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New on DVD: 'Nine,' 'Leap Year' and 'Tooth Fairy'

Posted 9:42am on Wednesday, May. 05, 2010


The 1982 Tony-winning Broadway musical Nine, based on Federico Fellini's classic drama 8 1/2, follows a narcissistic film director named Guido, who suffers a creative block as he approaches production on his latest film. The material requires a lead actor who can provide a fiery core to an intellectual meta-story. (Raul Julia and Antonio Banderas starred in the show's two Broadway incarnations.) For all his technical skill, Daniel Day-Lewis -- who plays Guido in Rob Marshall's new film version -- lacks both gentleness of spirit and erotic charge. As it turns out, he isn't much of a singer, either. With this critical bit of miscasting at its center, Nine never gets off the ground. As Guido struggles to juggle the many women in his life -- including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Oscar nominee Penélope Cruz), his leading lady (Nicole Kidman) and his deceased mother (Sophia Loren) -- the story leaps backward and forward in time, with fantasy and reality jumbling together. Yet we never become invested in Guido's dilemma.

Leap Year stars Amy Adams as a woman desperate for her boyfriend (Adam Scott) to pop the question when she falls in love with another man (Matthew Goode) in Ireland. Director Anand Tucker (Shopgirl) gives us a generous selection of heart-melting Adams close-ups, but his touch is heavy-handed and the pacing is sluggish.

Tooth Fairy, a sugary blend of Enchanted and Monsters, Inc., will make you want to brush midway through it. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson plays a brutish hockey player sentenced by a fairy godmother (Julie Andrews) to be a tooth fairy. Entirely too many minutes pass before director Michael Lembeck teaches ol' hockey puck-for-brains his lesson.

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