"Morning Light" (PG, 2008, Disney): The back of "Morning Light" box claims the Transpac Yacht Race is the "most revered sailing competition on Earth." It's hard to doubt any 2,225-mile race across the Pacific Ocean doesn't at least belong in the conversation. "Light" follows 15 rookie sailors as they put their lives on hold not only to compete for one of 11 spots on the Morning Light, but also to compete in the Transpac soon after. Sorting out so many faces in the space of 98 minutes isn't easy. But "Light" also conveys the mental and physical exhaustion that comes from 11 inexperienced sailors democratically navigating through dangerous waters with no safety net and little downtime.
Extras: "Stories from the Sea" feature, ESPN "Making the Cut" feature.
"Dough Boys" (NR, 2009, BET/Paramount): "Dough Boys" tells its story from the viewpoint of Corey (Arlen Escarpeta), a might-be-reformed, small-time hustler who has dreams of going completely legit and settling down with his girlfriend, Toni, (Kerisse Hutchinson). The lure of one last big hit - made stronger by a little peer pressure from his friends (Gabriel Casseus, Cory Hardrict, Lorenzo Eduardo) - lands him in over his head at the worst time imaginable, and now it's a case of digging back out before any number of bad things happen. It's also around this time that "Boys" briskly changes its tune from character study to a parade of calamities, taking some thoughtful (if tired) subject matter and reducing it to popcorn-level dramatic entertainment.
"Best of Snoop Dogg's Father Hood" (NR, 2007, Lions Gate): "Snoop Dogg's Father Hood" won't exactly be sore in the morning from breaking through any genre molds. "SDFH" follows Snoop, his wife and his kids (both biological and ceremonial) as they do various things people do. And that's pretty much it. He and the family have a genuinely likable quality that, with all undue respect to the likes of Baios, Hogans and Bonaduces, makes "SDFH" pretty likable in spite of its similarities in the contrivance department.
Contents: Eight episodes, dictionary quiz, cars tour.
"Nobel Son" (R, 2007, Fox): Professor Eli Michaelson (Alan Rickman) hasn't exactly taken saintly roads en route to his Nobel Prize for chemistry. There are the students he beds and subsequently tosses out. There's his son (Bryan Greenberg), who visibly resents dad for trampling his passions and betting on his imminent failure. Mom (Mary Steenburgen), meanwhile, is stuck in the middle. "Nobel Son's" very first scene cloudily depicts the graphic removal of a thumb, so smart money says Eli has some bad times ahead of him. Shame we have to endure a few of our own in order to see what those moments are. By the time "Son" steers down the home stretch, its welcome has expired.
Extras: Cast and crew commentary, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes feature.
- McClatchy-Tribune News Service