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posted: 4/26/2014 5:45 AM

DVD previews: 'Legend of Hercules,' 'Labor Day'

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  • "Twilight" co-star Kellan Lutz stars in "The Legend of Hercules," an epically bad movie out Tuesday on DVD.

    "Twilight" co-star Kellan Lutz stars in "The Legend of Hercules," an epically bad movie out Tuesday on DVD.

The Washington Post

Here's a look at DVDs coming out Tuesday, April 29:

"The Legend of Hercules" (PG-13, 99 minutes, Lionsgate): Kellan Lutz has the muscles to play the powerful demigod offspring of Zeus and the mortal queen Alcmene, but he could have skipped a few grueling weightlifting routines to take some acting lessons. In his defense, the "Legend of Hercules" script does him no favors. The movie tells the creation story of Hercules, as his mother falls out of love with her husband, King Amphitryon (a spectacularly overacting Scott Adkins), and his warring ways and prays to Hera for peace. The goddess comes up with a plan that involves letting her husband, the almighty Zeus, sleep with Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) and father a child, who shall bring peace to the land. But the meat of the story is this: Hercules falls in love with a princess, who is betrothed to his evil brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan), and the equally vile King Amphitryon sends his supposed offspring to co-opt distant lands where certain death awaits him. In the end, the only thing epic about "The Legend of Hercules" is what a failure it is. Contains sexual situations and violence. Extras include commentary with Lutz and director Renny Harlin. Also, on Blu-ray: a making-of documentary.

"Labor Day" (PG-13, 111 minutes, Paramount): This intense, exquisitely photographed domestic potboiler transpires over the course of one hot-and-heavy summer's end in the mid-1980s. Both Kate Winslet (as single mom Adele) and Josh Brolin (as prison escapee Frank) deliver studiously serious performances, trying mightily not to betray how hard they're working to overcome the preposterous story in which they find themselves. If only Jason Reitman had brought some wit or swiftness to bear on Joyce Maynard's painfully trite and retrograde plot, which grows only more contrived with the introduction of a creepily precocious girl whom Adele's son Henry befriends at the library. The blame lies with the source material, which resorts to facile captivity fantasies and cheap psychology, rather than the characters' own contradictions, to make its dramatic points. Contains thematic material, violence and sexuality. Blu-ray extras include commentary, a making-of featurette and deleted scenes.

"Devil's Due" (R, 89 minutes, Fox): A "Rosemary's Baby" for the "Paranormal Activity" generation, "Devil's Due" uses the increasingly unimaginative found-footage gimmick to try to juice up the tired trope of a woman who is carrying a demonic fetus. The movie's two-word title is the world's shortest plot synopsis. What few surprises lie in store arrive very late in the film and consist of generic supernatural horror clichés. Contains language and violence. Blu-ray extras include commentary by directors Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, deleted scenes, featurette and a director's photo album.

Also: "Gimme Shelter," "Gloria" (Chile), "The Rise and Fall of The Clash," "The Selfish Giant," "Bad Country," "The Best Offer" (Italy), "Il sorpasso" (1962, Italy), "Locker 13," "Betty Boop: The Essential Collection Vol. 3," "Approved for Adoption," "Escape From Tomorrow," "The Strange Woman," "Dark Hearts," "Up the Junction," "Bucksville" and "Dead Shadows" (France).

Television series: "Star Trek: Enterprise -- Season 4," "Hill Street Blues: The Complete Series," "Mr. Selfridge Season 2," "You, Me & Them," "Dynasty: The Eighth Season, Volume One and Volume Two," "Civil War: The Untold Story," "Father Brown: The Complete Collection" and "SpongeBob, You're Fired!"

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