This week's new DVD releases include
Fast & Furious 6
, sure to stir emotions for fans of the franchise in the wake of star Paul Walker's tragic death.
Walker, 40, and a friend, Roger Rodas, died Nov. 30 in a fiery crash on a Valencia, Calif., street. Walker had been on break from filming the latest installment, and Universal Pictures last week said production of Fast & Furious 7 is on hold.
But Fast & Furious 6 was still scheduled for home-entertainment release this week, and Universal Pictures announced that a percentage of proceeds from sales would be donated to Walker's charity, Reach Out WorldWide.
Fast & Furious 6, Grade B-minus: This is a fun thrill ride as long as director Justin Lin keeps the pedal to the metal in the action scenes. It's when he moves over to the slow lane to deal with relationships that the movie hits some big potholes.
The action scenes are so big and over the top that at times they're laughable, and the final confrontation, which includes numerous cars dangling from a cargo plane, only works if the runway is 137 miles long.
Despicable Me 2, Grade B: Super villain Gru (Steve Carell), his adorable girls, and all those wonderful Minions are back. The sequel doesn't have nearly as much heart as the original film, but it makes up for that deficiency with a lot more humor. There's a much-expanded role for the jabbering, yellow, round Minions, the funniest yellow characters this side of The Simpsons.
Other DVDs out this week:
Battle of the Year: A break-dancing crew returns to its roots.
Zombie Night: Two families must fight zombies to survive.
Angels Sing: Film that reminds us a little Christmas cheer can go a long way.
Adore: Two women explore the intricacies of love, family, morality, and passion.
The Ultimate Life: A rich man questions what's important.
The Seasoning House: Deaf and mute Angel (Rosie Day) is abducted and sent to a Balkan brothel.
Cult Movie Marathon,Volume One: Includes Invasion of the Bee Girls, The Devil's 8, Unholy Rollers, and Vicious Lips.
Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary: Rerelease of the Julie Andrews movie.
The Gene Autry Show, The Complete Television Series: Includes 91 episodes of the western series.
The Nature of Genius: This collection features DVD and Blu-ray versions of two outstanding documentaries, Inspirations and Me & Isaac Newton.
Muppet Movie Collection: Includes Muppet Treasure Island and The Great Muppet Caper.