Capsule reviews, by Standard-Examiner movie critic Steve Salles, of this week's releases on DVD:
IN DARKNESS *** 1/2 (R) Violence, disturbing images, sexuality, nudity and language. When the Nazis were rounding up Jews in a Polish city during World War II, a few families managed to escape into the sewer system to hide out until the danger had passed. It's unimaginable what these people went through and for how long. Based on true events. 145 minutes.
SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS *** (PG-13) Intense sequences of violence and action, and some drug material. Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law return as the venerable detective and his trusty sidekick, but the film tries too hard to take the franchise to another level, when the previous level was just fine the way it was. It's still good, but it feels overly frantic at the same time. 129 minutes.
THIN ICE (R) ** 1/2 (R) Language, and brief violent and sexual content. Greg Kinnear plays a slick insurance agent who tries to bilk an old man out of a rare violin. His efforts will go from simple larceny, to possible fraud and murder. It's a bit too clever and obvious, but it's fun watching Kinnear sweat. 93 minutes.
* * *
Also being released:
ALIEN ORIGIN (Not rated) The secrets of mankind's origins are revealed with the discovery of footage from a doomed military mission. 90 minutes.
DECISIONS (Not rated) Financial desperation leads to bad decisions for a group of friends seeking to get out of debt. 89 minutes.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE (PG-13) Intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, and language. While hiding out in Eastern Europe, Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form. 95 minutes.
GOOD DEEDS (PG-13) Sexual content, language, some violence and thematic material. Tyler Perry plays a businessman whose scripted life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. 111 minutes.
KILL SPEED (R) Drug content, sexual situations, violence, profanity. A group of thrill-seeking youths use homemade airplanes to smuggle Mexican crystal meth into California. 113 minutes.
A LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN (PG-13) Adult language, Adult situations) Marley Corbett (Kate Hudson) is devastated by a terminal cancer diagnosis, though she accepts the news with as much grace and dignity as she can. Her doctor (Gael Garcia Bernal), despite his tough exterior, is deeply moved by her plight, and soon finds himself falling in love with Marley. 106 minutes.
LIFE'S A JUNGLE: AFRICA'S MOST WANTED (PG) This animated tale follows the adventures of Pip, a pampered dog who suddenly falls out of the life of luxury when he becomes separated from his owners during an African safari.
SUPERMAN VS. THE ELITE (Not rated) A group of so-called superheroes have been supposedly fighting for good, but leaving their enemies dead. This spurs Superman to stamp out their antics, leading to a battle on the surface of one of Jupiter's moons. 76 minutes.
THE WHEELER BOYS (ALMOST KINGS) (Not rated) A teenager reconsiders the sibling who's been a hero to him in this independent coming-of-age drama. 91 minutes.
YOU'LL KNOW MY NAME (Not rated) Southern Jersey teen Nick finds himself locked in a brutal collision course with quick-tempered thug Mike Santo over the course of one night. 75 minutes.
Steve Salles can be reached at email@example.com.