Inception Director Christopher Nolan ("The Dark Knight") took a common sci-fi story premise -- people invading the dreams of others -- and wove it into a fantastic, mesmerizing sci-fi mystery thriller that takes viewers through layers and layers of real, surreal, and unreal worlds. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of Extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb's rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible: Inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: Their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. Vitals: Director: Christopher Nolan. Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas. 2010, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 148 min., Science Fiction Thriller, Box office gross: $288.405 million, Warner.
THIS WEEK'S DVD RELEASES:
Across the Line: The Exodus of Charlie Wright (2010) Aidan Quinn, Mario Van Peebles, Danny Pino, Luke Goss, Bokeem Woodbine, Gina Gershon, Andy Garcia. Billionaire criminal Charlie Wright is living in self-imposed exile in Tijuana after his Ponzi scheme came crashing down. But Charlie soon finds that redemption has its price as he is pursued by a Mexican gangster, a U.S. federal agent and a former client looking to settle a score -- and grab his $2 billion stash. The chase is on as they all race to be the first to capture him. Extras: Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes interview with the cast, short feature "Baines." Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Maya Entertainment).
Barry Munday (2010) Patrick Wilson, Judy Greer. Based on the novel "Life is a Strange Place" by critically acclaimed author, Frank Turner Hollon, "Barry Munday" follows a suburban wanna-be ladies man named Barry Munday, who wakes up in the hospital after being attacked in a movie theater only to realize that he is missing one of his most prized possessions ... his "family jewels." To make matters worse, Barry learns he's facing a paternity lawsuit filed by a woman he doesn't even remember sleeping with. Extras: Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).
Big Bad Mama/Big Bad Mama II Double-Feature Collector's Edition. "Big Bad Mama" (1974) stars Angie Dickinson, William Shatner, Sally Kirkland, Robbie Lee and Susan Sennett. Extras: Commentary by director Steve Carver and director of photography Bruce Logan, Leonard Maltin interviews Roger Corman, theatrical trailer and TV spots, "Mama Knows Best" retrospective featuring interviews with Roger Corman, filmmaker Steve Carver, writer Frances Doel and actress Angie Dickinson. "Big Bad Mama II" (1987) stars Angie Dickinson, Danielle Brisbois, Julie McCullough, Robert Culp, Bruce Glover. Extras: Commentary by director Jim Wynorski, Leonard Maltin interviews Roger Corman, theatrical trailer. (Roger Corman's Cult Classics/Shout! Factory).
The Bob Hope Collection. Three-disc set with five Hope films, remastered from brand-new, stunning high-definition transfers. The films include "Road to Rio "(1947), "Road to Bali" (1952), "The Lemon Drop Kid" (1951), "My Favorite Brunette" (1947 and "The Seven Little Foys" (1955). $34.93. (Shout Factory).
Bonanza: The Official Second Season -- Volume One (1960-61) Five-disc set, $42.99. Extras: Commentary by Julie Adams and Ben Cooper; David Dortort Archival Footage (1992: Cartwright Family Inspirations: The Pitch to Prevent Cancellation; Photo gallery: RCA party, NYC, Colortown Cincinnati, Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena, cast members at "Home," Ponderosa Ranch interiors. (CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment).
Boy Meets World: The Complete Fourth Season (1996-97) Three-disc set with 22 episodes, $29.98. (Lionsgate).
