This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.

Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.

Rent It

W.
I want to love W. a lot more than I actually do. The concept is great, attempting to satirize the most hated president the US has ever had by painting a sympathetic portrait of the man and allowing his own actions to speak for themselves. It’s not very successful though, never seeming to know exactly what it wants to be. Sometimes it feels like a straightforward biography; at others it feels like an unfunny SNL sketch (e.g., every scene with Thandie Newton). The finished product is less a movie and more a flimsy amalgamation of random moments from Bush’s life. Since the film (having been made before Bush was even out of office) already lacks any sort of historical perspective, I really think it would’ve played better had it focused more on its narrative structure, telling its story chronologically as some sort of absurdist fantasy where this drunk college kid with a rich dad ends up controlling an entire country (and then subsequently subjecting the whole world to complete chaos). You could kind of already get a sense of that basic concept in the film, but like so many of W.’s ideas, it eventually gets lost in the shuffle. Josh Brolin is great in it though.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: Audio commentary with director Oliver Stone, a “Dangerous Dynasty: The Bush Presidency” featurette, a “No Stranger to Controversy: Oliver Stone’s George W. Bush” featurette, and deleted scenes.

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In the 1960s and 1970s, an R&B vocal duo experienced meteoric fame, acclaimed as one of the greatest live performing acts of the decade, with 10 consecutive top 20 singles. Personal conflicts caused the duo to split and stop speaking to each other, but they eventually tried to reunite and found fame as performers once again. If you’re eagerly anticipating the release of Malcolm D. Lee’s latest film starring Samuel L. Jackson and the late Bernie Mac, then this sounds a lot like the plot of Soul Men (in theaters this Friday). But If you’re Sam Moore, singer of the insanely popular and influential duo Sam & Dave, then it sounds like a description of your life, which the Soul Men movie has shamelessly ripped off.

According to The Independent, Moore has a whole host of problems with the film, some of them legal, some of them personal. Moore believes that the film infringes on his song, “Soul Man,” which was the duo’s most popular hit. Moore’s lawyer elaborated:

Clearly, the film takes from Sam Moore’s life without getting permission. If you look at the story … if you know anything about Sam & Dave then you could make the reasonable assumption that this is the Sam & Dave story. The filmmakers are exploiting his reputation to make a buck. They are taking his rights to the phrase “soul man.” They’ve abused his trademark in a way that creates the likelihood of confusion.

Moore also objects to what he believes is the film’s portrayal of the duo on film:

The film is sexist, racist, and embarrassing, and that’s not what Sam & Dave were about…It’s so amateurish, so stupid, and I’m surprised that Samuel L Jackson is involved in this. But when you read the script, all you see is vulgarity. Every other word is the ‘N-word’ or ‘M-f’ and it’s just not right. They have bastardised my whole story.

The Weinstein Company denies any wrongdoing, insisting that the film is completely ficitonal. Their lawyer, Bertram Fields, explained:

Months ago, we received Mr. Moore’s claim and told him he had none…As he could readily see from the script we sent him, Soul Men is not, in any part or respect, based on Mr Moore’s life. It tells a different story about different people. If Mr. Moore decides to file a lawsuit, he will lose.

To those interested in reading up on the conflict, check out the Independent article. But also read up on Sam & Dave, and the new Soul Men film and let me know what you think in the comments.

Discuss: Does Moore have a point? Or is he overreacting to a few, broad similarities?

When Morgan Freeman got into a car accident, the blogosphere was declaring The Dark Knight a cursed film. When Issac Hayes died immediately after Bernie Mac, some observed that Samuel L Jackson might be next due to the trio’s connection through the upcoming movie Soul Men. I don’t think anyone actually believes in these things, do they?

Now Defamer is declaring The Curse of Billy Bob Thornton. The latest death watch conspiracy theory involves the many co-stars of Thornton who have have suffered death, injury or sickness. John Ritter, Bernie Mac, J.T. Walsh, and Heath Ledger all died prematurely. Morgan Freeman and Shia LaBeouf both suffered car accidents, and Patrick Swayze got diagnosed with cancer. And there is also Jim Varney, best known for his character Ernest, whose final film before he died was Thorton’s Daddy and Them.

And while we’re at it, something tells me Kevin Bacon could be connected to any of these people within three degrees…