This week: In the action flick "Haywire," MMA fighter Gina Carano knocks around Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender and Channing Tatum as an assassin on a mission to confront the employer who set her up.
Also new this week is Madonna in the director's seat for the period romance "W.E.," the ensemble rom-com "New Year's Eve," and new Blu-ray editions of "Clueless" and "Men in Black."
Box Office: $19 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 80% Fresh
Storyline: Steven Soderbergh casts MMA fighter Gina Carano as an assassin named Mallory who works for a private firm employed by the U.S. government for covert assignments. Mallory is set up by the firm's director (Ewan McGregor), and she hunts him down to even the score in this action flick costarring Michael Fassbender, Bill Paxton, Channing Tatum, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas.
Extras! The DVD and Blu-ray contain "Gina Carano in Training," which shows the military training Carano went through so she could portray a believable spy.
We Say: Soderbergh said he saw Carano fight and said, "Someone needs to fashion a movie around this girl," which is exactly what he does here with impressive results. The movie has an all-star cast but succeeds mostly because Carano is doing all of her own stunts, selling the belief that Mallory could really beat the hell out of any guy.
Box Office: $567,234
Rotten Tomatoes: 13% Rotten
Storyline: Madonna directs this romantic drama about the lives of two passionate women separated by more than 60 years. In 1998, Wally Winthrop (Abbie Cornish) researches the relationship between King Edward VII (James D'Arcy) and American Wallis Simpson (Andrea Riseborough) and discovers their storybook romance was not as perfect as once thought.
Extras! The only bonus feature is "The Making of 'W.E.,'" which features Madge in full-on directrix mode.
We Say: It might have earned an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Costume Design, but that is the only reason to see this pretentious vanity project directed by a pop singer still desperately seeking validation on the big screen.
'New Year's Eve'
Box Office: $55 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 8% Rotten
Storyline: Director Garry Marshall's latest holiday-themed romantic comedy with a large ensemble cast (Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert De Niro, Ludacris, Zac Efron, Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Sarah Jessica Parker, Michelle Pfeiffer, Hilary Swank and more) depicts the state of several intertwining romances during the titular holiday.
Extras! The huge cast shares their best and worst holiday celebrations, resolutions and memories that impacted their lives in "New Year's Eve Secrets of the Stars" on both the DVD and Blu-ray.
We Say: This characteristically schmaltzy and artificially sentimental rom-com from Marshall earned five Razzie nominations for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actress (Parker), Worst Screenplay and Worst Ensemble.
Box Office: $57 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 82% Fresh
Storyline: Loosely based on Jane Austen's "Emma," this 1995 comedy by Amy Heckerling features a breakout performance by Alicia Silverstone as Cher Horowitz, a sweet-natured but superficial ding-a-ling with unresolved feelings for her ex-stepbrother (Paul Rudd). Cher adopts a "tragically un-hip" girl at school (Brittany Murphy) and tries to play matchmaker in between, you know, shopping and avoiding the freeway.
Extras! This Blu-ray debut contains one exclusive feature: the "Clue or False Trivia Game" that pops up challenging questions during the movie.
We Say: You're going to pass this one by? As if! This likable romp also features one of the late Murphy's most memorable performances.
'Men in Black' Blu-ray
Box Office: $251 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 91% Fresh
Storyline: K (Tommy Lee Jones) recruits J (Will Smith) to be part of a federal agency that investigates and monitors all alien-related activity on Earth in this blockbuster sci-fi comedy. The unlikely duo uncovers an intergalactic plot to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies who happen to reside in New York City.
Extras! Although otherwise identical to the previous "Men in Black" Blu-ray release, this new version has a code for an Ultraviolet copy so you can stream the movie from the cloud service to any compatible portable device.
We Say: The ridiculous-looking extra-terrestrials and terrific chemistry between the dry Jones and hip-hop cop Smith seems even better in high definition, and making us hope this summer's "Men in Black 3" recaptures some of the fun.
Also New This Week:
"Men in Black 2" Blu-ray
"Mimic" 3-Film Set Blu-ray
"Meet Joe Black" Blu-ray
"Pillow Talk" Blu-ray