Uncredited / Disney/Marvel Studios

Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow star in “Iron Man 3.”

DVD previews for this week

Published: Thursday, Sep. 26, 2013 - 12:00 am

“Iron Man 3” (PG-13, 129 minutes, Disney): This action film seems designed less as an art object or visual entertainment than a full-body assault on the senses. A frantic, occasionally funny, finally enervating barrage of special effects, explosive set pieces, sardonic one-liners and notional human emotions, this branch of the Marvel franchise tree feels brittle and over-extended enough to snap off entirely. From its anxious protagonist and the battered metal sheaths he dons to save the world to the clattering, fiery mayhem that ensues with metronomic predictability, “Iron Man 3” is less a movie than a final war whoop let loose before utter exhaustion sets in. Which isn’t to say that this installment doesn’t have its moments. Taking the reins from series director Jon Favreau, Shane Black has enlisted a fine ensemble to bring a beloved chapter of Tony Stark’s saga to life, including a crafty Ben Kingsley as villain-du-jour the Mandarin. Contains sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence throughout, and for brief suggestive content.

“Unfinished Song” (PG-13. 93 minutes, The Weinstein Co./Anchor Bay): Paul Andrew Williams, the British writer-director of “Unfinished Song,” uses every cheap trick at his disposal to elicit emotions from the audience, including cancer, a strained father-son relationship and a choir serenading a dying woman with “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” while standing in the rain. But thank the two leads, Terence Stamp and Vanessa Redgrave, for making them work. The formidably talented duo inject so much humanity into their characters that all of the other overly sentimental elements seem utterly reasonable. Contains language and sexual references.

Also: “Room 237,” “In the House,” “Fill the Void” (Israel),” “Redemption,” “Scenic Route,” “Anything Is Possible” (starring piano prodigy Ethan Bortnick), “Ashes,” “Barabbas,” “Blood of Redemption” and “Dear Mom, Love Cher” “

Television series: “Modern Family Season Four,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – The 14th Year,” “Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series,” “Hannibal: Season One,” “Family Guy Volume 11, Season 12,” “2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season,” “Hawaii Five-0 – The Third Season,” “Foyle’s War Set 7” (Acorn Media), “War and Peace” (U.S. debut of British miniseries that aired in Belgium and France in 2007, Acorn Media).

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