DVD releases

  • Wed May 23rd, 2012 1:22pm
  • Life

“This Means War”

This film has some very likable stars, with Chris Pine and Tom Hardy playing CIA agents — and best friends — who by chance fall for the same woman, played by Reese Witherspoon.

Pine has a boyish charm and Hardy a slight bad-boy quality that makes them fun to watch. The film is at its best when Pine and Hardy are together as a spy team or as opponents in the game of love.

After such a long stretch of forgettable romantic comedies, “This Means War” proves there’s still some sweet and funny life left in the genre.

Grade B-minus

“Red Tails”

A crew of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program are called into World War II duty.

The script by John Ridley and Aaron McGruder follows a very safe paint-by-numbers approach.

The Tuskegee Airmen story is a powerful example of racism that prevented talented Americans from defending their country because of the color of their skin.

The film is about 60 years too late. Had this tale of the historic Tuskegee Airmen been made in the ’50s, audiences would have accepted the stereotype characters, passive approach to racism and hackneyed dialogue. By today’s standards, the movie never gets off the ground.

Grade C-minus

Also new

“Route 66: The Complete Series”: Martin Milner, George Maharis and later Glenn Corbett travel Route 66 in the perfect escapist series of the ’60s. The DVD set includes all 116 episodes.

“Metal Tornado”: Lou Diamond Phillips stars in this story of an industrial experiment that goes bad.

Rick Bentley

The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)