Welcome to a special Labor Day edition of Defamer Attractions, your regular guide to what's new, noteworthy and potentially nausea-inducing this week at the movies. We're as shocked as anyone to see another bottleneck for wide releases, with five films vying for scarce holiday dollars before studios roll out their fall collections. Alas, there they are — only one dumpee can finish on top, and our overeducated guess follows below. We've also got a hunch over who stands to lose big, our regular underdog pick for your consideration, and the best of the best new DVD releases for you three-day-weekend homebodies. As always, our choices are our own but positively elegant in their accuracy. You're welcome! WHAT'S NEW: For the second consecutive week, what isn't new? But more to the point, what's new that you actually want to see? The Summer of the R-rated Comedy tapers off with College, which will battle Disaster Movie in the lowest-common-denominator category. Hamlet 2 expands to 1,500 screens, hoping to find some traction in the mudslide that was its lackluster limited opening last Friday. Among smaller films, look for Brian Cox to avenge his murdered dog in the haunting Red, while Czech Oscar-winner Jiri Menzel returns after 20 years with I Served the King of England and the '90s art-scene aftermath gets a once-over in the doc Beautiful Losers. Finally — and somewhat amazingly — a franchise is born with Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!.THE BIG LOSER: Babylon A.D. may yet outmaneuver Tropic Thunder for the week's top box-office spot; it should tip $15 million for the four-day frame, probably just sneaking by Ben Stiller's comedy by less than $1 million. That's the "good news" — if underperforming by about 20% is still considered good. The failures don't stop there, however; to the extent it's remembered at all, Babylon A.D. will always have the distinction of being the film that ended loose-lipped Matthieu Kassovitz's directing career in America, sucker-punched Vin Diesel back into franchise submission and jammed a red-ink exclamation point on Fox's underachieving (if not disastrous) summer. Still, they'll always have the silver lining of ambition — this kind of implosion requires a rare chemistry you shouldn't take for granted. Just wear sunglasses and stand way, waaayyyy back. THE UNDERDOG: The Don Cheadle/Guy Pearce political thriller Traitor got an early jump with a midweek release, decent reviews, a funny Kimmel tie-in and smart, aggressive marketing throughout the Olympics and Democratic National Convention. The upstart gang at Overture Films, which previously scored this spring with the ultimate underdog (and unlikely Oscar candidate) The Visitor, is having a nifty run we hope continues through all the ferocious scythe-swinging taking off the heads of its indie contemporaries around town. FOR SHUT-INS: Too cheap/agoraphobic to leave the house this weekend? We're sorry to hear that; new DVDs are less than encouraging. There's always the "Extended Jackpot Edition" of What Happens in Vegas, which we hear spits quarters from your TV if you endure all 167 minutes. Uwe Boll's folly Postal appears in rated and unrated versions for the schlock completist in you, and Morgan Spurlock's here-and-gone doc Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? settles into Weinstein video oblivion. And for the mega-bored among you, full-season sets of Heroes, Entourage, Everybody Hates Chris and One Tree Hill will get you through holiday bedrest like a charm. So seriously — is there anything here you'd spend money on this weekend? Did we miss some gem that compels a closer look? Call your shots, or better yet, call your friends — you're not really planning to hide in the dark during the last weekend of summer are you? Oh. OK, us too. Have a good one!
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