There are a few hidden gems in this week’s DVD releases.
“THE CLIENT LIST: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON,” GRADE B-MINUS: Jennifer Love Hewitt plays a woman who goes to work at a Texas massage parlor, a job the single mom takes out of necessity when her husband leaves her. The series is the continuation of the 2010 made-for-cable movie that earned Hewitt a Golden Globe nomination. Hewitt is likable enough as the central figure, and she gets good acting support from Cybill Shepherd and Loretta Devine. All three actors are comfortable with the subject matter and soap-opera elements of the story.
“PHINEAS & FERB: PERRY FILES ANIMAL AGENTS,” GRADE B: A fun animated series that follows Perry the Platypus — better known as Agent P — as he and his fellow creatures battle the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. As if the two hours of adventures wasn’t enough, the DVD comes with a spy kit.
“THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE,” GRADE A: Geraldine McEwan (“Agatha Christie’s Marple”) shines in the British series based on the novel by Muriel Spark. Miss Brodie is devoted to her students at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls in Edinburgh, Scotland, and has made it her mission to give them an appreciation for art and culture. She also pushes them to be as independent as she is, much to the dismay of the headmistress. It is a beautiful and masterfully acted production.
“AFRICA,” GRADE A: The latest massive project from the Discovery Channel and the BBC offers a stunning look at the continent in this six-part series. It’s narrated by Sir David Attenborough. The series offers a magnificently photographed glimpse at Africa’s extremes from animal life to climate.
ALSO NEW ON DVD:
“GIRLS AGAINST BOYS”: Tormented college student reaches her breaking point.
“HOLY MOTORS”: Leos Carax blends monster movie with musical.
“CHASING MAVERICKS”: Real story of Jay Moriarty’s efforts to surf the Mavericks.