NEW DVD RELEASES

“The American”

(R, 2010, 105 minutes)

There are some, no doubt, who’ll say that after the release of George Clooney’s “The American” on Tuesday nothing else matters.

They might be on to something.

Clooney stars as a professional assassin who must complete that proverbial “one last job” before retiring. Hiding out in Italy, hoping to outlive his past, he finds — what else? — a beautiful woman to pursue.

Has to be a blood-pumping action film, right? not quite. This is a thriller in the European mode, meaning it’s quieter, more affecting and way less violent than an American-style take on the subject might be.

And it definitely works, according to many critics. Audiences will be surprised by the sheer beauty of this film and the grace all of its scenes exude. The story isn’t new — guy tries to quit his dangerous life, then gets caught up in another big job. But Clooney gives it a sympathetic edge.

Extras: Commentary with Director Anton Corbijn, deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes footage.

“Jersey Shore: Season Two”

(Uncensored version, 2010, 710 minutes)

If this is something you’ve got to see, be prepared for more drama, more partying, more, uh, “situations” and Situation.

The eight reality-show cast members made their way to South Beach in Miami for a change of scenery. But the drama, rivalries and sheer entertainment didn’t suffer.

It’s not like “Jersey Shore” is groundbreaking TV. And after the first episode of the second season premiered back in July, some fans worried “Jersey” was getting too Hollywood. But like most reality shows, it’s a guilty pleasure — after the first season, audiences couldn’t wait for another round of cat fights, muscled meatheads and Guido-speak.

And in DVD form, there’s even more of all that in special extended scenes.

Don’t forget to check out the new season, episodes of which air Thursdays at 10 p.m. on MTV.

Extras: Interviews with the cast; extended scenes; sneak-peek at the third season of “Jersey Shore.”

“Resident Evil: Afterlife”

(R, 2010, 97 minutes)

Using the same 3-D technology pioneered by James Cameron for blockbuster “Avatar,” the latest in the “Resident Evil” series shows Alice (Milla Jovovich) searching the world for survivors five years after the zombie virus outbreak. with the help of an old friend, they search L.A., only to be ensnared in a trap.

Sounds thrilling, no? Well, critics didn’t really think so.

Zombies are a hot subject matter in Hollywood lately, especially with the premier of the new TV hit, “The Walking Dead” on AMC.

But unfortunately for “Afterlife,” the story has been done to death (pun intended), and for an action film about deadly zombies, both the cast and the director seem pretty calm about the whole thing. There’s no sense of direness, and the scenes look far too casual.

But in September, it topped the box office during its opening weekend.

Extras: Commentary from Director Paul Anderson, a feature on casting for the movie and behind-the-scenes glimpse of the action sequences.

“Archer: Season 1”

(Unrated, 2010, 308 minutes)

This isn’t your typical classy “James Bond”-type of spy show.

The animated sitcom follows Sterling Archer and the rest of the team at the International Secret Intelligence Service. While using their skills and cunning in covert operations and international incidents, team members are competitive against one another.

Before the show even started, critics anticipated it as one of the best of the TV season. And many would agree, although it might be a little too edgy for some audiences. with its dysfunction and satire, the show is undeniably hilarious to those who aren’t easily offended.

Once again featuring the voices of H. Jon Benjamin, Jessica Walter, Aisha Tyler and Chris Parnell, the second season premieres Jan. 27 at 10 p.m. on FX.

Extras: Original, unaired pilot episode; unaired network promo; making-of features which focus on illustrations, animation, art direction, storyboards and backgrounds; deleted scenes; and a pilot episode for “Louie.” – “Twelve” (R, 2010, 93 minutes)

Joel Schumacher’s latest film seemed to have an interesting array of actors: Chace Crawford, Emma Roberts, 50 Cent and Kiefer Sutherland. But the film, unfortunately, disappoints, despite all of the positive hype it generated right before its debut at the Sundance Film Festival.

A high school dropout-turned-drug-dealer (Crawford) finds success on the streets of New York City’s Upper East Side. He tries to keep his occupation a secret until his young cousin is murdered and a new drug emerges on the scene.

Although this might pique the interest of “Gossip Girl” fans, who already know and love Crawford and his eye-candy qualities, the novel-turned-movie is a poor adaptation with Crawford as a bland lead. Movie fans should know: Rotten Tomatoes gave it a very poor, single-digit score.

It makes you wonder about Crawford’s potential career as a leading man — especially when it comes to the buzz around him starring in the remake of 1984 “Footloose.”

“Michael Clayton”

(R, 2007, 119 minutes)

If a George Clooney movie flies under the radar, if you’re told about it and wonder why you’ve never heard of it, chances are good you should skip it.

“The American,” now out on DVD, is one of those movies. Clooney plays an assassin in Italy on his final job, a film that tanked at the box office — just like “The Men who Stare at Goats,” “Leatherheads,” and “The good German,” other recent Clooney flicks you likely never heard of and didn’t see.

“Michael Clayton” is not one of those movies. And if you haven’t seen it, all I can say is, ‘What are you waiting for?”

Clooney has never been better, scoring a best actor Oscar nomination for his edgy turn as a law firm problem-fixer who gets mixed up with a shady chemical company being sued for billions.

Tony Gilroy’s masterful 2007 drama earned seven nominations, including one for best picture. Clooney leads an all-star cast bolstered by Tilda Swinton (who won best supporting actress) and Tom Wilkinson, the most underrated and underappreciated actor currently working in cinema.

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