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Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
3/19/2013 5:15:00 PM
This week's DVD and Blu-ray releases
Anthony Hopkins stars in a scene from the movie
Anthony Hopkins stars in a scene from the movie "Hitchcock." The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for chil dren under 13. (CNS photo/Fox Searchlight)
Catholic News Service


The following are capsule reviews of new and recent DVD and Blu-ray releases from Catholic News Service. Theatrical movies have a Catholic News Service classification and Motion Picture Association of America rating. These classifications refer only to the theatrical version of the films below, and do not take into account the discs' extra content.

"Hitchcock" (2012)

The legendary film director and "master of suspense" gets quite a dressing-down in director Sacha Gervasi's absorbing adaptation of Stephen Rebello's 1990 book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho." Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) is portrayed as a compulsive voyeur and control freak who suspected the motives of just about everyone, even his devoted wife (Helen Mirren). With stars (Scarlett Johansson, James D'Arcy) playing stars (Janet Leigh and Anthony Perkins), the film follows the production of Hitchcock's biggest success. In crafting it, Hitchcock battled the Hollywood censors to allow an unprecedented degree of explicitness, and contributed to the breakdown of the long-standing production code that had regulated movie content since the 1930s. Graphic re-creations of movie-making violence, a scene of implied adultery, sexual innuendo, some profane and rough language. Spanish language and titles options. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 -- parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)

"Life of Pi" (2012)

Exotic fable in which an Indian teen (Suraj Sharma) whose family (led by parents Adil Hussain and Tabu) is emigrating to Canada, and transporting some of the animals from the zoo they owned in their home country, becomes the lone human survivor when the freighter on which they and their menagerie are traveling sinks. His endurance is put to a further test when he finds himself forced to share a small lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. Religious themes are central to director Ang Lee's screen version of Yann Martel's best-selling novel. But, while it features a positive treatment of Catholicism and a sympathetic priest, this visually artful psychological parable -- told in flashbacks by its now-adult protagonist (Irrfan Khan) -- upholds its main character's view that he can be, simultaneously, a Hindu, a Christian and a Muslim. Not for the impressionable or the poorly catechized, Lee's film also becomes somewhat taxing as the rigors of the lad's unusual ordeal begin to rub off on viewers. Complex treatment of religious faith requiring mature interpretation, potentially upsetting scenes of life-threatening danger and animal aggression, some mildly vulgar wordplay, fleeting scatological humor. Spanish language and titles options. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)

"Ministry of Fear" (1944)

Moody version of Graham Greene's novel about an Englishman (Ray Milland) who stumbles onto a Nazi spy ring during the London Blitz, then finds himself framed for murder and on the run from the police. Directed by Fritz Lang, it's a nightmare situation with an innocent man uncertain of what he's gotten into or whom he can trust. Much menace, some stylized violence and murky references to a mercy killing. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III -- adults. Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America. (Criterion Collection; also available on Blu-ray)

"Rise of the Guardians" (2012)

Delightful animated adventure, based on books by William Joyce and focusing on the destiny of the legendary bringer of winter, Jack Frost (voice of Chris Pine). Free-spirited and mischievous, youthful Jack is also lonely and uncertain of his purpose in life until he's invited to join the Guardians, a force of mythical characters who protect children against the machinations of the Bogeyman (voice of Jude Law). Jack's newfound comrades include Santa Claus (voice of Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (voice of Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (voice of Isla Fisher) and the mute but cheerful Sandman. In his feature debut, director Peter Ramsey, working from a script by David Lindsay-Abaire, pits hope and wonder against fear and self-doubt in a tenderhearted and touching film entirely free of objectionable content. Perilous situations. Spanish language and titles options. The Catholic News Service classification is A-I -- general patronage. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (DreamWorks Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)

"Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (25th Anniversary Edition; 1988)

Down-and-out 1940s Hollywood gumshoe (Bob Hoskins) attempts to clear the name of murder suspect Roger Rabbit, a cartoon stunt clown. Director Robert Zemeckis and animator Richard Williams achieve a seamless interaction of animated and human characters in this touching, hilarious movie. Some scary threats of violence and humorous sexual references. Spanish titles option. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II -- adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG -- parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children. (Touchstone Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray)





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