“Man of Steel,” Grade B-minus: The film hits many of the major points in the Superman saga: He was born on Krypton, raised by Kansas parents, falls for spunky Lois Lane and fights a threat that could wipe out Earth.
These same points were touched on with far more energy and passion with the Christopher Reeve movies of the late ’70s and early ’80s, or through the more sensitive take in the 2006 relaunch, “Superman Returns,” with Brandon Routh playing the DC Comics hero.
This familiar transformation of the comic book character to the big screen is the film’s biggest piece of kryptonite. The movie travels little new ground – except for an expanded stay on Krypton and a darker tone – and is just a competent retelling of the tale. There’s nothing super about it.
“Turbo,” Grade C: A snail gains enough speed to enter the Indy 500.
The tale of a snail that becomes so supercharged he gets to compete in a famous car race is a victim of bad timing, uninspired animation and voice talents that range from perfect to perfectly awful.
There’s nothing wrong with the animation. Except for the computer-generated Indy cars, there’s nothing visually exciting. The simple look of snails doesn’t give the animators a lot to work with. There are some shell differences, but overall the snails look similarly bland.
And, for a movie about a snail, there’s no sense of size. Director David Soren needed to show what the world looks like from a snail’s point of view.
“Dexter: The Complete Final Season,” Grade B-minus: Although the cable series about a serial killer who works for the Miami police went out on a flat note, the series is still very strong. That’s reason enough to pick up this set, which includes the final 12 episodes of the often bone-chilling Showtime series.
“Burning Love: Complete First Season”: TV comedy that pokes fun at romance reality shows.
“Dallas: The Complete Second Season”: Includes the final episodes with the late Larry Hagman.
“Ip Man: The Final Fight”: Legendary teacher and Wing Chun grandmaster returns to the screen.
“Combat!: The Complete Series”: Vic Morrow starts in TV’s longest-running World War II series (152 episodes).
“Maz Jobrani: I Come in Peace”: Founding member of Axis of Evil Comedy Tour stars in comedy special.
“The Day Kennedy Died”: Interviews and rarely seen footage look at the hours leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
“Paradise”: Academy Award winner Diablo Cody directs this tale of innocence lost and paradise found.
“The Carol Burnett Show: Christmas With Carol”: Includes three hours of holiday comedy from the variety show.
“Power Rangers Zero: Volume 1”: Power Rangers battle King Mondo and Queen Machina.
“MADtv: Season Four”: Features 25 episodes of the comedy series starring Nicole Sullivan.
“The Paradise”: Young girl falls in love with the charms of the modern world while working in Britain’s first department store.
“The Capture of Grizzly Adams”: The mountain man must clear himself from a wrongful murder charge.
“Silk: Series One”: BBC series about the battle to be part of the Queen’s Counsel.
“The Naughty List”: Two young elves sneak off for some playtime.
“Mumfie’s White Christmas”: Mumfie, Scarecrow and Pinkey ask Santa for a white Christmas.
“Home Again”: Three strangers are forced to start their lives over on the unforgiving streets of Jamaica.
“NFL Rush Zone: Season of the Guardians, Volume 1”: Past and present NFL players and coaches voice animated personas.
“Barney: Perfectly Purple”: It’s rainbows of sharing, caring and imagination with the T-Rex and his dino pals.
“The Best of Dance Moms: The Championship Dances”: Reality show about an elite group of young dancers and their demanding teacher.
“The Message”: Tale of the conflict between leaders in 7th century Mecca and Muhammad.
“Chief Wilson”: Features six stories, including two episodes from the new television season of the animated show.
“Prince Avalanche”: Odd couple tale that explores some of life’s biggest questions.
“Ambushed”: Thriller about the law’s battle to keep order. Dolph Lundgren stars.
“Stan Lee’s Superhumans – Season Two”: Stan Lee’s guide through the history of people with extraordinary powers.
“Power Rangers: Seasons 8-12”: Includes “Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue,” “Power Rangers Time Force,” “Power Rangers Wild Force,” “Power Rangers Ninja Storm” and “Power Rangers Dino Thunder.”
“The Lion of the Desert”: Recounts the 1929 battle between Benito Mussolini and Bedouin patriots.
Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee