DVD reviews: “The Bank Job,” “Shutter,” “Penelope,” “College Road Trip”

Statham stars in successful “Bank Job”

No, you haven’t seen so many robbery films that “The Bank Job” will seem like just another heist movie. It’s not. Out this week, the entertaining take on a real 1971 London robbery — well-documented in the extras — threads through government cover-ups and gangster shenanigans.

Plot-heavy and character-light, the complicated, fictionalized story scampers at a caperlike pace.

Director Roger Donaldson’s saga is bolstered by whiskery action star Jason Statham as leader of the second-rate crooks who plan the theft. It’s good escapism.

Just be prepared for a run of violence in the homestretch.

Extras: Extended scenes; making-of short; short on the real theft; digital, downloadable copy on second disc.

Trippy photos

The best thing about “Shutter,” an all-too-familiar ghost film, is a slick extra that teaches how to create a spirit photo in less than four minutes, a trick everyone should know.

In the movie, a ghostly white blur appears in a newly married couple’s photos after they accidentally hit a woman in the road with their car. Her body vanishes. They have travel plans. So it goes.

Grumpy hubby (Joshua Jackson) starts a new job in Japan as a fashion photographer. Hence, the “Shutter” title, rather than the more accurate “Bummer.”

While he works, his loving wife (Rachael Taylor) sees the weird woman in subway windows, gets jumpy and decides to investigate.

The film’s second half focuses on the mystery and is an upgrade on the first half; don’t mistake that as a recommendation.

Extras: Solid bunch about the film, spirits, spirit photography; alternate scenes; more.

Nose shtick

Christina Ricci plays the vulnerable, reclusive title character in “Penelope,” a contemporary fable about a girl born with a pig snout for a nose because of a family curse.

The way to lift the curse is to marry an aristocrat, a problem since her blueblood suitors find her so repugnant that most leap through glass windows in fear.

And that’s the rub: Ricci’s still cute as a button despite the prosthetic proboscis, so it’s nearly impossible to suspend disbelief, and the suitors’ exaggerated fright-and-flight response looks ridiculous.

Produced by Reese Witherspoon, who takes a supporting role, the fairy tale is sweet despite its ungainliness.

Catherine O’Hara plays Penelope’s high-strung mom. James McAvoy (“Wanted”) is a disheveled, nice-guy gambler who’s paid by one of the paparazzi (Peter Dinklage) to court Penelope and snap her picture.

Though the storytelling’s clumsy, the film is still family-friendly because of Ricci’s affability.

Extras: Making-of short.

Bad trip

Martin Lawrence plays an overly protective control-freak father who insists on chaperoning his daughter (Raven-Symone) on a “College Road Trip” to choose her new school.

Despite a likable cast — the begging pig’s great — the film peaks at moderately amusing and cliched, valleys at uniquely stupid and cliched. There are mostly valleys.

There’s also plenty of mugging, teenage girls shrieking and upbeat background music. Chunks of comedy are mean-spirited, surprising given the Disney brand.

The movie grows less appealing as it goes on — except for scenes with Donny Osmond in a self-parody as a giddy Up With People-ish dad.

Extras: OK gag reel highlighted by Osmond’s goofs; commentary; palatable, fan-oriented Raven-Symone video diary that serves as a making-of short; music video; deleted and alternate scenes.

Also on DVD

“Asylum”: Six college freshmen land in a new dorm that was formally a mental institution run by a demented psychiatrists with a thing for lobotomies.

“Roxy Hunter and the Secret of the Shaman”: Kid-oriented caper with preteen sleuth.

“Steel Trap”: Gory horror in a high-rise where a masked killer stalks five pseudo celebs during a private party on New Year’s Eve. (Been there.)

“Step Up 2 the Streets”: High-energy freestyle dance competitions.

“Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding”: Adrian Grenier (“Entourage”) and Mila Kunis (“That ’70s Show”) star in an adaptation of the long-running audience-participation off-Broadway satire about wedding craziness.

“Trapped Ashes”: Seven strangers must tell terrifying personal stories to escape a “House of Horrors” trap; different directors for each tale, including Ken Russell and Joe Dante.

“Voice”: High school student hears voice of dead best friend in intense ghost story.

“The Year My Parents Went on Vacation”: Brazilian coming-of-age tale of 12-year-old adjusting to life after his militant, left-wing parents go underground.


“Beau Brummell: This Charming Man”
“Best of MANswers: Season One’s Top 25 Manswers”
“Birds of Prey” (complete series, about Batgirl and her offspring
“Dallas: The Complete Ninth Season”
“Eureka: Season Two”
“Evening Shade, Season One” (good Burt Reynolds sitcom)
“Reno 911! The Complete Fifth Season: Uncensored”
“Robbie Coltrane: Incredible Britain” (travels with Robbie)
“Saving Grace, Season 1”
“Swamp Thing: The Series, Vol. 2.”

Coming soon to DVD

Aug. 5: “Nim’s Island”
Aug. 26: “Heroes: Season 2”

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