"The Guardian" just barely stays afloat with Kevin Costner, left, and Ashton Kutcher as Coast Guard rescue swimmers. (By Ben Glass)
Friday, January 19, 2007

Notable DVDs being released Tuesday include:

· This Film Is Not Yet Rated (Unrated) If you've ever watched a movie and thought its rating seemed a bit off, either too lax (if there's blood and gore everywhere) or too severe (if there's a whiff of sex), then you'll find filmmaker Kirby Dick's documentary illuminating. Not exactly evenhanded about its subject -- the often bizarre process whereby the Motion Picture Association of America rates films with a G, PG, PG-13, R or NC-17 based on sex, profanity or violence -- it's full of entertainingly gonzo bits and is capped by an attempt to get a rating for the film. There are interviews with John Waters, Matt Stone, Kevin Smith, Maria Bello and Kimberly Peirce, among others. DVD extras include deleted scenes, a Q&A with Dick and a commentary by him.

· Jesus Camp (PG-13) This documentary by filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, who made "The Boys of Baraka," explores an evangelical summer camp run by pastor Becky Fischer. Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday writes that the movie "will leave some viewers, as the camp leader predicts, 'shaking in their boots' and others invigorated and inspired. The filmmakers gained extraordinary access to [Fischer], who uses Barbie dolls and rubber brains to drive home her scriptural points; and, as in 'Baraka,' they capture their young subjects at their most vulnerable, whether they're in states of tongue-speaking ecstasy or, in the case of a 9-year-old girl, nervously evangelizing at a bowling alley."

· The Guardian (PG-13) Kevin Costner is a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who, after a disastrous mission, goes to "A-School" to train newbies for the job. One of them is a cocky swim champ played by Ashton Kutcher. The film seems to be equal parts cliche and water, and there's a lot of water. But give Costner and Kutcher their due. Even though the material is soggy, they manage to create enough chemistry to make it mildly entertaining at times. Extras include an alternate ending; "Making Waves," a featurette on the making of the film; "Unsung Heroes," about the real-life Coast Guard heroes and their Hurricane Katrina rescues; deleted scenes; and a commentary by director Andrew Davis and writer Ron L. Brinkerhoff.

· Saw III (R) You're either into this series or not, and nothing anyone can say about it will change your mind, so let's note that it's released and move on.

· Sherrybaby (R) Maggie Gyllenhaal has garnered raves for her portrayal of the title character, a young woman and former heroin addict who, freed from prison, sets out to regain a relationship with her 5-year-old daughter. The actress manages to make you care about the addictive and self-absorbed Sherry even though she's not that sympathetic.

· Spin (Unrated) Filmed on location in Miami's South Beach and Los Angeles, this movie follows two Latinas with dreams of making it in the music business. The soundtrack is loaded with reggaeton tunes, no doubt the inspiratio n for the DVD cover's tagline "The reggaeton beat never stops."

· Cowboy Del Amor (Unrated) This is a look at "Cowboy Cupid" Ivan Thompson, a matchmaker who finds Mexican brides for American men who pay in the range of $3,000 for a 600-mile bus ride into Mexico on the search for a match. Although often played for laughs, there's an air of sadness and loneliness that permeates it.

· Don't Knock the Rock/Rock Around the Clock and Twist Around the Clock/Don't Knock the Twist (Unrated) These double features take you back to the early days of rock-and-roll. Among the performers you'll spot in these films are Bill Haley, the Platters, Alan Freed, Little Richard, Dion and Chubby Checker.

· Alvin and the Chipmunks: A Chipmunk Valentine (Unrated) The helium-voiced creatures pursue romance in this animated feature. Alvin gets rejected when he asks Brittany to the Valentine Ball, and in the sort of psychological disassociation that seems tailor-made for kiddie programming, he develops a suave alter ego called Captain Chipmunk.

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