Quantcast

'Miss Potter' among DVD titles

Published: Thursday, June 21 2007 12:01 a.m. MDT

Renee Zellweger as the title character in "Miss Potter."

Alex Bailey, The Weinstein Company

Enlarge photo»

New movies on DVD this week are led by one of last year's best — "Miss Potter."

Recent movies

"Miss Potter" (Weinstein/Genius, 2006, PG, $28.95). Renee Zellweger is the title character, Beatrix Potter, who lived a sheltered life until she wrote the beloved Peter Rabbit children's stories. This film is an offbeat mix of sentimentality and whimsy (she occasionally speaks to her characters and we see them respond).

Zellweger is utterly charming, as is Ewan McGregor, as the shy publisher who slowly begins to woo her. The film also nicely captures the period, the turn of the 20th century.

If you are one of those who wishes they'd make 'em like they used to, this is for you.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, music video, trailer

"Longford" (HBO, 2006, $26.98). Except for a brief segment during which the title character campaigns against pornography, this is another true story with nothing offensive. James Broadbent delivers a stellar performance as British Lord Longford, a devout Catholic who spent much of his life visiting inmates in prison and campaigning for their rights in London.

The bulk of the film concentrates on his controversial friendship with a notorious child murderess, Myra Hindley, played perfectly by Samantha Morton. As Longford's ever-patient wife and conscience, Lindsay Duncan is also grand.

A tremendously moving and thought-provoking film.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary), featurette

"Bridge to Terabithia" (Disney, 2007, PG, $29.99). A lonely young boy and girl share a love of fantasy, and soon they find their fantastic world has come to life in a nearby wood.

Unique coming-of-age tale, a delightfully realized adaptation of the popular book, which will engage adults as much as kids.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentaries, featurettes, trailers

"Gray Matters" (Fox, 2006, PG-13, $27.98). Talky, flat comedy about a chatty young ad exec (Heather Graham) who discovers she's gay — and in love with the woman (Bridget Moynahan) her brother (Tom Cavanagh) is determined to marry. Heavily plotted, multicharacter effort has charm but just never manages to be as funny as it strives to be. Cast includes Molly Shannon, Alan Cumming and, in a small role, Sissy Spacek.

Extras: Widescreen

"The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico" (THINKFilm; R for language, drugs; 2007, $27.98). Country-western fans are the primary target audience for this amusing, music-filled "mockumentary" about the fictional title singer's life, as observed by real-life country stars (led by Kris Kristofferson) and utilizing "found footage" of Guy Terrifico (played by Matt Murphy).

Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes, extended Kristofferson performance, featurette

"Reno 911!: Miami — The Movie" (Fox, 2007; R for language, sex, nudity, drugs, violence; $29.98). This expanded version of the Comedy Central cable series is even more raunchy, with guest cameos from Danny DeVito, Paul Reubens, Patton Oswalt.

Extras: Widescreen/full-frame options, extended scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, trailers

Foreign-language films

"The 36th Chamber of Shaolin" (a k a "Shaolin Master Killer") (Dragon Dynasty/Genius, 1978, $19.98). Hong Kong chop-socky films, as we used to call them, have long been available to American audiences in badly edited and dubbed copies taken from inferior prints. But Dragon Dynasty is restoring them and giving them the U.S. DVD release they deserve.

One of the best unsung '70s kung-fu pictures, "Shaolin" has Gordon Liu in training to learn martial arts as a means of avenging his people under brutal Manchurian rule. But forget the story, just enjoy the amazing stunts and fights as he progresses from level to level (in what is now a standard video-game plot).

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, music video, photo gallery, text biographies, trailers

"King Boxer" (a k a "Five Fingers of Death," "Iron Palm") (Dragon Dynasty/Genius, 1972, $19.98). This one has rival martial-arts schools preparing for a tournament, and the action is superior. Quentin Tarantino is on the audio commentary.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, photo gallery, text biographies, trailers

"My Young Auntie" (a k a "The Senior") (Dragon Dynasty/Genius, 1981, $19.98). In general, Hong Kong comedy often comes off as silly to Westerners. But this one is quite charming, as Kara Hui plays a widow involved in a property dispute.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, photo gallery, text biographies, trailers

"One-Armed Swordsman" (Dragon Dynasty/Genius, 1967, $19.98). Arguably the least of these, but still enjoyable, as Fang Gang (Jimmy Wang Yu), while in training, loses an arm and must relearn martial arts in a new way.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurettes, photo gallery, text biographies, trailers

DVD reissues

"The Secret of NIMH: Family Fun Edition" (MGM, 1982, G, $19.98). Former Utahn Don Bluth made his mark with this beautifully drawn cartoon, which is much more lush than computer-animated efforts. Bluth directed and co-wrote this adaptation of the popular children's novel "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH," which has a widowed mouse encountering superintelligent lab rats who agree to help her move her sick son before the farmer's plow destroys their home. Delightful animated feature for kids and adults.

Extras: Widescreen/full-frame options, audio commentary (by Bluth and Goldman), featurette, interactive games

"The Wood" (Paramount, 1999; R for language, sex, drugs, violence, nudity; $14.99). Somewhat clunky but generally enjoyable urban comedy-drama told in flashbacks as two pals (Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones) go after a friend (Taye Diggs) who has gone missing just before his wedding. The title refers to Inglewood, Calif.

Extras: Widescreen, audio commentary, featurette, photo gallery, trailer


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS