New DVDs this week

Published: Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 13TICKET

"Admission" (PG-13, 107 minutes, Universal): In this off-kilter charmer, Jeremiah Balakian (played by Nat Wolff) is a high school underachiever with a good head on his shoulders but an inconsistent report card. Jeremiah's earnest principal, John Pressman (Paul Rudd), is so determined to get his misfit star pupil into a good school that he calls up his old college classmate Portia Nathan (Tina Fey), a Princeton admissions officer. John also believes he has discovered a familial connection between Portia and Jeremiah, an adoptee the same age as the child Portia gave up for adoption when she was an undergraduate. Like director Paul Weitz's excellent "About a Boy," "Admission" is quirky, but also a serious film about life, relationships and growing up, with a gloss of humor. Contains obscenity and some sexual situations. Extra: "Early Admission With Tina Fey and Paul Rudd."


"The Host" (PG-13, 125 minutes, Universal): Like the Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle that anchored the "Twilight" books and movies, "The Host" centers on a teenage girl (Saoirse Ronan) who's torn between two lovers. Like Bella, she's of two minds.

Only this time, it's literal. One of them, Melanie, loves Jared (Max Irons). But Melanie's body has been taken over by a parasitic alien that resembles a fiber-optic caterpillar. The alien – one of a race of creatures known as Souls who have taken over most of humanity – has its own personality and name: Wanderer. Known as Wanda, she loves Ian (Jake Abel). Wanda and Melanie spend most of the movie bickering with each other over boys, which makes Ronan look like a crazy person. "The Host" wastes most of its two hours on high-school caliber drama. Contains sensuality and some violence.


"Tyler Perry's Temptation" (PG-13, 111 minutes, Lionsgate): Wait, Kim Kardashian is in this? Yes, and she's just dreadful. Even people who have previously demonstrated some acting skill, like Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Vanessa Williams, seem completely at sea here, dragged down by a lazy script and excruciatingly slow pacing. In "Temptation," we meet Judith (Smollett-Bell) and Brice (Lance Gross), childhood sweethearts who grew up in the South, married young and moved to Washington. Brice becomes a pharmacist, Judith starts working for a matchmaker while dreaming of starting a marriage counseling practice, and together they settle into a nuptial funk that's increasingly weighing on Judith. Meanwhile, a smooth social media mogul named Harley, who's working on a business-related project with Judith, blatantly attempts to seduce her. Contains some violence, sexuality and drug content.

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