This week's new DVD options include a romance, classic Westerns, and a religion-meets-science offering.
The Vow, Grade B: A woman (Rachel McAdams) wakes up from a coma with no memory of her marriage. The romance film is loosely based on a true story.
Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum are the film's biggest assets. She has the kind of angelic face and sweet personality that make it easy to fall in love with her. Tatum brings both a rough physicality and surprising vulnerability to the role. They make it easy to root for this couple to stay together.
The Vow has three things going for it: likable starring actors, a director who knows how to stay away from saccharine-sweet sentimentality, and a compelling story.
The John Wayne Collection, Grade A-minus: This collection includes 10 titles from John Wayne's long career, including Red River, The Barbarian, and The Geisha. Two of the best selections are The Alamo, an Academy Award nominee for best picture, and The Longest Day, a film that won Oscars for best cinematography and special effects and was also a nominee for best picture.
The Alamo has Wayne playing Col. Davy Crockett with such gusto he stands out in this star-studded offering. Wayne is just one of a host of big-name movie stars in The Longest Day, a film that looks at events of D-Day in 1944. His role isn't that big, but this is one of Hollywood's great war epics.
The Genesis Code, Grade C-minus: The film starts out with an interesting idea: prove with science how God created the world in six days as stated in the Book of Genesis. And, it approaches that idea in a rather novel way.
The sin of this film is that it wanders more than Moses and his people. There are story lines about a college hockey player (Logan Bartholomew) who has a crisis of faith, his girlfriend (Kelsey Sanders) who faces professional conflicts because of her faith, a legal battle over the wishes of a dying mom, another hockey player with hospital issues, and frustrated grandparents.
Toss in a cheesy ending, and the good intentions of this film are lost in this jumble.
Also coming to DVD this week:
Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season: The DVD set includes all 13 episodes, plus more than three hours of never-before-seen bonus features.
Fantasy Island: The Complete Second Season: Contains 25 episodes of the TV adventures on the mysterious island.
The Twilight Zone: More Fan Favorites: A five-DVD set contains 20 episodes from the series.
Cold War: The Complete Series: Peabody Award-winning CNN documentary on the events of the Cold War from 1917 to 1991.
The Big C: The Complete Second Season: Laura Linney plays a suburban housewife who fights back after being diagnosed with stage-four melanoma.
Kawa: A successful businessman is forced to reveal his lifelong secret that he's gay.
Underworld: Awakening: Vampire Selene comes out of a coma to find she has a 14-year-old vampire-lycan hybrid daughter. Kate Beckinsale stars.
Bobcat Goldthwait: You Don't Look the Same Either: Stand-up comedy show by Bobcat Goldthwait.
Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie: Tim and Eric squander the billion dollars they are given to make a movie.
Love's Everlasting Courage: Based on the best-selling Love Comes Softly series by Janette Oke.
Madison County: A trip into rural terror from director Eric England.
Menopause in an Hour: Dr. Tara Allmen takes a look at the medical solutions and treatments for menopause.
The Front Line: South Korea's Academy Awards submission for Best Foreign Film.
Dirty Dancing Collection: Includes Dirty Dancing and Dirty Dancing 2: Havana Nights.