Sunday, October 17, 2004

New this week

IN THEATERS NOW: Surviving Christmas; PG-13. 92 minutes. Ben Affleck (left) plays a cynical single guy who gets dumped by his girlfriend just before the holidays, so he hires James Gandolfini's dysfunctional family - the current residents of his childhood home - to pose as his relatives. Catherine O'Hara and Christina Applegate co-star.

MOVIE DVD: Van Helsing, Universal; $29.98; PG-13; 132 minutes, stars Hugh Jackman (left). Universal tried to revive its beloved classic monsters for another outing with mixed results. Adding in a lot of special effects created a sort of amusement park ride instead of a movie. Still, the Halloween season is a more forgiving atmosphere for chill seekers. Extras include director and star commentaries, outtakes and interactive features, such as a tour of Dracula's castle.

GAME: Under the Skin, Playstation 2, $39.99, Rated T; Once again, the creators of blue bomber Mega Man have come up with a new, zany, cell-shaded game! Under the Skin features you as an alien, disguised as a human, wreaking havoc on Earthlings. Get under the skin of the invader Cosmi (left), as this blue alien masters the art of trickery.

TV: Perfect Strangers, 9-11 p.m. Sunday, Channels 12,7; TV-14: A New York advertising executive (Rob Lowe) and a London ad rep (Anna Friel, left) take part in a corporate exchange program and switch lives for a month. Adjusting into their new roles they learn they have a lot in common in this charming romantic comedy. Also starring Khandi Alexander.

TV on DVD: Arrested Development- Season 1, Fox Home Entertainment; $39.98: Watch this Emmy-Award-winning Fox comedy in its entirety before its second season hits the airwaves. For fans of this quirky sitcom, the DVD set features many extras, including deleted scenes, cast interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and the unaired creator's-cut pilot episode. Starring Jason Bateman (left), Portia DeRossi, Jeffrey Tambor. Narrated by Ron Howard.

Contributors: Margaret McGurk, Enquirer movie and media writer, previewed Surviving Christmas; Lance Moody, a film editor living in Mason, previewed Van Helsing; Isaac Levine, a freshman at Indian Hill High School, previewed the video game Under the Skin; Karl Dailey, a novelist living in Bellevue, previewed Perfect Strangers and the Arrested Development DVD.

Know your media? E-mail Gil Kaufman ( if you are interested in contributing. We'll rotate the panel every few months.

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