From 'Cirque' to maker of 'Psycho'

Posted: March 16, 2013

This week's new DVD releases take you to worlds of fantasy, filmmaking, and furry heroes.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away, Grade B: A young woman is pulled into a magical world of acrobats and artists.

The film uses a rather standard boy-meets-girl plot to take the audience on a fanciful journey to a land of acrobats and artists who look at gravity as more of a suggestion than a law. Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away should be appreciated like an abstract painting. It's beautiful to look at, but it isn't fully appreciated until you add in your own ideas about what all of the images are trying to say.

There are positive and negatives of bringing the stage performance to DVD. It opens up the stage show to an audience who may have never had the opportunity, or the finances, to see one of the live shows. And it's the best seat in the house as the director often sends the camera flying through the air with the greatest of ease to put the viewer as close as possible to the incredible acrobatics.

Seeing these acts on screen takes away the fear factor that always exists with a live production when there's at least a chance performers could slip or fall.

Hitchcock, Grade B: The director's softer side is revealed during his filming of Psycho. Anthony Hopkins stars.

Like walking into a dark movie theater from a sunny day, it'll take your eyes a little while to adjust to director Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock. Both the story and Hopkins' performance as the groundbreaking director Alfred Hitchcock can't be judged at first glance. The casting and story indicate any thoughts this is a typical Hollywood biopic is for the birds.

Gervasi has created a fascinating love story played out against an even more fascinating career.

Rise of the Guardians, Grade C-plus: The Immortal Guardians come together to save the innocence of children around the globe.

The film, based on The Guardians of Childhood books by William Joyce, reveals that North (Alec Baldwin), better known as Santa Claus; the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman); the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher); and the Sandman (no actor, as he never speaks) have a bigger calling than just providing gifts, eggs, quarters, and sweet dreams. They've been charged by the Man in the Moon with the task of watching over all children.

They need help when Pitch (Jude Law) - better known as the Bogeyman - shows up to bring misery to children everywhere.

There are too many distractions to make this a treat for the entire family. It's a dark tale that is too intense for young viewers and maybe even a few older moviegoers.

Also new on DVD:

Life of Pi: A man and a tiger must find a way to survive a shipwreck.

Father Dowling Mysteries: The Third Season: Tom Bosley plays the mystery solver.

Jay and Silent Bob Get Irish: The Swearing O' The Green: Kevin Smith stars.

The Devil's in the Details: Drug cartel will go to any lengths to get what it wants.

Law & Order: Criminal Intent - Season 10: Vincent D'Onofrio stars in the final season of the NBC series.

Ripper Street: Matthew Macfayden stars in this BBC detective series.

The Mob Doctor: The Complete Series: Jordana Spiro plays a doctor who works with the mob as a way to save her brother.

The High Fructose Adventures of Annoying Orange: Escape from the Kitchen: Orange navigates the time-space continuum.

Doctor Who: The Ark in Space: The Tardis lands on a space station orbiting the Earth.

Smashed: A woman battles sobriety.

Angelina Ballerina: The Mouseling Mysteries: Angelina must solve several mysteries.

Samson and Delilah: Director Cecil B. DeMille's masterpiece is being rereleased.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Complete Eighth Season: Tom Kenny is the voice behind this sea tale.

Super Bowl XLVII Champions: 2012 Baltimore Ravens: Recap of this year's game.

My Brother Jonathan: Based on the Edwardian romance book by Francis Brett Young.

Foyle's War: The Home Front Files: Includes sets 1-6.

Black Eagle: Rain stars as a demoted pilot who must save a comrade.

Lost Angels: Skid Row is My Home: Eight people make a life for themselves within the homeless community.

The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp: The Complete Season Two: Hugh O'Brian stars in the '50s TV series.

Pressed: A man's plan to use his savings in a drug deal goes bad.

The Mind of a Chef: Anthony Bourdain takes viewers inside the mind of chef David Chang.

Pioneers of Television: Season 3: Includes Carol Burnett, Lynda Carter, Joan Collins, Larry Hagman, and Adam West.

Curious George Swings Into Spring: George explores wonders of the season.

Curandero: Dawn of the Demon: A couple goes on a horrifying journey through the Mexican underworld.

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