August 10, 2012 in Features

‘Lorax’ and ‘Grimm’ worth a look on DVD

Rick Bentley McClatchy-Tribune
 

Creatures from Dr. Seuss and the Brothers Grimm are featured in this week’s new DVD releases.

“The Lorax,” Grade A-minus: In an almost doomsday scenario, the film looks at what happens to the environment when the last Truffula tree has been cut down. It’s a cautionary tale aimed dramatically at young and old.

That message is just as strong in this animated version of the book, but it has been cushioned slightly by a fun musical soundtrack and a budding love story. You will want to hug a tree after watching “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” – and a few humans, too.

From the opening number – a musical flash mob – to a fast-paced chase scene, the screenplay by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul keeps the essence of the original book while giving it a sense of fun. The pair – who also wrote the very funny “Despicable Me” – have created a band of wonderful supporting characters who provide big laughs.

This strong story is visually splendid.

“Grimm: Season One,” Grade A-minus: The approach to this NBC series is to have fairy tales based on real world creatures that now prowl the Pacific Northwest. It’s up to Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt (David Giuntoli), the last in the long line of creature fighters, to close the book on the evil creatures.

One reason this series is so good is Silas Weir Mitchell, who plays Burkhardt’s wise-cracking sidekick and is far smarter about the ways of the weird than his police buddy. He brings a touch of humor even when the pair battle creatures that inspired the stories of “The Three Little Pigs” and “Hansel and Gretel.”

“Grimm” is dark and happily embraces things that go bump in the night.

Also on DVD this week:

“Gunsmoke: The Sixth Season, Volume 1”: James Arness plays the TV marshal.

“Let It Shine”: Cable musical starring Tyler James Williams.

“Rookies: The Complete Second Season”: The TV series about young detectives stars Kate Jackson.

“Jesse Stone: Benefit of the Doubt”: Tom Selleck reprises his role as the gruff lawman.

“Kathy Griffin: Pants Off & Tired Hooker”: DVD features two Kathy Griffin specials.

“Strike Back: Cinemax Season One”: Richard Armitage stars in this premium cable action series.

“William & Catherine: A Royal Romance”: A fictional account of the recent royal nuptials.

“Parenthood: Season 3”: Lauren Graham family drama.

“Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom Movie”: Bloom has something else on her mind other than graduation.

“Dennis the Menace 20 Timeless Episodes”: Selected shows from the Jay North series that aired from 1959-1963.

“Remains”: A nuclear test turns Reno into the biggest little city for zombies.

“Marley”: Documentary on the life of Bob Marley.

“Clue”: Comedy mystery available on Blu-ray.

“Blue Like Jazz”: Film based on Donald Miller’s semi-autobiographical stories.

“Golf’s Grand Design”: Documentary examines the history and role of American golf course architecture.

“Up Heartbreak Hill”: Chronicles the lives of three Native American teens in Navajo, N.M.

“Full Metal Jacket”: The 25th anniversary of Stanley Kubrick’s Vietnam War drama is marked with the release of the 25th anniversary Blu-ray book.

“After the Wizard”: A trip is made to Kansas to find Dorothy.

“The Viral Factor”: An International Security Affairs agent gets caught up in a deadly crime ring.

“Fireman Sam: Heroic Rescue Adventures”: It’s ready-set-rescue with fireman Sam and station officer Steele.


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