Julie & Julia
Sony, $28.96; Blu-ray, $39.95
The "Julia" half of Nora Ephron's comedy is absolute- ly wonderful, casting Meryl Streep as Julia Child and showing how the beloved TV chef developed an interest in French cooking (and a side interest in publishing). The "Julie" half stars Amy Adams as Julie Powell, a blogger who gained international attention for her attempt to cook every recipe in Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Ephron seems less enthused by Powell's story, perhaps because the young writer -- despite the best efforts of Adams -- comes off as weak-willed and self-absorbed, especially in contrast to the can-do Child. Still, it's a funny, heartwarming movie, with an unmistakable undertone of bitterness, anchored by two strong performances. The DVD includes an Ephron commentary track and a featurette; the Blu-ray is appropriately Julia-heavy, with tours of her kitchen, reminiscences from friends and cooking lessons.
Louie Psihoyos' documentary is both an exposé of the horrors of dolphin-fishing and a blow-by-blow account of Psihoyos' attempt to sneak cameras and microphones into the secret cove where the waters run red with dolphin blood. While firing off facts and arguments about our over-fished oceans, Psihoyos is also staging a slick caper film, in which he assembles a group of like-minded individuals and embarks on a dangerous mission. The result is nail-biting to watch, if perhaps a little too eager to turn a complicated real-world problem into a battle of good versus evil. The DVD adds deleted scenes, a Psihoyos commentary and an additional short documentary about the rising mercury levels in the world's seafood.