New to DVD this week: an historical drama, Reese Witherspoon and animation

The block of movies new to DVD this week range from an historical drama from World War II to a romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon to an adaptation of a beloved children’s book by a great Japanese animation artist.

The interesting thing about the movies as they come to DVD is that the range is often greater than what you see at the movie theater. Since DVDs are really anyone’s game, movie studios do not seem to fear releasing their DVD at the same time as another huge movie that is also coming to DVD on the same day. As such, the variety is often greater than what you see at the same time in the theaters. That certainly seems to be the case this week as the list of movies new to DVD covers the spectrum.

Here are the movies new to DVD as of May 22, 2012:

The Secret World of Arietty - Will Arnett, Bridgit Mendler, David Henrie. From the Japanese anime movie house that brought such animated classics as Princess Mononoke and Ponyo, comes this critically acclaimed film. It is an adaptation of the popular children’s book called The Borrowers, it imagines a world where tiny people live among the much larger people. The catch is that hey come out and night and take things from the larger people that they need to survive. Arietty is the teenage daughter of two of those tiny people and she is soon discovered by a teenage boy who lives in the same house. They become friends, but that friendship soon threatens the lives of not just Arietty, but her entire family and her people. Rated G.

This Means War - Reese Witherspoon, Tom Hardy, Chris Pine. A comedy that tries to mix spy movies with romance. Witherspoon plays a woman looking for Mr. Right. She soon ends up dating characters played by Pine and Hardy. What she does not know is that they work for rival spy organizations that happen to, for some reason, share the same building. When they discover that they are dating the same woman, they turn all of the resources of their respective organizations to spy on each other and try to make each other’s lives miserable. At the same time, they are also trying to be actual spies and save the country from terrorism. The movie was savaged by critics when it was released in theaters. Rated PG-13.

The Woman in Black - Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer. Radcliffe makes his first film that is not in anyway related to the Harry Potter series in this gothic horror movie. He plays a man who is a young lawyer who gets involved in a case involving a strange house. The house is haunted and local lore is that it is haunted by a woman looking for her lost children. She also does not take kindly to any man who deems to live in her home. Filled with moody atmospherics and classic haunted house cliches, this is one for the horror connoisseur. Rated PG-13.

Red Tails - Cuba Gooding, Jr., Terrence Howard, Daniela Ruah. The story of the Tuskegee Air Men as brought to the big screen by George Lucas. This was a passion project for Lucas, who has been trying to bring the story of the Tuskegee flyers to the big screen for some time now. The story follows several of the men as they overcome racism and end up becoming some of the most celebrated fighter pilots in the American army during World War Two. Filled with dazzling special effects and aerial battles, as well. Rated PG-13.

Certified Copy - Juliette Binoche, William Shimell, Jean-Claude Carriere. A small foreign film that many critics were divided over when it came to theaters. It stars Binoche and Shimell star as two people who meet in Tuscany and begin a very long and in-depth discussion about relationships. Are they actually a married couple trying to sort out their lives? Are they just two strangers who meet and then decide to have this strange conversation? The movie, directed by Iranian writer and filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, never really makes that clear. Some critics loved the story and mystery of the couple, while others found it cloying and annoying. Not Rated.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile.com

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