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New on DVD: 'Date Night,' 'Death at a Funeral' and 'The Joneses'

Posted 10:53am on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

Date Night

Steve Carell and Tina Fey play Phil and Claire Foster, a married couple living with their two children in New Jersey. Phil hatches a spur-of-the-moment plan, a "date night" in New York City, where they will dine at the hippest new downtown restaurant. A case of very dangerous mistaken identity ensues -- the couple that is supposed to be eating at that table has a flash drive that a fiendish mobster (Ray Liotta) and two crooked cops (Jimmi Simpson and Common) are determined to get back. Date Night plays like a modern-day variation on Martin Scorsese's night-in-hell comedy After Hours, complete with mistaken identities, surprise cameos and one of the more deranged car chases in recent memory. That there is a beating heart at the center of all this -- a surprisingly sweet "comedy of re-marriage," about a frustrated middle-age couple who find a way to get their mojo back -- makes it all the more appealing.

Death at a Funeral, adapted from the 2007 English comedy of the same name, features Chris Rock as Aaron, the son handling all the arrangements for his father's chaotic funeral. The story plods, then drifts a bit, then plods some more.

The Joneses is about a group of suburban marketers who are cunning "plants" cast for their ability to earn envy and show off Lacoste or Yves Saint Laurent fashions, Audi sports cars and Ethan Allen furnishings. This satire manages a deft blend of the sexy, the sad and the silly.

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