The week in DVDs
Rudd sets an unlikely example
Paul Rudd is certainly everyone’s favourite boyish man-next-door at the moment. He seems to have carved quite a niche for himself playing more or less the same character in every movie, but in Role Models he at least gets the opportunity to match bedpan humour to his usual deadpan delivery. This is another from the Superbad and Knocked up stable of crude and lewd comedy that is so in vogue at the moment. Rudd and Sean William Scott play two less than model citizens, whose bad behaviour puts them in trouble with the law. As a result, the pair must act as mentors as part of their community service. Not Shakespeare but certainly delivers the laughs.
Also on the shelves
Ridley Scott’s compelling crime thriller American Gangster nearly didn’t made it to our screens after the original project was cancelled by Universal despite having already paid Denzel Washington $20 million to play real-life druglord Frank Lucas.
Thankfully the studio had a change of heart and Denzel delivers value for money in a towering performance as the head of a 1970s Harlem drugs empire. Russell Crowe is also at his brooding best as good cop Richie Roberts who is determined to bring Lucas down.
There’s nobody on Will Smith’s trail in I am Legend – at least at first, when it seems he’s the only man alive after the spread of a deadly virus appears to have claimed the rest of mankind. But soon he runs into mutant, infected, survivors who inconvenience his ongoing bid to find a cure. Makes rather uncomfortable viewing in light of the swine flu epidemic, and loses its way a little in the middle, but Smith is watchable as ever.
Ben still the lion king
Following the box office success of his surprisingly controversial adult comedy Tropic Thunder, Ben Stiller returns to more family-friendly fare in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, a long-awaited sequel which sees showbiz lion Alex, voiced by Stiller, stranded in the wilds of Africa with his other animal chums.
Stiller says he couldn't be happier with the second Madagascar feature, that he likes it better than the first, and that we will too. Certainly for his character, a theatrical lion from the New York City Zoo, the movie offers a more satisfying story arc. "Let's just say that Alex isn't at his best when he's thrown by something," explains Stiller. "Even though he's been through the sort of 'Jungle 101' in Madagascar, the stakes are so much higher in Africa, and the world is so much bigger.
"Also since his birth family is there, and his dad happens to be the alpha lion of the pride, expectations are very high. At first, Alex thinks it's all under control - he'll just do what he does back home and that should prove his worth. He didn't get to be the King of New York, the star of the zoo, for nothing. But what follows is a misunderstanding, a difference of cultures. Really it all comes as a shock to Alex."
For Alex, Madagascar 2 is the tale of a son and his father, and for 43-year-old Stiller too, his three-year-old boy Quinn laid down a vocal track for the film. "My son came in to do young Alex for the beginning of the movie, and he did it for about two minutes before he decided that he wasn't into it any more, that he wanted to leave, and he started to cry. Luckily, he had to be crying in the movie, so we used it. I don't know if that's good or bad, but it's real crying in the movie.”
WSC World Snooker Championship 2009 (Xbox/PS3 )
Relive the excitement of the Crucible denouement with the most realistic snooker simulation yet. Dodgy commentary is the only flaw.
Wheelman (Xbox/PS3 )
It has been a while since we have had an effective vehicle action title so I enjoyed the opportunity to recreate Vin Diesel’s rubber-burning stunts.
Afro Samurai (Xbox/PS3 )
A living episode of the anime series that’s dripping in style, Hugely addictive gameplay as you join Afro in his epic hunt to avenge the murder of his father.
Ireland's Grand Slam glory
Get in the mood for the upcoming Lions’ series by reliving every try, tackle, and nerve-jangling drop-goal from Ireland’s Grand Slam triumph.
Drop into your local Xtra-vision store or go online to make your selection at xtravision.ie