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New on DVD

'The Tourist,' 'How Do You Know,' 'Skyline' and 'Yogi Bear.'

March 20, 2011|By Noel Murray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in "The Tourist."
Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in "The Tourist." (Peter Mountain, Columbia…)

The Tourist

Columbia, $28.95; Blu-ray, $34.95/$38.96

When "The Tourist" received three Golden Globe nominations in the ceremony's comedy category late last year, there was considerable chortling, since by most accounts the spy caper send-up, largely panned by critics, wasn't exactly laugh-out-loud funny. Truth be told, though, the movie's actually not bad. Angelina Jolie plays a fugitive femme fatale who enlists a man she meets on a train (Johnny Depp) in her efforts to dodge both a band of international criminals and Scotland Yard. The sight of these two bona fide movie stars running side by side through Europe is enjoyable enough to distract from the film's ludicrous plot twists and too-restrained direction by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. This is a continental thriller in the tradition of "Charade," and though it could've been a little lighter, it's far more deft than its reputation. The DVD and Blu-ray include featurettes and a Henckel von Donnersmarck commentary.

How Do You Know

Columbia, $28.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

A real change of pace from the usual predictable romantic comedy, writer-director James L. Brooks' "How Do You Know" was too shaggy for the big screen (where it bombed, big time) but is a delight on home video. Reese Witherspoon stars as a recently out-of-work Olympic softball player who moves in with a pro baseball reliever (Owen Wilson) at the same time that she's being pursued by a kindly sad-sack (Paul Rudd). There's no real story here; just likable, funny people dancing around each other's feelings, trying to figure out how to connect and be happy. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes, bloopers, featurettes and a Brooks/Wilson commentary.

Skyline

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

For those who think "Cloverfield" would've been a better movie if it had ditched the "found footage" gimmick and told its story straight, now there's "Skyline," another street-level alien-invasion thriller that copies much of "Cloverfield's" plot, right down to the opening party scene. Without the shaky-cam you-are-there-isms, this particular story of young city-dwellers scrambling to safety lacks the immediacy of its predecessor, but effects-minded directors Greg and Colin Strause squeeze a lot of juice out of their low budget. Their movie's not groundbreaking, but it's plenty exciting. The "Skyline" DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and two commentary tracks.

Yogi Bear

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99/$44.98

Food-stealing park-dweller Yogi Bear has been entertaining children with his lowbrow slapstick antics since 1961, so there's no reason to get too up in arms about the brainlessness of the new half-CGI/half-live-action feature version. Adults will likely find it tedious, and kids won't care much about whether Yogi, Boo-Boo and Ranger Smith are able to save Jellystone Park from being sold to a lumber company. But the wee ones will enjoy watching the bears water ski and knock stuff over. They also ought to enjoy the DVD and Blu-ray, which come with a Looney Tunes short, a game and an interactive tour of the park.

And...

Devolved

(MPI, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98)

The Times of Harvey Milk

(Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95)

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