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precarious since 1997 | by maryann johanson

new on DVD: into the woods in ‘Hoodwinked’ and ‘The Family Stone’

The ur-fairy-tale trip to visit Granny gets a postmodern spin in the surprisingly wicked Hoodwinked (read my review/buy at Amazon). If you can get past the creepy animation — and the first draggy 20 minutes — you’ll find lots of snark and plenty laughs. (And here’s another flick that Patrick Warburton effortlessly steals out from under his costars.) It’s into the woods, too, to visit the well-off Stones in their posh suburban Connecticut manse for a Currier and Ives Christmas in The Family Stone (read my review/buy at Amazon). Mean and sweet and funny and warm, this is a wonderful film with a fantastic cast, including Diane Keaton, Craig T. Nelson, Luke Wilson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, Rachel McAdams, Dermot Mulroney…

Queen Latifah’s personal and physical journey — from meek and restrained to free and sassy while on a splurgey European vacation — follows obvious routes in the predictable comedy Last Holiday (not reviewed/buy at Amazon), but at least her charming presence makes the trip less than entirely unbearable.

From the Department of Cashing In: The made-for-TV remake of The Poseidon Adventure (not reviewed/buy at Amazon) that aired on NBC last November comes to DVD today. The all-B cast — including Rutger Hauer, Adam Baldwin, Steve Guttenberg, Bryan Brown, and C. Thomas Howell — may be hoping that it will confuse folks into thinking that this is the newer Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell remake somehow miraculously being made available a week and a half before its theatrical release. And then there’s The Real Da Vinci Code (not reviewed/buy at Amazon), a documentary from British TV that is apparently fairly amusing. All I know is, it’s hosted by Tony Robinson, Baldrick himself (from Blackadder, that is), and that’s enough recommendation for me.

Last and definitely least is Swarmed (not reviewed/buy at Amazon), a Sci Fi Channel Original starring Stargate SG-1’s Michael Shanks. Slasherpool.com calls it “by far the worst killer bee movie that I’ve seen.” Cool!

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