by Tom Doty
“Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” — If you were one of those people who felt “Van Helsing” should have been gorier, then this is the flick for you. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton star as grown-up versions of the famous Grimm’s Fairy Tale children, who are now fully grown and quite exceptional at killing witches, vampires and other assorted monsters. They are also adept at dropping F-bombs, so lock up the young ones if you want to check this out.
“Oz, The Great and Powerful” — You can let the young ones back out to enjoy this take on how “The Wizard” came to Oz from his humble beginnings as a carnival magician. His hot air balloon accidentally deposits him in the Emerald City, where he learns that he is prophesized to take down the bad witch tormenting the land. Fun action stuff that only occasionally approaches the whimsy of the original film.
“Burn Notice: Season 6” — The most intense season yet of this light-hearted action romp finds disgraced super agent Michael Weston scrambling to help his on/off girlfriend, Fiona. She has been imprisoned, so Weston must dig deep into his bag of dirty tricks to find support for her and save her from an enemy who likes having her caged up. The show manages to juggle action, comedy and drama this season with equal measure and the cliffhanger, promising a season 7, is a corker
“Snitch” — Who would have thought that this week’s best effort would be a direct-to-video action/drama starring Duane “The Rock” Johnson. Here he is well cast as a brooding father who is struggling to run a construction company. When his son from his first marriage gets into drug trouble, he tries to help. Turns out, he isn’t an action hero this time and must help the police as an undercover informant to get his son out of trouble. Good stuff, with some action, but mainly an opportunity for Johnson to show what he can do with a decent script. Susan Sarandon and Barry Pepper are also good in supporting roles.
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