CNN reports Wal-Mart will be offering a Magnavox Blu-ray player on Black Friday for a measly $128, a price that should push a lot of people who have been contemplating jumping into the format over the edge.
The player is only Profile 1.1 compliant, which means that you won't be able to connect to the Internet and partake of the BD-Live online features some discs offer. But most people will never use those anyway. So it's really just a matter of braving those Black Friday crowds, which can be pretty intimidating.
Friday Nov. 14
I've Loved You So Long (2008): When I saw Frozen River in August, I figured there was no way anyone could beat Melissa Leo for the Best Actress Oscar. Now, I'm 100 percent certain Kristin Scott Thomas has the award in the bag for her performance as a woman readjusting to the outside world after a long stint in prison. Elsa Zylberstein, who plays her sister, is also guaranteed a Supporting Actress nomination. They're both fantastic. (Opens Nov. 21).
Seven Pounds (2008): Sony Pictures has done an exemplary job of selling this one without spoiling the entire story, which is good, because the movie is built around the same mystery as the trailer, which is: Why is Will Smith helping seven strangers, and what, exactly, is he going to do for them? This is a full-bore, dead-serious (and heavy) drama, with only a few fleeting moments of levity that allow Smith to trade on his familiar persona. Serious tear-jerking action ensues in the final half-hour, but I felt more manipulated than moved throughout, at least up until the very last scene, which isn't as obvious as everything that had preceded it. Also: The title finally makes sense, but there's no way to explain what it means without ruining the movie. (Opens Dec. 19).