The breakout stars from the "Despicable Me" franchise headline their own movie. The story of Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolved through the ages, perpetually serving (and accidentally eliminating) the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters — from T. rex to Napoleon — the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression. But one Minion named Kevin has a plan,
From the Big Screen:
"Magic Mike XXL." For more information on other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week's Best Bets:
"Bram Stoker's Dracula Supreme Cinema Series" (1992), directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Gary Oldman, Winona Ryder, Anthony Hopkins, Keanu Reeves, Richard E. Grant, Cary Elwes, Billy Campbell, Sadie Fros, Tom Waits and Monica Bellucci, is the first release under the new Sony Supreme Cinema Series banner. According to the studio, "The Supreme Cinema Series is a premium, limited edition collection befitting beloved cinematic favorites and modern classics. Each film is presented with pristine high definition picture, enhanced sound and a collection of new and/or archival special features, creating an ultimate edition for first-time viewers and fans alike. Complete with unique Clear Case packaging, the Supreme Cinema Series is the optimal way to celebrate these unforgettable cinematic experiences." The film is presented with an all-new 4K restoration and exclusive Dolby Atmos sound, remixed specifically for the home theater environment, that is said to deliver "captivating sound that places and moves audio anywhere in the room, including overhead." The film is available both as a standalone Blu-ray and in the limited edition Blu-ray Supreme Cinema Series which also includes 24-pages of rare photos, behind-the-scenes detail and an all-new personalized written introduction from Coppola. Extras include "Reflections in Blood: Francis Ford Coppola and Bram Stoker's Dracula": (Coppola, along with his son, second unit/visual effects director, Roman Coppola, participated in a new, on-camera retrospective, reflecting on how the film has impacted their lives and careers); "Practical Magicians: A Collaboration Between Father and Son"; rare 1993 commentary with Coppola, Roman Coppola and Greg Cannom; deleted scenes; audio commentary and film introduction by Coppola; and four legacy featurettes. Originally released in 1992, the film follows the devastatingly seductive Transylvanian prince, Dracula (Gary Oldman), who travels from Eastern Europe to 19th century London in search of human love. After centuries alone, the charismatic Dracula meets Mina (Winona Ryder), a young woman who appears as the reincarnation of his lost love, and the two embark on a journey of romantic passion and horror. It's a weird, bizarre and luscious trip down the Dracula rabbit hole with more blood and sex than most of the campy vampire epics that preceded it. Plus it's got Monica Bellucci as one of Dracula's brides and Tom Waits as bug-eating Renfield. Great viewing.
"Alleluia" (2014 — Belgium) is a modern-day take on "The Lonely Hearts Killers" — Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck — forever immortalized in the gruesome and quirky 1969 "The Honeymoon Killers." It's a smart and gory shocker that sucks you into the story with claustrophobic close ups of the good-looking but not beautiful leads (Laurent Lucas, Lola Duenas), a pair who could be your easygoing next door neighbors until their bloodlust is unleashed. Michel is a born womanizer and professional hustler who woos lonely, vulnerable widows and divorcees and takes their money. He meets up with introverted single mom Gloria and fleeces her — but she fixates on him, tracking him down and vowing to help his scam while masquerading as his sister. Despite his suave powers, Michel needs to be controlled, and the two team as toxically co-dependent lovers on an odyssey of wild sex, unbridled jealousy, and horrific murders heightened by the black arts and white-hot anger. It's nasty and mean and lyrical all at once, with washed out, almost impressionistic colors that contrast with the gore and violence. Winner of four Fantastic Features awards at Fantastic Fest, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Doppelganger Releasing.
The latest from from Japan's acclaimed Studio Ghibli is "When Marnie Was There" (2014), featuring the voices of Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, John C. Reilly, Ellen Burstyn, Kathy Bates and Geena Davis. When shy, artistic Anna travels to the seaside to stay with relatives, she stumbles upon an old mansion surrounded by marshes and the mysterious young girl, Marnie, who lives there. The two girls instantly form a unique connection and a friendship that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. As the days go by, a nearly magnetic pull draws Anna back to the Marsh House again and again, and she begins to piece together the truth surrounding her strange new friend. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi ("The Secret World of Arrietty"). On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal.