New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'The Woman in Black' and More

[caption id="attachment_108135" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="CBS Films"]Woman in Black[/caption]

This week: With the "Harry Potter" franchise behind him, Daniel Radcliffe faces a turn-of-the-century ghost that is killing a small village's children in the horror film "The Woman in Black."

Also new this week are Reese Witherspoon at the center of a Tom Hardy/Chris Pine love sandwich in "This Means War," the World War II drama "Red Tails" and the Blu-ray debut of the animated Japanese classic "Castle in the Sky."

'The Woman in Black'

[caption id="attachment_129059" align="alignright" width="220" caption="CBS Films"]The Woman in Black[/caption]

Box Office: $54 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 65% Fresh

Storyline: Daniel Radcliffe graduates from Hogwarts to star as an Edwardian-era solicitor sent to a remote manor to handle the affairs of its deceased owner. He soon discovers that the villagers believe a ghostly woman in black (hence the title) is killing their children as revenge for her own child being taken from her.

Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain engaging commentary by director James Watkins and writer Jane Goldman as they explain their desire to re-create the feel of classic horror films.

We Say: This old-school ghost story emphasizes creepy atmosphere over the red stuff and will have you jumping out of your seat as Radcliffe explores the dark halls of Eel Marsh House and comes face to face with the titular entity.

'This Means War'

[caption id="attachment_129063" align="alignright" width="220" caption="20th Century Fox"]This Means War DVD[/caption]

Box Office: $55 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 25% Rotten

Storyline: Poor dateless Reese Witherspoon winds up dating two handsome devils -- Chris Pine and Tom Hardy -- who happen to be inseparable buds and deadly CIA operatives. When the guys realize they are falling in love with the same woman, the two use all the tricks of the spy trade to beat the other to winning her heart.

Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray have deleted scenes with optional commentary by director McG.

We Say: This is a sudsy rom-com dressed up as an action movie in an attempt to attract male viewers. Because the cartoonish violence never elicits any sense of real danger, we are left with Witherspoon weighing the faults of Pine ("small Tyrannosaurus hands") and Hardy ("He's British") with her BFF (Chelsea Handler), who helpfully suggests that Witherspoon sleep with both of them. What a dilemma.

'Red Tails'

[caption id="attachment_129064" align="alignright" width="220" caption="20th Century Fox"]Red Tails DVD[/caption]

Box Office: $50 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 36% Rotten

Storyline: Based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen, this war drama stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard as part of a group of African-American World War II pilots who, having been subjected to segregation, are finally called to duty.

Extras! More interesting than the movie itself is a documentary with interviews and stories from the real Tuskegee Airmen that is included on both the DVD and Blu-ray.

We Say: Although there are some nicely shot aerial combat sequences and the film was obviously made with good intentions, "Red Tails" is riddled with groan-inducing dialogue and simplistic good-guy/bad-guy clichés.

'Castle in the Sky' Blu-ray

[caption id="attachment_129067" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Walt Disney Video"]Castle in the Sky Blu-ray[/caption]

Box Office: N/A

Rotten Tomatoes: 94% Fresh

Storyline: In this 1986 animated gem by artist/director Hayao Miyazaki, an orphan girl whose family heirloom allows her to levitate teams up with young boy to find the mythical flying island of Laputa.

Extras! "Castle in the Sky" was the first release by Studio Ghibli, and this Blu-ray debut features a look behind the scenes at the famous Japanese animation studio.

We Say: Miyazaki's fantastical family films never fail to tickle the imagination and take viewers on magical journeys. "Castle in the Sky" is an excellent choice for a Blu-ray upgrade and an argument for the continuing relevance of well-done 2-D animation.

Also New This Week:

The "Lethal Weapon" Collection (Blu-ray)

"Mutant Girls Squad"

"Perfect Sense"

"The Secret World of Arrietty" Blu-ray