Bond, James Bond, and Bolt (just Bolt) land on DVD.

Was the more stripped-down, action-packed 'Quantum of Solace' a successful follow-up to 'Casino Royale'? Depends on who you ask, but we're in -- we'd take stylish Bond carnage over your average action ('Transporter,' anyone?) any day.

Family-friendly audiences get a little action-adventure of their own with 'Bolt,' the animated flick featuring the voices of John Travolta and Miley Cyrus (not to mention 'Inside the Actors Studio' host/stud James Lipton).

Get the full scoop on this week's DVD releases, plus our recommendations from weeks' past.


'Quantum of Solace'
What It's About: After losing the love of his life (Eva Green), a vengeful James Bond (Daniel Craig) is out to take kick ass, take names and -- of course -- entertain on a couple new bed buddies in this direct sequel to 'Casino Royale.'

What We Say: Whereas 'Royale' spent plenty of energy acclimating us to the new (blond!) 007 with wit, charm, romance and action, 'Solace' is all about the turbo-charged action. This didn't play well with some critics, but we'll take stylish Bond carnage over your average actioner ('Transporter' anyone?) any day.

Special Features? Unless you're only in it for the Jack White-Alicia Keys music video for 'Another Way to Die' (the sole bonus feature on the single-disc edition), opt for the two-disc, which features several making-of docs, and most importantly, more Olga Kurylenko.

Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon | Watch Craig-Forster Unscripted

'Bolt'
What It's About: Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) is not a super-dog, he just plays one on TV. Of course Bolt doesn't know that. When he unwittingly lands in NYC, the lost dog recruits a cranky cat and hilarious hamster (aren't they all?) for a cross-country jaunt back to his loyal owner/co-star (Miley Cyrus) in Hollywood.

It's Kind of Like: 'Underdog' meets 'Homeward Bound'

Critical Consensus: There's no stopping talking dog movies -- but there are no singing Chihuahua armies in this animated adventure, which is probably why it fared well with critics, scoring an impressive 86 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Add to Netflix queue | Buy from Amazon | 50 Best Movies of 2008

Special Edition Spotlight: 'To Catch a Thief'
What It's About: Cary Grant is one cool "Cat" -- a retired jewel thief living the high life on the Riviera. When a copycat bandit lands on the scene, he's hired to crack the case. Stealing visiting rich gal Grace Kelly's heart is merely a perk.

What We Say: The Master of Suspense often dabbled in romance, but Grant and Kelly mark one of Hitchcock's finest pairings (sorry, Perkins and Leigh): They're good-looking, fearless firebrands, and every scene with them together sparkles.

Special Features? The Centennial Collection edition includes several never-seen-before features, including one on film censorship in America and another on its two glamorous stars.

Buy from Amazon | Get more on the movie

Other New Releases This Week:
'Gardens of the Night'
'The Cake Eaters'

Special Editions:
'The Odd Couple'
'The Fast and the Furious'
'2 Fast 2 Furious'
'Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift'

New on Blu-ray:
'Never Say Never Again'
'Moonraker'
'The World Is Not Enough'
'Goldfinger'
'A Mighty Heart'
'The Kite Runner'
'The 400 Blows'

New DVD Recommendations

    'Milk'

    Release Date: March 10

    What It's About: Sean Penn is Harvey Milk, the iconic San Francisco politician who became the first openly gay man elected to office in the U.S. in 1977. Josh Brolin is the jerk who assassinates him.

    What We Say: Gus Van Sant's biopic of the slain leader is much more conventional than you might expect, but not any less affecting or inspiring. Penn's performance is a triumph. And given the recent passage of Prop 8 in California, the film is as topical as they come.

    Awards & Nominations: Penn prevailed in the closest major race at the Oscars, edging out Comeback King Mickey Rourke ('The Wrestler') for Best Actor. The film also won Best Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black), but lost pretty much anywhere it was up against 'Slumdog.'

    Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD
    Oscars Movies Made Easy

    Universal

    'Role Models'

    Release Date: March 10

    What It's About: Sentenced to community service after an energy drink-fueled rampage, "big brothers" Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott teach their "littles" how to stare at breasts without getting caught, plus more valuable life lessons.

    It's Kind of Like: 'Old School' meets 'Cop and a Half'

    What We Say: 'Tropic Thunder,' 'Pineapple Express' and 'Sarah Marshall' may have gotten more play, but 'Role Models' was the funniest comedy of 2008. Both brilliantly sophomoric and sneakily witty (thanks to Rudd's handprints on the script), it's a must-see, and even better on repeat.

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    Watch trailer & clips

    Universal

    'Rachel Getting Married'

    Release Date: March 10

    What It's About: Released from rehab for a weekend to attend her sister's wedding, Anne Hathaway's bundle of nerves Kym tries her hardest not to ruin the bohemian-flavored celebration for all.

    What We Say: Moviegoers were generally divided over this indie drama from Jonathan Demme. Fans praised its intimacy and realism. Count me in the camp that appreciated it, but found it comparable to watching someone's home video of the best.wedding.ever.

