The following are theatrical releases on DVD. A star denotes a movie recommended by our critics.


PG-13, 2005, 101 minutes, New Line Cinema. Contains some obscenity, sexual humor and comic violence.

It doesn't seem right that Jane Fonda, playing the titular harridan, Viola Fields, allows her character, a woman bent on sabotaging the impending nuptials of her doctor son (Michael Vartan) to an impoverished artist (Jennifer Lopez), to be consistently upstaged by her own wisecracking personal assistant (Wanda Sykes). Instead of being a scenery-chewing comic shrew, Viola is just a tiresome and unpleasant woman who could take some tips on how to diss the competition from her secretary.

* Extra: Featurettes include "Welcome Back, Jane Fonda!" and "Keeping It Real With Jennifer."

-- Michael O'Sullivan

Ong-Bak: The Thai Warrior

Unrated, 2003, 100 minutes, Magnolia

Pictures. Contains martial arts violence.

As a straight-ahead story, director Prachya Pinkaew's movie about a young Thai villager (Panom Yeerum, aka Tony Jaa) who goes to Bangkok to retrieve the vandalized head of a Buddha "Ong-Bak" statue is a tired amalgam of bad action-movie cliches with some pseudomythicism thrown in. But martial artist Jaa electrifies the film with his deft Muay Thai fighting skills. Pinkaew even repeats Jaa's feats in slo-mo so you can re-savor what he just did. In Thai with subtitles.

* Extra: A featurette on the eight movements of Muay Thai.

-- Desson Thomson


PG-13, 2005, 124 minutes, Paramount

Pictures. Contains action violence.

Master explorer Dirk Pitt (Matthew McConaughey) is determined to unearth an ironclad battleship from the Civil War era that somehow wound up near Africa's Niger River. With his quippy sidekick, Al Giordino (Steve Zahn), and a sultry Spanish doctor (Penelope Cruz), he goes after it, with the army of a corrupt military leader and Tuareg tribesmen on his trail. The movie, based on a novel by Clive Cussler and directed by Breck Eisner, is an excuse for McConaughey to play tough on boats, trains and camels. But despite a plethora of high-action chases, gun battles, boat battles and the various exotic locales, the movie is a lame "Indiana Jones" episode.

* Extra: Commentary by Breck Eisner and Matthew McConaughey.

-- D.T.

{sstar} Schultze Gets the Blues

PG-13, 2003, 114 minutes, Paramount

Classics. Contains mild obscenity.

When taciturn German polka accordionist Schultze (Horst Krause) hears a burst of zydeco music on the radio, the tubby fella falls in love with the catchy vibe. Thanks to a free ticket to a polka festival in Texas, he flies to America. It isn't long before he has left the polka festival behind and is floating through the bayous on a shrimp boat. It's a charming film: not just a big guy's visit to another culture but something of a spiritual journey.

* Extra: Commentary by director Michael Schorr.

-- D.T.

{sstar} Walk on Water

Unrated, 2004, 94 minutes, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Contains obscenity, some violence, nudity and discussion of sexuality.

The black-and-white moral world of an assassin (Lior Ashkenazi) working for Israel's Mossad intelligence agency starts to look mighty gray when his assignment to track down and terminate a fugitive Nazi leads him to befriend the old man's grandchildren, a pretty, young German woman living on a kibbutz (Caroline Peters) and her gay brother (Knut Berger). Eytan Fox's film is rich with ideas about what ethical living means, making connections among homophobia, Nazism and the desire for -- and spiritual costs of -- revenge.

* Extra: Widescreen format.

-- M.O.