Teen he­roes

this week’s dvd re­leases are topped by films about peo­ple who fight in­jus­tice and evil.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOVIES - By RICK BENT­LEY

AT­TACK The Block: Di­rec­tor Joe Cor­nish of­fers a fresh look at the aliensvs-hu­mans genre with this tale of what hap­pens when a hous­ing com­plex be­comes the sub­ject of an at­tack. In­stead of the mil­i­tary, it’s a gang of South Lon­don teens who have to save the day.

Cor­nish does a mar­velous job of build­ing ten­sion, like a 1950s sci-fi film, while cre­at­ing some very in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters. The story is pre­sented with just the right dash of humour to keep it from be­com­ing too dark.

The big­gest hur­dle: The ac­cents of the ac­tors, which are so thick that there was some con­sid­er­a­tion given to sub­ti­tles.

Don’t worry. It’s not what they say, but what they do that makes this film fun.

> Cap­tain Amer­ica: The First Avenger: Chris Evans – the guy who put the heat in the Hu­man Torch in the Fan­tas­tic Four movies – steps into the boots of the lat­est comic­book-in­spired film cham­pion.

He plays Steve Rogers, a 40-kg weak­ling who, through the magic of sci­ence, be­comes the hunky Cap­tain Amer­ica. The film isn’t a ma­jor

dis­as­ter, but it gen­er­ally could use some work. Di­rec­tor Joe John­ston’s un­even di­rec­tion, com­bined with some iffy spe­cial ef­fects, has the film spin­ning from heroic to hor­rific.

Evans al­ways looks like he showed up late at a cos­tume store and had to wear what­ever could be cob­bled to­gether.

Every­thing about Cap­tain Amer­ica: The Last Avenger is un­even. There are mo­ments of fo­cus when the film is a bat­tle royal, but it’s not sus­tained, leav­ing this lat­est comic book ef­fort a can­di­date for a dishonourable dis­charge.

> Bar­ney Miller: The Com­plete Se­ries: The DVD con­tains all eight sea­sons of this tele­vi­sion clas­sic. The show’s a smart com­edy that cre­ated a blue­print for the gritty por­trayal of po­lice de­part­ments used in many dra­mas.

The strength of Bar­ney Miller is the writ­ing and act­ing. Typ­i­cal plot­lines are el­e­vated by the in­tel­li­gent – and still goofy – ap­proach used to deal with each sit­u­a­tion. Hal Lin­den and the first-rate cast – which also in­cludes Abe Vigoda, Ron Glass and Max Gail – take the sto­ries and give them heart through their mar­velous per­for­mances.

The se­ries is one of tele­vi­sion’s all-time best.

Also new on DVD this week

> Lau­rel & Hardy: The Es­sen­tial Col­lec­tion: The 10-disc set in­cludes

58 shorts and fea­ture films.

> Tinker, Tai­lor, Solider, Spy: Bri­tish TV’S ver­sion of the John le Carre’s clas­sic Cold War-era spy drama.

> Dennis The Men­ace: Sea­son Three: Dennis keeps caus­ing prob­lems.

> The Peo­ple Vs Ge­orge Lu­cas: Doc­u­men­tary that looks at the mixed feel­ings of Star Wars fans.

> Imag­ine It!: Doc­u­men­tary that pushes young peo­ple to think out­side the box.

> Mardi Gras Spring Break: Three col­lege stu­dents travel to New Or­leans to at­tend Mardi Gras. Car­men Elec­tra stars.

> The Avengers: Earth’s Might­i­est He­roes: Vol­umes 3 and 4 fo­cus on Iron Man and Thor.

> Win­nie the Pooh: The gang from the Hun­dred Acre Wood goes on an­other ad­ven­ture.

> Bill Moy­ers: On Our Own Terms: Bill Moy­ers in­ter­views dozens of ter­mi­nally ill pa­tients.

> Tom & Jerry: The Golden Col­lec­tion Vol­ume 1: In­cludes 37 re-mas­tered car­toons.

> Fa­ther Of In­ven­tion: A TV pitch­man tries to re­deem his name.

> The Gath­er­ing: Ed As­ner and Mau­reen Sta­ple­ton star in the 1977 TV movie. > Shaolin: Jackie Chan stars. > Luther 2: John Luther (Idris Elba) is a ge­nius de­tec­tive who strug­gles with his own demons.

> Juras­sic Park: The tril­ogy is now avail­able as a Blu-ray set.

> Roger Corman’s Cult Clas­sics: DVD set in­cludes Fire­cracker, TNT

Jack­son and Too Hot To Han­dle.

> The Con­ver­sa­tion: The Gene Hack­man clas­sic is avail­able on Blu­ray for the first time.

> Joseph Camp­bell: Mythos III, The Shap­ing Of The Western Tra­di­tion: Su­san Saran­don hosts this look at sub­jects rang­ing from Arthurian ro­mances to modern myth.

> The Orig­i­nal Christ­mas Clas­sics: Con­tains Blu-ray ver­sions of Frosty The Snow­man, Ru­dolph The Red-nosed Rein­deer, Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town and Frosty Re­turns.

> Con­science Of Fire: A lethal car ac­ci­dent turns into a more com­pli­cated case. – The Fresno BEE/MCT In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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