TV

These just out: 'Burn After Reading,' 'The Women,' 'Hamlet 2'

Thursday was Christmas. Did you know that? Apparently the folks who release DVDs did. This week's selections went on sale Sunday rather than Tuesday. So what do we have here?

■ Brad Pitt is clueless in Burn After Reading, a film by the quirky Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan. He plays Chad, a fitness club employee who comes into possession of what he thinks is sensitive (hence potentially valuable) information. He intends to exchange it for a "Samaritan tax" — money that he'll give to co-worker Linda (Frances McDormand) for the plastic surgery she craves. A CIA analyst, a Russian diplomat and a federal marshal all get involved in the craziness. The film is rated R.

■ Some very talented actresses — Meg Ryan, Annette Bening, Jada Pinkett Smith, Candice Bergen, Carrie Fisher and Bette Midler among them — make up the ensemble cast of The Women, a PG-13 remake of the George Cukor "girl trouble" classic. The 1939 original (based on the play by Clare Boothe Luce) has been called proto-feminist. Today, it's more like "sisters are doing it for themselves" as it tells the story of a group of socialite friends who support one of their own when she learns that her husband is being unfaithful to her with a department-store perfume "spritzer." Stinky.

■ In Hamlet 2, Steve Coogan plays a high school drama teacher whose department is eliminated — unless he can come up with $6,000 to save it. He decides to put on a show! He also decides to write it — and to make it a musical rewrite of Shakespeare's Hamlet, a version in which the deus ex machina is a real deus. Rock Me Sexy Jesus, anyone? This one is rated R.

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