IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

DVD reviews: ‘Journey to the Center’

Also new: ‘The 4400: The Complete Series,’ season 5 of ‘The L Word’
/ Source: The Associated Press

“Journey to the Center of the Earth”Brendan Fraser solidifies his position as unofficial mole of Hollywood, burrowing even deeper into the planet than he has with his three “Mummy” adventures. This time, Fraser does a modern twist on Jules Verne’s sci-fi classic, playing a scientist who follows his missing brother’s trail to Earth’s core along with his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and an Icelandic guide (Anita Briem). The slight and silly movie amounted to little more than a cinematic roller-coaster ride, but it was made somewhat tolerable by the digital technology employed to render the tale in 3-D. The DVD and Blu-ray releases have both 2-D and 3-D versions, along with four pairs of 3-D glasses. Fraser and director Eric Brevig chime in with commentary, and the movie is accompanied by three making-of featurettes. DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99. (Warner Bros.) Read the review.

“Kit Kittredge: An American Girl”

Abigail Breslin

The American Girl empire of books, dolls, clothes and other merchandise comes to the big-screen with this Depression-era tale whose upbeat message may help young fans through today’s hard economic times, when their parents might be unable to afford more of the books, dolls, clothes, etc. Abigail Breslin stars as a budding journalist who befriends hobos and tries to crack a household crime among the boarders her mother takes in after her dad loses the family business. The skimpy DVD and Blu-ray releases have just the movie and a collection of trailers accessible through DVD players, though the DVD has deleted scenes and a featurette that can be viewed on your computer. DVD, $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99. (Warner Bros.) Read the review.

“Tinker Bell”Peter Pan’s little fairy friend finds her voice and gets her own back-story in this new straight-to-video animated tale. Taking place ages before Peter and Wendy’s adventures in Never Land in the classic Disney cartoon, the movie spins the early history of Tinker Bell (voiced by Mae Whitman) as she disrupts the natural order of her pixie realm by trying to branch out beyond her own innate fairy talents. The voice cast also includes America Ferrera, Raven-Symone, Lucy Liu, Kristin Chenoweth and Anjelica Huston. The DVD and Blu-ray releases have deleted scenes, a handful of featurettes and four DVD-ROM computer games. DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray, $34.99. (Disney)

“Abbott & Costello: The Complete Universal Pictures Collection”Fans of classic Hollywood slapstick can get a huge dose with this mammoth 15-disc boxed set packing 28 comedies from straightman Bud Abbott and zany lunkhead Lou Costello, ranging from 1940’s “One Night in the Tropics” to 1955’s “Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy.” Other highlights include the duo’s World War II-era military comedies “In the Navy,” “Keep ’Em Flying” and “Buck Privates,” along with its postwar sequel “Buck Privates Come Home”; the supernatural comedy “The Time of Their Lives,” with Costello as a ghost haunting a country mansion; and their series of encounters with creatures and stars from the Universal horror lineup such as Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi and Lon Chaney Jr. Among the extras are a book about the team, commentary from film historians and a disc of background material. DVD set, $119.98. (Universal)

“The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection”Spanky, Alfalfa, Darla, Buckwheat and the rest of producer Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” kids return in an eight-disc set packing 80 short comedies made between 1929-38. The series centers on a mischievous band of urchins, whose adventures were released in theaters as “Our Gang” shorts and were renamed “The Little Rascals” when they began airing on television in the 1950s (the set does not include shorts made after Roach sold the franchise to MGM in 1938). The package includes three silent “Our Gang” shorts from 1927-28, a photo booklet and segments examining racial issues in the series, plus recollections from actors who starred in the series. DVD set, $89.95. (Genius)

TV on DVD:

“Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Complete Series” — All 150 episodes from the six seasons of Jane Seymour’s series about a doctor in the Old West are gathered in a 42-disc set, along with two feature-length TV movies that followed the 1990s show. The set has an episode of the TV series “Biography” on Seymour, commentary with cast members and a handful of featurettes. DVD set, $229.95. (A&E)

“The L Word: The Complete Fifth Season” — Lesbians in love resume their romantic drama in the series featuring Jennifer Beals, Mia Kirshner, Marlee Matlin and Pam Grier among a circle of women in Los Angeles. The four-disc set has year five’s 12 episodes. DVD set, $62.99. (Paramount)

“Mystery Science Theater: 20th Anniversary Edition” — Human hosts Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson, plus their robot pals, return in an encore of the show about men and machines lost in space who spend their time trashing awful movies with hilarious commentary. Packaged in a tin case, the four-disc set has four episodes from the series that debuted in 1988, with the gang mouthing off about the B-movies “First Spaceship on Venus,” “Laserblast,” “Werewolf” and “Future War.” The set comes with cast and crew interviews and a figurine of Crow the robot. DVD set, $69.99. (Shout)

“Sanford and Son,” “Good Times,” “NewsRadio” — Three sitcoms arrive in their entirety: Redd Foxx’s “Sanford and Son” in an 18-disc set with all 136 episodes; “Good Times,” with Esther Rolle, Jimmie Walker and John Amos, in a 17-disc package with all 133 episodes; and “NewsRadio,” featuring Dave Foley, Maura Tierney, Phil Hartman and Andy Dick, in a 15-disc set with 97 episodes. DVD sets, $59.95 each. (Sony)

“The 4400: The Complete Series” — The sci-fi saga spins the tale of people who vanished over the course of a century only to reappear all at once, just as they were when they left. The 15-disc set has all 42 episodes, plus deleted footage and commentary. DVD set, $108.99. (Paramount)

“Dark Shadows: The Beginning — DVD Collection 6” — A four-disc set packs the final 31 episodes of the show’s early days, before the horror soap hit its stride with the arrival of vampire Barnabas Collins. The set also includes a restored version of the first episode featuring Barnabas. DVD set, $59.98. (MPI)