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Published: Friday, March 29, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

DVD releases this week

  • Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis as Mary Todd Lincoln and The President in "Lincoln."

    David James / DreamWorks II

    Sally Field and Daniel Day-Lewis as Mary Todd Lincoln and The President in "Lincoln."

"Lincoln"
Steven Spielberg directs this drama about the 16th president's battle to pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.
It's a little-told story in the Lincoln oeuvre despite how much this effort defined his legacy.
The task of portraying the ordinary man with a strong moral core goes to British actor Daniel Day-Lewis, whose makeup makes him look like he posed for the $5 bill.
Grade: B-
"Parental Guidance"
Billy Crystal plays Artie Decker, the veteran voice of the Fresno Grizzlies.
After a life-changing moment, Decker and his wife, Diane (Bette Midler), head to Atlanta to babysit their three grandchildren while their parents (Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott) are away for a week.
Crystal and Midler have such a nice chemistry that it's easy to believe their characters have been together for decades. Both have good solo moments, but they really are at their best when they are on screen together.
Grade: B
"Les Miserables"
This big-screen version of the musical based on Victor Hugo's book stars Hugh Jackman.
To transform the much-beloved musical from stage to screen, director Tom Hooper had to find a way to maintain -- and amplify -- the emotional power of the original words and music with the trappings of a big-screen production.
His efforts have created a beautiful and moving version of the stage production that's loyal enough to its origins to appease Broadway musical fans, yet is theatrical enough to stand as a feature film release.
Grade: B+
Also new
"This is 40": Two people take a look at their marriage. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann star.
"The Borgias: The Second Season": Jeremy Irons stars in the cable series.
"Star Trek: Enterprise -- the Complete First Season": The first year of the TV series about the early days of the Enterprise is available on Blu-ray.
"Veep: The Complete First Season": Julia Louis-Dreyfus stars in the political comedy.
"Midsomer Murders: Tom Barnaby's Last Cases": Fifteen stand-alone mysteries in the series.
"Shakespeare Uncovered": The stories behind the William Shakespeare's greatest plays.

Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee (Fresno, Calif.)
Story tags » MoviesTelevision

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