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Fame (Blu-Ray) (PG)

MGM Home Entertainment

The original 1980 movie Fame was a fairly hardcore affair, filled with foul language, nudity and the exploitation and rape of a minor named Coco. It was gritty, dank and rated R. Man ... how times have changed! This recent remake is sanitized for our protection, rated PG for the High School Musical crowd, and replaces the original's energy and spunk with a hollow, superficial take on stardom and harsh reality. The cast (Naturi Naughton, Kay Panabaker, Kherington Payne) is unbelievably beautiful, every single one of them a potential Neutrogena model, singing some of the most poorly written songs since the very advent of poetry — a lot of "you can go far" and "just reach for that star." I think there is also a "love/above" couplet or two. Kids raised on CW dramadies will absolutely love it; the rest of us, not so much. — Louis Fowler


Big Fan (R)

Vivendi Entertainment

Here's how screenwriter Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler) makes his directing debut. Patton Oswalt plays the "world's biggest New York Giants fan," still living with Mom at 35, mounting forlorn tailgate fêtes with his friend (Kevin Corrigan), and trash-talking another haranguer (Michael Rapaport) through calls to an all-sports radio show. Then comes his game-changer, a dicey encounter with a linebacker (Jonathan Hamm) whom he idolizes. Siegel's stint as editor of the Onion was characterized by comedy shot through with tragedy, not the other way around; this film might have worked better in that lighter configuration, too. Although Big Fan has something of a punch line for a climax, it's determined to be taken seriously — and the development of Siegel's antihero plateaus while the sports-culture commentary flattens into a one-note tune. — Jonathan Kiefer


Kathy Griffin: She'll Cut a Bitch (NR)

Shout! Factory

I'll confess I'm not generally a fan of Kathy Griffin or her comedy; she seems to drag on the coattails of whomever is around her for almost all of her stand-up material. That being said, she has managed to build a niche for herself and to find a snarky enough fan base that'll eat up anything she does. This stand-up special, filmed at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, is mostly retellings of her D-list shenanigans, with a lot of it dedicated to anecdotes about hanging out with Cher (yes, the Cher worship gets old fast) and hanging out with her alcoholic mother who finds her "annoying." There are, admittedly, chuckles scattered here and there, but you'll probably have to be an already-converted choir member to really fall out of your chair in guffaws. And if that's the case, well, you've probably already bought your copy. — Louis Fowler

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