New DVD releases Tuesday, March 3, range from the continuation of a popular film series to a film that produced an Oscar-nominated performance.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1,” Grade B: Director Francis Lawrence , the man behind “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, “ continues to show an even-handed approach to both the emotional and big-action scenes. The main thing is that he is smart enough to boldly display the impressive work Jennifer Lawrence does from start to mid-finish.
It has one inherent problem that even Lawrence can’t fix. The finale is presented in two parts, with the wrap-up a later this year. This structure leaves the first part lacking as the action comes to an abrupt ending.
Movie making is all about the money, but this division of a finale creates a sense of frustration that lingers between the parts.
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The DVD will hit stories Friday, March 6 .
“Outlander: Season 1 – Volume 1,” Grade A-: The cable series spans the genres of romance, science fiction, history and adventure as it follows Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe ), a married British combat nurse in 1945 who mysteriously falls back through time to 1743 Scotland.
She becomes torn between her husband Frank Randall (Tobias Menzies ) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan ), a Scottish warrior who comes to her rescue.
This is a beautifully written, filmed and acted production that brings to life the novels by Diana Gabaldon .
“Foxcatcher,” Grade C: Except for an oddly interesting performance by Oscar-nominated Steve Carell , this is the slow-moving story of two brothers from Palo Alto who, during the late 1980s, become wrestling champs and the pawns in the life of multi-millionaire John du Pont’s life.
Director Bennett Miller becomes too involved with the physicality of wrestling when he should have been dealing with a script that never fully embraces the insanity of the true life events.
Also new on DVD Tuesday
• “Transporter TV Series: Season 1”: British ex-commando Frank Martin (Chris Vance ) is a high-stakes courier.
• “Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast”: A fable creature comes to Pixie Hollow.
• “Victori: The Truth Just Can’t Be One Thing”: Father, son work together to bring attention to long art career.
• “Longmire: Season 3’: Includes all 10 episodes in the cable series starring Robert Taylor.
• “Believe Me”: Four college seniors set out to scam good-hearted churchgoers.
• “Beginner’s Bible”: Animated introduction to the Bible for children.
• “Da Vinci's Demons Season 2”: Florence is thrown into chaos in the wake of the Pazzi conspiracy.
• “A Place to Call Home: Season 1”: Australian period drama full of secrets and passion.
• “Lalaloopsy: Festival of Sugary Treats”: Lalaloopsy friends are back in their sweetest movie yet.
• “To Write Love on Her Arms”: Young woman battling depression learns value of friendship.
• “Drumline: A New Beat”: Alexandra Shipp stars in this sequel.
• “Hill Street Blues: Season Four”: Cop drama from Stephen Bochco .
• “The Captive”: Man must unravel the mystery of his daughter’s disappearance.
• “Bubble Guppies: Fin-Tastic Collection”: Includes six underwater learning adventures.
• “PAW Patrol: Marshall and Chase On the Case!”: Eight rescue missions are featured.
• “Let’s Kill Ward’s Wife”: Buddies must help when a friends wife ends up dead. Amy Acker stars.
• “Life Partners”: Friendship is tested by a new love. Gillian Jacobs stars.
• “Blacula/Scream, Blacula, Scream”: Double feature featuring the ‘70s movies.
• “The Better Angels”: Examination of the early life of Abraham Lincoln.
• “The Dog Who Saved Easter”: Zeus’ daycare is put in jeopardy by a rival business.
• “Kiss Me Kate”: Restored version of the 1953 Cole Porter musical.
• “Innocence”: Tragic event haunts student. Sophie Curtis stars.
• “Understanding Art: Baroque & Rococo”: Documentary that looks at two influential art periods.
• “Champions: New England Patriots”: Look at the Patriots win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
• “Sesame Street: The Best of Elmo 3”: It’s a trip down memory lane with Elmo.