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Published: 3/24/2011

'Stand by Me' celebrates 25 years

BY DOUG NYE
McCLATCHY-TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

A classic coming-of-age tale, Stand By Me, and an adventure thriller, The Tourist, lead this week's list on new Blu-ray titles.

Directed by Rob Reiner, Stand By Me (Sony, 1986, $24.95) follows the journey of four young friends during the Labor Day weekend of 1959. Based on the novella The Body by Stephen King, the film sees the four boys set out to find the remains of a missing teenager outside the fictional small town of Castle Rock, Ore.

The story is narrated by writer Gordie LaChance (Richard Dreyfuss), with Will Wheaton playing young Gordie. The film also stars Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman, River Phoenix, and Jerry O'Connell.

During their two-day search for the body, the four boys sneak smokes, cuss because they think it's cool, and tell tall tales, but they also form an everlasting bond. When they face a tough obstacle they surprise themselves by confronting it.

The film's title comes from the Ben E. King song, which sets the mood for the story. Among the extras is a new documentary 25 Years Later, which reunites Reiner, Wheaton, and Feldman. Highly recommended.

The Tourist (Sony, 2010, $34.95) stars Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in tale of romance and danger that unfolds in Venice, Italy, and Paris. That makes for some spectacular high-def scenery.

Depp plays Frank, an American who takes a trip to Europe to forget a broken romance. While there, he encounters the mysterious Elise (Jolie), who is being trailed by the French police. Frank soon finds himself involved in more than just a love affair.

Among the extras are two featurettes, A Gala Affair and Bringing Glamour Back, and an outtake reel. Includes standard DVD copy of the film. Recommended.

Other Blu-ray releases:

Yogi Bear (Warner Brothers, 2010, $35.99): It's great family fun as Yogi and Boo Boo fight to save Jellystone Park from being sold. Even Ranger Smith teams up with them to try to keep their home. Dan Aykroyd supplies the voice of Yogi and Justin Timberlake is the voice of Boo Boo. Includes standard DVD version. Also available in 3D combo pack at $44.95.

How Do You Know (Sony, 2010, $34.95): Reese Witherspoon headlines a fine cast in this very enjoyable romantic comedy. She plays Lisa who, after her life takes an unexpected turn, begins an affair with major league baseball player Matty (Owen Wilson). Then she meets businessman George (Paul Rudd), who is having problems with the law, and his father (Jack Nicholson). Surprisingly, the meeting turns out to be a positive experience.

Firebreather (Warner Brothers, 2010, $28.99): This CGI movie from the Cartoon Network follows the adventures of 16-year-old Duncan who is half-human and half-Kaiju -- a race of ancient, powerful creatures. It's not hard to spot Duncan because he has orange skin and would rather eat coal than sandwiches.

Scary Movie 4 (Vivendi, 2010, $19.97): Cindy (Anna Faris) and Brenda (Regina Hall) are back to help clueless Tom (Craig Bierko) save the planet from an alien invasion. Shaq O'Neal and Dr. Phil make cameos. Among the films spoofed are War of the Worlds, Saw, and The Grudge.

The Venture Bros. Complete Season 4 (Warner Brothers, 2010, $39.99): Part of the Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, this series follows the wacky adventures of the Venture family. Heading the group is Dr. Venture, who tries to get help from his goofy sons Hank and Dean. There is also their their bodyguard, Brock Samson.



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