The highlight of Tuesday, Nov. 17, new DVD releases is a set of animated films that are worth your time and attention. But there’s also a movie based on a TV show that misses.
“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” Grade ☆: As a spy movie, there is some solid action and the 1960s fashions look sharp. The problem is director Guy Ritchie spends more time setting the proper visual mood and not enough time with the story of an American and Russian spy work together.
The whole concept of a secret spy organization established so well in the TV series has been dismissed. Instead, the movie looks at the bickering efforts of Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) and Illya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) to stop an uninteresting villain. Cavill channels the charm of the character, as played by Robert Vaughn. Hammer doesn’t play the role nearly as good, as played by David McCallum.
If you are a fan of the TV series, avoid the movie like the plague. The connection between the TV show and film is so thin you will almost miss it.
“Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki,” Grade ☆☆☆☆: This is the first time that all 11 of the feature-length films by Miyazaki has been packaged in one set. Along with the movies, are a 1972 TV pilot directed by Miyazaki, three episodes from the anime series “Little Samurai” and a commemorative booklet.
The set is worth owning because of the films, which include “Castle in the Sky,” “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke” and “The Wind Rises.”
Also new on Nov. 17
▪ “We Are Your Friends”: Aspiring DJ gets mentored by older DJ. Zac Efron stars.
▪ “Crumbs”: Collector picks up Michael Jackson memorabilia.
▪ “Art of the Heist”: Documentary on high profile art thefts.
▪ “Jimmy’s Hall”: Film is based on the story of Irish activist Jimmy Gralton.
▪ “A Horse Tale”: Family tries to save their farm. Charisma Carpenter stars.
▪ “Santa’s Little Helper”: Comedy starring WWE’s Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, WWE Diva Paige and AnnaLynne McCord.
▪ “ ‘Tis the Season for Love”: A return home for a woman (Sarah Lancaster) isn’t the homecoming she expected.
▪ “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies: Extended Edition”: Includes 20 minutes of footage that was originally cut from the film.
▪ “E.O. Wilson - Of Ants and Men”: Chronicles the life of the noted biologist and author.
▪ “Troll/Troll 2”: The campy horror films are available on one DVD.
▪ “Dark Film Mysteries”: Set includes a collection of film noir movies, including “Woman on the Run” and “The Stranger.”
▪ “Undiscovered Hatti with Jose Andres”: A look at the country beyond the areas hit by the 2010 earthquake.
▪ “Wild Planet 3D Collection”: John Hurt narrates this natural history series.
▪ “Empire”: BBC documentary that follows the rise of the British empire.
▪ “Sgt. Bilko/The Phil Silvers Show: The Final Season”: Bilko and his platoon get transferred to Camp Fremont.
▪ “Swim Little Fish Swim”: There’s a struggle between artistic integrity and capitalism.
▪ “Mary Tyler Moore: A Celebration”: Betty White, Ed Asner and numerous other actors are interviewed about working with Moore.
▪ “Huevos: Little Rooster’s Egg-cellent Adventure”: Jon Heder and Jason Mewes provide voices for this animated barnyard comedy.
▪ “Ice Sculpture Christmas”: Only hope for a woman to become a chef is through a carving competition. Rachel Boston stars.
▪ “Home from Home: Chronicle of a Vision”: The Simon family tries to survive brutal winters, stave off hunger and fight despotism in 19th century Germany.