DVD Update, March 2, 2012 – Susan Granger

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Slick, smart “Tower Heist” is a timely comedy caper with Ben Stiller as the infuriated manager of one of New York’s most luxurious residences who’s determined to wreak revenge against a Wall Street tycoon (Alan Alda) who masterminded a Ponzi scheme that swindled the employees’ pension fund.

In Clint Eastwood’s inscrutable “J. Edgar,” Leonardo DiCaprio embodies the iconic, paranoid head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years, serving eight Presidents through three wars, using surveillance evidence to try to blackmail Roosevelt, Nixon, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King.

Antonio Banderas vocalizes the intrepid feline adventurer in “Puss in Boots,” a picaresque animated spin-off from “Shrek 2” who meets his match in sultry femme fatale Kitty Softpaws (Salma Hayek).

Mixing the feeling of belonging with the sensation of being lost, Elizabeth Olsen is “Martha Marcy May Marlene;” her many names reflect her splintered identity when she flees from an insidious commune in upstate New York, taking refuge with her sister (Sarah Paulson) and brother-in-law (Hugh Dancy).

Colin Farrell teams with Keira Knightley in “London Boulevard,” as an ex-con who becomes involved with a movie star who is holed up in a Holland Park mansion, protecting her against the paparazzi.

In “The Son of No One,” Channing Tatum plays a rookie NYC cop who gets in over his head when he re-opens a double homicide cold case in his old Queens neighborhood; Juliette Binoche is an investigative reporter and Al Pacino surfaces as the former lead detective on the investigation.

Blandly inspirational, “The Mighty Macs” celebrates the victorious 1972 women’s basketball squad of Immaculata College near Philadelphia with Carla Gugino as their novice coach Cathy Rush.

For kids, “Stellaluna” follows a spirited young fruit bat who finds friendship, love and acceptance in a family of birds.

PICK OF THE WEEK: Martin Scorsese brings Brian Selznick’s children’s book to life in “Hugo,” a magical adventure set in a 1930s Paris train station, where a 12 year-old orphan’s determination to repair an automaton leads him to befriend George Melies (Ben Kingsley), a pioneer filmmaker.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.