By Lauren Smart
By Jane R. LeBlanc
By Lauren Smart
By Elaine Liner
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
Knocked Up (Universal)
Apparently, as Judd Apatow was making Knocked Up he was also prepping for its DVD release, as most of the bonuses here were shot during breaks on location. And they're no small treats, either. Finally, here's a "collector's edition" worthy of the moniker. Chief among the bounty affixed to this comedy about impending and imploding parenthood is a mock-doc called Finding Ben Stone, in which Apatow "directs" a host of other actors in the part "eventually" given to Seth Rogen. To name the other candidates would blow some of the gag—suffice it to say they're all angry young (and old) famous men prone to fits of swearing, as Apatow (easily the Best Male Actor in a Made-for-DVD Bonus) returns to his celeb-skewering Larry Sanders Show roots. Which leaves nearly three hours' worth of extras, every one of which is better than most features released this year. —Robert Wilonsky
Sometimes you're just better off knowing less about a movie, so here's the nutshell: Watch Bug. It's as creepy and wonderfully weird as anything released this year. Ashley Judd is weathered but lovely as a sexy, damaged mess who's either being harassed by bugs or going bugshit; Michael Shannon is the loonball drifter with whom she delivers wickedly strange dialogue, often naked. For a movie that rarely leaves its dingy hotel room (Bug is based on a play), it's remarkable how little you'll see coming from one scene to the next. It's a hell of a flick, and a shame that it got buried in the theatrical shitpile of modern horror earlier this year. The extras feature director William Friedkin (The Exorcist), all bland and brilliant, talking about everything from modern editing to directing operas. —Jordan Harper
The TV Set (Fox)
This is a sharp, smart film that went all but ignored during its theatrical run this summer—appropriate, as it's about how a sharp, smart TV series gets dumped on by the network that thought it oh-so-brilliant before the behind-the-scenes butchering. Appropriate, too, that this is being released the same week as Knocked Up: Writer-director Jake Kasdan worked with Judd Apatow on the acclaimed and finally assassinated Freaks and Geeks, and he knows better than most the corrupt promises made by TV execs who claim they want smart and sell mostly stupid. David Duchovny's spot-on as the Apatow-Kasdan stand-in, selling his soul by the ounce; Sigourney Weaver's a revelation as the network exec demanding he change everything about the show she claims to love; Justine Bateman, Ioan Gruffudd, Judy Greer and Lucy Davis are likewise tremendous. So too is Weaver's favorite show on her network: Slut Wars. —R.W.
Cracker: A New Terror (Acorn Media)
When Robbie Coltrane gutters out, his obituary will prattle on about his lovable lug Hagrid from the Harry Potter movies. But Coltrane's best work came playing an unlovable lug named Dr. Eddie Fitzgerald in the '90s British crime drama Cracker. A forensic psychologist, Fitz is an obese, bitchy, gambling-addicted alcoholic, but in a good way. This feature-length episode, made a decade after the series ended, brings back the old charms, but its main murder loses points for its heavy-handed politics. Then again, you don't watch Cracker for the crime; a scene in which Fitz blames his impotence on his wife's sagging body oozes more drama than any killing. It's a must-watch for fans, though beginners should start at the beginning. —J.H.