Cronos (1993) Guillermo del Toro made an auspicious, audacious feature debut with "Cronos," a highly unorthodox tale about the seductiveness of the idea of immortality. Kindly antiques dealer Jesus Gris (Federico Luppi) happens upon an ancient golden device in the shape of a scarab, and soon finds himself possessor and victim of its sinister, addictive powers, as well as the target of a mysterious, crude American named Angel (a delightfully deranged Ron Perlman). Featuring marvelous special makeup effects and the unforgettably haunting imagery for which del Toro has become world-renowned, "Cronos" is a visually rich and emotionally captivating dark fantasy. New, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised and approved by director Guillermo del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, including optional audio with the film's original Spanish-language voice-over introduction as well as DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition. Extras: Two audio commentaries, one featuring del Toro and the other producers Arthur H. Gorson and Bertha Navarro and co-producer Alejandro Springall; "Geometria," an unreleased 1987 short horror film by del Toro, finished by the director in 2010, plus a new video interview with him; "Welcome to Bleak House," a video tour by del Toro of his office, featuring his collectibles and personal work; new video interviews with del Toro, Navarro and actor Ron Perlman; video interview with actor Federico Luppi; stills gallery; trailer; a booklet featuring an essay by film critic Maitland McDonagh and excerpts from del Toro's notes for the film. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (The Criterion Collection).
Crazy Mama/The Lady in Red Double-Feature Collector's Edition "Crazy Mama" (1975) stars Cloris Leachman, Ann Sothern, Linda Purl, Stuart Whitman, Jim Backus. Extras: Commentary by director Jonathan Demme and producer Roger Corman, interview with Jonathan Demme and Roger Corman, theatrical trailer and TV spots. "The Lady in Red" (1979) stars Pamela Sue Martin, Robert Conrad, Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd, Robert Forster. Extras: Commentary by director Lewis Teague and actor Robert Forster, commentary by producer Julie Corman and screenwriter John Sayles, theatrical trailers. (Roger Corman's Cult Classics/Shout! Factory).
Curious George: Sweet Dreams (2010) Eight shows from the Daytime Emmy-winning PBS KIDS TV Series. (Universal).
Disciples of the 36th Chamber (1985) Gordon Liu, Hsiao Ho. Classic Shaw Brothers martial arts film. Fong Sai Yuk, an incorrigible teenager whose troublesome antics constantly anger the Manchu officials, is sent by his mother to join the master of the Shaolin Temple, monk San Te, to learn the ways of the Shaolin. Yet Yuk's rebellious behavior soon leads the temple into a villainous trap and its up to monk San Te to save his temple and protect his troublesome new apprentice. (Vivendi Entertainment/The Weinstein Company/Dragon Dynasty Collection).
The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation (2010) Gary Valentine, Elisa Donovan, Casper Van Dien, Dean Cain and the voices of Mario Lopez and Paris Hilton, ABC Family original live-action/animated movie sequel to last year's "The Dog Who Saved Christmas." The Bannister family including former K-9 police hero Zeus (voiced by Mario López) – is back, and this time they’re spending their holidays at a beautiful Rocky Mountain resort. But toss in an unexpected visit from cocky Uncle Randy (Casper Van Dien of “Watch Over Me” and The Curse Of King Tut’s Tomb) and his foxy poodle Bella (voiced by Paris Hilton) and a familiar pair of bumbling jewel thieves (led by Dean Cain of “Lois & Clark” and The Dog Who Saved Christmas) and this holiday may be headed downhill fast! Can Zeus solve the crime, save Bella and hit the slopes, all in time for Christmas Day?
Family, PG, 90 Min 2010(Anchor Bay Entertainment).
The Dolphin: Story of a Dreamer (2009) Animated adventures of a dolphin who decides to leave the safety of his pod and explore the ocean to discover the true purpose of his life. (Fox).
A Dog Year (2010 -- TV) Jeff Bridges, Lauren Ambrose, Lois Smith. Based on the real-life memoir by best-selling author Jon Katz, "A Dog Year" tells the story of a 50-something writer (Jeff Bridges) in mid- existential crisis, who impulsively agrees to adopt a high-strung border collie named Devon. At first, the dog wreaks chaos on the household Jon shares with two older, mellower Labs. But as Jon learns to let go of the hostility in his own personality, he finds his ability to train and communicate with Devon much easier. Ultimately, the experience transforms both man and dog in meaningful, unexpected ways. (HBO).
