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Originally published Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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New DVDs | 'The Descendants,' 'My Week with Marilyn,' 'The Adventures of Tintin'

New DVD releases for Tuesday, March 13, include Oscar nominees "The Descendants," "My Week with Marilyn" and "The Adventures of Tintin." Others: "Young Adult," "Melancholia" and "Happy Feet Two."

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New DVDs |

Here come the Oscar nominees. Star ratings are by Seattle Times movie reviewers, freelancers or wire services. For full reviews, search the movie title at seattletimes.com.

4 stars "The Descendants" (R): The comedy/drama — nominated for best picture, director (Alexander Payne), actor (George Clooney), film editing and adapted screenplay (which it won) — is a tricky tonal high-wire act pulled off with uncommon skill and aplomb. Matt King (Clooney) is the wealthy descendant of Hawaiian royalty who, as the movie opens, is watching his wife lie comatose in a hospital bed after suffering a near-fatal boating accident. A distant husband and father, Matt must find a way to bond with his daughters (Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller). Clooney gives his best, most complex performance since "Michael Clayton."

DVD extras: "Everybody Loves George," "Working With Alexander" and "Hawaiian Style" featurettes. Also, on Blu-ray, deleted scenes, an interview with Clooney and Payne, "The World Parade — Hawaii" Silent Film, music videos and four other featurettes.

3.5 stars "My Week with Marilyn" (R): Based on Colin Clark's memoirs, the film recounts his time as third assistant director on a cinematic farce directed by and starring Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh, nominated for best supporting actor). Monroe (best-actress nominee Michelle Williams), typecast as a simple hoofer, doesn't work when she isn't feeling it, and, after new husband Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott) returns to New York, that's not very often. Enter Clark, who becomes Monroe's gofer, confidante and companion.

DVD extras: commentary with director Simon Curtis, "The Untold Story of an American Icon" featurette.

3 stars "The Adventures of Tintin" (PG): Tintin is the young red-haired journalist who has charmed generations of readers with his mystery-solving exploits since the Belgian cartoon artist Hergé introduced him in 1929. Sadly, Hergé isn't around to see Steven Spielberg's crisp, richly rendered animated adaptation (nominated for best original score) involving a rare model ship. The story really gets rollicking when Tintin (voiced by Jamie Bell) meets Captain Haddock (Andy Serkis), a dipsomaniacal seafarer. Yet the film is an oddly airless affair, with Tintin smoothly sailing through perils, often greeting them with a "Great snakes!" or other wholesome exclamation.

DVD extras: "The Journey of Tintin and Snowy: From Beginning to End" featurette. Also, on Blu-ray, nine more making-of featurettes.

The Washington Post

Other Tuesday releases

3 stars "Young Adult" (R): Charlize Theron plays a grown-up mean girl in Jason Reitman's black comedy.

2.5 stars "Melancholia" (R): It's the end of the world, as director Lars Von Trier knows it. A planet, Melancholia, is on a collision course with Earth — just in time to mess things up for a spoiled bride (Kirsten Dunst).

2 stars"Happy Feet Two" (PG): Elijah Wood returns as the voice of Mumble in this sequel to 2006's dancing-penguin family film.

Compiled by Lori Taki Uno: luno@seattletimes.com

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