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New releases

The World Is Not Enough (DVD) _ Is there any franchise more durable than James Bond? While the icon can be shaken (if not stirred), he seems impregnable to social change. That must be where producer Cubby Broccoli (yes, the vegetable is named after his family, not the other way around) came up with this unwieldy title. Pierce Brosnan is back, and he's as suave as they come. He also reinvents the self-deprecating Sean Connery wit that saves the character from becoming a sanctimonious fraud.

Felicia's Journey _ Bob Hoskins deserved an Oscar nomination for his role as a well-mannered murderer in Atom Egoyan's most underrated work. The beauty of the film is in the ambiguity as star and director deftly avoid being pigeonholed in boxes labeled good and evil. There's no doubt that Alfred Hitchcock would have loved it.

The End of the Affair _ There's just too much reproduction of the surface of Graham Greene's novel, and none of the depth. Julianne Moore is fine as Greene's distressed adulteress, but what does she see in the astronomically overrated Ralph Fiennes? Stilted and stiff when it should be open and sexy, this one is suffocatingly respectful.

The Straight Story _ Oscar nominee Richard Farnsworth seems an unlikely collaborator for director David Lynch, but it's a magical matchup. Most believe this G-rated Disney movie is not a David Lynch-type film, but it is. In its own way, it's as menacing as Blue Velvet.

_ MICHAEL BLOWEN, Boston Globe