Now on DVD: ‘Nebraska’ and 2 family movies

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"Nebraska" was one of nine films nominated in the best picture category and lwhile it didn't win, it is still a winner. A sweet, gentle comedy, "Nebraska" chronicales a road trip taken by a father and son.

"Nebraska" was one of nine films nominated in the best picture category and lwhile it didn't win, it is still a winner. A sweet, gentle comedy, "Nebraska" chronicales a road trip taken by a father and son.

Woody Grant (Bruce Dern, nominated in the best actor category) is convinced he has won a million dollars and no one can talk him out of trying to claim his prize. Eventually, over his mother's protests, Woody's youngest son, David (Will Forte) decides to drive his father to the publishing house in Nebraska to settle the matter once and for all.

The film begins as Woody heads off on foot, determined to walk to Nebraska to claim his million-dollar prize money. He is brought back home by a local cop. Upon his return his wife Kate (June Squibb, nominated in the supporting actress category) berates him, calling him a moron. His older son Ross (Bob Odenkirk) sides with mom. He in turn suggests to David that it might be time to place Woody in a nursing home.

David tries unsuccessfully to talk dad out of his quest, but when he sees how much it means to his father he decides to drive Woody to Nebraska to finally put his mind at ease. What follows next is a bittersweet road trip of discovery. It's a bumpy ride, but as a result of their travels David sees his 'old man' in a new and different way. As they travel to Nebraska they pass through Billings where Woody grew up, had a business and met and married Kate.

Stacy Keach is great as Ed, Woody's former business partner. Together they once owned a garage and Woody is convinced that Ed took his compressor countless years ago. Getting that compressor back is also on Woody's to-do list.

At first Woody seems like a crotchety alcoholic loser slipping into dementia. Maybe Kate is right. But during the course of their road trip David starts to get to know his dad better as they talk about life in local taverns along the way.

When they pass through his dad's hometown the two men connect with Woody's brothers, their wives and children, a former girl friend Woody dated before he met Kate and his smarmy former business partner, Ed.

Due to a minor accident along the way, Kate decides to join David and Woody at his brother's home and a mini family reunion takes place. We also find out about dead family members on both sides when David takes his parents to the local cemetery. Kate has plenty to say, especially about Woody's family. Squibb, as Kate, is funny, feisty and rather mean spirited, but her very pointed comments throughout give us further insights into their unhappy marriage.

Piecing together all the information gained along their way to Nebraska, David begins to see his father in a new and more compassionate way. He also discovers why winning the prize means so much to his father.

"Nebraska," from Paramount Pictures, is rated R for language

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Attention Hobbit fans, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" is now available in a limited collector's edition Blu-ray 3D Combo pack and DVD as of April 8. It is the second installment in a trilogy of films based on the popular novel, "The Hobbit" and was directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Peter Jackson.

In the film Bilbo Baggins journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and thirteen Dwarves on an epic quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain and the Lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. They encounter countless hazards along the way including a swarm of giant Spiders in the treacherous forest of Mirkwood. But when they finally reach the Lonely Mountain they face their greatest dangerthe terrifying dragon, Smaug.  Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy action violence and frightening images.

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"Wiener Dog Nationals" is a family film that will be especially appealing for wiener dog owners of all ages. Written and directed by Kevan Peterson, it's the story of Shelly, a Dachshund runt that is adopted by a young boy (Julian Feder) and his family. The dog is from a shelter, but proves to be a feisty little gal who can really run. Shelly places in the state finals of the illustrious Wiener Dog Nationals Race.

 

But will Shelly have a chance against a champion Dachshund named Princess owned by Ms. Merryweather (Morgan Fairchild)? At the end of the race there can be only one Wiener, oops winner. Who will it be? Rated .

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