This week's top DVD picks feature interesting female characters.
United States of Tara: The Second Season, Grade B-plus: Toni Collette continues to shine as the wife and mother trying to deal with multiple personalities. She appears to have everything under control because of a new therapist - but even that relationship has a dark twist.
The real unsung hero is John Corbett, who plays Tara's husband. It'd be very easy to dislike Tara because of all the trouble her personalities cause. Corbett's role is a necessary emotional counterbalance.
Resident Evil: Afterlife, Grade D-plus: Paul W.S. Anderson isn't trying anymore. The man who has written all four of the Resident Evil scripts - and directs the latest - is just cutting and pasting together random thoughts.
Superheroine Alice (Milla Jovovich) searches for signs of human life after the virus that was released in the original film has wiped out most of the planet. In what has become the norm, Alice eventually finds a few survivors, tries to help them escape from the zombies, watches as most get killed, and then stands staring off in the distance looking for the next inevitable sequel.
Archer: The Complete Season One, Grade C-minus: Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) is a superspy working for the International Secret Intelligence Service. He has the skills of James Bond but the focus of a 3-year-old.
Most of the comedy is milked from the personal relationships in the office, which start off tedious and grow more annoying. The adult material comes across as merely an attempt to be shocking.
It's hard to be shocked when you're bored.
Also new on DVD:
A Charlie Brown Valentine: Charlie Brown tries to find the courage to speak to the Little Red-Haired Girl.
The Haunting of Amelia: A man is haunted by disturbing images 10 years after his girlfriend's death. Brendan Fehr stars.
Merantau: A rite-of-passage journey leads a man (Iko Uwais) to danger.
Wyatt Earp: Season 2: Hugh O'Brian plays the famous lawman in the '50s TV series.
Route 66: Season 2, Volume 1: The 1960s TV series, about two men traveling across the United States, stars Martin Milner and George Maharis.
Legacy: A Black Ops soldier is caught up in efforts to expose a corrupt senator. Idris Elba stars.
Jersey Shore: Season Two: The reality show stars Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino.
The American: An assassin (George Clooney) decides it's time to change professions.