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.
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
■ 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.