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Originally published Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 5:30 AM

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New DVDs | 'Louie Louie,' 'Dragon Tattoo,' 'Tinker, Tailor,' 'The Muppets'

New DVD releases for Tuesday, March 20, include " 'Louie Louie' and the History of Northwest Rock & Radio," "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and "The Muppets." "Hop" comes out Friday, March 23.

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New DVDs |

Tuesday's new DVD releases kick off with a "Louie Louie" flashback. Star ratings are by Seattle Times movie reviewers, freelancers or wire services.

2.5 stars " 'Louie Louie' and the History of Northwest Rock & Radio" (not rated): Long before Nirvana and Pearl Jam, an earlier Northwest rock scene was hailed for its raucous blend of R&B, blues, pop and garage rock. The roots of Northwest rock are the subject of a new DVD, " 'Louie Louie' and the History of Northwest Rock & Radio," from SoundWorks USA, a Redmond-based multimedia company that sells nostalgic Northwest rock 'n' roll recordings.

At the heart of that early scene, which emerged in the late 1950s and continued into the '70s, was "Louie Louie," a calypso-style, 1957 Richard Berry recording that became a huge hit in 1963 for Portland's Kingsmen.

The man behind the national success of "Louie Louie" was Northwest record promoter Jerry Dennon, who co-founded Jerden Records and released dozens of recordings by local bands and artists.

The DVD is very much a vehicle for Dennon, whose recordings on Jerden Records and other labels are owned by SoundWorks, whose catalog includes Danny O'Keefe, The Bards, The Springfield Rifle, Ian Whitcomb, Don & the Goodtimes, Dave Lewis and influential proto-punk band The Sonics.

Through concert posters, publicity photos, performance videos, interviews and voice-over narration, the 52-minute documentary meanders through early Northwest radio and rock 'n' roll history like a high-school memory book, with loose editing, abrupt transitions and a patched-together feel.

Top Northwest radio DJs Red Robinson, Dick Curtis, Tom Murphy and Burl Barer also share their stories.

If you grew up in the Northwest in the '50s or '60s — or are simply curious about the musical legacy of that era — this DVD is a primer on what happened before the world found Nirvana.

Gene Stout,

Special to The Seattle Times

Other releases

For full reviews, search the movie title at seattletimes.com.

3.5 stars "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (R): Rooney Mara received a best-actress Oscar nomination for her role as the punked-out computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's English-language version of the first in the Stieg Larsson trilogy, previously filmed with a Swedish cast. "This is a sharp-edged, ultraviolent (though perhaps just a shade less so than the Swedish film) mystery wrapped in a character study, and it's Mara's movie," says Seattle Times movie critic Moira Macdonald.

3.5 stars "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" (R): Gary Oldman, as one of fiction's most famous spies, George Smiley, also earned an Oscar nomination. Based on John le Carré's blockbuster 1974 novel, the film unfolds like a chess game, calling Smiley back into action for a new secret mission.

3 stars "The Muppets" (PG): The gang's all here, plus a new Muppet and a couple of humans (Jason Segel and Amy Adams), to try to save the old Muppet Studios.

(No stars) "The Sitter" (R): A Jonah Hill comedy about a baby-sitter who takes three suburban kids-from-hell into New York City.

Coming Friday

1 stars "Hop" (PG): This mix of live action and computer animation pairs a reluctant future Easter Bunny (voiced by Russell Brand) with a human slacker (James Marsden).

Compiled by Lori Taki Uno: luno@seattletimes.com

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