Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘Sniper’ highlights Cooper’s talent

Rick Bentley Tribune News Service

A film nominated for best picture at the Oscars and the final season of a popular network series are the top choices for new DVD releases.

“American Sniper,” A-minus: A Navy SEAL finds he can’t leave the war behind when he returns home. Directed by Clint Eastwood.

The true story of Chris Kyle, the deadliest sniper in American history, stars Bradley Cooper. As Cooper showed in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Hustle,” this kind of soul-baring work can only be delivered with the help of a strong acting partner. He gets that support from Sienna Miller, who plays Kyle’s wife, Taya.

Jason Hall’s script, based on the book by Kyle, sets up an interesting relationship between Kyle and his brother (Keir O’Donnell), but it fades away. This sibling situation would have added another strong thread.

It’s the only blemish in a production that shows Cooper has grown into one of the most dependable actors working today.

“Glee Season 6,” B: The final songs have been sung. Dance rehearsals are over. The Fox musical/comedy/drama wraps this season.

“Glee” became a success that on paper should never have happened. Series creator Ryan Murphy took a rather uninspired concept – a teacher trying to save a high school glee club – and gave it more gravitas through the story lines. In between musical numbers, which include salutes to Lady Gaga and a staging of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” are stories dealing with teenage pregnancy, fitting in, eating disorders, body image, cyberbullying, transgender identity, adoption, homelessness, physical limitations, faith, celibacy, spousal abuse and dyslexia.

Also new on DVD

“Boardwalk Empire: Complete Set”: Includes all five seasons of the HBO series starring Steve Buscemi.

“Holocaust: Genocide & Survival”: Includes three documentaries about those who faced fights for survival.

“Henry Fonda Set”: “Warlock” is one of the four movies in the set.

“Orange is the New Black, Season 2”: Series based on the Piper Kerman memoir.

“American Dad: Volume 10”: Uncensored episodes of the animated series from Seth MacFarlane.

“The Adventures of Chuck & Friends: Day at the Races”: Includes 10 episodes.

“Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs”: Dinosaurs are released by a mining explosion.

“It! The Terror from Beyond”: The 1958 horror film has been re-released.

“Cops: Wildest Chases”: Criminals try to speed away from the law.

“Roommate Wanted”: War breaks out between two women. Kathryn Morris stars.

“The Vatican Exorcisms”: Documentary filmmaker uncovers dark secret.

“Gunland”: Explores the issue of gun violence in Chicago.

“Strange Magic”: An animated musical fairy tale inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and centered around goblin, elf, fairy and imp characters.

“Stigmata”: Lost soul receives the wounds of Christ.

“ Peter Benchley’s Creature”: Government project results in a hybrid of a human and shark.

“Amish Mafia, Season 3”: Dark secrets of the underground ring in Amish country are revealed.

“American Hercules: The legend of Babe Ruth”: Documentary looks at the life of The Babe.

“Leviathan”: Russian family fights corrupt mayor.

“Midsomer Murders: Series 15”: John Barnaby (Neil Dudgeon) solves mystery in the small village.

“Maya The Bee Movie”: Animated film based on the novel for children.

“Team Umizoomi: Meet Shark Car”: Team Umizoomi jumps into action to find Shark Car.

“Extremities”: Farrah Fawcett stars in this TV movie about a woman who fights back against an attacker.

“Beauty & The Beast: Season Two”: The second season of the series starring Kristin Kreuk is being released just ahead of the third season opener May 21 on the CW.

“Hot Tub Time Machine 2”: Friends travel through time to save a buddy in trouble.

“CPO Sharkey: Season 1”: Don Rickles stars in this Navy comedy from the ’70s.