DVD releases

“The Expendables 2”

Sylvester Stallone leads an all-star action team into battle again.

What passes for a plot has Barney (Stallone) and his muscle-bound merry men forced into a suicide mission to stop a crazy mercenary, Jean Vilain (Jean-Claude Van Damme), from stealing truckloads of nuclear material. You really don’t need to know any more.

This explosive sequel is an overblown, testosterone-driven assault on the senses loaded with aging action stars who make up a senior citizen brigade.

It’s not a spoof, but it gets dangerously close.

“Tarantino XX”

The box set includes eight films by director Quentin Tarantino to celebrates two decades of movie making: “Reservoir Dogs” (1992); “True Romance” (1993); “Pulp Fiction” (1994); “Jackie Brown” (1997); “Kill Bill: Vol. 1” (2003); “Kill Bill: Vol. 2” (2004); “Death Proof” (2007); and “Inglourious Basterds” (2009).

The set would be worth owning just for “Reservoir Dogs,” an outstanding crime drama that became a major influence on filmmakers who embraced the genre.

Grade: B+

Also new

•”The Dust Bowl”: Four-hour documentary by Ken Burns that looks at how human blindness to the balance of nature destroyed the farmlands of the Great Plains throughout the 1930s.

•”2012 World Series Champion Season in Review: San Francisco Giants”: Highlights of the World Series winning season.

•”Transformers Prime: Season Two”: It’s a new beginning for the Autobots. The DVD set includes 26 episodes of the animated cable TV series.

•”Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups”: The North Pole has a new litter of playful pups who want to help at the holidays.

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

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