someone else’s pants. Unrated DVD pushes the gags way over the top. Special features include extended and deleted scenes, featurettes, special effects breakdown, commentary and more. (Weinstein/Genius)