“The Amazing Spider-man” (PG-13) — With a new cast and new director, the story of Spider-man starts over from the beginning. It seems we did this not so long ago — with the spider bite and gradual realization of responsibility. However, this new take on the Webslinger packs more emotional punch and has a different edge to it. This new Spider Saga is less colorful, cartoony and campy.
Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) plays Peter Parker, who’s on a journey to discover what happened to the parents he never knew. What he finds instead is a radioactive spider and The Lizard, a creepy enemy never before seen in a Spider-man movie.
“Arthur Christmas” (PG) — This animated feature from England has enough heart and visual grandeur to get anyone hyped up for Christmas. Santa has two sons; Steve (voiced by Hugh Laury), the tough-as-nails Christmas commando; and Arthur (James Macavoy), a clumsy little guy with funny voice intonations. When a present for one deserving child is left behind, it’s up to Arthur and Grandsanta to make the delivery in time for Christmas morning.
This is the first major computer-animated production from Aardman Animations, the studio famous for “Wallace and Gromit.” Regardless of how you handle British humor, “Arthur Christmas” is cheerful and warm. There are some wicked humorists behind the scenes, but Arthur’s finished product is as bright and cheery as a star on a tree.
“Your Sister’s Sister” (R) — Jack (Mark Duplass) is mourning the loss of his brother when he makes a scene at a memorial. His friend Iris (Emily Blunt) sends him to an old family cabin in the Pacific Northwest to sort things out. Jack finds Iris’ sister is already at the cabin, drinking after a big breakup. Jack and Hannah have a one-night stand, and a perfect love triangle forms when Iris shows up the next morning. What is it with cabins adjacent to water that always makes people have heart-to-heart talks and face their inner wants? This movie is part melodrama, part romcom, but certainly interesting and heartfelt.
“Rashomon” (Criterion Collection) — This 1951 film from celebrated director Akira Kurosawa is often mimicked for its inventive storytelling. In feudal Japan, local authorities try to figure out how a samurai was killed while walking through the woods with his wife. The story is told through the testimony given by each of the witnesses. The stories don’t match up, but certain details seem to stick out.
“Call the Midwife: Season One”
“Law & Order: The Eleventh Year”
“Entourage: The Complete Series” [Blu-ray]
“Christmas With Danny Kaye”
“Regular Show: Best DVD In the World (At This Moment In Time) ”
“The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Season One”
© 2012 King Features Synd., Inc.