Strong female action heroes are featured in new DVD releases for Sept. 17.
"Supergirl: The Complete Fourth Season" Grade 3 stars: Science fiction and fantasy productions have always taken on the top issues of the day and looked at them from a very different viewpoint. That's what happens with this season of the CW Network series as it features a storyline dealing with issues of immigration in connection with aliens from other worlds being feared and hunted down.
There is a wave of anti-alien feelings that are being fired by the rhetoric of a masked figure who calls himself Agent Liberty (Sam Witwer) and a President (Bruce Boxleitner) hiding ulterior motives. Toss in a battle with Lex Luther (Jon Cryer) and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) facing a version of herself known as the Red Daughter and the 22 episodes are never short on action or elements to spark conversations.
The other bonus is that "Supergirl" remains one of the top TV series when it comes to showing strong female characters.
"Dark Phoenix" Grade 2 stars: The best action offerings have villains as strong and defined as the heroes. This offering has the same formidable group of heroes under the guidance of Professor Xavier (James McAvoy) but is lacking an equally strong foe.
The film deals with the X-Men trying to deal with the transformation during a rescue mission in space of Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) into the dangerous Dark Phoenix. There are some underlying elements that are so convoluted the story lacks any pop. Even the loss of a major character comes across as flat and lacking the emotions such an event should have triggered.
"Country Music" Grade 4 stars: The latest offering from director and producer Ken Burns is an eight-part 16-hour film that originally aired on PBS. The documentary looks at the musical art form from the tunes of southern Appalachia to the Western swing of Texas to California's Bakersfield Sound. It tracks the diverse musical magic that went into the genre through the mid-1990s.
The first two hours are a little slow as writer Dayton Duncan digs deep into the roots of country music. The production gains steam and hits a strong stride with each passing year. Featured in the series are more than 3,300 photographs plus interviews with Marty Stuart, Rosanne Cash, Reba McEntire, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Dwight Yoakam.
It all comes together to make this a deeply thorough look at country music.
ALSO NEW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY ON SEPT. 17