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Galaxy of Terror (R)

Shout! Factory

Every time there was a new blockbuster phenomenon at the cinema, Roger Corman was right there to cash in on his own low-budget version. In some cases, he made movies with more imagination and ingenuity than he was probably aware of. When Alien became a huge hit, Corman made the infinitely more entertaining Galaxy of Terror. Featuring production design from James Cameron and starring Happy Days' Erin Moran, this 1981 flick puts a futuristic crew on a barren planet in search of survivors of a crashed ship. They proceed to find a wide array of horrors, including, in the most controversial scene, a gigantic maggot-thing that offensively mauls a nubile navigator. The DVD also includes an hour-long documentary about the grueling making of the movie, something that should be required viewing for all low-budget filmmakers. — Louis Fowler

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The Diplomat (NR) (Blu-ray)

Vivendi Entertainment

So many great American movies have been made from foreign miniseries. Sadly, right now only Traffic is coming to mind, but I'm sure there are more. Australian two-part TV miniseries The Diplomat feels like it was created purely for American producers to remake, with a good enough premise to attract audiences. Hard-drinking, mildly grieving diplomat Ian Porter (Dougray Scott, the original choice for Wolverine) is detained by Scotland Yard after being linked to the Russian Mafia, only to be sent into witness protection with his ex-wife in lovely Australia. Turns out the Mafia wants the key to a suitcase nuclear bomb, so that's kind of a game-changer, right? Four hours is way too long for this, with far too much filler, but maybe an American filmmaker can trim the fat and make a great pulse-pounding political thriller? Maybe. — Louis Fowler

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My Name Is Khan (PG-13)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

In an era when American-Muslim relations are at the boiling point, a film like My Name is Khan could have been welcome balm to the seething masses. Too bad it's so trite and silly that, at best, it will probably improve relations between Muslims and fans of bad movies. Hey, it's a start, right? A three-hour Bollywood movie with, sadly, no musical numbers, this features Shah Rukh Khan as the titular Khan, an Indian Muslim who is suffering from a cinematic variation of Asperger's syndrome. His stepson dies from a soccer ball kick to the chest, sending him on a quest to meet Barack Obama. Along the way he encounters numerous wacky caricatures, including a damn-near offensive black family that seems to have come right off the set of a Lars Von Trier melodrama. I almost forgot: He also foils a terrorist plot. Pure imported cheese. — Louis Fowler

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Date Night: Extended Edition (PG-13) (Blu-Ray)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

When released earlier this year, the screwball comedy Date Night, starring current mainstream it-kids Steve Carell and Tina Fey, was undeniably funny and also undeniably pedestrian. To recap, it's the story of a humdrum married couple who, looking for some excitement, end up entangled with bad cops, crooked politicians and, ahem, the Mafia. Kinda routine, right? On home video, however, this is rectified by an "extended" Blu-Ray edition that adds about 15 minutes of comedy to the proceedings, as well as, in the bonus features, numerous deleted, alternate and extended scenes that are often funnier than the actual movie. There's plenty of ad-libbed jokes that make you wonder why they weren't used to begin with. Here's one case where it's totally worth paying the extra cash for a special edition Blu-Ray, especially if you liked the movie in the theater. — Louis Fowler

  • Galaxy of Terror, The Diplomat, My Name is Khan, Date Night

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