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It's definitely a week for fantasy on the DVD shelf. Coming Friday is the much awaited DVD and Blu-ray release of 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,' the third film in the Stephanie Meyers' soap-opera-like series about vampires and werewolves and love and evil in the Pacific Northwest. You can whet your fantasy-adventure appetite before then, however, with two action films arriving Tuesday: The Nicolas Cage-starrer 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice,' about magic and the forces of good and evil in modern-day Manhattan; and 'Knight and Day,' a teaming of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz in a spy film that actually turns out to be a fantasy adventure (since it so strains the realm of reality). Read on.

'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse'
What It's About: The action begins to pick up in this, the third chapter in the Twilight franchise. Bella (Kristen Stewart) not only has to contend with regular teenage angst (her high school graduation is looming), she is again forced to the center of a romantic tug-of-war with love Edward (Robert Pattinson) on one side and friend Jacob (Taylor Lautner) on the other. Add in a vengeance plot by malicious vampires ravaging nearby Seattle and you finally get a slam-bam sequel.

It's Kinda Like: 'Dark Shadows' with raging hormones

What We Say: The Twilight saga finally comes of age with a story line that transcends the girly pulp of the previous outings. Sure we get the by-now-de-rigueur Edward-Jacob stare downs and the obligatory Bella mopey behavior but -- surprise, surprise -- the characters have deepened and matured, with a bit more of an emphasis on inner conflicts other than jealousy and unrequited love. But wait, there's more: Throw in a very exciting and bloody (for this soap) battle between bad vampires and good vampires, with the werewolves joining in with the latter for good measure. This is not your little sister's romance flick any more.
• Extras: The DVD and Blu-ray versions are loaded with extras, including deleted and extended scenes, commentary with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, commentary with Stephenie Meyer, a photo gallery, a six-part "making of" documentary, music videos, and "Fast-Forward" features that allow viewers to jump directly to their favorite character's scenes.
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'The Sorcerer's Apprentice'
What It's About: Nicolas Cage plays master sorcerer Balthazar -- living in modern-day Manhattan -- who guards the world from evil magicians who have been kept at bay since the days of Merlin. When arch-nemesis black magician Maxim Horvath (Alfred Molina) appears to unleash hell on earth, Balthazar recruits a seemingly average guy (Jay Baruchel) who, it turns out, is actually the next in line to protect the world from destruction. But Balthazar must give his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic before the pair can stop the forces of darkness.

It's Kinda Like: 'Men in Black' meets 'Harry Potter'

What We Say: The folks at Disney have been keen on adapting any odd bit of their empire to make movies (especially after the stunning success of 'Pirates of the Caribbean') and they somehow thought that the 'The Sorcerer's Apprentice' segment from 1940's 'Fantasia' would make a good vehicle for a Harry-Potter type action-adventure. The result is an only-slightly involving film that has some fine special effects but lacks any real chemistry between Cage and Baruchel. Cage plays another version of himself from 'Ghost Rider' and Baruchel is literally a mirror image of the loser in 'She's Out of My League,' and it's up to the special effects to hold the film together -- which, in the end, is the only thing that makes the film enjoyable (that and seeing the bad guy get his due).
• Extras: The DVD and Blu-ray include deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes and FX featurettes.
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'Knight and Day'
What It's About: Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz star in this action comedy about a super secret agent (Cruise) who involves an innocent woman (Diaz) in his adventures in trying to prevent a super-battery from falling into the wrong hands. The pair travel from the U.S. to Europe to a desert island and back, fending off bad guys and good guys alike in one James Bond-like escape after another. It takes the whole movie for Diaz to figure out whether Cruise is a good guy, a traitor -- or just plain crazy.

It's Kinda Like: James Bond meets Laurel and Hardy

What We Say: This is what I call a top-notch squirmfest: You'll squirm in your seat at all the bad jokes, outrageous events and unbelievable action that this non-stop actioner throws at you. Cruise is over the top as a spy who can do just about everything well (land a jumbo jet, kill dozens of enemy agents in a single bound, etc etc) and Diaz screams and shouts hysterically with her best damsel-in-distress persona. We really tried to like this outing -- both leads are so nice to look at -- but the whole thing was just too lame to hold our attention. Coming off the release of the equally insipid 'Killers' and before the buzzworthy 'The Tourist' (which opens Dec. 10), this can easily be skipped with no remorse.
• Extras:
A couple behind-the-scenes featurettes and a Black Eyed Peas/Tom Cruise music video.
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Other New November 30 DVD Releases:
'Going the Distance' is a by-the-book rom-com about a couple (Drew Barrymore, Justin Long) carrying on a long-distance relationship.
'Vampires Suck' is a spoof of teen vampire-themed movies (guess which ones) by the people who brought you 'Scary Movie'; it doesn't even reach that "lofty" level, however.


Check out other new November 30 DVD releases at OnVideo.

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