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DVDs In Brief: July 22, 2009

Jamie Foxx’s Oscar-baiting performance as a homeless, schizophrenic musical virtuoso earned a lot of praise and some boos for The Soloist (DreamWorks), but the problem with the film is its violently confused tone, which veers from scrappy, naturalistic indie to glossy, shallow middlebrow heartwarmer. The essential emptiness of Robert Downey Jr.’s character, an underdeveloped, cipher-like reporter who makes Foxx into a local hero, further unbalances an already unbalanced story…

Should action movies be fun for the whole family? The Disney remake Race To Witch Mountain (the second very loose adaptation of a classic Alexander Key children’s book) plays like an R-rated blockbuster pre-edited for television, and star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson appears to be channeling John Cena…

A revenge fantasy about interracial relationships that exploits every regressive stereotype of white Jezebels peeling African-American men away from their wives and families, Obsessed (Sony) comes with cheap, campy thrills aplenty. But even The Wire’s Idris Elba and co-stars Beyoncé Knowles and Ali Larter can’t make it palatable…

Years in the making, the animated feature Delgo (Fox) hit theaters several years after the death of Anne Bancroft, one of its voice stars. It also arrived to record low numbers for a wide release. So will its sweeping, clumsily animated fantasyland find an audience at home that it never found in theaters? Our guess is no.