Susan Granger's DVD update
The syrupy, sentimental melodrama "The Vow" is a female wish-fulfillment fantasy in which a doting husband (Channing Tatum) struggles to regain the love of his wife (Rachel McAdams) after she loses all memory of him in an automobile accident - and it's based on the travails of a real-life couple, Kim and Krickett Carpenter.
"New Year's Eve" is Garry Marshall's star-studded, holiday frolic, set in Manhattan on December 31, 2011, starring Hilary Swank, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry, Katherine Heigl, Abigail Breslin, Zac Efron, Aston Kutcher and Jon Bon Jovi.
Combining familiar hallelujah gospels with caricaturist Southern-fried performances and an overwrought, formulaic story, "Joyful Noise" pits strong-willed Queen Latifah against a wealthy widow played by Dolly Parton in a Georgia church choir that's trying to win a national singing competition.
As the story goes, when director Steven Soderbergh was watching TV's "American Gladiators," he was so impressed by raven-haired Gina Carano that he developed "Haywire," a kinetic revenge thriller, with Carano as a globetrotting lethal operative.
Based on true accounts from Rwandan survivors, "Kinyarwanda" pays tribute to Muslims and Christians who helped one another at the Grand Mosque of Kigali and the Imams who opened their doors during the genocidal raids, while "Cirkus Columbia" is a powerful, Bosnian black comedy, set in 1991, about the insanity of war.
"The Story of Rock `n' Roll Comics" is a documentary about Todd Loren, the San Diego-based owner of Revolutionary Comics and publisher of the popular "Rock `N" Roll Comics" series, who may have been the first victim of `serial' killer Andrew Cunanan. And Kristin Canty's "Farmageddon" is a rabble-rousing documentary, asserting the consumer's right to have access to healthful food, whether it comes from the farm stand or the supermarket.
PICK OF THE WEEK: If you're an Anglophile and intrigued about how and why the Duke of Windsor abdicated as King to marry twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson, you'll enjoy "W.E." (Wallis/Edward), co-written and directed by Madonna, who blends a contemporary story with the flimsy, if highly fashionable Royal folly.