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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

new on DVD: Robert Downey Jr., Bruce Willis, MacGyver…

One of the best movies of 2005 arrives on DVD this week: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (read my review/buy at Amazon) is wunderkind screenwriter turned first-time director Shane Black’s upping the ante on himself, reinvigorating the noir thriller for the new millennium the way he did for the action movie in the 1980s with Lethal Weapon. And if that weren’t enough, he gets Robert Downey Jr. to remind us how brilliant he is, too.

You probably gave 16 Blocks (read my review/buy at Amazon) a pass at the multiplex this spring — hardly anyone saw it — but it’s certainly worth a look on DVD. Bruce Willis and Mos Def are fantastic together, and it, too, takes a fresh look at the action movie and comes up with some surprising and refreshing twists.

Much more conventional fare is The World’s Fastest Indian (read my review/buy at Amazon), which is sort of Forrest Gump meets The Fast and the Furious. (Click here for a chance to win a copy of the film on DVD.) For just plain superbad, check this out, if you dare: I bet Steve Martin is wishing his dreadful, dreadful recent desecration of The Pink Panther (read my review/buy at Amazon) could be erased from the annals of humanity. No such luck, for him or for us. Sometimes good is bad, though, like with Dave Chappelle’s Block Party (read my review/buy at Amazon), a street-concert flick from the heart of Brooklyn.

A bad woman gets her evil on in A Good Woman (not reviewed/buy at Amazon), based on Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan. Sorry, guys: the bad woman is not star Scarlett Johansson; she’s the good girl of the title — the bad woman is, in fact — are you ready for this? — Helen Hunt. Or is she?

Good, evil… it’s all shades of gray in Forty Shades of Blue (read my review/buy at Amazon), last year’s Grand Jury prize winner at Sundance.

TV on DVD: a reason to live. One of the best shows on the tube at the moment gets its first home release — if you’ve missed NBC’s Medium on Monday nights, do yourself a favor and catch up with Medium: The Complete First Season (not reviewed/buy at Amazon). It might sound bizarre, but this is the most down-to-earth depiction of the paranormal, like, ever. And then there’s MacGyver: The Complete Sixth Season (not reviewed/buy at Amazon), and MacGyver is never a bad thing.

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