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New to DVD this week

War Horse (Walt Disney)

Steven Spielberg's Oscar-nominated World War I epic is modern-day filmmaking at its most old-fashioned. There's little digital gimmickry in this family-friendly story about a boy and his horse, whose adventures span the family farm to eventually the battlefield. There's a pivotal scene where the horse, trapped bloodily in barbed wire, brings together British and German soldiers for one rare moment of brotherhood. In most other directors' hands, it would come off as false and cloying. But Spielberg turns the scene into a heartwarming and breathtaking set piece that typifies this quietly quaint and positively charming movie.

Chinatown (Paramount)

Roman Polanski's classic 1974 noir starring Jack Nicholson as a private investigator who pokes his nose where it doesn't belong finally makes its Blu-ray debut. Best extra is a three-part documentary that pulls together the waterlogged story behind the movie.

Titanic (Twentieth Century Fox)

Nope, not James Cameron's blockbuster, which returns to the multiplex this week with a 3D overcoat. This is a hokey 1953 movie starring Barbara Stanwyck, making its Blu-ray debut. Watch A Night to Remember (also freshly re-released) instead.

We Bought a Zoo (Twentieth Century Fox)

Matt Damon's wife dies, so he packs up his kids and, yep, buys a zoo. Scarlett Johansson works there, so it doesn't totally blow — unlike this movie, Cameron Crowe's attempt at a family film that's way too sweet and sentimental.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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