Nurse Jackie: Season One – Edie Falco finds gainful employment following her run on The Sopranos, as a take-no-prisoners NYC ER nurse who navigates a fast-paced medical world as she juggles it with her personal life. The Showtime drama lacks the pep of its colleagues, such as Dexter and The United States of Tara, but is worth watching for Falco’s commanding performances. The Blu-ray and DVD versions include the same extras, including behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentary and stories from real life nurses.
Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant – A wannabe Harry Potter and Twilight, this slipshod fantasy about a traveling sideshow led by a brooding vampire (a slumming John C. Reilly) misses most of its marks and succeeds only in making you wonder how the script was approved. The Blu-ray includes extra deleted scenes the DVD doesn’t include, but you can imagine how bad they’d have to be to be cut twice.
Everybody’s Fine – Robert De Niro continues his career death spiral by starring in this sappy emo-drama about a middle-aged man who’s annoyed that his grown children (including Drew Barrymore, Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale) make up excuses not to see him, so he travels around to check up on them. Miramax thought so little of the film it didn’t even dignify it with a Blu-ray release. DVD extras include deleted scenes and the making of Paul McCartney’s theme song for the movie, “I Want to Come Home.”
The September Issue – The documentary follows Vogue’s taskmaster boss Anna Wintour as she navigates the cut-throat fashion world and wrangles her staff as she puts together her magazine’s biggest annual issue. The film is an eye-opening, if soft-pedaling look at the world we’ve had a glimpse of in The Devil Wears Prada – in which Meryl Streep’s performance is based on Wintour – and Ugly Betty. Extras include director’s commentary, a photo gallery and deleted scenes.
Phil Villarreal’s humorous money-saving book, Secrets of a Stingy Scoundrel, is available on Amazon.