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Tim Burton's 'Dark Shadows' leads these movies that are new to DVD

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 3 2012 1:26 p.m. MDT

From left, Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters, Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard, Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis, Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins, Chloe Grace Moretz as Carolyn Stoddard, Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins and Gully McGrath as David Collins in "Dark Shadows."

Warner Bros.

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Two movies with Michelle Pfeiffer in supporting roles lead these new-to-DVD titles.

“Dark Shadows” (Warner/Blu-ray + DVD + Digital, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $35.99, deleted scenes, featurettes). Johnny Depp is fully invested in his comic role as vampire Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s farcical reboot of the campy 1960s daytime horror soap opera.

Depp is funny and a bit scary, and the rest of the cast is also good: Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Jackie Earl Haley and especially Eva Green. But the film is too often way over the top and also far too sexual for the age group attracted by its PG-13 rating. (Also on single-disc DVD, $28.98.)

“People Like Us” (Touchstone/Dreamworks/Blu-ray + DVD, 2012, PG-13, two discs, $39.99, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers). Here’s a melodrama that is also too adult for its PG-13 rating, and which also features Pfeiffer in a supporting role. Chris Pine stars as a slick salesman whose estranged father suddenly dies, leading to the revelation that he has an adult half-sister (Elizabeth Banks). So he tries to connect with her through a series of lies while plotting to steal her inheritance. (Also on single-disc DVD, $29.99.)

“The Lady” (Cohen/Blu-ray, 2012; R for violence; $34.98, in English and Burmese with English subtitles, featurette, trailer; eight-page booklet). Michelle Yeoh, perhaps best known in the United States for her martial-arts-laden performances in the James Bond flick “Tomorrow Never Dies” and “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” and more recently, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor,” stars here as real-life Nobel winner Aung San Sjuu Kyi, a remarkable figure in Burma’s democratic movement. Yeoh is great; the movie is slow and overlong. (Also on DVD, $24.98.)

“Flying Swords of Dragon Gate” (Vivendi/Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray, 2012; R for violence; two discs, $29.93, in Mandarin with English subtitles, featurettes). Veteran martial-arts filmmaker Tsui Hark directed this sequel to his 20-year-old “Dragon Inn,” this time recruiting Jet Li (with whom he collaborated on the “Once Upon a Time in China” series). Li is underused in this computer graphics-heavy yarn about warring interests trying to find a lost city of gold, but there’s a lot of action for fans. (Also on single-disc DVD, $19.97.)

“Iron Sky” (eOne/Blu-ray, 2012; R for language, violence; $24.98, in English and German with English subtitles, audio commentary, featurettes, trailers). This off-the-wall comedy has the Third Reich having conquered space in the 1940s, with Nazis fleeing to the dark side of the moon to prepare for a comeback. Now it’s 2018 and their invasion plans still seem far off until a U.S. astronaut inadvertently helps them open the door to new technology. Campy and occasionally amusing; in wittier hands this might have been a riot. (also on DVD, $19.98.)

“Peace, Love & Misunderstanding” (IFC/Blu-ray, 2012; R for drugs, sex; $28.98, featurette, trailer). Jane Fonda is well cast as an aging hippie still living in Woodstock with a band of like-minded senior-citizen flower children when her estranged uptight daughter (Catherine Keener) drops in with her two kids in tow. Not funny enough to overcome its dubious message that sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll can cure all social ills. (Also on DVD, $24.98.)

“We Are the Hartmans” (Virgil, 2012, not rated, $24.99, featurette, music video, short film: “Eviction From Zuccotti”). This one has similar themes to “Peace, Love & Misunderstanding,” with Richard Chamberlain as an aging hippie running a small-town bar that welcomes the disenfranchised, but when he falls ill, his greedy relatives swoop in to sell it off. Well intentioned but rather sloppily executed with an array of uneven performances.

“FunkyTown” (Wolfe, 2012, not rated, $24.95, trailer). And this one has themes similar to “We Are the Hartmans,” with several free spirits converging at a disco in Canada during the 1970s, then going their separate ways. But too many soap-opera stories are attempted without the talent to relate them fluidly.

“General Education” (Well Go, 2012, PG-13, $24.98, audio commentary, featurette, bloopers, trailer). Sort of a cross between the ’80s comedies “Summer School” and “The Breakfast Club,” as a high school senior wins a tennis scholarship but finds that he must attend summer school because he failed a class. (Also on Blu-ray, $29.98.)

“Hypothermia” (DarkSky, 2012, not rated, $24.98, featurettes, trailer). A family on an ice-fishing trip encounters an underwater monster in this horror yarn. Michael Rooker stars.

E-MAIL: hicks@desnews.com

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