DVD reviews: “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D,” “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” “Zombie Strippers”

Looking at the world through two-colored glasses

You want escapism, adventure, a chance to go slip-sliding away from worldly woes? Then consider immersing yourself in “Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.”

The disc has a 2-D version on one side, 3-D on the other. Go with the 3-D; once it gets rolling it’s like a water slide through a theme park packed with papier-mache mountains and caves, glow-in-the-dark birdies and the requisite big, toothy T-rex.

Though the Jules Verne-inspired saga targets kids, its appeal is universal despite a simplistic story.

Years ago, our researcher/hero’s (Brendan Fraser doing his Brendan Fraser awkward shtick) brother disappeared on a quest to prove Verne’s novel was true. After our hero discovers clues in his brother’s copy of the book, he enlists his sullen nephew (Josh Hutcherson) and hires an Icelandic guide (Anita Briem) fluid in flirting to see what they can see.

After an “Indiana Jones”-ish mine-car ride through an abandoned mine shaft, the three pull an “Alice in Wonderland” and tumble into the bowels of a brave new world.

There are plot holes aplenty and a couple of rides that get the adrenalin flowing.

The disc comes with four pairs of 3-D glasses. The 3-D version bleeds out much of the color, but it’s the more exciting version.

Extras: Commentary; shorts on dinosaur drool, hollow-Earth theories, Hutcherson, making the film.

A living doll

For a movie based on a doll series and aimed at little girls, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl” is surprisingly entertaining — and topical.

During the Great Depression (the last one), a spunky 9-year-old (wide-eyed, effervescent Abigail Breslin) with optimism skipping through her veins wants to be a journalist.

In her treehouse, she types stories about the growing number of foreclosures (ouch) in her neighborhood, a spree of robberies and lives of two young hobos doing repair work in return for food.

All this while, on the home front, her father (Chris O’Donnell) loses his car dealership and her mother (Julia Ormond) takes in borders to help make the mortgage.

This is a cute kids pic that takes a light touch to stereotyping, classism, survival and abandonment — and tosses in a modicum of suspense to keep things interesting.

The storytelling’s brisk and the sentimentality only grates occasionally. The hokey villains — I imagine to keep things kid-friendly — are the only negative.

Extras: “American Girl” trailer gallery.

Bare-naked ladies

Porn star Jenna Jameson is really something, even covered in blood and with a gaping hole in her neck.

She plays the first stripper victim in “Zombie Strippers.” And what that title conjures in your mind is accurate.

Actual dialogue: “They’re zombies.” “No, they’re strippers.” “They’re zombie strippers.”

Except for one memorable sequence (too graphic to describe) during a zombie-stripper catfight, this horror comedy is pretty awful — and I like the genre.

The dancers get infected and their bodies start to deteriorate, yet they prove even more popular gyrating before the Y-chromosome crowd.

Best line: “Look, this zombie thing’s gotta end. The other girls can’t get any stage time.” The gruesomeness is beyond description.

The film’s like a bad accident, “Showgirls” redone by Ed Wood and George A. Romero — all ham, no wry.

Clever title, though.

Extras: Behind the scenes; deleted scenes; commentary; zombie prep. Blu-ray also offers a pop-up trivia track and gory scenes that didn’t make the final cut.

Also on DVD

“The Cult of the Suicide Bomber 2”: Former Middle East CIA agent Robert Baer explores why women join the bomber cult in this documentary.

“Diary of the Dead” on Blu-ray: College friends make horror film, encounter zombies, keep camera rolling; “Cloverdale’s” better, but George A. Romero’s film grows on you.

“The Flight Before Christmas”: Young reindeer with vertigo takes flying lessons and joins animals to save Santa.

“Halloween Collector’s Edition”: Multidisc Rob Zombie version, with Michael Myers’ origins; also on Blu-ray.

“Hank and Mike”: Two blue-collar guys get laid off from jobs as Easter Bunnies, look for work, try to get women; with Chris Klein, Joe Mantegna.

“Hell Ride”: Biker-gang vengeance and violence; with Dennis Hopper; on Blu-ray, too.

“The Little Rascals: The Complete Collection”: Eight discs with 80 remastered restored shorts, arranged chronologically; with Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla and Pete the dog; gobs of bonus materials.

“Michigan vs. Ohio State: The Rivalry”: Football, when Michigan was good.

“Red”: Aging recluse seeks justice when teen punks kill his dog; with Brian Cox.

“Romancing the Stone” on Blu-ray: A young Kathleen Turner plays a romance novelist on a treasure hunt assisted by a young Michael Douglas as a soldier of fortune; cute, fun.

“Six in Paris”: Six short stories, six directors (Chabrol, Douchet, Godard, Pollet, Rohmer, Rouch); in French.

“Tinker Bell”: Tink tries to change in a pre-Peter Pan Never Land; computer-animated; also on Blu-ray.


“Affairs of the Heart, Series One” (seven Henry James tales)
“Agatha Christie: Mystery Lover’s Collection” (five stores, with Poirot, Marple and such)
“Carlos Mencia: Performance Enhanced — Extended and Uncensored”
“Dale Earnhardt 10 Greatest Wins”
“Discovery Essential Dinosaur Pack” (four-parter on two discs)
“Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure” (by Andrew Davies of “Bridget Jones’ Diary”)
“The 4400: The Complete Series”
“Girlfriends: The Fifth Season”
“Little Tikes Land”
“The L Word: The Complete Fifth Season”
“Mystery Science Theater 300: 20th Anniversary Edition”: (four discs, four previously unreleased episodes, lobby cards, Crow T. Robot figurine, in embossed tin)
“Psychic Kids: Children of the Paranormal”
“Sister, Sister: The First Season”

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