PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Source Code” (PG-13) — After a mysterious bomber destroys a train full of innocent people, Capt. Coulter Stevens (Jake Gyllenhaal) has to find out who did it and how before the next attack. The title refers to the top-secret sci-fi technology that is being used to place Stevens in the mind of one of the deceased passengers — to relive the last eight minutes of the victim’s life until he can discover the bomber’s identity.
I know. It sounds a little hokey. However, “Source Code” is an intense thriller that respects the strain of suspending that much disbelief, and by focusing on the action, the drama and the characters, it wields the goofy premise surprisingly well.
It’s not a perfect thriller. Some of the subplots feel like dead ends, and the hero’s goals occasionally are a little foggy. But those who stick with it and relish the excitement and suspense will be pleased, or else Jake Gyllenhaal will be forced to go back in time and do it again until he gets it right.
“My Dog Tulip” (NR) — This animated movie plumbs the emotional depths of coming to love a dog — not a talking dog mind you, a normal animated dog. The embarrassment, aggravation and veterinarian visits are all part of the experience, and “My Dog Tulip” doesn’t leave out any of it.
The movie is based on the 1956 memoir by J.R. Ackerly and brings a touching look at the 14-year relationship between a middle-aged Englishman and the adopted Alsatian that befriends him. Dog lovers and anglophiles will be charmed, children likely will be bored — the movie isn’t made with kids in mind.
Even at it’s worst, “My Dog Tulip” is like listening to somebody yammer on about their dog — but adorably so, and with pleasing hand-drawn visuals.
“The Blues Brothers” [Blu-ray] (R) — This is probably the most-loved musical among people who would otherwise have nothing to do with musicals. It’s just that cool and infectious. The 1980 cult-ruler stars John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd as tight-lipped ministers of soul music to the greater Chicago area.
The film boasts a full cast of all-star musicians making their way on set for a scene or a song, including Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and James Brown. Stuntwork, one-liners and comic mischief of the highest order are present throughout the film, which is peppered with frenzied musical sequences with deep Motown and Golden-Age-of-Soul roots. Those who have not been welcomed into the flock would do well to experience it for the first time with Blu-ray quality sound.
“Stargate Atlantis: Complete Series Gift Set” [Blu-ray]
“Dennis The Menace: Season Two”
“Conan The Adventurer: Season One”
“The Herculoids: The Complete Series”
“Best of Cheaters, Vol. 3”
“American Metal: Classic Car Commercials”
© 2011 King Features Synd., Inc.