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Published: Thursday, 5/10/2012

DVD REVIEWS

'The Vow' owes its success to Nicholas Sparks

BY RICH HELDENFELS
AKRON BEACON JOURNAL
Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in a scene from ‘The Vow.’ Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum in a scene from ‘The Vow.’
ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

Channing Tatum has been on a nice movie roll in 2012, seeing box-office success with both 21 Jump Street and The Vow.

But he might also want to send a thank-you note to Nicholas Sparks.

While The Vow, which arrived on video Tuesday, was not based on a Sparks novel, at least one Web site listed it among five movies you'd think Sparks had written. (The others were Letters to Juliet, Here on Earth, P.S. I Love You, and Someone Like You, all of which are on video, if you get to feeling Sparks-deprived). And both stars of The Vow, Tatum and Rachel McAdams, have been in Sparks-based movies, Dear John and The Notebook, respectively.

So that connection might help explain the box-office success of The Vow, which took in a healthy and very profitable $124 million at the North American box office. And it will get more money still from the DVD (Sony, $30.99) and Blu-ray ($40.99).

DVD SNIPPETS: Rampart

For those of you tuning in late, the film -- inspired by the true story of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter -- stars Tatum and McAdams as Leo and Paige, a loving couple who are torn asunder when, after a car accident, Paige loses all memory of her marriage and her man. Leo must then try to win her love once more.

The DVD includes a commentary by director Michael Sucsy, a blooper reel, and deleted scenes. The Blu-ray adds three featurettes, including one about how the Carpenters' story was adapted, and a piece about how trauma affects memory.

Speaking of romance, a perennial favorite returns to Blu-ray in the Dirty Dancing Collection package (Lionsgate, $19.99). Since the 1987 Patrick Swayze-Jennifer Grey has been packaged and repackaged, this new set -- timed to coincide with the movie's 25th anniversary -- has added the Blu-ray debut of the 2004 follow-up, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (sometimes known as Dirty Dancing 2).

Nights is a woeful effort, even with the presence of some good actors, Diego Luna and Mad Men's John Slattery. But Dancing remains a powerful brand; extras in the package include promotions for a Facebook game (where you get to build your own Kellerman's resort) and coupons for Skinny Cow snacks. But did they have to proclaim "Nobody Puts Skinny in a Corner?"

The Underworld series of films continues with Underworld: Awakening, even though this was a tepid box-office performer in spite of its offering premium-priced 3-D showings. The video release also includes a 3-D Blu-ray version (Sony, $45.99) as well as a standard DVD ($30.99) and standard Blu-ray ($35.99). There is also a Blu-ray "legacy collection" of the four Underworld movies to date for $75.99.

On the TV side, the NBC series Chuck has ended its run and you can see how it all wrapped up in Chuck: The Complete Fifth and Final Season (Warner, 13 episodes, $39,98 DVD, $49.99 Blu-ray). The Big C, the Laura Linney series, is now in its third season on Showtime, and the second season hits DVD on Tuesday (Sony, 13 episodes, $45.99).

Fans of vintage Doctor Who episodes might want to check out three new sets from BBC Home Entertainment. Nightmare of Eden is a 1979 serial with Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor in the series. Dragonfire (1987) and The Happiness Patrol (1988) showcase Sylvester McCoy, the seventh Doctor. Each set is a single disc retailing for $24.98. All have been remastered and include extras.

Down video road

If you are planning to catch the latest run of Sherlock episodes that began Sunday night on PBS, then you might also want to set aside some money for their video release on May 22 as Sherlock: Season Two (BBC, $29.98 DVD, $39.98 Blu-ray). Three 90-minute Sherlock Holmes adventures are included, along with extras.



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