Today’s DVD releases reviewed and previewed

Crystal Hohenthaner

Colleen Stein

The Punisher (Rated R) Lion’s Gate Films Directed by Jonathan Hensleigh (Gone in 60 Seconds, Armageddon, Con Air)

This action/revenge flick based on the Marvel comic book character does very little to earn the Punisher superhero status.

The movie hesitates to bring out the alter-ego of the Punisher in character Frank Castle (Thomas Jane) and spotlights his mortality by showing him constantly getting his ass kicked by the bad guys.

Big names like John Travolta and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos also appear in the movie but their minor roles do little to help carry the film.

Overall, Frank Castle spends far too much time pouting and drinking and not nearly enough time “punishing.”

Final verdict: If you enjoyed X-men and hated The Hulk, then The Punisher is not for you.

Rent instead: The Crow, Kill Bill 1 & 2, and The Transporter.

Jersey Girl (Rated PG-13) Miramax FilmsDirected by Kevin Smith (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma)

A comedy that portrays both the warm sentimentality and amusing reality of life as a single father, Ollie Trinke, struggles to compromise the career of his dreams to raise his daughter, Gertie, in New Jersey.

While it is common knowledge that Ben Affleck cannot act, this film swells with big name actors.

Trinke’s wife who dies during childbirth is played by none other than Jennifer Lopez and Liv Tyler steps in to play his new love interest.

Jason Biggs is seen as Trinke’s assistant in the public relations business and George Carlin ices the cake as Trinke’s alcoholic, street-sweeping father.

Final verdict: George Carlin and the little Gertie (Raquel Castro) make the film worth renting.

The Ladykillers (Rated R) Touchstone PicturesDirected by Joel and Ethan Coen (O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, Raising Arizona)

In typical Coen Bros. fashion, the characters in this dark-comedy-remake ooze old Southern-American style.

Tom Hanks plays a criminal mastermind (resembling KFC’s Colonel Sanders) who solicits four of his friends to rob a riverboat casino.

When they use an elderly woman’s basement to tunnel their way into the vault, their plans go askew when the old lady begins nosing around.

When they decide to whack her, the feeble landlord proves herself to be a tough old broad who gives the Ladykillers a run for their money.

Final verdict: Several critics have said this movie was disappointing for a Coen brother’s film. Although the movie stars Tom Hanks, the end is rumored to be grim and unfulfilling.

Rent instead: Go with one of the Coens’ earlier films like Raising Arizona starring Nicholas Cage.