DVD releases

“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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