Hollywood loves to go retro, but it doesn’t automatically mean period flicks will be winners: Take “We Own the Night,” for example. The movie, which is set in the 1980s, tells the all-too-familiar tale of two brothers at odds on opposite sides of the law — one’s a cop (Mark Wahlberg), the other (Joaquin Phoenix) a nightclub owner who has gotten in league with drug dealers. While the music will take you back in a fun way, the movie doesn’t break ground, especially considering “The Departed” or “L.A. Confidential.” Wahlberg and Robert Duvall (who plays the father) seem to be phoning in their parts. The DVD has audio commentary from director-writer James Gray and two featurettes. Chances are the movie will be re-released. If you really want to buy it, hold off for a set with more special features. Price: $28.95. Rent or buy: Rent.
Let’s examine our Hollywood romantic comedy checklist, shall we? Dedicated, hard-working professional woman with no time for herself? Check. Inherited her niece after sister’s death? Check. Niece is a free spiritwho tries to get aunt to lighten up? Check. Handsome gent comes along and causes strife along with witty sexual tension? Check. While the food in “No Reservations” starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart looks delectable, the formulaic script leaves plenty to be desired. There’s not a lot on the DVD, so this is a rental at best. Price: $28.98. Rent or buy: Rent.
CHARLIE CHAN COLLECTION — VOLUME FOUR
The fourth volume of classic Charlie Chan films features Sidney Toler in the lead role. The set includes "Charlie Chan in Honolulu,” “Charlie Chan in Reno,” “Charlie Chan at Treasure Island” and “Charlie Chan in the City of Darkness.” The extras include audio commentaries from film historians, restoration comparisons and still photography. Price: $49.98. Rent or buy: Buy, if aChan fan.
STANLEY KRAMER FILM COLLECTION
Stanley Kramer produced or directed dozens of excellent films over the course of his career. This collection of five on five discs includes “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Ship of Fools,” “The Wild Ones,” “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T” and “The Member of the Wedding,” all of which have been remastered. The worthy set features bonus material meticulously culled from Kramer’s estate under the watch of his widow, Karen Sharpe Kramer. Price: $59.95. Rent or buy: Buy.
JOAN CRAWFORD COLLECTION — VOLUME 2
This is the second volume of films featuring the screen legend. It includes “A Woman’s Face,” “Flamingo Road,” “Sadie McKee,” “Strange Cargo” and “Torch Song.” Among the special features are vintage radio shows and short subjects, trailers and more. Price: $49.92. Rent or buy: Buy.
BLADE: THE SERIES — THE COMPLETE SERIES
Spike TV tried a decent experiment last year in which it took a successful moviefranchise and tried to make it into a successful TV series. “Blade: The Series” initially hit it off with viewers, but slowly lost its audience, and after 13 episodes it was canceled. The series featured Blade fighting different vampire clans. What’s cool about this set is that it includes too-graphic-for-TV elements. There is more violence, blood and all the good bits that were chopped from the broadcast version. There’s not a lot on the DVD other than the uncut episodes. Price: $39.98 Rent or buy: Rent.