By Rick Bentley, McClatchy Newspapers –
This week’s new DVD releases range from a first-rate family film to a so-so concert movie.
“Dolphin Tale,” Grade A-minus: A young boy tries to help after a dolphin loses its tail. Harry Connick Jr. stars in this movie that’s as remarkable as fitting a dolphin with a prosthetic tail.
Director Charles Martin Smith’s loaded the film with first-rate veteran actors, including Kris Kristofferson and Frances Sternhagen, who give the movie instant credibility. But it’s Morgan Freeman, as the doctor who creates the faux tail, who brings a snap of energy to the production.
The director blends numerous emotional elements to make “Dolphin Tale” the king of must-see movies. Just make sure you have plenty of tissues on hand.
“Colombiana,” Grade B: A woman grows up to be an assassin after seeing her parents murdered.
“Colombiana” is the story of a need for revenge that’s so hot it lasts years. A young Cataleya watches her parents killed by a local Colombian drug lord. She escapes and then spends the next 15 years becoming a top-notch assassin. She’s a phantom to the authorities and the criminals who want her stopped. Only a rare moment of emotional weakness puts her in danger.
The film works because Zoe Saldana plays the over-the-top action scenes with the same commitment as the more intimate moments.
“Glee: The Concert Movie,” Grade C: This film, shot during the summer’s “Glee” tour, features the strong singing voices of the TV cast and the choreography isn’t that bad.
The problem is that the real magic of “Glee” has been the blend of music and story. Take away an interesting plot and all you have left is a production that only die-hard fans will love.
Also coming to DVD this week:
“Midnight in Paris”: Woody Allen’s tale of life in 1920s Paris.
“One Tree Hill: The Complete Eighth Season”: Includes 22 episodes plus more than two hours of bonus material.
“Straw Dogs”: A couple’s trip to a small town turns deadly. Kate Bosworth stars.
“Warrior”: Two brothers are in for the fight of their lives. Tom Hardy stars.
“Margin Call”: Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Irons star in this look at the workers in an investment bank facing the first 12 hours of the financial crisis.
“Burke and Hare”: Two men (Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis) start a business selling fresh cadavers.
“Futurama: Volume 6”: Animated series set in the weird and wild future.
“Blackthorn”: Sam Shepard stars in an outlaw tale of the old West.
“Into the Lion’s Den”: Best friends embark on a cross-country road trip.
“Mysteries of Lisbon”: An orphan boy looks for information about his family.
“Julia’s Eyes”: A sister is compelled to investigate her sister’s suicide.
“Saint Nick”: The jolly old saint is reimagined as a bloodthirsty bishop.
“Tempest”: Helen Mirren stars in this new look at the Shakespeare tale.
“Moon in the Gutter”: A man (Gérard Depardieu) is obsessed with finding the man who raped his sister.
“Underworld Trilogy: The Essential Collection”: Blu-ray set includes three films plus the three-part anime series “Underworld: Endless War.”