New DVD releases this week include ‘The Lunchbox,’ ‘The Unknown Known’

Adam Levine knows pop stars-turned-actors are greeted suspiciously. And he’s hesitant to make any grandiose declarations about suddenly transforming into an actor. But he can’t help himself.

Say this for Melissa McCarthy: A couple of years into her stardom, and not all that far past the dust-up over critics' deriding her comic reliance on the sight gag that is her physique, she puts it all out there in the opening moments of "Tammy," a star vehicle she co-wrote for herself.

Keira Knightley’s singing voice, a little too girlish, a bit too breathy yet somehow still lovely, is “Begin Again” at its essence. This film, in which a fledgling singer-songwriter (Knightley) and a foundering record executive (Mark Ruffalo) pair up to make an album, can be picked apart easily. But it shouldn’t be. It is too warm and engaging, too filled with catchy tunes and the wonderful Ruffalo, for that.

Sincere and spirited, the PG-rated “Earth to Echo” evokes those 1980s kid-adventure tales such as “E.T.” and “Stand By Me.” Except the visuals are jerkier and the tug on the heartstrings lighter.

"Transformers: Age of Extinction" is ruling the box office.

New DVD releases this week include ‘Enemy,’ ‘300 Rise of an Empire’ and ‘Winter’s Tale’

Amalric, Seigner shine in the two-person comedy/mystery directed by Polanski. It plays tonight at the French Film Festival and also can be rented via video on demand

The story sounds apocryphal, but Michael Bay has told it often enough that now it has slipped into something of legend.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

Tony-winning actor/singer John Lloyd Young, born at Mather AFB, also seemingly was born to play Frankie Valli

Sequels, as “22 Jump Street” joked, are always “the same, only worse.”

Complex comedy is king at the 13th Sacramento French Film Festival, running Friday through Sunday and next weekend at the Crest Theatre.

Don’t take Eric’s car. Don’t take Eric’s car. Don’t take Eric’s … you get the idea.

About midway through “Jersey Boys,” a feeling settles in that this story might be bigger than it seems, that this saga of a pop music group is also an important American story, on a scale with previous big American stories directed by Clint Eastwood. The Four Seasons’ music starts to sound, not like disparate hits, but like a whole slice of Americana. And we react in the same way we might to the music of Glenn Miller or Artie Shaw, with the sense that this is how people once were and what it was like.

Action, explosions and indelible comic-book characters helped make “Marvel’s The Avengers,” written and directed by Joss Whedon, wildly successful when it hit theaters in 2012, ultimately becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time.

The latest in a line of documentaries critiquing the American diet, “Fed Up” quickly zeroes in on what would appear to be its villain. According to the film, added sugar, in all forms – including not just the demonized high-fructose corn syrup, but also more natural-sounding throwbacks such as “pure” cane sugar – is almost singlehandedly responsible for what one interview subject calls the obesity tsunami sweeping the nation, as well as the sharp rise in diabetes.

New DVD releases this week include ‘Jack Ryan,’ ‘Non-Stop’

The documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” opening at the Tower, is one of those great lost-masterpiece movies, a worthy addition to a cinematic canon that includes Terry Gilliam’s “Lost in La Mancha,” about his failed attempt to make “Don Quixote” and “It’s All True,” about Orson Welles’ misbegotten South America project of the same name.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

The charms of “How to Train Your Dragon 2” are thinned a bit for its sequel, a cartoon with better animation and action, if fewer jokes. And if there’s one thing these sweet-message/great flying sequence movies don’t need, it’s fewer jokes.

You’re pretty much going to have to see “22 Jump Street” twice – just to catch all the jokes the roars of laughter make you miss.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

New DVD releases this week include ‘RoboCop,’ ‘Son of God’

The teen romance in which girl meets boy in a cancer-support group sometimes tugs too hard at the heartstrings, but its stars always are genuine.

The actors excel, but the romantic comedy in which they play dueling prep-school teachers never reaches their level

Focus Features has released the first trailer for “Kill the Messenger,” in which Modesto native and two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner plays late Carmichael resident and Capitol investigative reporter Gary Webb. The movie is scheduled for release in October.

Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West” lopes along, parceling out gags over its two-hour run time and giving the film a welcome, unusually relaxed air for a raunchy comedy.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

The day after the premiere of their new comedy, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” – and an after-party that rolled on until 4 a.m. – Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron were each recovering in their own ways. He slept in and ate a grilled ham and cheese sandwich; she went to yoga and sipped green tea.

Maybe it’s too soon to say the tide has shifted definitively. But it’s certainly been a unique time for fairy-tale villains.

Ivan Locke has a cold.

New DVD release this week include ‘Endless Love,’ ‘Gambit’ and “Saving Grace B. Jones’

“Palo Alto” (opening at the Varsity in Davis) is based on the short-story collection of the same name by James Franco, but nothing in the story feels specific to that city, or emblematic of it. It depicts high school kids, but they could be from anywhere. They’re not too rich, and they’re not too poor. They’re just a little well-off, but in the way that most people are in movies. You can’t have a good party scene in a house with less than a dozen rooms.

Casual viewers will feel left out of film that returns most of the franchise’s actors to the screen

CANNES, France – Years ago at a film festival, Jessica Chastain saw a short by Ned Benson and chased him down to say she wanted to work with him.

This week’s video releases, on DVD and Blu-ray, include “About last night,” “The monuments men” and “3 days to kill.”

These days, Adam Sandler is a bottle of beer that’s lost all its bubbles – cheap, mass-produced domestic beer.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers.

Favreau’s return to indie cinema allows audience to hang out with its characters and its food

As unlikely as it sounds in the era of “Twilight” and its defanged imitators, Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive” proves there are still new sights and sounds and meanings to be derived from the conceit of characters who rarely sleep, never die and who feast on the blood of others.

‘Iron Man’ director went smaller but thorough in prepping film about a top restaurant chef who finds new creative life on a food truck

“Give Us This Day,” the documentary about the Grant Union High School football team’s difficult 2012 season, sold out its screening last month at the Sacramento International Film Festival. But the film screens again Friday (May 16) evening and twice on Sunday (May 18) at the high school’s auditorium (1400 Grand Ave., Sacramento).

DVD previews for this week include ‘Her,’ ‘I, Frankenstein,’ ‘That Awkward Moment’

Melodramatic and grounded in history, “Belle” is enough of an old-fashioned entertainment that it could have been made in classic Hollywood. Well, except for one little thing that would have probably given old studio suits apoplexy: The movie’s prettily flouncing title character is biracial.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

The new movie’s creature, made magnificent by technology, nonetheless evokes the monster we know.

“The Wizard of Oz,” 75 this year, has not slowed down a bit in inspiring other creative works. You can’t swing a cat without hitting a flying monkey – on screens small and big and on stage.

Fioravante is not, by his own admission, a good-looking man. But in “Fading Gigolo,” a story about a reluctant male escort, he’s played by the tall, angular and quirkily constructed John Turturro, which makes him a statuesque, even striking figure. And the character – a part-time florist who agrees, almost too easily, to pimp himself out to lonely women – also proves to be surprisingly good at his job.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

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