DVD Picks & Passes 11.29.2009

The 13th Day (2009)

Night at the Museum:

Battle for the Smithsonian (2009)

Blu-ray: Galaxy Quest (1999)

Blu-ray: The Mask of Zorro (1998)

New this week from Ignatius Press, The 13th Day is the best movie ever made about Fatima and a DVD for virtually every Catholic home. Told in flashback by Sister Lucia writing her memoirs, the film paints an artful, accurate portrait of the 1917 apparitions and miracle of the sun, with vignettes compressed to gem-like clarity in Sister Lucia’s memories.

The DVD comes with a 24-page booklet including essays by Register senior writer Tim Drake, an interview with the directors, Archbishop Sheen’s article “Mary and the Muslims,” and insights from Michael Lacorte of the World Apostolate of Fatima, Father Robert Fox and Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, among other Marian and Fatima-oriented resources. Also included on the disc are a 66-minute feature, “Fatima: Message of Hope for Today,” and the theatrical trailer.

Also new on DVD, Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian, the sequel to the hit 2006 family film (make that broken family film) starring Ben Stiller as a night watchman at a museum in which a magical artifact brings museum exhibits to life. Everything is bigger about the sequel, which moves from New York City’s Natural History Museum to D.C.’s Smithsonian, but what little humanity drove the first film is missing in the sequel, which is all about the artifacts.

Bonus Blu-ray Picks: A couple of enjoyable 1990s’ genre picks new on Blu-ray:

Along with this year’s Star Trek, Galaxy Quest is the perfect film for Trekkers and non-Trekkers to enjoy together. Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman head a great cast in an action-comedy that manages to satirize Trek while paying homage at the same time. The new Blu-ray set, combining the best extras from the original DVD with all the extras from the deluxe edition, along with a new “Galactopedia” pop-up topic track, is the best edition yet.

One of the best action swashbucklers in recent years, The Mask of Zorro is smart and winning entertainment, with a clever script, heartfelt emotions, rousing action and a solid cast, including Anthony Hopkins as an aging Don Diego, Antonio Banderas as a scruffy successor and Catherine Zeta-Jones as Zorro’s daughter and his successor’s love interest. Extras include director commentary, a featurette on “Unmasking Zorro,” deleted and alternate scenes and more. P.S. There’s also a Blu-ray edition pairing the film with its unworthy sequel, The Legend of Zorro. Don’t bother!

CONTENT ADVISORY: The 13th Day: Fleeting infernal imagery; imprisonment and verbal menacing of children. Fine family viewing. Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian: Brief minor profanity and mildly suggestive language; stylized action and slapstick. Galaxy Quest: Action violence; comic drunkenness; some strong language and profanity; mild sexuality. Teens and up. The Mask of Zorro: Much stylized violence; mild innuendo; fleeting rear nudity; a gross-out scene. Teens and up.