"Sita Sings the Blues" (NR, 2008, FilmKaravan): "Sita Sings the Blues," which describes itself as the "greatest breakup story ever told," isn't as remarkable for the story it tells so much as the lengths it went to tell it - mixing contemporary, divergent animation styles with blues music recorded close to a century ago and releasing the finished product online for free to circumvent a web of licensing issues surrounding the aforementioned music. All those hoops were worth it, though: "Blues" jumps back and forth in time to correlate a slice of a 3,000-year-old Sanskrit epic with a modern-day not-quite equivalent in Manhattan, and it uses every tool at its disposal to pull it off.
Extras: Director commentary, animated short "Fetch," 25-minute behind-the-scenes interview, DVD-ROM content.
"G-Force": Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo Pack (PG, 2009, Disney): It's pretty clear which department worked harder during the making of "G-Force," which cobbles together a rather trite tale of corporate high jinks and high-stakes espionage for the sole purpose of presenting us a collection of rodents that not only speak brilliant English, but possess enough intelligence to play ball with the country's most elite special agents. The story is little more than a means to an end, but the film is fodder for younger kids who will laugh at the slapstick and pay no mind to the pitiful attempts to humor parents with the occasional flat gag or plot twist.
Extras: The combo pack includes Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy editions of the film. Three behind-the-scenes features are available only on the Blu-ray Disc, but everybody gets deleted scenes, a fourth behind-the-scenes feature, a "Blaster's Boot Camp" DVD game and three music videos.
"Herb & Dorothy" (NR, 2009, Arthouse Films): "Herb & Dorothy" tells the remarkable story of a married couple who, with very little financial means, has managed over time to assemble an art collection for the ages. Herb and Dorothy, for their part, are as likable as their story - funny, blunt, self-deprecating and married far too long not to be completely, plainly honest with and about each other. But if Herb and Dorothy's exploits don't intrigue you on paper, the straightforward nature of the film won't change that.
Extras: Deleted scenes, festival appearance and theatrical premiere footage.
"Taking Woodstock" (R, 2009, Universal): It's safe to assume creative liberty and selective memory are in play in "Taking Woodstock," which draws on the Elliot Tiber memoir of the same name to dramatize the true story of Woodstock's humble conception and eventual explosion, but it's not like the actual events of the story need much help to engender interest. That should come as great relief to "Woodstock," which doesn't so much fail to tell the story as it does just kind of stumble clumsily through the process of doing so.
Extras: Writer/director commentary, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes feature.
- McClatchy-Tribune News Service