June 13, 2014 at 1:00 am

New on DVD and Blu-ray

Jack Ryan back again; 'Tim's Vermeer' fascinates

New and notable on DVD this week:

“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (Rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and intense action, and brief strong langu­age; Paramount, $29.98) Chris Pine takes over the Jack Ryan role, but you’ve got to ask — why? Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck have all played this character previously, and none to spectacular effect, although Ford’s take seemed to at least be a bit conflicted. This film reboots everything, taking Ryan back to 9/11, which inspires him to join the armed forces. Eventually he’s recruited by a CIA officer (Kevin Costner) and he becomes an operative, here doing battle with a Russian ty­coon (Kenneth Branagh, who also directed). Keira Knightley gets a paycheck as Ryan’s eventual wife. It’s all very efficient and unneeded. GRADE: C+

“Tim’s Vermeer” (Rated PG-13 for some strong language; Sony, $29.96 Blu-ray) The premise sounds dull, but the film is fascinating. Tim Jenison, an eccentric and very successful Texas inventor, attempts to figure out how the Dutch master Johannes Vermeer made paintings with incredibly accurate lighting and sharpness. Once he thinks he has it wired, Jenison — who isn’t an artist — tries to dup­licate a Vermeer’s painting, go­ing through a long, costly and intensive process. This isn’t so much a film about art as about invention and perseverance. It is narrated by Penn and directed by Teller of Penn & Teller. GRADE: B+

“Devil’s Knot” (Not rated; Image, $29.96) Consider this a warning. Yes, it stars Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth; yes, it’s about the fascinating-depressing-twisted West Memphis Three murder case; and yes this movie is well-intentioned. But as directed by Atom Egoyan, it’s also thoroughly dull, succeeding on virtually no front. Avoid. GRADE: D+

tlong@detroitnews.com
twitter.com/toomuchTomLong