DVD releases

  • Wed Apr 4th, 2012 3:43pm
  • Life

“War Horse”

A horse becomes the link between a young boy and the British and German armies. Director Steven Spielberg has taken the stage production, based on the children’s novel by Michael Morpurgo, and transformed it into a sweeping story of love, loss, devotion and determination set against the brutal battlefields of World War I.

As is the trademark of the much-touted director, he tells this story against a backdrop that at times is breathtaking. But this is a case where Spielberg’s grand vision worked against him.

“War Horse” isn’t a champion effort by Spielberg, but it does have its moments.

Grade: B-

“Bob: The Complete Series”

This is a very under-appreciated television series starring Bob Newhart.

The comedian plays the creator of the 1950s comic book superhero “Mad Dog,” who had to become a greeting card artist when his comic faded into oblivion. When the character is revived, tension mounts as the artist has to fight with the head of the company who wants to dramatically change the character. No one can get more comedy out of tension than Newhart.

The cast also includes Lisa Kudrow, Tom Poston, Carlene Watkins, Cynthia Stevenson and Betty White.

Grade: B

Also new

“We Bought a Zoo”: A family buys and operates a zoo. Matt Damon stars.

“Chinatown”: The Jack Nicholson film has been released on Blue-ray.

“The Frank Sinatra Collection”: Includes “The Manchurian Candidate” and “Von Ryan’s Express.”

“Masterpiece Classic Great Expectations”: Gillian Anderson stars in the PBS production.

“Dark Shadows: Collection 2”: Selected episodes of the daytime vampire soap opera.

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