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New on DVD

August 11, 2006



Prison Break: Season 1

The premise is preposterous: An engineer gets himself thrown into a maximum-security prison in order to spring his brother, who is on death row for the alleged murder of the vice president's brother. Tattooed from neck to navel with the jail's floor plans (he worked for the company that designed the joint), Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) navigates the bowels – and life-threatening politics – of the big house to attempt his escape. The tight pacing and seemingly insurmountable obstacles – a guard discovers Michael's secret tunnel, an inmate rats him out – makes "24," Fox's other disbelief-suspending serial, feel as action-packed as "My Dinner With Andre." Beware – some episodes contain graphic violence. Extras: Illinois' Joliet Prison, where the show is shot, is one of the series' stars, and the story of Michael's elaborate body art will cure you of ever wanting a tattoo. Grade: A
– David S. Hauck

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Inside Man (R) "Inside Man," a fresh take on the heist thriller, teases viewers with the prospect of a plot twist from the outset. Bank robber Dalton Russell (Clive Owen, l.) hints as much when he looks directly at the camera during the prologue and exhorts viewers to pay strict attention. Well, I watched the film the way one eyes a huckster's shell game at a county fair, and I still failed to spot screenwriter Russell Gewirtz's sleight of hand. Maybe I was distracted by Denzel Washington as a charismatic hostage negotiator who is called in when the bank is held up. Or perhaps my attention was diverted by Jodie Foster arriving on the scene as a mysterious interloper. Spike Lee infuses his New York tale with sociological observations, delightful humor, and enough profanity to make a drill sergeant blush. Extras: Washington and Lee talk movies in a warm, free-form chat that's better than any episode of "Inside the Actor's Studio." Grade: B+
– Stephen Humphries

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