new on DVD: ‘Transamerica’ with a mysterious cover…

What the…? Oh, it is gonna be fun fun fun the first time some bored desperate housewife orders a copy of Transamerica (not reviewed/buy at Amazon) from thinking she’s in for the idiotic shenanigans of a suburban Barbie doll and instead gets a movie about a mannish almost-woman with a penis. Pain-and-suffering lawsuits, anyone? Or at least a few for deceptive advertising? Cuz the blond and pretty Felicity Huffman appears nowhere in the film… but a realistic prosthetic willy emerging from a horrifying church-lady getup does. Of course, perhaps this DVD could be the poster boy (girl?) for buying crap in person at Wal-Mart where you can pick it up and handle it, because — and here’s the really galling thing about the film’s DVD packaging — if you shift the DVD back and forth, you get to see Pretty Huffman transform into Gimme-an-Oscar Huffman:

Now, I could be wrong, but I don’t rememeber a DVD of, oh, X-Men showing clean-shaven Hugh Jackman transforming into muttonchopped Wolverine, or one of Raging Bull showing slender DeNiro morphing into Bloated Jake La Motta. Perhaps the Transamerica DVD is meant to suggest how brave Huffman is to let her feminine blondness be hidden under all that makeup. Or maybe it’s just meant to sell DVDs to unsuspecting TV viewers. (Oh, and you can give the movie a pass unless you’re into overly showly Oscar-baiting performances in exaggerated melodramas.)

Whatever you do, avoid Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (read my review/buy at Amazon). Word is, Steve Martin has regained some sense of propriety and dignity since he made this movie and is now begging for spare change outside a Starbucks in Hell’s Kitchen.

If you liked the first season of USA Network’s science-fiction drama The 4400, now’s the time to catch up with The Complete Second Season (not reviewed/buy at Amazon) before the third premieres next month. This second batch of episodes isn’t quite as politically intense as the first, trading some of its larger sociocultural concerns for soap opera, but it’s still better than 95 percent of the junk on TV.

I missed it in theaters in January, but I’m looking forward to catching BloodRayne (not reviewed/buy at Amazon) on DVD — I’d hate to pass up a film that might end up on my bottom-10, worst-of list for the year.

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