Lockout, Grade C: A rogue cop (Guy Pearce) must infiltrate a space prison to save the president's daughter (Maggie Grace).
Lockout would be little more than a movie version of a second-tier video game without Guy Pearce. The irreverence, cockiness, and bravado he brings to the character of Snow is almost electric enough to put this action film in the same league as Die Hard.
Almost isn't good enough, though. That means this tale of a rogue cop who battles impossible odds ends up more in the category of Cobra.
Dan Vs., The Complete First Season, Grade B: Animated series starring Curtis Armstrong as the voice of the volatile Dan, who thinks the world is against him.
Average-guy Dan goes up against a wedding, a dentist, a gym, a dinosaur, and New Mexico, moving through a slow boil that eventually erupts into comedic explosion. Armstrong's voice is a key part of why the show works. He speaks for Dan with just enough creepiness to make the character interesting.
The series also features the voice talents of Paget Brewster and Dave Foley.
Alphas, The Complete First Season, Grade B: The Syfy cable series follows a group of social misfits with extraordinary powers, known as Alphas, who work for the Department of Defense. That sounds cool, but while the crime fighters may be able to read minds or have super strength, they still work in the real world and have to deal with everything from curfews to feeding the parking meter.
David Strathairn, an Oscar nominee for Good Night, and Good Luck, plays Dr. Lee Rosen, a preeminent neurologist and psychiatrist who has put together a team of Alphas to deal with Alpha-related cases. The cast also includes Malik Yoba, Warren Christie, Azita Ghanizada, Ryan Cartwright, and Laura Mennell.
This is a first-rate action series made better by the smart writing.
Also new on DVD this week:
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: A British fisheries expert (Ewan McGregor) is asked to help bring fly-fishing to the desert.
Designing Women, The Final Season: Dixie Carter stars in the CBS comedy.
Extraterrestrial: An apocalyptic comedy starring Michelle Jenner.
Sanctuary, The Complete Fourth Season: The final season of the series starring Amanda Tapping.
The Three Stooges: Moe, Larry, and Curly are off on new head-slapping adventures. Sean Hayes stars.
Timmy Time, Happy Birthday Timmy: A day in the life of barnyard preschoolers.
MLK, The Assassination Tapes: A look at the manhunt for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassin and the riots that erupted across the country.
Diff'rent Strokes, The Complete Third Season: Comedy about a very different family.
Casa De Mi Padre: Will Ferrell's Spanish-language comedy.
Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates Jr.: The Alphonse Fletcher University professor looks into the DNA of American culture.
Singin' in the Rain: Three-disc set offers hours of bonus material about the film.
Lone Wolf McQuade: Chuck Norris film available on Blu-ray.