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DVDs: Solid acting buried under ‘Buyers Club’s‘ message

Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Matthew McConaughey as Ron Woodroof in “Dallas Buyers Club.”
Rick Bentley Mcclatchy-Tribune

An Oscar-nominated film about a fight for survival and two tales of love will hit stores on Tuesday.

• “Dallas Buyers Club,” B: The film is an example of how the sum of the parts of a movie can be greater than the whole. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto turn in Oscar-nominated performances, but their work gets lost in a script that drifts unchecked between a human drama and a political message.

The performances are so good that when the movie shifts to the political battles – shown through the efforts of an idealistic doctor (Jennifer Garner) – it comes across as an infiltrator into the powerful emotional message.

• “About Time,” B-plus: Relationships can be perfect if you can travel through time. No director/writer has shown a better understanding of the multifaceted aspects of love than Richard Curtis.

He’s done it again with “About Time.” Even with the fantasy element of time travel tossed into the mix, the film wraps itself around you with a sweetness and affection that resonates with the realities of love – the good and the bad. His production works because it’s easy to relate to the events, and they spark memories of our own loves and losses.

• “Baggage Claim,” B-minus: A young woman decides to track down men she previously dated in hopes of making a love connection. Paula Patton stars.

A harmless romantic comedy that follows a familiar theme: A woman just can’t seem to find the right man. She sets out to find that true love while remaining oblivious to how the man of her dreams has always been in her life. If you can’t spot this guy, you’ve never seen a Lifetime or Hallmark movie.

It’s the kind of movie Katherine Heigl would have made had her career not gone into a tailspin.

Also new on DVD:

“Free Birds”: Two turkeys travel through time to change Thanksgiving.

“Burton and Taylor”: A look at Hollywood’s most famously volatile on-again-off-again couple.

“Romeo & Juliet”: William Shakespeare’s love story has been updated.

“My Dog the Champion”: Spoiled teen meets aging cattle dog.

“Escape Plan”: Security expert agrees to break out of a high-tech prison.

“Joanie Loves Chachi: The Complete Series”: Scott Baio, Erin Moran play teens in love.

“Banshee Chapter”: Journalist is drawn into the world of top-secret chemical research.

“Bob the Builder: Let’s Build!”: Bob and his team never back down from any challenge.

“A Case of You”: Shy guy goes to extremes to impress girl of his dreams.

“Scorned”: Story of a woman overcome with a fury.

“Family Matters: The Complete Fourth Season”: Includes 24 episodes of Steve Urkel.

“From Above”: Power of love’s eternal connection is proven.

“Care Bears: The Care-a-thon Games”: Care Bears celebrate sportsmanship and courage.

“Reaching for the Moon”: Film based on the true story of poet Elizabeth Bishop.

“McConkey”: Close look at the skier turned BASE jumper.

“The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”: Englishwoman (Ingrid Bergman) goes to China.

“The Divorce”: TV anchorwoman celebrates divorce by throwing herself a party.

“The Lady Vanishes”: New adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller.

“Wings”: High flying animated tale.

“Lalaloopsy: Friends are Sew Special!”: Take a trip to Lalaloopsy Land and overcome obstacles.

“The Counselor”: Lawyer puts his connections to the test with a drug deal.

“Pride of St. Louis”: The 1952 biopic based on the life of “Dizzy” Dean.

“House of Versace”: Story of fashion icon Donatella Versace.

“Laverne & Shirley: The Seventh Season”: Further escapades of the best friends.

“Justice League: War”: Darkseid and his forces invade Earth.

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