- The Washington Times - Friday, April 11, 2008

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story ($29.96 two-disc DVD, $43.95 Blu-ray) — Judd Apatow takes on the musical biopic in this parody. John C. Reilly, in a Golden Globe-nominated performance, plays the title character, a musician whom life just can’t keep down. Mr. Apatow, the comedy genius behind “Knocked Up,” co-wrote and produced, while Jake Kasdan, whose television-industry satire “The TV Set” was one of 2006’s underrated films, co-wrote and directed. There are plenty of extras here, including deleted scenes, one of which offers a longer segment with Dewey Cox meeting the Beatles, with Jack Black playing Paul McCartney and Paul Rudd playing John Lennon. An extended cut pushes the running time from 96 to 120 minutes.

Fortysomething (Acorn Media, $39.99) — Fans of Hugh Laurie — and there must be many, given that he was just named America’s fourth favorite TV personality in a Harris Poll — will want to snap up this British series that ran for six episodes in 2003. Don’t expect the same man that plays the brash, overconfident American doctor Gregory House in Fox’s medical drama “House,” though. In “Fortysomething,” Mr. Laurie again plays a doctor, but this time a bumbling, insecure one who’s facing his forties with some fear.

The doctor can’t even recall that his wife’s starting a new job, let alone what that job is. His mental state isn’t helped when he begins to think he can hear people’s thoughts about him. His three sons have a more active sex life than he does — he can’t remember when the last time he and his wife (Anna Chancellor) made love. Add to the mix an incompetent new doctor at his clinic, and the stage is set for plenty of comedy.

It’s not quite as funny as Mr. Laurie’s classic sketch series “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” (Stephen Fry makes a guest appearance here), but “Fortysomething” is still a lot of fun. Mr. Laurie may be playing a less confident character, but he’s almost as charming — he also directed the first three episodes. The short-lived series features some other fine British talent, including rising star Benedict Cumberbatch, who was recently seen on the big screen in “Atonement” and “The Other Boleyn Girl.”

Kelly Jane Torrance

Alien versus Predator: Requiem, Extreme Unrated Set (Fox, $39.98) — The audience definitely did not win in the last battle between these two science-fiction horror icons — mainly because the 2007 film literally left theatergoers in the dark as they tried to watch the poorly lit action scenes between the extraterrestrial enemies.

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The Blu-ray version of the movie is just as dim, and grim, but a pinch of solace for hard-core fans is found in an included interactive encyclopedic. Named for the corporation that tried to turn Aliens into biological weapons, the Weyland-Yutani Archives delivers the historical goods.

The viewer first enters a computer mainframe screen. He can then click on drop-down menus to access data either alphabetically, by topic or via such Predator/Alien specific entries as face hugger, blooding or combi stick.

The resource provides plenty to read and some three-dimensional, 360-degree looks at the species. More importantly, it also ties in movie moments from the entire history of both franchises to highlight the legendary Xenomorphs (alien) and Yakuta (predators).

In an odd note, the Archives is not even mentioned on the packaging. Sounds like a Weyland-Yutani conspiracy to me.

Joseph Szadkowski