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New on DVD: 'Cars 2,' 'Crazy, Stupid, Love'

A scene from the movie of "Cars 2," now out on DVD. Fast cars and slow love lives are featured in this week's DVD releases. - "Cars 2," Grade A-minus: Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) compete in the World Grand Prix...

Scene from 'Cars 2'
A scene from the movie of "Cars 2," now out on DVD.

A scene from the movie of "Cars 2," now out on DVD.

Fast cars and slow love lives are featured in this week's DVD releases.

- "Cars 2," Grade A-minus: Lightning McQueen (Owen Wilson) and Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) compete in the World Grand Prix.

"Cars 2" is a high-octane version of the original. The sweet nature of back road Americana has been replaced by a high-tech spy thriller set against a global racing background. If James Bond had really been an Aston Martin, this would have been the movie for him.

Although the nostalgic feeling of "Cars" has given way to action and adventure in "Cars 2," the story still works. It's just different and should be appreciated that way.

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Because of the new direction, the role of Mater has gone from supporting player to central focus. The down-home sweetness of the character made Mater the breakout of the first film and co-directors John Lasseter and Brad Lewis take advantage of that popularity.

The only misfire is a plot that gets jumbled at the end.

- "Crazy, Stupid, Love," Grade D-plus: Billed as a comedy, this dour and depressing story about divorce, adultery, betrayal and separation never balances the angst with lighter moments.

Steve Carell plays a perfect husband and father who gets blindsided by his wife of nearly 25 years (Julianne Moore) when she asks for a divorce. He meets a suave guy at a bar (Ryan Gosling) who sets out to transform Carell into a love machine. But he plays the role with such a continuous hangdog expression that euthanasia seems the best course.

A better title for this film would have been "Dreary, Bland Love."

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Also new on DVD this week:

"The Santa Incident": Two secret service agents control the fate of Christmas.

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"The Grateful Dead Movie": The film co-directed by Jerry Garcia was released in 1977.

"Warren Miller's Wintervention": Experts offer help for skiing and snowboarding problems.

"Without a Home": Documentary on Los Angeles street people.

"Water for Elephants": A veterinary student and a circus performer are brought together through their compassion for an elephant. Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson star.

"The Nutcracker: The Untold Story": A girl goes on a magical adventure with her new nutcracker.

"Californication: The Fourth Season": David Duchovny plays a burned out writer with a healthy appetite for sex.

"Rawhide: The Fourth Season, Volume 2": Clint Eastwood stars in the TV western.

"Trespass": A husband and wife are held for ransom. Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage star.

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"The Essential Daffy Duck Collection": Includes 21 cartoons, three that have never been on DVD.

"Rough Cut -- Woodworking with Tommy Mac: Season 2": Thirteen furniture projects are featured.

"Bye-Bye, Pacifier! Big Kid Stories with Elmo": Helps kids deal with big events like giving up a pacifier or a first haircut.

"Magic Trip": The LSD-charged trip across the country by Ken Kesey, author of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

"It's a Wonderful Life": Now available as a Blu-ray gift set.

"Happy Holidays! Four Movie Collection": Includes: "Trading Places," "Last Holiday," "Surviving Christmas" and "All I Want for Christmas."

"Tom Cruise Collection": Among the films in the set are "Days of Thunder" and "Top Gun."

"Brideshead Revisited: 30th Anniversary Edition": Jeremy Irons and Sir John Gielgud star.

"Voltron: The Final Battle": Eight digitally remastered episodes of the 1980s TV series.

"Victorious: Season One, Volume Two": Includes the last nine episodes of the first season.

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©2011 The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Related Topics: MOVIES
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