Digital Breakdown: Along came a ‘Spiderwick’

The number of fantasy novels getting swallowed up by Hollywood is increasing at a feverish pace since the success of the first “Chronicles of Narnia” film, based on C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.”

Many are a poor man’s “Narnia” yet “The Spiderwick Chronicles” is an exception, although the plot sounds similar. After their parents’ divorce and mom moves into a spooky mansion, twin brothers discover a book about ogres, fairies and other mystical creatures. You guessed it — they are real and begin to cause strange happenings

It’s best to see this movie if you’ve read Holly Black’s book, on which it’s based; previous knowledge may help in understanding the film. The two-disc special edition DVD includes seven big featurettes, deleted scenes, TV spots and trailers. Price: $39.99. Rent or buy: Rent.

10,000 B.C.: Seeing the early days of man is always a trippy experience — whether briefly in “2001: A Space Odyssey” or in the CGI-friendly “10,000 B.C.,” which makes the cavemen from “Quest for Fire” look like single-celled organisms. When an evil tribe of cavemen attacks his tribe, a hero hunter must fulfill his destiny of saving his people. Along the way, he battles a saber-toothed tiger using mammoths as weapons and transportation, forms an army and finds a lost civilization.

If you can get past the fact that the cavemen speak in sentences, among other things, this could be worth a rental. The DVD has deleted scenes; the Blu-ray version has two additional featurettes on the making of the film. Price: $28.98 to $35.98. Rent or buy: Rent.

CHARLIE BARTLETT: “Charlie Bartlett” is the story of a high school kid who achieves popularity by selling prescription drugs and offering advice to students who can’t seem to survive the experience of high school without being medicated. Where does he get the pills? From his own shrink, who also gives him advice that he filters down to his own “patients.”

Unfortunately, “Bartlett” doesn’t deliver on any message, nor does it conform to what might be called to a “reality” where a high school student can get away with murder if he is clever enough. The DVD has three cool commentaries with the director, actors and the crew, along with additional restroom confessionals, music video and deleted scenes. Price: $27.98. Rent or buy: Rent.

EARLY EDITION — SEASON ONE: Time travel is a favorite theme for television creators, from “Star Trek” to the excellent but ill-fated 2007 series “Journeyman.” Twelve years ago, an interesting show on CBS called “Early Edition” was about a commodities trader (Kyle Chandler, “Friday Night Lights”) who finds out that he has been granted a unique gift: He gets tomorrow’s newspaper today. With his special knowledge, he goes on journeys in order to right some of the wrongs he sees in his early-edition paper. There aren’t special features on the DVD, but fans will be happy that the good show finally made it on disk. Price: $49.99. Rent or buy: Buy, if a fan.

XANADU — MAGICAL MUSICAL EDITION: Back in the late 1970s and ’80s, Olivia Newton John was queen of musical movies. After the huge success with “Grease,” “Xanadu” followed; it was filled with the singing, dancing and ’80s magic that so defined the era. Back on DVD, this set has new special features including a retrospective and the full soundtrack on a second disc. Price: $19.98 Rent or buy: Buy, if you don’t own already.

Other DVDs making their debut Tuesday: “The Tattooist,” “My Boys: The Complete First Season,” “The Hammer,” “Persepolis,” “The Wig” and “Definitely, Maybe.”

artsentertainmentOther Arts

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

An empty space where a Shared Spaces parklet once stood outside Aquitaine Wine Bistro on Church Street on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. The parklet was recently destroyed in a car crash. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Cars and parklets don’t mix: SF searches for solutions in wake of accidents

Andrew Fidelman got the call in the middle of the night from… Continue reading

Supervisor Dean Preston speaks about rent relief at a meeting of Faith in Action, a nonprofit serving low-income residents. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
How to apply for post-pandemic rent relief in San Francisco and California

Reyna Aguilar has amassed $20,000 in rent debt since losing her restaurant… Continue reading

Transit-only lanes on Mission Street have reduced travel times by 20 percent during the pandemic, transit officials say. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Pandemic experiments morph into long-term solutions for SF transit agency

The streets of San Francisco became real-time laboratories for The City’s public… Continue reading

NO CONNECTION TO SERVER:
Unable to connect to GPS server ‘blackpress.newsengin.com’
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Owners of Levi’s Plaza on The Embarcadero say gas boilers on the property will be replaced by electric and solar sources in the next few years. (Shutterstock)
Big plans for clean power at Levi’s Plaza

Transition to net zero carbon in step with S.F.’s environmental goals

Most Read