Nim (Abigail Breslin), a Robinson Crusoe-ish 11-year-old, cozies up to her island pals "” a sea lion, a dragon lizard and a pelican "” when her scientist father (Gerard Butler) disappears at sea in "Nim's Island." Imaginatively shot, this kids-oriented tale is fun and exciting, but also tackles some heavy emotional issues (terror at the thought of being alone forever) and doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense "” not in a logical universe, anyway.
Breslin shines as the spirited, self-sufficient girl whose mind conjures adventure fantasy scenes with Alex Rover (Butler again), her favorite fiction-book hero. When her pop doesn't return, Nim e-mails Alex for help, not realizing Alex is really Alexandra (Jodie Foster), an agoraphobic San Francisco author too frightened to go outside for her mail.
Alexandra also channels Alex, visible as a brash alter ego prodding her to go to Nim's island and help the kid. Foster's comic shtick is funny "” if you can appreciate agoraphobic humor from a woman who talks to an imaginary friend.
Extras: Informative shorts about filming on water and working with animals; deleted scenes (check the undersea-rescue original shot); commentary with filmmakers, Foster and Breslin.
The real thing
During World War II, the Nazis pulled together a group of Jewish printers and inkers, a counterfeiter and other specialists from different concentration camps and set them up in special quarters "“ good food, linen sheets, fair treatment "” in one camp to produce British pound notes. The idea, as explained in "The Counterfeiters," 2007 Oscar-winner for best foreign-language film, was initially to weaken the Allies' economy, but ultimately to bolster the almost bankrupt German Army. Failure would mean death.
Point man on the job was Salomon Sorowitsch (Karl Markovics, whose expressions and countenance hold your attention through the slow moments). A con artist and counterfeiter supreme, "Sally" willingly helps the Nazis "” to stay alive in decent conditions, mostly isolated from the concentration-camp madness outside his quarters.
The voice of dissent belongs to his friend Adolf Burger (August Diehl), whose attempts at sabotage prolong the creation of the notes and endanger his colleagues. It's a drama of survival, conscience and ethics, laced with fear, played against a background of intimidation. In German with subtitles.
Extras: Flavorful interview with the real Burger, the counterfeiter and Holocaust survivor whose book "The Devil's Workshop" inspired the film; director's commentary; deleted scenes; rehearsal footage; more.
It's a grind
A cover blurb calls veteran director Fred Olen Ray's "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers" the "fourth greatest B-movie of all time." Makes you wonder what the top three are. No matter. This grindhouse staple "” "grindhouse" meaning made quickly and on the cheap, and often packed with nudity, sex and violence "” will be best appreciated by fans of the genre or the midnight-movie crowd.
A typewriting private eye (Jay Richardson), who narrates in a noir style approaching parody, bumps into a group of chainsaw-wielding prostitutes hooked into an Egyptian cult run by the guy who played Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) in "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre."
There's the requisite disrobing, blood and gruesomeness, plus many dead spots. The acting's about what you'd expect.
Extras: Include director's commentary and "Nite Owl Theater" episodes, but do you really care?
Also on DVD
"Experience Hendrix": Highlights from two tribute concerts.
"Garfield's Fun Fest": Fun with computer-generated cat and dog.
"I Got the Feelin': James Brown in the '60s": Director's cut of "The Night James Brown Saved Boston" (performing the day after Martin Luther King's assassination) and two concerts.
"I Love the '80s": Forty repackaged DVDs, each with a four-song CD, include "Beverly Hills Cop," "Top Gun," "Fatal Attraction," "Pretty in Pink."
"Miss Conception": Hearing her biological time clock gonging, a young woman (Heather Graham) initiates a variety of high jinks to get pregnant.
"Joy House": On-the-lam con artist takes job as live-in chauffeur for U.S. widower; remastered 1964 thriller with Alain Delon and Jane Fonda.
"My Brother Is an Only Child": Rival brothers remain tethered by family and a woman after joining warring political parties in Italy in the '60s.
"Pete Seeger: The Power of Song": Documentary about the iconic folk singer, his music, politics and blacklisting.
"Rogue "” Unrated": Huge, Type-A crocodile chomps tourists stranded on island in Australia; with Radha Mitchell; not wonderful.
"Starship Troopers 3: Marauder": Futuristic troopers battle big, bad, fast-moving, spiderlike bugs.
"The Super Fun Show!": Claims to gets kids 3 to 9 off the couch, moving to music and learning.
"Webs": Electrical workers fall onto an alternate Earth where the few humans battle big, bad, fast-moving, spiders and spiderlike humans.
Reach Barry Caine at email@example.com.
TV on DVD
"Anthony Bourdain: Collection 3"; "Back at the Barnyard"; "Ben 10: Season 4"; "Biography: Barack Obama"; Biography: John McCain"; "The Executioner's Song: Director's Cut" (with Tommy Lee Jones as killer Gary Gilmore); "Family Ties: The Fourth Season."
Also: "Foyle's War, Set 5"; "Get Smart, Season One"; "Growing Up Safari"; "Heart "” Live"; "Robin Hood, Season Two"; "Queen Sized" (with "Hairspray's" Nikki Blonsky up for homecoming queen); "Star Trek: The Original Series: Season Two" (remastered, with Tribbles).
Plus: "Sunset Tan: Season One" (antics at an L.A. tanning salon); "Terminal City" (series about a woman with breast cancer hosting a hospital-based reality show); "Wire in the Blood: Prayer of the Bone."