Today's DVDs: Battle: Los Angeles and MOOZ-lum

Battle: Los Angeles

stars Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez and Bridget Moynahan, Jonathan Liebesman directs.

Here's What our critic, Pete Vonder Haar, said about the film:

I wish I could tell you the cool explode-y parts make up for the cornball dialogue and wholly predictable ending, but while some of the action is indeed of the "kick ass" variety, it won't keep you from the gradual realization that Battle: Los Angeles is essentially Guadalcanal Diary with ETs.

Here's our take: We always knew it would up to Michelle Rodriguez to save the world. The oh-so-tough Rodriguez plays a soldier working with a platoon that's tasked with the saving the world from space invaders (to be honest, Rodriguez isn't quite the star, that's actually more Aaron Eckhart's role). There's lots of shooting and killing and things blowing up, and people giving each other meaningful looks as they go off to face certain death. Oh, and the earth is getting its ass royally kicked by the invaders.

DVD/Blu-ray extras: The DVD features a few extras, including a Behind the Battle featurette as well as mini-docs about creating the aliens seen in the film and training the actors for their roles as Marines. Blu-ray versions include a Resistance 3 game demo for Playstation (it would have been more impressive if it was a full game and not just a demo) and pop-ups to watch during the film or separately.

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Battle: Los Angeles is on Netflix today (DVD and Blu-ray).


MOOZ-lum stars Danny Glover, Nia Long and Evan Ross, Qasim Basir directs.

Here's what our critic, Michelle Orange, said about the film:

[The movie's] storylines play like an after-madrasa special, from the animatronic performances and overbearing sound and dialogue cues (a cleric's slaps get kung-fu effects; Tariq's fellow co-eds speak in The More You Know koans) to the evasive streamlining of complicated themes.

Here's our take: Movies burdened with telling story that is mostly moral and very little story have a hard time of it, but MOOZ-lum does a better job of it than most. Muslim student Tariq (Evan Ross) is attending a secular college after a strict religious education. At school, Tariq develops relationships with his estranged sister, his Arab roommate and a Muslim professor. After the 9/11 attacks, the professor comes under attack by an angry dean (Danny Glover) and everyone must choose sides. Nia Long appears as Tariq's observant, compassionate mother.

The cast is responsible for the film's success, but even Evan Ross (big ups to Ross for his performance), Glover and Long's considerable talents can't overcome the movie's "we have a message to tell" focus completely.

Still, MOOZ-lum is worth your notice - we just suggest you find something else for date night.

DVD/Blu-ray extas: None

MOOZ-lum is on Netflix today (DVD only)

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