Photo from AmazonIt can be so hard for moms to get out to the movies. Tacking an extra $60 onto date nights just for babysitting kinda takes the wind out of your sails, even when Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, or Heath Ledger is involved -- can I get an amen? I used to go into Oscar season with a movie checklist that I was bound and determined to get through before the big night. Now? I'm lucky if I see four movies a year, and two are bound to be "Mommy Matinees." Sad.
That’s why we're starting this new feature: Mom's Night In. What are the latest DVDs finally available to buy or rent so you can see what all the hype is about? Check out our picks so you can be the first one at Blockbuster in the a.m.
Avatar ($15.99 at Amazon)
That's right, Avatar! It won for Art Direction, Cinematography, and Visual Effects, though it was snubbed for Best Picture and Best Director. Very exciting and freshly released on Earth Day just in case you missed the "save the Earth" message. The trouble is, according to reviews, this version is in 2-D and has no extras. So unless you're really dying to hear the corny dialogue, I can't see why you'd buy it. Rent it, sure, but prepare to be a bit underwhelmed and confused about what all the hype was about. But it does have a sweet love story, a great star turn by the amazing Sigourney Weaver, and a serious message, so there's plenty to like if not love.
Crazy Heart ($17.99 at Amazon)
It won Best Actor for Jeff Bridges, who proceeded to give the world's loveliest speech, awakening the ghosts of Old Hollywood as he took his place in Oscars' firmament. So -- wanna see a smelly old alcoholic make out with Maggie Gyllenhall? You might. It's a great story, and it has great music and heartbreak galore. Kind of a chick-flick your guy will love too.
It's Complicated ($16.99 at Amazon)
With less interesting actors, this'd just be another turtleneck rom-com featuring various old people making me hurl. But it's Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. They're like the Bermuda triangle of talent. Plus, how cute is The Office's John Krasinski? Invite the girls over, put all the kids together in the big bed, put your feet up, and enjoy. (Oooh, Mary Kay Place from Big Love! Nikki's mom is always fun to watch!)
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus ($17.99 at Amazon)
It's weird. It's trippy. It's Heath Ledger's last movie. God only knows what it's about, but it's sure to be a feast for the eyes, like a grown-up version of the new Alice in Wonderland movie. Maybe not the safest bet, but worth a peek if your taste runs to the unusual.
Pride and Prejudice (1995) (restored edition) ($18.99 at Amazon)
It's been 15 years since this first ran on TV, cementing Colin Firth in the hearts and minds of women everywhere -- including one Bridget Jones. This new release says it's color-enhanced and digitally restored, and seems to have loads of extras. But really: Colin Firth. Humina, humina.