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Last updated: August 30. 2013 3:13PM - 79 Views
RICK BENTLEY The Fresno Bee



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A classic story tops this week’s new DVD releases:


“THE GREAT GATSBY,” GRADE C: Leonardo DiCaprio stars in the latest version of F. Scott Fitzgerald novel that cast a harsh light on the 1920s, showing that no matter how opulent the facade what lies behind is a decaying dream.


The same can be said of Baz Luhrmann’s big-screen adaptation. The director gets so obsessed with visual fancy that he fails to reach the heart of the story.


Because the adaptation of Fitzgerald’s work by Luhrmann and Craig Pearce concentrates on the love story, it loses the social commentary that makes the book such a classic.


“PAIN AND GAIN,” GRADE D-MINUS: The film is based on the true story of Miami bodybuilders who committed a long list of crimes, including torture and murder, in the mid-’90s. Director Michael Bay and screenwriters Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely are proud of how they took this true story and turned it into a dark comedy.


At least they can see the humor.


Had it been a fictional story, it would have been a lot easier to accept the absurdity of the crimes and actions.


Also new on DVD this week:


“AT ANY PRICE”: A son rejects the family business to race cars. Dennis Quaid stars.


“ONLINE”: A man discovers changing a person’s life with the click of a button can have consequences.


“STRANDED”: Crew of a U.S. military moon base is cut off from Earth. Christian Slater stars.


“A COMPANY MAN”: A hitman tries to escape his bloody past.


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