Harpoon: Whale Watching Massacre (2009 -- Iceland) Gunnar Hansen. A boatload of whale-watching tourists gets hijacked by a family of deranged killers. Available in rated and unrated versions. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Image Entertainment).
Hot Wheels Battle Force 5: Season 1 Part 2 (2009) Fourteen episodes of the Cartoon Network series; Vert and his gang of elite drivers face off against The Vandals and The Sark in a race through interdimensional Battle Zones for the BattleKeys that unlock portals to Earth. $19.97. (Warner).
Hunter Prey (2010) Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Clark Bartram, Damion Poitier, Simon Potter. A group of elite intergalactic commandos must capture their escaped alien prisoner after their spaceship crash-lands on an unknown planet. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette, commentary by director Sandy Collora. (Maya Entertainment).
Inception (2010) Director: Christopher Nolan. Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas. Available as a standard DVD with bonus featurettes and as a Blu-ray Combo Pack with Blu-ray Disc, DVD and digital copy; the Blu-ray version includes Extraction Mode with more than 90 minutes of bonus content featuring director Christopher Nolan and Leonardo DiCaprio. (Warner).
Kings of the Evening (2008) Tyson Beckford, Lynn Whitfield, Reginald T. Dorsey, Linara Washington, Bruce McGill, Glynn Turman, James Russo, Steven Williams. Homer Hobbs, home after two years in jail, discovers that life on the outside can be crueler than the back-breaking injustice of the chain gang. He returns to a bleak urban town caught in the depths of the Great Depression -- no jobs, no prospects, no hope -- where he is thrown together with four strangers, each struggling to survive as they scratch and scheme to dig their way out of poverty. But on Sunday nights, in a dingy hall in a forlorn neighborhood, the men of the ghetto piece together the finest attire their meager lives can beg, borrow or steal to compete in an underground contest like no other. (Indican Pictures).
Law & Order: The Eighth Year (1997-98) Five-disc set with 24 episodes, $59.98. (Universal).
LennonNYC (2010) The recent documentary on the years John Lennon spent living in new York City; aired on American Masters as part of the celebration of Lennon's 70th birthday. Following the breakup of the Beatles, the film follows Lennon and Yoko Ono as they moved to Manhattan in 1971, where he sought to escape the mayhem of the Beatles era and focus on his family and private life. At the same time, he created some of the most acclaimed songs and albums of his career. He also remained highly active in the anti-war movement as well as numerous other progressive political causes. With unprecedented and exclusive cooperation from Yoko Ono, access to never-before seen material from the Lennon archives, conversations with his closest confidants -- Ono, Elton John, David Geffen, the photographer Bob Gruen -- and rare recordings of Lennon's greatest solo hits. $24.95. Moved from November 23. (A&E Home Entertainment).
Mystery of the Hope Diamond. Traces the epic journey of this most famous and coveted gem, from its origins to its journey across three continents -- passing from monarchs to thieves to millionaires – to its final home at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. (Infinity/Smithsonian).
Restrepo (2010) Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the critically acclaimed documentary, directed by Tim Hetherington and award-winning journalist and best-selling author, Sebastian Junger is an intense study on modern warfare. Without political agenda, Hetherington and Junger capture the daily activities of American soldiers deployed at "Outpost Restrepo," a location named after a fellow soldier who was killed during battle. Set in one of Afghanistan's most dangerous valleys, viewers are presented with a raw portrait interspersed with up-close encounters between the comrades. Extras: Extended/deleted scenes; extended interviews; update on the soldiers of 2nd Platoon, Battle Company, 173rd Airborne; collection of YouTube/Restrepo.com videos; photo gallery. $19.99. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Virgil Films & Entertainment).
