KerryHayes Smpsp, Kerry Hayes
New movies on DVD this week are led by a "chick flick" that was vilified by critics but went on to become a box office hit.
"The Vow" (Spyglass/Screen Gems, 2012, PG-13, $30.99). Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum are a happily married couple until a car crash causes McAdams to lose her memory of the past few years — she no longer recognizes Tatum. She has forgotten she became an artist, and she can't recall why she became estranged from her parents (Jessica Lange, Sam Neill) and her former fiance.
The story has Tatum trying to win McAdams all over again, this time having to work against others who are hiding secrets. Both stars are quite charming, and Tatum displays an unexpected and welcome sense of humor.
While amnesia is a hoary movie device and this description sounds like something of a knock-off by Nicholas Sparks, it's actually better than that, and is all the more resonant for being based on a true story.
Extras: widescreen, deleted scenes, audio commentary, bloopers (also on Blu-ray, $40.99)
"The Genesis Code" (eOne, 2011, PG, $19.98). A Christian (Kelsey Sanders) studying paleontology and journalism at a Michigan college is assigned by the school paper to interview the school's new hockey star (Logan Bartholomew). They become friends but are at odds over religion, in particular the creation story in Genesis. So she embarks on a quest to validate her faith and show that science and religion are not necessarily at odds.
Somewhat heavy-handed, especially in a subplot about the young man's dying mother, and the performances are uneven. And at more than two hours, it's way too long. But the theories are cleverly put forth and the cast is likable, including such familiar faces as Lance Henriksen, Catherine Hicks, Fred Dalton Thompson and Oscar winners Ernest Borgnine and Louise Fletcher.
Extras: widescreen, trailer
"Love's Everlasting Courage" (Fox, 2011, $22.98). This Hallmark Channel TV movie is the latest in the "Love Comes Softly" series of Christian pioneer films. Here, a young farmer, and his wife and daughter, struggle to save their land during a drought. When the wife succumbs to scarlet fever, the farmer calls on his parents (Diane Ladd, Bruce Boxleitner) for help. OK entry in the series for fans.
"Beautiful Wave" (Anchor Bay/Blu-ray, 2011, PG-13, $24.99). A withdrawn New York high-schooler (Aimee Teegarden), still mourning her father's death years later, spends the summer in Santa Cruz, Calif., with her hippie grandmother (a subdued Patricia Richardson). When she finds her father's map to surfing sites, the girl embarks on a road trip to Mexico, where she finds her sea turtle- rescuing grandfather (Lance Henriksen). Interesting ideas and lovely cinematography torpedoed by humorless script and flat performances. Frequent generic pop-song music videos don't help.
Extras: widescreen (also on DVD, $19.98)
"The Bling Ring" (Lifetime, 2011, $14.95). Fictionalized take on the real-life story of teens breaking into celebrities' homes and stealing whatever's not nailed down. Intriguing idea with so-so execution. Jennifer Grey ("Dirty Dancing") plays the central teen's mother.
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