Julia Roberts

‘Blended,’ ‘The Normal Heart’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

When Hollywood filmmakers find a successful formula, they can be counted on to revisit it, and that assured us of another film teaming Adam Sandler with Drew Barrymore. Unfortunately, “Blended” isn’t nearly as charming as their earlier hits, “The Wedding Singer” (1998) and “50 First Dates” (2004). In “Blended,” Barrymore plays Lauren Reynolds, a working mother recovering from a bad marriage. Sandler plays Jim Friedman, a single dad who is yet to recover from the death of his wife. 

‘August: Osage County,’ ‘The Hobbit’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Two films into the trilogy, Jackson’s vision has been vindicated, as his “Hobbit” movies, particularly “The Desolation of Smaug,” are nearly as exciting and well-rendered as his “Rings” interpretations. Jackson maintains the serious tone that he set in the “Rings” films, and he takes pains to tie the events of the two trilogies together. The result is a continuing Middle Earth epic that should delight both Tolkien aficionados and newcomers alike. 

From Ishtar to Harriette Wilson: A Scholarly Review of Prostitution Through the Ages

Rachael Jennings

What does it mean to be a “prostitute”? In terms of nomenclature, where are the distinguishing lines drawn, and where do societal representations, judgments and perceptions of “harlots” shift? When does seduction, service or servitude become the primary motivation for a woman/man of the night—and how, specifically, do different cultures remember or revere these individuals?

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