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DVD releases

  • Bryony (left), voiced by Ashley Jensen, and Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, in "Arthur Christmas."

    Sony Pictures

    Bryony (left), voiced by Ashley Jensen, and Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, in "Arthur Christmas."

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  • Bryony (left), voiced by Ashley Jensen, and Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, in "Arthur Christmas."

    Sony Pictures

    Bryony (left), voiced by Ashley Jensen, and Arthur, voiced by James McAvoy, in "Arthur Christmas."

"Arthur Christmas"
Santa's son must save Christmas.
The animated film is not a perfect gift, but it does feature enough holiday cheer and silly fun to make it more entertaining than 10 lords a-leaping. It helps that the film also has a warm message about how tradition should never be sacrificed for efficiency's sake.
First-time film director Sarah Smith creates an up-tempo -- at times frantic -- pace for most of the movie. The story occasionally gets bogged down by the script from Peter Baynham and Smith. Arthur's long trip to deliver the last gift could have used fewer pit stops. But the script does have a nice blend of jokes aimed at kids and adults, and it is filled with so many visual gags they can finally all be appreciated now that the film is on DVD.
Grade: B+
"Entourage: The Complete Series"
Fans of this HBO series -- based loosely on the association of executive producer and series creator Doug Ellin with actor Mark Wahlberg -- is a must own for fans of the show. If you aren't a fan, this is a great way to power watch your way through a series that offers a look behind the curtain of the life of a successful Hollywood actor.
Crisp and clever writing combined with a strong cast -- especially Jeremy Piven as agent Ari Gold -- make this set worth owning. If that wasn't enough, it comes with six hours of bonus material.
Grade: A-
Also new
"Sunset Boulevard": Billy Wilder's film debuts on Blu-ray.
"Javier Bardem 3-Film Collection": Includes "No Country for Old Men," "Biutiful" and "Mondays in the Sun."
"Angelina Ballerina: Superstar Sisters": A five-episode collection.
"Rags to Riches: The Mary Pickford Collection": Set celebrates 120th anniversary of her birth.
"The Courtship of Eddie's Father: The Second Season": Bill Bixby stars.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

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