The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Fox, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG, 113 min.). Complaints were the film was too dark in theaters in the 3D format, but here it is only in 2D and the glorious golden hues used by director Michael Apted enchant. This is the third film in the series based on the celebrated novels of C.S. Lewis. The world war is gearing up back on Earth when siblings Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund Pevensie (Skander Keynes) are once more transported to Narnia, this time through a painting of a ship in which the water turns suddenly real. The wrinkle this time is their unknowing cousin Eustace Clarence Scrubb (Will Poulter) is brought along.

They are rescued from the ocean by the crew of the Dawn Treader, which includes King Caspian (a returning Ben Barnes) and the noble mouse Reepicheep (voiced by Simon Pegg). Of course, Eustace is flabbergasted that a mouse can talk, but the gradual friendship that grows between the two is really the only character development in the film. Otherwise, the film goes from one set piece to the next as action is emphasized. There are encounters with slave traders, the Unseen who kidnap Lucy so she can steal a spell book from the Oppressor, a pool that turns anything to gold and influences emotions negatively, a dragon, a sea monster and a dreaded Dark Island that contains the last of the seven swords needed to save Narnia. The action is very entertaining, especially the dragon and sea monster.

The Blu-ray combo version includes a standard DVD and a digital copy, as well as a book of color postcards. The film itself comes with audio commentary by the filmmakers; King Caspian’s guide to the Dawn Trader, including legends and lore about the ship; an animated short of the ship’s untold adventures; deleted scenes; exploration of the islands; a look at friends and foes; and three behind-the-scenes looks, including one on the sea battle. Grade: film 3 stars; extras 3.25 stars

Gulliver’s Travels (Fox, Blu-ray or standard DVD, PG, 85 min.). Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) has worked in the mailroom of the New York Tribune for 10 years and for at least half that time he has had a crush on travel editor Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet). One day, new hire Dan (T.J. Miller) shows up in the mailroom and, by the next day, he is Gulliver’s boss. Dan urges Gulliver to go for it with Darcy, which results in his getting far enough to grab an assignment request sheet. Darcy sends him on a three-week boat journey into the Bermuda Triangle.

The set up takes 15 minutes and, within three more, Gulliver is in trouble. Shipwrecked he awakes, tied on the beach and surrounded by Lilliputians (they are 1/27th  human size, or he appears 120-foot tall to them). This is the only scene that hews to Jonathan Swift’s original satirical tale, published in 1726. Soon, Gulliver the giant is a hero to the Lilliputians. They build him a giant house, complete with an audio-visual room with a giant chair for him, grandstands for the natives and a stage on which actors present Gulliver’s “travels” — he works himself in as the hero in “Star Wars,” “Titanic” and so on. He even has a band play Kiss for a Rock Band game, and has the Lilliputians build a mini-Times Square, complete with dozens of billboards with Gulliver starring in everything. However, General Edward (Chris O’Dowd) is none too pleased with Gulliver’s hero status nor the fact that Princess Mary (Emily Blunt) seems more inclined to accept the Gulliver-aided affections of commoner Horatio (Jason Segel) than his own. King Theodore is played by Bill Connelly and Queen Isabelle by Catherine Tate.

The film actually worked better than I expected and is a lot of fun. Blu-ray extras include a standard DVD version and a digital copy, as well as a gag reel; eight deleted scenes (15:12, including Gulliver teaching the Lilliputians to play basketball, and the Queen demanding the King prepare her breakfast in bed); four featurettes, including 8:14 on creating the tall versus the small (a dual motion-control camera system was used, and Black fed his lines off camera when the “small” versions of scenes were filmed) and a look at the “War” dance finale; and four Fox Movie Channel looks at the film including a “Life After Film School” with director Rob Letterman. Grade: film and extras 3 stars

Rating guide: 5 stars = classic; 4 stars = excellent; 3 stars = good; 2 stars = fair; dog = skip it

Additional reviews are available online at and include the Criterion edition of “Blow Out” and the series “Moguls & Movie Stars: History of Hollywood.”