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New DVD and Blu-Ray Releases to Crave This Week: From the Cradle to the Grave

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By Chris Kavan - 02/08/11 at 09:42 AM CT

Ah, the circle of life - you cannot escape it, you cannot avoid it: it is and it will always be. Okay, enough with the philosophical lesson, this week I thought I would shake things up, seeing as how the releases stack up perfectly from beginning to end of life.

1) So, let's start off with the miracle of birth - even if the baby doesn't happen to have any blood relation to you. I'm talking about Josh Duhamel and Katherine Heigl becoming impromptu parents in Life as We Know It. Granted, I don't think this film would ever really appeal to me, but then I have never hidden my disdain for romantic comedies. Yet while the relationship may be the driving force, adding a baby to the mix always makes things much more interesting.

2) And so it goes that children grow and youth turns into awkward, angst-filled adolescence. Some will lash out at the world, some will pierce, tattoo, party - and some check themselves into mental institutions. Such is the case with It's Kind of a Funny Story in which Zach Galifianakis loses his hangover to mentor young Keir Gilchrist in the ways of life and love, despite being insane. Well, you can't have everything. It looks like a typical teen coming of age drama/comedy that just happens to be set in a psych ward. I'm sure there are some interesting characters at least.

3) Ah youth is wasted on the young - but they don't realize that until it's too late. The next step after those teen years is the big step of marriage. Sometimes it's a joyous occasion, sometimes it's a chance to get back at rivals. So expect sparks to fly with You Again. Again, not a film I would pick first, but, hey, Betty White is in it, so at least I can count on a few great zingers.

4) So, the marriage is over and you've settled down. Maybe you have a nice house, maybe a pool, maybe a kid of your own, maybe a dog too - maybe a terrifying presence that threatens to KILL YOU ALL. Well, probably not, but in Paranormal Activity 2 something is out there, and it's not happy. At least this is one I'm truly looking forward to. I never caught it in theaters, and I've, for once, kept away from spoilers so I'm interested to see if it can maintain that low-budget horror feeling of the first film.

5) Life throws many challenges at us - sometimes those challenges can push people to the very edge, but there's always hope. Tyler Perry takes a different approach with For Colored Girls. A series of twenty poems, each dealing with subjects that women, especially ones of color, will find particularly meaningful. And just because you don't happen to be a woman of color doesn't mean you can't impart some advice as well. I may give Perry a hard time when it comes to Madea comedies, but I like the fact he tried something different with more power. Even if critics weren't all that happy about it, I'm glad he did it.

6) When the time comes for each of us, life will leave us. Some die peacefully in their sleep, some in wars, some from sickness - others die after being tracked down by a vengeful woman they left for dead after beating and raping her. You have two choices here - the original I Spit on Your Grave - also known at Day of the Woman - is coming out on Blu-Ray or you can opt for the contemporary remake, also called I Spit on Your Grave. Hey, any film that was banned in a number of countries and garnered a rare 0 stars from Roger Ebert... well, it's just asking to be watched! And I'm sure the remake is just as bad - well, at least I'm sure it tries.

And that concludes my circle of life presentation - and if you're a Blu-Ray junkie, you have more options this week as well. You can see Brad Pitt in extra dramatic mode with Legends of the Fall or check out the ultimate female empowerment film (hey, also featuring a young Brad Pitt!) Thelma & Louise (20th Anniversary) or you can take a comedic turn with John Candy in Uncle Buck.

As always, a full list of all the movies coming out can be found on the FilmCrave New DVD Releases and the FilmCrave New Blu-Ray Releases pages today.


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