A classic TV series is the top DVD pick of this week's releases.
Fireball XL5: The Complete Series, Grade B+: This 1960s British children's show featured the "Supermarionation" puppet technique of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. In many ways, it was the earliest form of the kind of animation done today through computer-generated images.
The fact that the characters were all connected to strings and wires didn't slow this team from the World Space Patrol in caring for the galaxy. The adventures were made even more exciting because of the intense U.S.-Soviet space race at the time. It's great nostalgic fun.
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, Grade D+: Seeing the film is like a visit to a museum you've been to countless times. You go in knowing you've seen most of the exhibits before, but you hope there is some new material to add a little spark.
The third film in the "Night at the Museum" series features the same mix of Ben Stiller's frantic performance as security guard Larry Daley and the lunacy that comes when all of the exhibits come to life at night. The added material is a trip to England - but the new locale just results in the same jokes being presented by a few new characters. There is nothing wrong with such familiarity. But there also is nothing that right with it. It's all a matter of how low you set your expectations.
The Red Tent, Grade B: This Old Testament-era Lifetime mini-series based on Anita Diamant's novel offers a look at the life of Dinah (Rebecca Ferguson), which is plagued by tragedy. It starts with background on Jacob (Iain Glen) and his family and goes through the fatal relationship between Dinah and her first true love.
The title refers to the tent that served as a sanctuary for women, including Dinah's mother, Leah (Minnie Driver), and Rachel (Morena Baccarin), Leah's sister, Jacob's other wife and the mother of Joseph. In its shelter, the women could share their feelings, bring new lives into the world, and act as a huge support system in a world ruled by men. It's a well-made tale of love, faith, honor, and respect.
Also new this week:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Retreat: The turtles use their skills to battle a host of evil enemies.
White Haired Witch: Martial arts film based on the novel by Liang Yusheng.
Quincy, M.E.: The Final Season: Jack Klugman plays the crime-solving medical examiner.
Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy: The Complete Series: Rangers are stalked by dangerous aliens.
The Liberator: Edgar Ramirez stars in this tale of Simon Bolivar.
Pioneer: Set in the early '80s at the beginning of the Norwegian oil boom.
Blue's Clues: Get Clued Into School Pack: Blue helps viewers learn shapes, colors, and letters.
Happy Valley: A look at the firestorm following sex-abuse charges at Pennsylvania State University.
Lo Que La Vida Me Robo: Univision series starring Angelique Boyer.
A Chef's Life: First two seasons of the PBS series are being released.