The latest Superman movie rests at No. 3 in this year’s box-office hit list (after “Iron Man 3” and “Despicable Me 2”), and now it has arrived on DVD and Blu-ray.
“Man of Steel” (Warner, 2013, PG-13, three discs, $35.99, featurettes). Uneven but generally exciting retelling of Superman’s origin story with a first-rate cast: Henry Cavill is appropriately stoic as Clark/Supe, Amy Adams is spunky and smart as Lois Lane, Michael Shannon is angry as the villainous Zod, Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are warm as the Kents, and Russell Crowe is authoritative as Jor-El.
My complaints are with the washed-out colors and shaky camera work, which seem distracting and unnecessary, and with all the chaotic mayhem toward the end, which destroys half of Metropolis and presumably kills off much of the populace. What is this, a “Transformers” sequel? Also, a villain’s death at the end seems antithetical to the Superman legend.
But most of the way, this is an enjoyable retelling of a familiar story, and I look forward to the inevitable sequel though I hope the second time around the computer-game chaos is toned down a bit. (Also on Blu-ray 3D combo, $44.95, and DVD, $28.98, plus two different Limited Collector’s Edition sets with tchotchkes, $60 each)
“Ip Man: The Final Fight” (Well Go/Blu-ray, 2013, PG-13, $29.98, featurettes, trailers). This “Ip Man” movie is the second in the films directed by Herman Yau (a different “Ip Man” series is directed by Wilson Yip and stars Donnie Yen), which are based on the allegedly true story of master martial artist Wing Chun, most famous for having trained Bruce Lee. This film examines his late years as he sets up a school that is challenged by rivals. More character-driven than action-oriented but an interesting entry in the franchise. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“The Attack” (Cohen/Blu-ray, 2013; R for violence, language, sex; $34.98, in Arabic and Hebrew with English subtitles, featurette, photo gallery; eight-page photo booklet). A respected Palestinian surgeon in Israel is grief-stricken when his wife is killed in a suicide bombing and mystified when it appears she was the bomber. His search for the truth humanizes a conflict that is still hard to fathom in this part of the world, playing with emotions to get under the skin. (Also on DVD, $24.98)
“Polar Bears 3D: Ice Bear” (Universal/Blu-ray 3D, 2013, not rated, $26.98, deleted scenes, featurette, music-only option).
“Ocean Predators 3D” (Universal/Blu-ray 3D, 2013, not rated, $26.98).
“Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Hunters and the Hunted” (Universal/Blu-ray 3D, 2013, not rated, $29.99). These three hourlong documentaries put the emphasis on visuals and they are gorgeous to watch as they explore the respective subjects of the titles. The main selling point is 3D, but each has a 2D version that will play on any Blu-ray player.
“Dealin’ With Idiots” (IFC, 2013, not rated, $24.98, trailer). Comic actor Jeff Garlin co-wrote, directed and stars in this episodic comedy about how nutty parents become at their kids’ Little League games, and he’s gathered a great supporting cast that includes Nia Vardalos, Timothy Olyphant, Gina Gershon, Jami Gertz, Fred Willard, etc. But the film is way too profane and puerile.
“Grabbers” (IFC, 2013, not rated, $24.98, featurette, trailer). Odd, comic creature feature from Ireland revels in stereotypes, especially those suggesting alcoholism can be fun. A meteor crashes into the ocean and unleashes giant tentacled monsters, and they’re hungry. But there’s something about the Irish that they can’t quite digest. Offbeat entry in horror sweepstakes.
Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." His website is www.hicksflicks.com