PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL 'PUSH' BY SAPPHIRE (R) 3.5 stars
PLOT Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe inhabits the title character, Precious Jones, a morbidly obese 16-year-old who lives with her abusive mother, Mary (Mo'Nique), in 1980s Harlem. Precious learns she's pregnant with her second child; she is also encouraged to join an alternative education program, where she eventually finds love, acceptance and her own voice in a writing class run by the indefatigable Ms. Rain (Paula Patton). Directed with enormous sensitivity and vision by Lee Daniels, the film is tough, graphic and visually stunning.
EXTRAS Commentary by Daniels; featurettes; Sidibe screen test.
LIST PRICES DVD: $29.95; Blu-ray: $39.99
UP IN THE AIR (R) 3 stars
PLOT Clooney plays Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer who spends most of his life in airplanes and likes it that way. Director Jason Reitman has adapted Walter Kirn's novel basically by throwing it out, keeping Bingham's character and inventing two more, a sexy fellow road warrior named Alex (Vera Farmiga) and a young whippersnapper named Natalie (Anna Kendrick), whose ideas about teleconferencing may do unto Ryan what he's been doing unto others all these years. It is a smart, alert, supremely entertaining movie, in which Reitman toggles between comedy and drama, satire and soul.
EXTRAS Audio commentary; featurette; deleted scenes.
LIST PRICES DVD: $30.99; Blu-ray: $43.99