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The Illusionist (PG-13) (Blu-ray)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

When originally released a few years ago, The Illusionist was roundly ignored due to the close proximity of its release date to its better advertised and far flashier conjuring companion, The Prestige. While The Prestige may be more of a mainstream crowd-pleaser, The Illusionist is the thinking man's magic movie. It's directed by Neil Burger and stars Edward Norton, delivering a solid performance as a heartbroken magician with the uncanny ability to resurrect souls before a paying audience, including that of his dead secret lover, the Duchess. Better yet, the always reliable Paul Giamatti shows up to find the truth behind the spirits, straddling a fine line of loyalties. No need to compare it to The Prestige, it's not a competition. The Illusionist stands firmly on its own as mesmerizing storytelling. Louis Fowler

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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (PG)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The road to hell isn't paved with good intentions, but with Harry Potter wannabes. That's not entirely fair to this inoffensive, occasionally clever movie about teen Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), who finds he's a demigod and travels to the underworld to recover a valuable object that can avert a war among the gods. Rick Riordan wrote Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief before the Harry Potter phenomenon, but it wasn't published until everyone was hitching a ride on the wizard's Firebolt. Riordan and J.K. Rowling seem to have coincidentally struck a chord. (Riordan's books are bestsellers, too.) But the many similarities between the protagonists and their magical worlds make this movie feel less charming and more commonplace. MaryAnn Johanson

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The Man With No Name Trilogy (NR) (Blu-ray)

MGM/ 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Are you a cinephile who needs to have a collection of the greatest films ever made? Or maybe, a movie lover with a taste for classics? Then add The Man With No Name Trilogy, recently out on Blu-ray, to the top of your list of must-haves. The set contains three spaghetti westerns responsible for reinventing the genre, all directed by the master Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and, of course, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Fully restored and remastered, these discs are packed with documentaries and rare behind-the-scenes footage, trailers, radio spots and commentaries from film historians. It's the perfect triple-feature for a weekend man-up. Just make sure you're stocked with whiskey and cigarillos for the ride. Louis Fowler

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Family Guy: Volume Eight (NR)

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

I have not seen an episode of Family Guy since, probably, the first season, but I have read my fair share of interviews with creator Seth MacFarlane and his constant tour of "It's all in good fun" rationalizing for the program's typically crude, racist and homophobic content. So, wanting to be better informed, I checked out volume eight, containing 15 of the past season's episodes, and, well, it's all still extremely crude, undeniably racist and proudly homophobic. Even worse, it is simply not funny. At all. I'm sure its failings at social commentary through sheer offensiveness could be easily forgiven if it provided at least two or three chuckles per episode, but mostly I just kept looking at the DVD timer to see how many minutes I had left. And that was during the first episode. No way am I looking forward to reviewing American Dad next. Louis Fowler

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Power Kids (R) (Blu-ray)

Magnolia Home Entertainment

Miss the political incorrectness of '80s kid movies? Miss the days when kids were put in seriously dangerous positions by terrorists and fought back with a barrage of subversive cussing and low-rent kicking and, in the best of them, tween gun-play? Luckily, Thailand hasn't gotten the memo to coddle and coo their youngsters, so they continue to release great kids' movies like Power Kids. Four ragtag Muay Thai-trained orphans team-up to infiltrate a hospital taken over by a trigger-happy junta in an effort to steal back a heart replacement for their impossibly adorable yet fatally diseased little brother. These kids are put in only the most dangerous of situations, many of which look brutally real. And, as an added bonus, half the jokes revolve around the children being hit repeatedly with a switch by their uncle. I dare those Pixar wusses to put that in a movie! Louis Fowler

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