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Undead (2009) Jake Hoffman, Devon Aoki, John Ventimiglia, Ralph Macchio, Kris Lemche, Jeremy Sisto, Joey Kern. Quirky twist on the Tom Stoppard classic. Living in the back room of his father's doctors office, broke and frustrated ladies man Julian scores his big break when he lands the job directing an off-Broadway version of "Hamlet." Except it's a bizarre adaptation written by a pale Romanian impresario named Theo who is actually a master vampire. Theo hopes to lure the real Hamlet out of hiding so the two can end a centuries long feud over Shakespeare's "Ophelia." Meanwhile, Julian pines for his ex-girlfriend, Anna, who is dating a mobster intent on creating the next great invention -- "Whack a Germ." Added into the mix is a dimwitted detective, the Holy Grail, the Rosicrucian Society, a bunch of sexy vamps, God, and a score by Sean Lennon. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Indican Pictures).
Shrek Forever After (2010) Voices of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, Antonio Banderas, Julie Andrews, Jon Hamm, John Cleese, Craig Robinson, Walt Dohrn, Jane Lynch, Lake Bell, Kathy Griffin, Mary Kay Place, Kristen Schaal, Meredith Vieira. Available as a single Blu-ray, Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, single DVD, a Double DVD pack with "Donkey's Christmas Shrektacular," and "Shrek the Whole Story Quadrilogy" four-movie packs on DVD and Blu-ray. Extras: Deleted scenes; three featurettes: "Spotlight On Shrek," "Secrets of Shrek Forever After" and "From Swamp to Stage: The Making of Shrek the Musical." Blu-ray adds commentary, "The Tech of Shrek Forever After" featurette, music video for "Shrek, Rattle & Roll" and "Conversation With the Cast." The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack adds "Deck the Swamp" game and DreamWorks Animation Music Video Jukebox. (DreamWorks/Paramount).
SpongeBob SquarePants: Season 6, Volume 2 (2008-09) Two-disc set with 23 episodes, including the double-episode "SpongeBob and the Clash of Triton" that guest stars Victoria Beckham and Sebastian Bach. $26.99. Extras: "Bollywood Bob," "How to Make SpongeBob SquarePants," "The Clash of Triton" shorts. (Nick/Paramount).
Thomas & Friends: The Lion of Sodor (2010) Thomas the Tank Engine roars down the tracks with his most special delivery yet: The Lion of Sodor statue ... but Thomas thinks it's a real lion. Includes three other episodes: "Thomas and the Pigs," "Time for a Story" and "Hiro Helps Out." Extras: "Party Train" match game, "Determination" karaoke song. $14.98. (HIT Entertainment/Lionsgate).
The True Story of the Three Little Pigs ... And More Animal Adventures! (2010) The tale of Three Little Pigs -- from the Wolf's perspective; three other animated stories: "The Pig's Wedding," "Wallace's List" and "Henry Builds a Cabin" (narrated by Mandy Patinkin). $14.95. Moved from November 16. (Scholastic Storybook Treasures).
Vega$: The Second Season -- Volume 1 (1979-80) Three-disc set, $39.99. (CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount Home Entertainment).
The Year of Getting to Know Us (2007) Jimmy Fallon, Sharon Stone, Tom Arnold, Lucy Liu, Illeana Douglas. New York-based writer Chris Rocket (Fallon) is a man devoted to his work but unable to commit to his beautiful, intelligent girlfriend (Liu) -- or anything else in his personal life. After his estranged, golf-obsessed father Tom (Arnold) suffers a debilitating stroke, Chris heads to his childhood home in Florida where, laying in wait, is his eccentric mother (Stone) and a litany of childhood issues that must be reconciled before he's able to move on with his life. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Entertainment One).
Yogi Bear's All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982) Yogi poses as a department store Santa and helps a little girl restore her faith in Christmas. New, re-mastered version available for the first time on DVD -- just in time for the theatrical debut of "Yogi Bear," the new live-action/computer animated big screen adventure in 3-D. $14.97. (Warner).