If watching the new president field questions last night made you reflect on the guy who used to be in charge, you may want to check out W., Oliver Stone’s better-than-its-reputation biopic of George W. Bush. Stone tries too hard to turn famous Bush malapropisms into dialogue, but his recreation of the ex-president’s rise to power is engaging and insightful, and well-acted by Josh Brolin. It’s by no means a great movie, but it should make a diverting video rental.

Also in the good-but-not-great category this week: the gripping indie melodrama Frozen River, starring the Oscar-nominated Melissa Leo as a single mother turning to human trafficking in order to pay for a new trailer; and two smartly assembled documentaries about artistic expression, Obscene and The Universe Of Keith Haring.


On the other end of the scale, if you're behind on your crushing 2008 disappointments, this week would be a good time to catch up with Spike Lee’s irritatingly simplistic WWII adventure Miracle At St. Anna and Fernando Meirelles’ ridiculously shrieky adaptation of José Saramago’s novel Blindness. Forget economic indicators—the first sign that times had gotten hard was when the movies started sucking.

Against The Dark

Sony, $24.96


Warner Blu-ray, $35.99


Miramax, $29.99

The Boondock Saints

Fox/MGM Blu-ray, $34.99


Magnolia, $26.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Cross Creek

Lionsgate, $14.98

Death Note II: The Last Name

Viz, $24.98

Dennis Potter: 3 To Remember (Cream In My Coffee/Blade On The Feather/Rain On The Roof)


Koch, $39.98

Donnie Darko

Fox Blu-ray, $34.98

The Enforcer

Weinstein/Dragon Dynasty, $19.97

Essential Art House, Vol. 2 (Black Orpheus/The 400 Blows/Ikiru/The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp/Pygmalion/La Strada)


Janus/Criterion, $99.95

The Exterminating Angel

Criterion, $39.95

Friday The 13th – The Series: The Second Season

Paramount, $49.99

Frozen River

Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $39.95

Gospel Hill

20th Century Fox, $26.98

The Guitar

Starz/Anchor Bay, $26.97

Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle And The Drum

Koch, $19.99

Kennedy: The Complete Series

MPI, $19.98

The Lodger

MGM, $19.98

Lucy & Desi: A Home Movie

MPI, $19.98

Melrose Place: The Fifth Season, Vol. 1

Paramount, $39.98

Miracle At St. Anna

Touchstone, $29.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

My Name Is Bruce

Image, $27.98; Blu-ray, $35.98

The New Detectives: Seasons 1 & 2

Timeless, $34.98

Nights In Rodanthe

Warner, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99


Arts Alliance, $29.95

Otto; Or, Up With Dead People

Strand, $27.99

The Paradine Case

MGM, $19.98

Pretty Woman

Touchstone Blu-ray, $34.99

Raging Bull

MGM Blu-ray, $34.98

The Romance Of Astrea And Celadon

Koch, $26.98

Rona Barrett’s Hollywood: Nothing But The Truth

Infinty, $24.98

Route 66: Season Three, Vol. 1

Roxbury, $29.98


MGM, $19.98

She Stoops To Conquer

Acorn, $39.99

Simon & Simon: Season Two

Shout! Factory, $49.99

Simon Of The Desert

Criterion, $24.950;

Soul Men

Weinstein, $28.95; Blu-ray, $34.99

Tales From The Darkside: The First Season

Paramount, $36.98

Terminal Invasion

Image, $14.98

Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!: Season Two

Warner, $19.98

The Universe Of Keith Haring

Arts Alliance, $29.95


Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99

Way Of War

First Look, $28.98

Whale Wars

Animal Planet, $19.95

What Makes Sammy Run?

Koch, $24.98

The Whole Shootin’ Match

Watchmaker, $29.98

Wild At Heart: Series One

Acorn, $39.99

Young & Innocent

MGM, $19.98