Health & Family

Silly ‘Journey' is made tolerable in 3-D format

Selected home-video releases:

Brendan Fraser solidifies his position as unofficial mole of Hollywood, burrowing even deeper into the planet than he has with his three “Mummy” adventures in “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3-D.”

This time, Fraser does a modern twist on Jules Verne's sci-fi classic, playing a scientist who follows his missing brother's trail to Earth's core along with his nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and an Icelandic guide (Anita Briem). The slight and silly movie amounted to little more than a cinematic roller-coaster ride, but it was made somewhat tolerable by the digital technology employed to render the tale in 3-D. The DVD and Blu-ray releases have both 2-D and 3-D versions, along with four pairs of 3-D glasses. Fraser and director Eric Brevig chime in with commentary, and the movie has three “making-of” featurettes.

‘Kit Kittredge: An American Girl'

The American Girl empire of books, dolls, clothes and other merchandise comes to the big-screen with this Depression-era tale whose upbeat message may help young fans through today's hard economic times, when their parents might be unable to afford more of the books, dolls, clothes, etc. Abigail Breslin stars as a budding journalist who befriends hobos and tries to crack a household crime among the boarders her mother takes in after her dad loses the family business. The skimpy DVD and Blu-ray releases have just the movie and a collection of trailers accessible through DVD players, though the DVD has deleted scenes and a featurette that can be viewed on your computer.

TV on DVD

“Mystery Science Theater: 20th Anniversary Edition”: Human hosts Joel Hodgson and Mike Nelson, plus their robot pals, return in an encore of the show about men and machines lost in space who spend their time trashing awful movies with hilarious commentary. Packaged in a tin case, the four-disc set has four episodes from the series that debuted in 1988, with the gang mouthing off about the B-movies “First Spaceship on Venus,” “Laserblast,” “Werewolf” and “Future War.” The set comes with cast and crew interviews and a figurine of Crow the robot.

“The 4400: The Complete Series”: A tale of people who vanished over the course of a century only to reappear all at once, just as they were when they left. The 15-disc set has all 42 episodes, plus deleted footage and commentary.

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