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updated: 4/25/2013 5:45 PM

'Impossible,' 'China Beach' out on DVD

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  • A mother (Naomi Watts) reunites with her son (Tom Holland) in the aftermath of a tsunami in "The Impossible," now out on DVD.

    A mother (Naomi Watts) reunites with her son (Tom Holland) in the aftermath of a tsunami in "The Impossible," now out on DVD.

By Jeff Tuckman
Daily Herald correspondent

"The Impossible"
Naomi Watts was nominated for an Academy Award for her terrific performance in "The Impossible," a harrowing and exciting drama based on a true story.

Maria (Watts) and her husband Henry (Ewan McGregor) are vacationing with their three sons in Thailand in 2004 when the massive tsunami hits. Separated, members of the family fight for survival and search for each other amid the fear and destruction.

The tsunami scenes are incredible, and the photography is astonishing. But the story offers more than just fine filmmaking; it underscores the kindness of the human spirit as the waters subside. The child actors are outstanding, helping make this one of last year's best films.

"Jurassic Park 3-D"
Recently released at theaters around the country, Steven Spielberg's classic "Jurassic Park" has been remastered with advanced 3-D formatting. Fans of the film will love the new Blu-ray version.

Based on Michael Crichton's novel about cloned dinosaurs at an island amusement park, the film is as scary and exciting now as it was in 1993. The actors, led by Sir Richard Attenborough, are all excellent, but the terrifying dinosaurs steal the story.

The special features include Spielberg providing an in-depth look at the 3-D conversion of "Jurassic Park," making of trailers for the three films, storyboards, preproduction meetings and more.

"China Beach: The Complete Series"
Available on DVD for the first time, one of the most influential series of its time is being released for its 25th anniversary. "China Beach" was set in Vietnam at the 510th Evacuation Hospital and R&R center. There, viewers met U.S. Army doctors and nurses, officers, soldiers, Red Cross volunteers and civilians. Music played a big part of the feel of the times, but it was the writing and excellent cast that earned the series a loyal following.

Dana Delany starred as nurse Colleen McMurphy, and the show also starred Marg Helgenberger, Michael Boatman and Robert Picardo. Time-Life is presenting the series in a beautiful package with all 62 episodes on 21 discs. There are 10 hours of bonus features along with a 36-page collectors booklet.

"Masterpiece Theater Classic: Mr. Selfridge"
Jeremy Piven, in one of the best roles of his career, stars as the title character in this eight-part PBS series. Harry Gordon Selfridge, an American tycoon, opened a department store in London in the early 1900s, revolutionizing retail in the process. This English soap opera/period drama should help entertain "Downton Abbey" fans between seasons.

Available Next Week
"Cloud Atlas"
"Combat: The Complete First Season"
"History of the Eagles"
"Not Fade Away"
"Silver Linings Playbook"
"The Guilt Trip"
"The Last Stand"

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