DVD releases


A young boy has to save his town from zombies.

There’s a tricky line when it comes to making scary animated movies: If they’re cartoonish enough for young moviegoers to enjoy, then they tend to lack enough edge to satisfy older viewers. But if they’re too scary, then they can give young moviegoers nightmares. “ParaNorman” tries to serve both sides and, in the process, comes up short on both counts.

Of the chattering talents — that include Anna Kendrick, Casey Affleck, John Goodman, Jeff Garlin and Christopher Mintz-Plasse — only Mintz-Plasse brings the kind of original sound that makes his character different.

Grade: B-

“Breaking In: The Complete Series”

There have been few network shows that have done so much to commit ratings suicide. The first season of the Fox comedy about a firm that breaks into places such as government facilities and car lots to point out security problems was quirky and offbeat.

Christian Slater was particularly funny as the man of mystery in charge of the company. He worked well with a very strong supporting cast.

Then the second season came along. The show went from a very funny spy story to a bland office comedy anchored to the dead weight of Megan Mullally’s over-the-top humor.

Watch only the first season.

Grade: B-

Also new

“Forks Over Knives”: Documentary examines the claim that degenerative diseases can be controlled by adopting a plant-based diet.

“The Day”: Five survivors wander the back roads of a ravaged landscape looking for refuge. Shawn Ashmore stars.

“Christmas in Compton”: Trouble erupts at a Christmas tree lot. Keith David stars.

“Lawless”: Shia La-Beouf stars in the true story of the infamous Bondurant brothers.

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

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Ride the rails on Amtrak Cascades from Everett to Portland

Make new friends and let Amtrak do the driving on this 5-hour trip past sea, city and forest.

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