This week's new DVD releases range from a holiday treat to a pair of top-notch TV series.
ARTHUR CHRISTMAS, GRADE B-PLUS: Santa's son must save Christmas.
The animated film is not a perfect gift, but it does offer enough holiday cheer and silly fun to make it more entertaining than 10 lords a-leaping. It helps that the film also has a warm message about how tradition should never be sacrificed for efficiency's sake.
CALL THE MIDWIFE: SEASON ONE, GRADE A-MINUS: This is the original version of the series that aired in Britain before coming to America via public television. The series, based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth, is a beautiful, heart-touching and occasionally funny look at a young midwife working in one of the poorest sections of London during the 1950s. The young woman's eyes are opened to the real world when she must deal with everything from a woman on her 25th pregnancy to a 15-year-old pregnant prostitute.
ENTOURAGE: THE COMPLETE SERIES, GRADE A-MINUS: This HBO series, based loosely on the association of executive producer and series creator Doug Ellin with actor Mark Wahlberg, is a must-own for fans of the show. If you aren't a fan, this is a great way to power-watch your way through a series that offers a look behind the curtain of the life of a successful Hollywood actor.
Other new DVD releases this week:
Sunset Boulevard: Billy Wilder's film debuts on Blu-ray.
FIRE WITH FIRE: Josh Duhamel and Bruce Willis star.
SUPERNATURAL ACTIVITY: Spoof of horror-film genre.