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The Invention of Lying (PG-13)

Warner Home Video

This sneakily subversive film may shock many moviegoers. It starts like a comedic episode of The Twilight Zone, but by the halfway mark it's turned a corner into satire on an aspect of humanity taken entirely for granted. Ricky Gervais — who wrote and directed with first-time filmmaker Matthew Robinson — plays a man living in a world where no one has the capacity to lie, until he stumbles across the notion and discovers the awesome power now at his command. Gervais and Robinson send up the lies that grease human interaction, but soon the biting observations — a street person holds up a sign that reads, "I don't understand why I'm homeless and you're not" — turn downright seditious. Powerfully imaginative and smartly aggressive, this comedy is as refreshing and genuinely dangerous as they come. — MaryAnn Johanson

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According to Greta (PG-13)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Former tween-queen Hilary Duff shines in this heartwarming coming-of-age drama! OK, sorry. I couldn't type that without breaking into maniacal laughter. But I had you there for a moment, right? Of course, she sucks and this movie sucks. Bad. Duff is desperately trying to shed her Disney chains by choosing laughably edgy roles that she doesn't have the chops to carry off. Here, she plays title character Greta, a pseudo-sullen emo-teen with fraudulent daddy issues who plans to kill herself when she turns 18. Just imagine every kid you see hanging out in a Hot Topic, only with Sassy magazine looks. Her exasperated grandmother, played by world-class talent Ellen Burstyn, is the best part. It's a shame we live in a society where a true actress like Burstyn has to play second fiddle to a quickly fading teeny-bopper. — Louis Fowler

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Gamer (R)

Lionsgate Home Entertainment

It's visually incomprehensible, emotionally empty, thematically nihilistic, almost entirely plotless ... and embraces those descriptors like virtues. Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor's Crank flicks are clever send-ups of cinematic convention, but here they give five minutes of story and 90 minutes of random, brutal carnage. Gerard Butler plays a wrongly convicted (of course) death-row inmate fighting to escape from a "game" in which his meatbody is on the frontlines facing real ammo but his nanobot-infected brain is remotely controlled by a teen player (Logan Lerman). It's all virtual reality until someone's head explodes. Will Butler escape? Will he take down the techno billionaire responsible for the game (Michael C. Hall, making a poor choice for a feature breakout), who's up to all kinds of no good? Do you have to ask? — MaryAnn Johanson

The House on Sorority Row: 25th Anniversary Edition (R)

Liberation Home Entertainment

Here's another "classic" early '80s slasher film that was recently remade for the PG-13 market. I didn't see the new one, but after getting a look at this, I find it hard to believe they would stick too close to the original. A group of snobby sorority clichés stay on at the sorority house for one last party, accidentally killing the bitter, matronly house mom who's out to ruin their fun. Red herrings abound, as do semi-grisly murders, usually involving a pole shoved through the face or chest of the guilty parties. It's a bit slow-moving and confusing at times, but show me another horror flick from that era that isn't! The film's saving grace is a spectacularly creepy ending featuring a grown man dressed as a harlequin. Now, that's the stuff of nightmares! Sorority Row is passable retro-horror that will appeal most to old-school fright fans. — Louis Fowler


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