Cinematical's Spin-ematical: New on DVD and Blu-ray for 5/18

Invictus
"Very solid, very earnest, and very, very earthbound," is what I wrote in part to describe Clint Eastwood's drama about the efforts of Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) to utilize the national sport of rugby to help unite the deeply divided South Africa in the 1990s. Matt Damon co-stars as the team's captain, a man marked by restraint, who prefers to lead by example. It all makes for a dignified experience that falls short of the emotional heights to which it aspires. Rent it.

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The Spy Next Door
Most critics, including our own John Gholson, really didn't like the movie, but I think that this kid flick makes surprisingly good use of the aging talents of Jackie Chan. There's something good to be said for his spirited interactions with the spoiled kids and the fact that his character, an undercover spy living in suburbia as a bespectacled nerd, is involved in an interracial romance, which is offered without further comment. Rent it.

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Extraordinary Measures
The real life story of John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) and his years-long battle in behalf of his children, stricken with a fatal disease, is no doubt moving and inspirational. The movie version, not so much, as Jeffrey M. Anderson explained in his Cinematical review: "Nothing here feels as if it might actually have happened. It's all too metered and inevitable. But even as the movie abandons truth, it still can't quite embrace drama." Harrison Ford co-stars as a feisty research doctor. Skip it.

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Also out: Valentine's Day, The New Daughter.

After the jump: Indies on DVD, more Blu-ray picks, and Collector's Corner.