Denzel Washington plays a dangerous CIA renegade. Generally, action movies are either lightweight, puffed-up, macho-man vehicles or so cerebrally deep that it’s almost impossible to follow the action. Despite having only a few directing jobs to his credit, Daniel Espinosa found a nice blend of chest-pounding bravado and smart storytelling to make “Safe House” entertaining on multiple levels.Grade B:
An Earthling ends up in the middle of a war on Mars. The script by Andrew Stanton, Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon mixes pieces of several Edgar Rice Burroughs books in such an awkward way that the movie neither spotlights the planet’s battle nor the Earthling’s adventures. This story should have been a cosmic tale of good vs. evil, but the script keeps getting bogged down by convoluted explanations and a wedding plot line that’s as dusty as the Martian surface. Grade: C
“Hondo”: The John Wayne film is now on Blu-ray.
“Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Complete Eighth Season”: Offbeat comedy from Larry David.
“Hatfields &McCoys: Bad Blood”: Jeff Fahey stars in this story of the ultimate family feud.
“White Collar: The Complete Third Season”: An FBI agent and super thief join forces. Matthew Bomer stars.
“Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Second Season”: The mystery behind the lies begins to unfold. Troian Bellisario stars.
“Fairly Legal: The Complete First Season”: Sarah Shahi plays an arbitrator with an attitude.
“Breaking Bad: The Complete Fourth Season”: Bryan Cranston’s tour-de-force series continues.
“Necessary Roughness: The Complete First Season”: Callie Thorne is a therapist with an unusual practice.
Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)