New on DVD: 'The Hunger Games'
DVD The Hunger Games: Gary Ross' movie version of The Hunger Games obeys the ironclad rule of transforming beloved fantasy fiction into a big-budget film franchise: Do not offend the fans. Like the "Twilight" series, and many of the "Harry Potter" pictures, this is a dutiful adaptation of an imaginative, evocative page turner; it renders the most vivid passages of Suzanne Collins' bestselling novel -- for instance, the attack of the "tracker jackers," a group of deadly wasps -- exactly as you might picture the scenes while reading them. Yet Ross (who previously directed Seabiscuit) serves up images that feel recycled from familiar pop ephemera like Logan's Run, The Fifth Element, or David Bowie in his Ziggy Stardust phase. And the screenplay (which Ross co-wrote with Collins and Billy Ray) ultimately pulls too many punches, softening the novel's core of bitterness and nihilism. The result is well-made and absorbing, but never especially exciting -- a movie that ends up denying the potential of its source material. On 2-disc Blu-ray with ultra-violet digital copy and 2-disc DVD with ultra-violet digital copy.
-- Christopher Kelly
Also new: The Raid: Redemption; Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory; Juan of the Dead; August; Leave It on the Floor; Dexter: The Sixth Season; Glee: The Complete Third Season