This week's DVD and Blu-ray releases
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.
Intermittently amusing computer-animated comedy directed by Cory Edwards that sets out to reveal the "real story" behind the well-known nursery tale of Little Red Riding Hood. Each character -- including the scarlet-clad heroine (voiced by Anne Hathaway), her extreme sports-loving granny (voiced by Glenn Close), the wolf (voiced by Patrick Warburton) and a brawny woodsman (voiced by Jim Belushi) -- is grilled by police responding to a domestic disturbance call. Despite sporadic bursts of wit and a clever "Rashomon"-style structure, the wacky proceedings are handicapped by a laugh-lean script and unimpressive animation. Cartoon action violence and mildly crude humor. Spanish titles option. A-II -- adults and adolescents. (PG) (Weinstein Company Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray) 2005
Kansas City Confidential
Tough-minded tale of an ex-con (John Payne) who's wrongly implicated in an armored car robbery, then trails those who did it to Mexico for the final showdown. Directed by Phil Karlson, the gritty but contrived proceedings feature a gang (Jack Elam, Neville Brand and Lee Van Cleef) whose leader (Preston Foster) insists they all wear masks so none will know the identity of the others. Some deadly violence and intermittent brutality. Spanish titles option. A-III -- adults. (N/R) (HD Cinema Classics; also available on Blu-ray) 1952
Atmospheric thriller set in a small Connecticut town where a government agent (Edward G. Robinson) tries to persuade the bride (Loretta Young) of a prep-school teacher (Orson Welles) that her husband is an escaped Nazi war criminal. Also directed by Welles, the sunny small-town setting heightens the cat-and-mouse tension of the ensuing manhunt, which concludes in the clockworks high aloft a church steeple. Some menace and stylized violence. Spanish titles option. A-II -- adults and adolescents. (N/R) (HD Cinema Classics; also available on Blu-ray) 1946
This gripping suspense tale charts the efforts of a veteran rail engineer (Denzel Washington) and a novice conductor (Chris Pine) to stop a runaway train before it derails on a twisting stretch of track running through a densely populated Pennsylvania town. Though opposed by a scheming railroad executive (Kevin Dunn), the pair are assisted by a competent but overwhelmed yardmaster (Rosario Dawson) and by a savvy federal official (Kevin Corrigan). Bolstered by adept performances and by the amusing asides in Mark Bomback's script, director Tony Scott crafts a diverting entertainment solidly founded on its main characters' heroic selflessness and incorporating themes supportive of marriage and family life. A few scenes of graphic injury, about a dozen uses of profanity, at least one instance of the F-word, frequent crude or crass language. Spanish titles option. The A-III -- adults. (PG-13) (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment; also available on Blu-ray) 2010
These movies have been evaluated for artistic merit and moral suitability by the media reviewing division of Catholic News Service. The reviews include the CNS rating, the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and a brief synopsis of the movie.
The classifications are as follows:
A-I -- general patronage;
A-II -- adults and adolescents;
A-III -- adults;
L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O -- morally offensive.
Note: Some movies previously were designated A-IV. Older films with this classification should be regarded as classified L.