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New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'War Horse,' 'We Bought a Zoo' and More

War Horse

This week: Steven Spielberg is known for marrying sentimentality with epic drama, and that tradition continues with "War Horse," a movie set during World War I about the special relationship between a man and his loyal horse, and their struggle to reunite against all odds.

Also new are Matt Damon in "We Bought a Zoo," the documentary "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" and the Blu-ray debuts of "Madonna: Truth or Dare" and "Chinatown."

'War Horse'

War Horse DVD

Box Office: $80 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 77% Fresh
Storyline: Steven Spielberg's epic film adaptation of the 1982 children's novel stars Jeremy Irvine as a young man who enlists during World War I after his beloved horse is sold to the cavalry. The movie was nominated for six Academy Awards (it didn't win any) and costars Emily Watson, Peter Mullan, Benedict Cumberbatch and David Thewlis.
Extras! Both the DVD and the Blu-ray contain "A Filmmaking Journey," which follows the film's development from page to screen.
We Say: Unapologetically sentimental and old-fashioned, Spielberg's latest will pull the heartstrings of those susceptible to melodramas featuring animals in peril.

'We Bought a Zoo'

We Bought a Zoo DVD
20th Century Fox

Box Office: $75 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 66% Fresh
Storyline: Matt Damon stars as a recently widowed father of two who tries to rebuild his life by buying a large house, which means taking on the zoo and its animals that come with the property. This dramedy directed by Cameron Crowe and costarring Scarlett Johansson is based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee.
Extras! "The Real Mee" is a nice portrait of the actual man that Damon portrays in the film.
We Say: This earnest-to-a-fault effort might be too touchy-feely for some, but the film still features a strong and moving performance by Damon.

'Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey'

Being Elmo DVD
Submarine Entertainment

Box Office: $301, 682
Rotten Tomatoes: 92% Fresh
Storyline: This inspiring documentary follows Kevin Clash -- the unlikely puppeteer of the beloved "Sesame Street" character Elmo -- from his early years in Baltimore to his meeting Jim Henson and the subsequent Elmo phenomenon.
Extras! The DVD contains an interesting Q&A with Clash and the filmmakers, recorded at the film's Sundance premiere.
We Say: Featuring interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O'Donnell, Clash himself and others, this entertaining documentary by filmmaker Constance Marks reveals the unique man behind the muppet.

'Madonna: Truth or Dare' Blu-ray

Truth or Dare Blu-ray
Miramax / Lionsgate

Box Office: $15 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 76% Fresh
Storyline: This intimate 1990 music documentary, which follows Madonna during her Blond Ambition tour, takes you backstage for prayer circles before performances and risqué talk with her dance troupe.
Extras! The only extra included for this Blu-ray debut is the original theatrical trailer.
We Say: Timed to the release of Madonna's new record, this revealing documentary shows Madonna at the height of her pop-dominatrix fame, exposing the shrewd entertainer's arrested development and continuing obsession with getting a rise out of people.

'Chinatown' Blu-ray

Chinatown Blu-ray

Box Office: $29 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 100% Fresh
Storyline: Roman Polanski's 1974 Oscar-winning neo-noir stars Jack Nicholson as a private detective who, investigating an adultery case, stumbles upon a scam to divert precious water in Los Angeles for the benefit of an elite few. Faye Dunaway plays a mysterious woman tied to the Department of Water and Power who harbors a terrible family secret.
Extras! This Blu-ray debut includes an illuminating documentary and comes packaged with a collectible booklet.
We Say: This classic film has never looked or sounded better than it does for its high-definition debut. The movie features unforgettable performances by Nicholson and Dunaway.

Also New This Week:

"Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Blu-ray
"Masterpiece Classic: Great Expectations" (2011) Blu-ray
"The Poseidon Adventure" (1972) Blu-ray

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