COUCH THEATER — DVD PREVIEWS

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PICKS OF THE WEEK

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2” (PG-13) — The saga comes to a whimpering end with this final installment of the Twilight series. Bella (Kristen Stewart) starts her new life as a vampire — red-eyed and somehow pastier than before. Her half-vampire baby is growing up alarmingly fast. The Volturi — the vampire elite — have decreed that the super-child must be destroyed, because nothing is more dangerous than an immortal child. Naturally, this all builds to the final showdown between goofy-looking villains and one-dimensional side characters.

If you’re not already indoctrinated into the Twilight Club, there’s no point in diving in now. Even the climactic battle falls limp. The romance has lost what little pulse it had.

“The Master” (R) — After serving in the Navy in World War II, Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is filled with mental anguish. Quell crashes a party on a boat owned by Lancaster Dodd (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) — a charismatic intellectual who believes he’s discovered the scientific formula for happiness and enlightenment. Dodd sees Quell as a man who has become a beast and lost his way. As Dodd tries to save Quell, we see a more sinister side to his way of thinking.

This dense psycho-drama is propped up by the powerful performance of the two leads. Hoffman is both caring and selfish — a man who thinks he can be man’s savior. It’s not a rental for a quiet evening of entertainment, but it’s as engaging and intense as it is heavy and smart.

“Chasing Mavericks” (PG) — Based on a true story, this movie follows Jay Moriarty as he navigates teenhood in California and chases his dream of surfing the wildest waves in the ocean. Mavericks are enormous rogue waves that develop off the coast of Santa Cruz, and Moriarty wants to ride them. Seeing that they’re all deadly and powerful forces of nature, the teen wisely enlists the help of veteran surfer and next-door neighbor, Frosty Hesson (Gerard Butler). It’s a happy movie, if a tad forgettable.

“Holy Motors” (R) — Enchanting and bizarre, engaging and difficult to follow, this movie takes the audience along with Monsieur Oscar, a strange man who seems to change faces and roles at a whim. He’s an accordion player, a bum, an overbearing family man, a futuristic erotic motion-capture actor, a leprechaun and so much more. He assumes these different identities in a flash by changing in a limousine that carts him around Paris. Don’t expect it to make much sense on first viewing.

TV RELEASES

“Law & Order: The Twelfth Year”

“The Client List: The Complete First Season”

“Rocko’s Modern Life: The Complete Series”

“Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2. Vol. 1”

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Rise of the Turtles”

“Garrow’s Law: The Complete Collection”

(c) 2013 King Features Synd., Inc.

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