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HOME MOVIES

By Karen Martin

This article was published June 28, 2013 at 2:34 a.m.

Madelyn (Marcia Gay Haden) in Joan Carr-Wiggin’s If I Were You.

If I Were You directed by Joan Carr-Wiggin (not rated, 115 minutes)

In the unpredictable comedy If I Were You, Madelyn (Marcia Gay Harden) is a successful businesswoman whose self-confidence is shaken when she finds out her husband’s late nights at work are actually intimate dinners with aspiring actress Lucy (Leonor Watling). When Madelyn starts stalking the new mistress, she witnesses what she thinks might be the beginnings of a suicide attempt and ends up talking Lucy down, resulting in the two women forming a bizarre pact with unforeseen consequences.

“An anti- [romantic comedy] in the best sense, Joan Carr-Wiggin’s film joyously revives the screwball tradition with real wit, as well as making one fabulously tart female buddy movie,” says critic David Noh in Film Journal International. Extras include cast interviews and the theatrical trailer.

A Place at the Table (PG, 84 minutes) This documentary by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, highly regarded at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, examines the issue of hunger in America by telling the stories of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader who has health issues along with a poor diet.

Their stories are interwoven with insights from nutritionists, teachers and activists, including Witness to Hunger’s Mariana Chilton, Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges. “A Place at the Table presents a shameful truth that should leave viewers dismayed and angry. This nation has more than enough food for all its people, yet millions of them are hungry,” says critic Walter Addiego in the San Francisco Chronicle. Special features offer deleted scenes, cast and crew interviews, deleted interviews and commentary by the directors.

The Call (R, 118 minutes) When a veteran 911 operator (Halle Berry) takes a call from a terrified teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) trapped in the trunk of a serial killer’s car, she realizes she must confront a killer from her past to put an end to the serial killer’s rampage. With Morris Chestnut, Michael Imperioli, Michael Eklund, David Otunga; directed by Brad Anderson. “A high-concept thriller that certainly has the potential to self-destruct,” says critic Jeffrey M. Anderson on the website Common Sense Media. “But genre specialist Brad Anderson gives it a taut, low-budget energy that keeps it pulsing throughout its entire running time.” The Blu-ray combo pack includes an alternate ending, deleted and extended scenes, Michael Eklund’s audition tape, two featurettes on set tours and stunt breakdowns, a making-of sequence, and commentary by Berry, Breslin and some of the filmmakers.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (PG-13, 100 minutes) Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have ruled the Las Vegas strip for years. But lately the duo’s greatest deception is their public friendship. Secretly they’ve grown to loathe each other. Facing cutthroat competition from street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) whose cult following grows with each outrageous stunt, Burt and Anton might be able to save the act - onstage and off - if Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic. With Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin and the late James Gandolfini; directed by Don Scardino. “This comedy about a magician who must hit bottom before rising again to the wonder of his beloved craft pulls plenty of sweet moments and a slew of laughs out of a story that might havebeen thin air,” says critic Lisa Kennedy in the Denver Post.

Shaun of the Dead (R, 97 minutes) Long before The Walking Dead became a hit TV show on AMC there was 2004’s Shaun of the Dead, a hilarious horror adventure starring Simon Pegg as Shaun, a 29-year-old electronics store employee who, after getting dumped by his girlfriend, must deal with yet another calamity: a zombie invasion that threatens to swallow up all of England. With Kate Ashfield. “If the zombie genre steadfastly refuses to die, we can be grateful to Shaun of the Dead for breathing fresh, diverting life into the form, with subtle visual humor and a smart, impish sense of fun,” says critic Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post. A combo pack includes the film on Blu-ray, DVD, a digital copy and UltraViolet, which allows the user to stream content to multiple devices.

MovieStyle, Pages 31 on 06/28/2013

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