New releases on DVD

Two TV offerings top this week’s releases:

”Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove: Season One,” Grade B: Andie MacDowell stars in this sweet cable series based on the bestselling book series by Debbie Macomber.

MacDowell plays municipal Judge Olivia Lockhart in the small town of Cedar Cove. She brings a lot of baggage to the bench having to deal with the death of her son and a divorce. The test for Lockhart is to keep her professional career in focus while dealing with the potential of new romance.

Macomber says this series was better suited for a cable series than movie because of her readers.

“They love the characters so much that they want me to continue writing about the same characters. And so it seems natural to make the progression, then, from ongoing characters into a TV series,” Macomber says.

The DVD set is being released in time to get caught up before the second season opens July 20 on the Hallmark Channel.

”How The West Was Won: The Complete Second Season,” Grade B: There was a time when Westerns were a popular genre in feature films and on TV. This epic TV series tried to get fans of both with the 1978 broadcast based on the 1962 film of the same name.

If you like Westerns, then this is a set to own. It follows members of the Macahan family as they face daily struggles to survive and thrive in the American West. These stories are told through an impressive cast topped by James Arness (“Gunsmoke”), Eva Marie Saint (“North by Northwest”) and Bruce Boxleitner (“Tron”) as well as famous guest stars such as Ricardo Montalban, William Shatner, Tim Matheson and Lloyd Bridges.

This six-disc set includes all 14 parts of the 1978 season.

Also new on DVD:

“Rio 2”: It’s another fine-feathered adventure.

“Under the Skin”: Voluptuous woman (Scarlett Johansson) searches for isolated or forsaken men.

“Clue: A Movie Mystery Adventure”: Young sleuths work together deciphering a series of clues.

“Time Scanners: Petra”: Team of laser-scanning experts travel to Jordan.

“Sx – Tape”: Found-footage film of lust, possession and destruction.

“Action Adventure Movie Marathon”: Four titles including “Shake Hands With The Devil,” “The Final Option.”

“Open Grave”: Looks at how important memory is to a person’s identity.

“I Escaped From Devil’s Island”: Roger Corman feature starring Jim Brown, Christopher George.

“100 Years of WWI”: Mini-series looks at how military strategy changed through weapon development, advanced intelligence.

“Case Histories Series 2”: Jason Isaacs returns as Jackson Brodie.

“A Day Late and a Dollar Short”: Woman tries bring her family back together before time slips away.

“David Suchet: In the Footsteps of St. Paul”: BBC documentary exploring Christianity’s early years.

“The Junior Spy Agency”: History assignment becomes case for young detectives.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee

“Wrinkles”: Animated tale of elderly characters who rebel against authority.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee

“Black Dynamite: Season One”: A 1970s renaissance man with a kung-fu grip is a lover and fighter.

“Labyrinth”: Two women separated by centuries are united by common quest.

“Deadly Eyes”: Rats provide the horror in this 1982 film.

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“La Mujer Del Vendaval”: Univision series based on the telenovela “Un Esposo para Estela.”

“Hercules: Hero, God, Warrior”: History channel specials about the hero.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee

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