The new DVDs released this week are aimed at the young and old.
“Goosebumps”: 3 stars. Director Rob Letterman finds the right tempo of terror for the ghoulish attacks.
A werewolf battle in a supermarket has as many comic turns as scares. The same goes for all of of the other creatures, including a cemetery filled with zombies. The scariest creature is Slappy, a talking ventriloquist dummy voiced by Jack Black. He provides a darkness to the story that lifts the creepiness level.
Darren Lemke’s screenplay has some huge holes (such as an abandoned amusement park that still has electricity), but he manages to give time to many of the classic Stine creatures. Lawn gnomes and poodles will never look the same after this film.
“Downton Abbey: Season 6”: 4 stars. This final season of the first-rate drama is airing on PBS. If you can’t wait to watch the series finale, then this DVD set is your answer.
The season opens in 1925 with a series of crises reflecting the momentous changes that are transforming society. Women’s rights have given Lady Mary and Lady Edith new positions of responsibility: Mary runs the estate and Edith manages the magazine she inherited from Michael Gregson.
The biggest question is whether or not the big houses with large staffs will survive.
The cast includes Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Joanne Froggatt, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Laura Carmichael and Brendan Coyle.
The DVD and Blu-ray feature the original United Kingdom edition, plus 30 minutes of bonus video.
ALSO NEW ON DVD
“A Brilliant Young Mind”: Teenage math prodigy struggles with building relationships.
“Burnt”: Chef tries to redeem himself. Bradley Cooper stars.
“Jesse Stone: Lost in Paradise”: Tom Selleck stars in the latest made-for-television movie in the crime series.
“Chi-Raq”: Group of women organize against the ongoing violence on Chicago’s South Side.
“Assassin”: Exiled assassin (Shu Qi) must choose between love and duty.
“Lidia Celebrates America: Home for the Holidays”: Chef, author and restaurateur Lidia Bastianich looks at holiday traditions.
“Sonny Boy”: Off-beat tale of family love gone berserk.
“Jack’s Back”: James Spader stars in this tale of a modern day Jack the Ripper.
“Naz & Maalik”: Two African-American, Muslim teenagers attract the attention of the FBI.
“Earth’s Natural Wonders”: A look at some of the planet’s most amazing spots shot on five continents.
“Nickelodeon Favorites: Whiskers and Paws”: Furry and fun collection features more than two hours of content.
“Night Will Fall”: A 1945 British documentary detailing World War II German concentration camp atrocities.
“UnReal: Season 1”: Scripted cable series about the behind-the-scenes action of a reality dating show.
“The Facts of Life: Season Eight”: Blair, Natalie, Tootie and Jo say goodbye to their beloved Mrs. G.
“Da Vinci’s Demons: The Complete Third Season”: Conclusion of the historical fantasy series that focuses on a young Leonardo da Vinci.