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Published: Friday, December 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

DVD releases

  • Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in "The Dark Knight Rises."

    Warner Bros. Pictures, Ron Phillips

    Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway in "The Dark Knight Rises."

"The Dark Knight Rises"
Batman returns to save Gotham City after Bane unleashes his destruction.
Christopher Nolan is a victim of his own success. Under other circumstances, his latest venture into the dark and gritty world of the comic book hero Batman, "The Dark Knight Rises," would be a triumph. But it comes in the wake of his nearly perfect "The Dark Knight." By comparison, this last film falls short, from plot to villain to those wonderful toys.
Grade: B
"Men in Black 3"
It's been a decade since the last "Men in Black," and time has not been good to the franchise. The latest film lacks energy and is cinematically wrinkled by a plot that includes the always tricky twist of time travel.
Will Smith gives his best effort, but the dark and offbeat humor that made the first two films a success has faded away over the decade.
Grade: C-
"Hope Springs"
The film is a return to the classic romance. Seasoned actors Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep play a long-married couple who have reached apathetic levels.
Arnold (Jones) is content to live an uneventful life; Kay (Streep) longs to rekindle the romance and enrolls the couple in a clinic offered by Dr. Feld (Steve Carell) in the New England hamlet of Great Hope Springs.
Grade: B
Also new
"Sparkle": The remake of the 1976 film starring Irene Cara is like a great song with a bad chorus.
"The Odd Life of Timothy Green": A couple's dreams of having a child come true because of some garden magic.

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

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