DVD releases

  • Wed Jun 20th, 2012 6:51pm
  • Life

“Big Miracle”

This family-friendly film is based on the true story that unfolded on national television in 1988. Three whales — dubbed Fred, Wilma and Bamm-Bamm — get trapped five miles from the ocean as ice in northern Alaska freezes faster than usual. Without assistance, the three whales will die when the last hole in the ice closes.

Despite a simplistic structure and melodramatic acting, “Big Miracle” works because it goes directly for your heart.

Grade: B

“Jeff, Who Lives at Home”

Jason Segel and Ed Helms bring little energy to their work.

This passive approach is OK with Segel’s character. His Jeff, a middle-age loser who still lives with his mother, has become obsessed with the M. Night Shyamalan film “Signs” and is waiting for the cosmos to tell him his destiny.

At the same time, his brother, Pat (Helms), is dealing with a marriage that is falling apart. His attempts to find out about his wife’s cheating ways and Jeff’s quest to find out what the call is all about have them continually crossing paths.

The problem is the interaction between the brothers is so low-key, there are never any emotional sparks.

Grade: C

Also new

“Charlie’s Angels: The Complete Series”: Three female detectives battle crime. Annie Ilonzeh, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor star.

“The Sailor Who Fell From Grace With the Sea”: Sarah Miles and Kris Kristofferson star in the new Blu-ray release based on the Yukio Mishima novel.

“Empire of the Sun”: The coming-of-age World War II drama debuts on Blu-ray to mark the 25th anniversary.

“Wilfred: The Complete First Season”: Elijah Wood plays Ryan, a lawyer with problems, and Jason Gann is a dog, who appears to him as a man in a dog suit.

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