“LEAP YEAR,” Amy Adams, Matthew Goode. The genre that is the romantic comedy doesn’t tend to get a lot of respect, but this should not be considered a commentary on the nature of the genre itself. Theoretically, what could be more delightful than watching two likable characters fall in love in the midst of divertingly wacky circumstances?

Yet time and again, Hollywood’s thesaurus seems to equate “romantic” with “dumb,” or at best “contrived.” Adams is an imminently adorable presence, so she is able to rise above the material (in which her plans to propose to her slick cardiologist boyfriend are derailed when she encounters a winningly coarse Irish pub owner), and she and Goode exhibit some real chemistry, but they’re given precious little to work with. Arguably worth it for the chance to ogle either Adams or the breathtaking Irish scenery; otherwise you’ve seen it done before and better. Special features include deleted scenes. Rated PG for sensuality and language. Running time: 1:40.

Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $36.98.

“NINE,” Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz. The prospect of reimagining Fellini’s “8 1/2” as a musical is an idea seemingly few would have considered, but in 1982, the hit musical “Nine” took Broadway and the Tonys by storm, and director Rob Marshall (“Chicago”) reminds us all of its existences with this flashy, curious adaptation. Those who have yet to see “8 1/2” are strongly, desperately urged to check that out first, while those intrigued at the idea of Daniel Day-Lewis singing or Cruz gyrating in skimpy lingerie need look no further. An odd but entertaining spectacle throughout. Special features include eight making-of featurettes and three music videos. Rated PG-13 for sexual content and smoking. Running time: 1:58.

Suggested retail price: $28.95; Blu-ray $38.96.

“TOOTH FAIRY,” Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd. Come on, you know you wanna watch The Rock get dressed up in a tutu and fly around the neighborhood, exchanging children’s molars for currency. Because that’s exactly what you get in this silly, good-natured family comedy, which finds hockey pro Johnson paying penance for his many violent misdeeds by assuming the titular role. Adding to the genial ridiculousness is a terrific and game supporting cast that includes Julie Andrews, Stephen Merchant (“Extras”) and Billy Crystal. Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action. Running time: 1:41.

Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99.


“HAMLET,” David Tennant, Patrick Stewart. Shakespeare’s most-discussed play has been modernized to good effect in the past, but here the Royal Shakespeare Company and the BBC unsurprisingly deliver the version to beat, rendering the conflicts of the anguished Danish prince (ably embodied by Tennant of “Doctor Who”) into a flat-out psychological thriller. It’s a risky venture that pays off brilliantly, and will please purists and casual viewers alike. Special features include a making-of featurette. Not rated, contains violence. Running time: 3:00.

Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $24.99. 

“NO TIME FOR SERGEANTS,” Andy Griffith, Nick Adams. Long unreleased on DVD, this still very funny 1958 comedy shot quintessential Southern bumpkin Griffith to superstardom with his hugely likable performance as Will Stockdale, a farm boy whose aw-shucks enthusiasm at being drafted into the Army Air Corps causes no end of irritation to his superiors. An old-fashioned hoot that can easily take its place alongside more modern military comedies such as “Stripes” or “Biloxi Blues.” Not rated, nothing objectionable. Running time: 1:59.

Suggested retail price: $19.98.

“PENN & TELLER B——-, Seventh Season,” Penn Jillette, Teller. The macabre magician duo continue to energetically and profanely debunk one commonly held misconception after another, appealing to the curmudgeon in us all. As expected, it’s funny and insightful throughout. Not rated, contains language and crude humor. Running time: 4:11.

Suggested retail price: $29.98. 


“DOCTOR ZHIVAGO,” Omar Sharif, Julie Christie. David Lean’s epic 1965 masterpiece (or sprawling soap opera, depending on your point of view) looks fantastic in high definition. Special features include 11 vintage featurettes and a commentary from Sharif, Rod Steiger and Lady Sandra Lean. Rated PG-13 for mature themes. Running time: 3:17.

Suggested retail price: $35.99. 

“SAVING PRIVATE RYAN,” Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore. Renowned for what many consider to be the most audacious opening scenes in film, Steven Spielberg’s 1998 WWII action-drama is essential viewing, and a must for any serious Blu-ray collector. Special features include a host of making-of featurettes. Rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence, and for language. Running time: 2:49.

Suggested retail price: $39.99. 


“BOOGIE MAN: THE LEE ATWATER STORY,” documentary. You don’t run into many Republicans who are accomplished blues musicians in their spare time. But such are the complexities inherent in the story of one Lee Atwater, an infinitely polarizing political figure who, for better or worse, had a huge impact on political campaigns as we know them. Director Stefan Forbes (“One More Dead Fish”) delves deep into the backstory, controversial career, and untimely death (Atwater died of brain cancer at age 40) of a man who, like him or hate him, left an enormous imprint on the world of politics within a very brief period of time. Not rated, contains language. Running time: 1:26.

Suggested retail price: $24.95.

“TETRO,” Vincent Gallo, Alden Ehrenreich. Times have certainly changed in the film world since the ’70s, when director Francis Ford Coppola was a household name and his every film was greeted with anticipation and an extensive advertising campaign.

Fast-forward a few decades later and we have “Tetro,” a little-seen and even less hyped drama involving brothers reunited under unexpected circumstances. Coppola thrives in relative obscurity, delivering an effective reflection on family and fame and finding an unlikely muse in the notoriously difficult Gallo (“The Brown Bunny”), who proves perfect for the title role, a hostile and demanding poet who wants nothing to do with his visiting long-lost brother (impressive newcomer Ehrenreich).

A deeply personal tale, anchored by Coppolla’s assured direction and one of Gallo’s prickliest (and thus, best) performances to date. Rated R for language, some sexuality and nudity. Running time: 2:07.

Suggested retail price: $27.98; Blu-ray $39.99.


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