'Confessions of a Shopaholic' leads slim list of new Blu-ray titles

by Doug Nye

McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)

23 June 2009


The romantic comedy “Confessions of a Shopaholic” (Walt Disney/Touchstone, 2009, $39.99) is one of the more appealing films in the leanest week for new Blu-ray releases in several months.

Isla Fisher is a delight as Rebecca Bloomfield, a New York journalist who can’t walk by a department store window without being lured in to buy something. She is the first to tell you that the smell of the store and the rush that comes with using that little plastic card is the height of happiness.

That happiness always vanishes whenever she looks at her credit card bills that total more than $9,000. The only way to get happy again, of course, is to go out and buy something else. It gets so bad, her roommate and best friend Suze (Krysten Ritter) convinces her to attend a session of Shopaholics Anonymous, which results in some of the film’s funniest moments.

Meanwhile, Rebbecca is trying to dodge a villainous debt collector as she pursues her dream job of being a writer for a famous fashion magazine. Instead, she ends up working at a financial monthly for editor Luke Brandon (Hugh Dancy). Despite knowing little about her subject matter, Rebecca writes a piece for the magazine that draws raves.

She is on her way to becoming famous and falling in love with Luke. But there are obstacles to overcome, such as all those lies she told to hide her own financial difficulties. “Shopaholic” might not be Oscar material, but it’s a fun ways to spend a couple of hours during the summer.

Other new Blu-rays:

“Waltz with Bashir” (Sony, 2008, $39.95): This movie, from Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman, is definitely different. It features a unique animation style, tackles a serious subject and is foreign made — three characteristics guaranteed to make critics swoon. The film reflects Folman’s memories of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

“Inkheart” (Warner, 2009, $35.99): In this fantasy, Brendan Fraser plays Mo, a guy who literally brings characters to life whenever he reads a book. It can be both a fun and frightening power. There was that time, for example, when he unleashed a couple of villains from a book while some of his relatives got pulled into the pages. Now, years later, Mo is trying to find that old book in hopes of making things right again.

“The Code” (First Look, 2008, $29.98): Morgan Freeman and Antonio Banderas star in this heist movie that was originally titled “Thick as Thieves.” Banderas has just pulled off a jewelry robbery when he encounters veteran thief Freeman, who had his eye on the same prize. Freeman convinces Banderas to join him in attempting to steal two heavily-guarded Faberge Imperial Eggs. To say things don’t go off quite as planned is an understatement.

“The Pink Panther 2” (MGM, 2009, $39.99): Steve Martin returns as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, the role originally made famous by Peter Sellers. This time he teams up with a group of other detectives who aren’t any smarter than Clouseau. Their job is to stop a thief who is stealing historical artifacts from around the world. The cast includes Jane Reno, Andy Garcia, John Cleese, Lily Tomlin and Jeremy Irons.

“Dragon Hunters” (Peach Arch, 2008, $29.99): This animated futuristic tale is about two dragon hunters who are asked to slay the biggest dragon in the land.

Also available:

“Last Year at Merienbad” (Criterion Collection, 1961, $39.95) with Delphine Seyrig; “Mr. Troop Mom” (Warner, 2009, $35.98) with George Lopez.

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