Dreams of Syndication
Will & Grace: Series Finale (Lions Gate) The way this got hustled to shelves, mere days after Will Truman and Grace Adler said their mushy farewells, you'd think this were some classic adios -- another M*A*S*H or Cheers wrap-up. Alas, it was just another Very Special Episode of a show that ran its course around the fourth season; Will wound up with Vince (Bobby Cannavale, tragically underused) and a baby boy, Grace snuggled up with Leo (Harry Connick Jr., tragically overused) and a baby girl, while Karen and Jack stayed together to play together. The time-lapse gimmick didn't work, and only a couple of jokes stung. This disc comes with rudimentary extras, air kisses doled out before the show parts into eternal syndication, from which we'll never, ever escape. -- Robert Wilonsky
Winter Soldier (New Yorker)
Consider this either the sequel or prequel to 2004's Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry; in the first five minutes of this black-and-white-and-red doc about the January 1971 Winter Soldier Hearings in Detroit, we see the scruffy, grim-looking future politico asking a shell-shocked vet why he's testifying about the horrors of 'Nam. The answer Kerry gets is the same one echoed throughout this 1972 movie -- which no network ever aired and no theater ever screened: These boys saw and did things so unspeakable that to say them aloud, over and over, might finally end a war that ruined a generation, as one soldier puts it. Of course, the howls of the scarred and scared were greeted with silence; only now, in the shadow of another faraway and seemingly never-ending conflict, does it see release, rendering it a historical document that feels as immediate as tomorrow. -- R.W.
Date Movie: Unrated (Fox)
About 20 minutes into Date Movie, a cat takes a loud, protracted, sloppy dump, and I laughed. Unfortunately, the film never matches that wit again. It's just another in a long line of "spoof" flicks, the malformed bastard children of Airplane! If parody is satire without a point, then spoofs are parodies without jokes. Instead, we get a jumble of Ben Affleck and Meet the Parents references, which require us to scan for laughs the way disaster survivors scan walls of photographs in search of loved ones. Look, it's just fucking awful -- like watching Christopher Reeve in his last days. There are special features, including a commentary track from displeased film critics and a documentary. But if you've got the kind of time to shuffle through the extras on Date Movie, it's time to move on to drinking paint. -- Jordan Harper
Dan Aykroyd Unplugged on UFOs (Anchor Bay)
Maybe you suspect that visitors from another galaxy kidnap humans and probe them, and that there's a massive international conspiracy covering it up. Here now is the proof to push you into belief: Dan Aykroyd, seen here explaining how three decades of living off two years of hipness have made him an authority on unexplained phenomena. "Ufologist" David Sereda leads the interview with his nose buried deep in Aykroyd's ass, calling the former Conehead a "Ph.D. of UFOs." Meanwhile, we see clips of blurry dots in the sky, as Aykroyd pontificates wildly on the transportation methods, motives, and abilities of monsters from the sky. In a world where being a rock star makes Bono qualified to dictate international economic policy, maybe it's not that crazy. Wait, no, it's totally nuts. -- J.H.
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