Tired of being married to his noble but unexciting (at least to him) wife, Pat (Patricia Clarkson), businessman Harry Allen (Chris Cooper) decides the only honorable thing to do is kill her - especially since naive young Kay (Rachel McAdams) is ready to pick up the slack. Only problem is, his best friend, Richard (Pierce Brosnan), also has a thing for Kay - and isn't sure Pat deserves to end up dead.
This would-be film noir is too clever for its own good and largely wastes its talented cast. It's always fun to watch Brosnan play rakish, and McAdams makes her innocent adulteress work far better than she should. Cooper, however, barely registers, and the wonderful Clarkson deserves far better.
One to buy: Honey West: The Complete Series (VCI Entertainment, $39.99). Anne Francis plays television's premier female private eye in this four-disc set that collects every episode from the series' single season on ABC, from 1965-1966.
One to rent: Then She Found Me (ThinkFilm, $27.98, $35.98 Blu-ray). Helen Hunt's sensitive directorial debut has her playing a teacher who finds a birth mother (Bette Midler), loses a husband (Matthew Broderick) and gains a soul mate (Colin Firth).
One for the kids: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Warner Home Video, $19.98). Linus persuades Sally to spend the night with him in the pumpkin patch, awaiting the Great One's arrival.
One for the archives: Road House (20th Century Fox, $14.98). Slightly demented roadhouse owner Jefty Robbins (Richard Widmark) hires and falls for sultry torch singer Lily Stevens (Ida Lupino) in this film noir gem from 1948. (Other noir staples being released by Fox this week include 1947's Boomerang! , with Dana Andrews and Jane Wyatt, and 1942's Moontide, with Jean Gabin and Ida Lupino.)
Also out today: Jet Li in Fist of Legend (Dragon Dynasty, $24.95), The Office: Season Four (Universal, $49.98), Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre - The Complete Collection (Koch Vision, $99.98).