Rental Central

Tom Doty Times Columnist

July 4, 2014

A few older gems were released this week alongside one stinker that, no doubt, escaped as well.

“A Young Doctor’s Notebook” — Fans of dark humor will enjoy this drama/comedy that centers on a young doctor, circa 1917 , who is assigned to a clinic in the remote Russian countryside. The four-part series from the BBC has a compelling plot device that finds our hero being interrogated 18 years later about the events that are unfolding. A dynamic cast is led by Daniel Radcliffe (“Harry Potter”) and Jon Ham (“Mad Men”) playing the same character at different points in time.

“Grizzly Rage” — A quartet of annoying teens go camping and accidentally run over a bear cub in this SyFy Channel chiller. Mama bear tracks them and sets about ruining their vacation. She can’t do it soon enough. You will be rooting for the bear.

“Escape to Athena” — Since there were no big releases, no doubt due to the holiday, we get a chance to check out this late 1970s action dram which has never been available on DVD. It’s one of those huge international action pictures that peaked with the release of “The Great Escape.” This one is okay and has David Niven, Telly Savalas, Richard Roundtree, Elliot Gould and Roger Moore teaming up to take down a Nazi missile silo. Good, albeit occasionally dumb, fun.

This turned out to be a good week for cheap boxed sets. Plenty of horror, action and comedy sets hit the retail shelves alongside reissues of two series, “The Incredible Hulk” and “Magnum P.I.” Enjoy your 1980s fix.