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DVD reviews: 'Jurassic 3,' 'Rush Hour 2'

By Paul Chambers
Special to CNN

(CNN) -- If you like action, then you'll love this week's new releases at the video store. Dinosaurs are on the hunt for those tasty humans again in "Jurassic Park 3." Chris Tucker and martial arts star Jackie Chan keep things lively with their chopsocky comedy in "Rush Hour 2." And David Lynch serves up a taste of 19th-century London in "The Elephant Man."

Grab your remotes, and let's track down those new DVDs. All ratings are on a 10-point scale.

"Jurassic Park 3" (2001) (Universal Studios Home Video)

Steven Spielberg passes the directing baton to Joe Johnston in this action-filled trip to the fictional Isla Sorna, breeding ground to the ferocious dinosaurs of Jurassic Park. Johnston has effectively worked with Spielberg numerous times, including on "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and he doesn't disappoint here. Gone is the "gee whiz, how did they make those dinosaurs?" sense of wonder, replaced by unrelenting action from start to finish. Sam Neill and Laura Dern return from the original film (thankfully they missed the sub-par second installment). There's a reason this film earned an impressive $180 million this summer: It's a great popcorn movie.

DVD extras: If you buy "JP3" before December 31, Universal is giving away (by mail) a second DVD free, though from a fairly unexciting list of 16 or so titles. An impressive array of special features including dinosaur turntables, which give you a 3-D look at the creatures in the film. There are plenty of featurettes about how the dinosaurs were created. Make sure you get the widescreen version of the film. My review disc was the full screen version, and I felt like I was really missing a lot of what I saw on the theater screen. It kind of makes me wish they would abandon the fullscreen format.

Rating: 7

Also:
Review: 'Jurassic Park 3 - A thrilling ride

"Rush Hour 2" (2001) (New Line Home Entertainment)

Rarely does a sequel outdo its predecessor, but such is the case with "Rush Hour 2." Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker are much more at ease with each other in this funny and action-filled adventure. The film opens with Tucker (LAPD detective James Carter) vacationing with Chan (Chief Inspector Lee) in Hong Kong. When someone blows up an office at the U.S. Embassy, our heroes are immediately on the trail of the bad guy (John Lone). The action scenes in "Rush Hour 2" are well choreographed and the jokes, unlike the first film, are actually funny. These guys are worth a second look.

DVD extras: New Line has been really pushing its new Infinifilm format, and it works to great effect on an action-comedy like this. By pre-selecting the Infinifilm format, you get opportunities during the movie to take little side trips to deleted scenes, related interviews and other material. It's sort of like "Pop-Up Video." Most of the detours are less than a minute in length, and the deleted scenes are placed exactly where they would have been in the film. By the way, some very funny stuff wound up on the cutting room floor.

Rating: 6

Also:
Review: 'Rush Hour 2' breezy fun

"The Elephant Man" (1980) (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Nominated for eight Academy Awards, this David Lynch film went winless on Oscar night. What a shame. John Hurt's performance, under all those prosthetics, was just amazing. Anthony Hopkins was excellent as the London pathologist who rescues the horribly disfigured John Merrick from a travelling freak show. Lynch ("Eraserhead") brilliantly re-creates 19th-century London in glorious black and white. The supporting actors -- Freddie Jones, Wendy Hiller and John Gielgud -- are marvelous.

DVD extras: An all-new documentary with interviews with John Hurt, Mel Brooks (the behind-the-scenes producer), and make-up artist Christopher Tucker. There's also a narrated photo gallery of interest. Film is offered in Dolby Digital Surround, English 5.1 Surround and French mono. There are also English subtitles for the hearing impaired.

Rating: 10

New this week on DVD and VHS:

"The Score" (Paramount Home Entertainment)
"Call Me Claus" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment)
"Druids" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment)
"Following" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment)
"The Mists of Avalon" (Warner Home Video)
"4 Dogs Playing Poker" (Warner Home Video)
"The Basket" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Hedwig and the Angry Inch" (New Line Home Entertainment)

New this week on VHS only:
"Total Yoga: The Flow Series" (Warner Home Video)

New this week on DVD only: "Bach: Greatest Organ Works Volume 2" (Pioneer Entertainment)
"Casualties of War" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment)
"Medium Cool" (Paramount Home Entertainment)
"Sahara" (Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment)
"Fritz the Cat" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"The Lover" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"The Handmaid's Tale" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"The Indian Runner" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"The Party" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Inherit the Wind" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"The Defiant Ones" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Dodsworth" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Look Back in Anger" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Seperate Tables" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Topkapi" (MGM Home Entertainment)
"Witness for the Prosecution" (MGM Home Entertainment)



 
 
 
 



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