    Awards & Nominations: If there's one reason to see 'Rachel,' it's Hathaway's stunning Academy Award-nominated performance (she was even an early favorite to win). It should be enough to make you forgive her for 'Bride Wars.'

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    Oscar Movies Made Easy

    Sony Classics

    'Let the Right One In'

    Release Date: March 10

    What It's About: In a small and wintry Swedish town, a young boy becomes BFFs with the new girl next door, who, it turns out, is a vampire starving for blood.

    What We Say: It's 'Twilight' for the arthouse crowd. Subtle but thoroughly chilling, this acclaimed import is one of the most sympathetic portraits of vampires you'll see. Eli (Lina Leandersson) may be deadly, but she's pretty damn adorable (and tortured), too.

    Where It Ranks: 'Let the Right One In' placed #29 on our list of 2008's 50 best movies.

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    Magnet Releasing

    'I've Loved You So Long'

    Release Date: March 3

    What It's About: When the long-missing and mysterious Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) says at a dinner party she's been in prison the last 15 years for murder, people may laugh, but she ain't kidding. Her sister helps welcome her back into society.

    It's Kind of Like: 'Rachel Getting Married' in French

    Critical Consensus: Reviewers loved it so long, with the film scoring a 90 percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes.

    Awards & Nominations: Nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Actress – Drama, the excellent-in-any-language Thomas was a longshot contender for a second Oscar nom (after 'The English Patient'), but was likely edged out by Melissa Leo.

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    Sony Classics

    'Dear Zachary'

    Release Date: Feb. 24

    What It's About: After his close friend Andrew is murdered, documentarian Kurt Kuenne sets out to make a film about Andrew's life for his son Zachary. But a shocking turn of events transforms the intended tribute into something far different.

    What We Say: This is a tiny, highly personal doc in the same vein as 'Capturing the Friedmans' that got next-to-no attention during its ultra-limited theatrical release, despite a nearly unanimous chorus of critics labeling it a must-see. We can only hope it finds an audience on DVD: It's one of the most devastatingly powerful and affecting documentaries ever made.

    Where It Ranks: 'Zachary' placed #30 on our list 2008's 50 best movies (can someone say Oscar snub?).

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    Watch the trailer

    Oscilloscope

    'Frozen River'

    Release Date: Feb. 10

    What It's About: Hard up for cash after her no-good husband ditches her (and with their money for a new trailer home!), a gun-toting, retail-working mother of two (Melissa Leo) begins moonlighting as an immigrant smuggler.

    Awards & Nominations: Leo has been racking up accolades since the indie drama debuted at Sundance a year ago, and is now an Academy Award nominee for Best Actress. The film is also up for Best Original Screenplay.

    What We Say: Courtney Hunt's indie drama is without a doubt the unflashiest movie contending for Oscars this year (call it the anti-'Iron Man'). Steered by a quietly devastating performance by Leo, its power lies in its deft storytelling and unflinching realism.

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    Oscars Movies Made Easy

    Sony Classics

    'W.'

    Release Date: Feb. 10

    What It's About: A charismatic and hard-partying frat guy (Josh Brolin, in an impressive turn) with serious daddy issues and difficulty holding onto a day job quits booze, finds God, and becomes the 43rd president of the United States. Based on a true story.

    What We Say: Oliver Stone isn't nearly as hard on George W. Bush as most expected he'd be, instead painting a partly sympathetic, mostly tragicomedic portrait of the now ex-prez. At the very least it was one of 2008's most intriguing movie experiments (but for a funnier, more stinging portrayal, see Will Ferrell on stage in 'You're Welcome America.')

    Where It Ranks: 'W.' placed #44 on our list of 2008's 50 best movies.

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    Watch Brolin-Banks Unscripted

    Lionsgate

    'Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa'

    Release Date: Feb. 6

    What It's About: A lion (Ben Stiller), hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), giraffe (David Schwimmer) and zebra (Chris Rock) who like to move it, move it... New voices include Alec Baldwin and the late Bernie Mac.

    Critical Consensus: The animated sequel scored better overall reviews than the first, 2005's 'Madagascar,' with 63 percent approval rating on RottenTomatoes (vs. 55 percent the first time around).

    Special Features? The DVD comes served in a two-pack along with a disc including two installments of the Nickelodeon series 'The Penguins of Madagascar' (think the opposite of 'Animal Planet').

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    Read Jada Pinkett-Smith Q&A

    DreamWorks

    'Zack and Miri Make a Porno'

    Release Date: Feb. 3

    What It's About: Platonic friends Zack (Seth Rogen) and Miri (Elizabeth Banks) do what anyone would do when they're so broke they can't afford to pay the bills: porn.

    What We Say: This is Kevin Smith in Judd Apatow mode, with many of the latter's regular troops (Rogen, Banks, Craig Robinson) butting heads (among other parts) with Smith players (Jason Mewes, Jeff Anderson) and porn stars (Katie Morgan, Traci Lords). Raunchy to the extreme, it's Smith's best work in a decade.

    Recommended If You Liked: 'Superbad,' 'Chasing Amy,' 'Orgazmo'

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    Read Kevin Smith Q&A

    Weinstein Company

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