This week's DVD selections range from a classic fairytale to another fast-driving outing in a popular film franchise.
"Cinderella," 4 stars: When the "Sleeping Beauty" story was reworked into the movie "Maleficent," the fairytale was changed to give a juicier role to Angelina Jolie. The move muddled the story and made it unfamiliar.
The new version of "Cinderella" makes no such mistake. It is an enchanting version of the familiar story of a young beauty, friendly mice and a slightly wacky Fairy Godmother. Staying loyal to the 1950 Disney animated production makes this new version bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful.
Because the audience knows everything that's going to happen in this story, the film can't bank on surprise and intrigue to hold the attention of the audience.
Under the guidance of director Kenneth Branagh the film banks on a fairytale setting, stunning costumes, perfect casting and a gorgeous soundtrack by Patrick Doyle. Even when the story is familiar, these elements are so spellbinding that the film feels fresh.
"Furious 7," 3.5 stars: The fast-driving series starring Vin Diesel continues. The only fair way to judge the latest sequel in the fast-driving franchise is to look at the action scenes.
The emotional moments are just speed bumps in the fast lane that is the "Fast and Furious" films. Using that guideline, "Furious 7" is the best one yet. Director James Wan ("Saw") shows he can create more than just horror films by staging huge stunts that pull the viewer into the seat for the ride. He accomplishes this through clever filming, where the camera often tumbles and turns with the action.
ALSO NEW ON DVD SEPT. 15
"Love & Mercy": Portrait of Brian Wilson.
"American Experience: Walt Disney": A look at the life of the man who created Mickey Mouse and an entertainment empire.
"The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Eighth Season": Includes all 24 episodes, plus four featurettes.
"Empire: Season 1": Follows the head of a music empire whose three sons and ex-wife all battle for his throne.
"Chanukah and Passover": An examination of the holidays as shown through puppets and animation.
"Monkey Kingdom": Life is an adventure for Maya.
"Happy Valley: Season One": Sarah Lancashire plays a West Yorkshire police sergeant dealing with the death of her daughter.
"Midsomer Murders, Series 17": The secrets of the villages in Midsomer County are revealed in four feature-length films.
"The Overnight": A couple's efforts to make new friends turns into bizarre event. Adam Scott stars.
"Clarence: Dust Buddies": Animated stories of a spirited, optimistic boy sees the best in all things.
"Little Glory": Teen must drop out of school to raise his little sister after his alcoholic father dies.
"Pups United": Gear up for a four-legged animated adventure.
"CSI: The Final Season": Includes the 18 investigations from the last year of the CBS crime drama.
"Sisters: Season One and Two": Drama starring Swoosie Kurtz, Sela Ward and Julianne Phillips.
"All American High Revisited": Keva Rosenfeld's film about what became of a group of 17 year olds in 1984.
"NCIS: The Best of Abby": The quirky forensic scientist is featured in 12 special episodes.
"The Jinx": Look at the life of New York real estate scion Robert Durst and the string of deaths that follow in his footsteps.
"Saban's Power Rangers: Trickster Treat": The super group's biggest foes cause problems on Halloween.
"Sleepy Hollow: Season 2": Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) and Police Lt. Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) face even greater danger as sinister forces in Sleepy Hollow gain momentum.
"Masterpiece: Arthur & George": Martin Clunes stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
"Miss Marple: The Complete Collection": Exploits of the Agatha Christie character can be seen in 12 films starring Joan Hickson.
"The Carol Burnett Show: The Lost Episodes": Includes selected episodes from the five seasons of the variety show.
"CSI: Cyber: The First Season": Patricia Arquette stars in the latest "CSI" spinoff.
"Care Bears: Mystery in Care-A-Lot": Care Bears are spreading Halloween cheer.
"Peanuts: Emmy Honored Collection": Includes 11 Charlie Brown specials.
(Email Rick Bentley at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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