New on DVD: 'No Reservations' and 'Gone Baby Gone'
Catherine Zeta-Jones and Aaron Eckhart discover a recipe for romance; Ben Affleck directs a Boston-based crime chiller by the author of 'Mystic River.'
david Lee/warner bros.
No Reservations (PG) When her young niece is unexpectedly orphaned, Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a workaholic chef at an upscale Manhattan eatery, becomes Zoe's (Abigail Breslin) guardian. It's a recipe for a film that is much more serious than its tag line – Something's Cooking This Summer – would suggest. When an unorthodox sous-chef, Nick (Aaron Eckhart), joins Kate in her tightly run kitchen, knives fly. Along with his opera collection, Nick brings some of the more expected elements of light-hearted romantic comedy. But "No Reservations" is really the story of Zoe coming to terms with her mother's death and Kate learning to step out of her prescribed role as chef and into the more complex part of parent. Special features include an episode of the Food Network series "Unwrapped" that goes behind the scenes with Zeta-Jones and Eckhart to see how they prepared to act in a kitchen. The Blu-ray and HD DVD versions also feature Food Network chef Emeril and the cast preparing some of the film's signature dishes. Grade: B – Teresa Méndez
Gone Baby Gone (R)
During a rote "making of" featurette, novelist Dennis Lehane says that his mystery, "Gone Baby Gone," poses a subtextual question of how we should raise and protect children. In this fine film adaptation, detectives Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angie Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) search for the daughter of Helene McCready (Amy Ryan), a drug dealer whose attitude is rawer than her cutoff denims. Ryan avoids caricature in her Oscar-nominated role, but, alas, Monaghan's underdeveloped character is more mascot than believable detective. The story's final revelation, lying in wait just beyond a blind curve, will have viewers comparing true north on respective moral compasses. Director Ben Affleck navigates Boston's neighborhoods with an anthropologist's eye in a humble commentary track. Grade: B+ – Stephen Humphries