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Fashion in Film (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

After a long string of fascinating Starz Original documentaries, Fashion in Film comes along as perhaps the weakest of the lot. But still, it's an entertaining enough peek at the world of cinematic fashion. Peppered with clips from The Devil Wears Prada, 27 Dresses and a slew of other fashion-forward films, this doc definitely skews toward the chick-flick side of things — although a segment on Pirates of the Caribbean does provide temporary balm. Interviews from Jean Paul Gaultier, Phillip Bloch and others in the high fashion industry provide nice commentary, but that's the main problem with this: Its focus seems too narrow, with an emphasis on how film has influenced high fashion instead of costume design in general. Still, this does make perfect viewing for behind-the-scenes fashionistas who enjoy reality shows like Project Runway. Purchase the DVD: Fashion in Film — Louis Fowler

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Valkyrie (PG-13)

United Artists

Director and geek-god Bryan Singer plays it like the greatest comic-book story ever told: German officers (led by Tom Cruise) in 1944 try to kill the über-evil Hitler (David Bamber). Somehow, it's truly suspenseful. We know Hitler was never killed by his own commanders, but as Singer depicts it, they came so tantalizingly close that you can almost taste the alternate-universe special issue to come — in which they succeed and the course of the 20th century changes. You want to wonder, didn't any of the good guys realize Hitler was bad news? That's just part of the conceit you have to accept, like you accept kryptonite can take out Clark Kent. Bonus material includes a commentary track by Cruise, Singer and screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie; another by McQuarrie and co-writer Nathan Alexander; a making-of feature; and the documentary The Valkyrie Legacy. Purchase the DVD: Valkyrie (Single-Disc Edition) — MaryAnn Johanson

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Look (R)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Adam Rifkin has long been one of the most underrated directors in Hollywood. Just take a look at his résumé: The Dark Backward, The Chase, Detroit Rock City ... need I go on? I haven't seen much from him in the past few years, but here he is with Look, which is not only a welcome return, but also one of the most innovative films to come along in a while. It follows numerous storylines — a teacher seduced by a student, a closeted gay man with a family, a tormented office drone, two spree killers — filmed using only security and surveillance cameras. This stylistic device may seem a tad off-putting at first, but once the stories get going, the voyeuristic deliciousness of the whole thing guarantees you can't stop watching. It's a fascinating, Orwellian dark comedy that's actually more realistic than you might think. — Louis Fowler

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The IT Crowd: The Complete First Season (NR)

MPI Home Video

From Ash Atalla, producer of the U.K. version of The Office, and Graham Linehan, creator of Father Ted, comes one of the flat-out funniest Brit-coms I've seen in a long time. Mixing the anarchic charm of The Young Ones with The Office's workplace drone, this first season covers the foibles of IT nerds Roy and Moss and new boss Jen. In these six episodes they fake deaths, get PMS, create an Internet dating psycho, set the place on fire, and meet the Goth locked in the closet. American sitcoms seem to be copying this hit — The Big Bang Theory comes to mind — and NBC already floated one pilot American version (though it didn't go anywhere). It'd be no surprise to see another attempt; let's just hope any Stateside copycats retain its uncomfortable, often bizarre comedic sensibilities (à la The Office) instead of going for cheap jokes about stereotypical nerds. — Louis Fowler

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Splinter (R)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

Splinter could have been a classic. It had an engrossing plot: A young couple, kidnapped by a pair of meth-heads, encounters a terrifying monster that can gruesomely take over the body via its porcupine-like quills, so the two hole up in an abandoned convenience store as they try to figure out how to escape. The problem is that director Toby Wilkins employs that damn "hip" horror contrivance that mandates that during any monster attack, the camera goes all shaky, ensuring you never ever see what's going on. Why go to all the trouble to create what, from the quick glances, looks like a horrifying creature, if you never take it down a notch so we can see it? This movie ultimately depressed me. Can you please remake it with a stationary camera? Please? — Louis Fowler

  • Fashion in Film, Valkyrie, Look

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