DVD releases

“Flight”

A heroic pilot’s substance abuse comes into question when he crashes an airplane. Denzel Washington received an Oscar nomination for lead actor for his role.

The crash at the beginning is the kind of on-screen moment that will stick with viewers long after the movie is over. But it also doesn’t take long to realize that the more spectacular crash-and-burn moments are the ones Washington’s character experiences after the big fall.

Director Robert Zemeckis uses a similar format to the one that made “Cast Away” such a monumental hit. Both films start with big events, but then rely heavily on the star’s acting abilities to make the rest of the movie equally as memorable.

Grade: B+

“Alex Cross”

A detective’s investigation reveals more about a murder case. “Alex Cross,” the latest attempt to turn one of James Patterson’s crime novels into a movie, should have been Tyler Perry’s opportunity to establish a film franchise where he didn’t have to wear a dress. But the attempt falls short because of an uneven script and sloppy pacing. If this is the best Perry can do, then he’d better stick to the pantyhose.

Matthew Fox turns in the most psychotic performance as a killer since Heath Ledger creeped up the screen in “The Dark Knight.” Fox deserves credit for moving way out of his acting comfort zone, but his escape took him just a little too far. He plays this role with over-the-top absurdity, and he comes across as cartoonish as the story plays out against a backdrop of Detroit.

Grade: C

Also new

“Cabaret”: Bob Fosse’s film is being re-released to mark its 40th anniversary.

“Celeste and Jesse Forever”: High school sweethearts decide to divorce. Rashida Jones and Andy Samberg star.

“Above Suspicion, Set 2”: Detective tries to prove herself in what is mostly a man’s world.

“Here Comes the Boom”: Teacher (Kevin James) becomes a mixed martial arts fighter to save his school.

“Gunsmoke: The Seventh Season, Volume 2”: James Arness plays the TV marshal.

“R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour: Volume 3”: More creepy tales for young people.

“Cougar Town: The Complete Third Season”: Courteney Cox comedy about friends who love to drink.

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

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