From the Big Screen:
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" (due Friday), "12 Years a Slave" and "The Grandmaster." For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
The top release this week is the Blu-ray debut of iconoclastic director John Waters' "Hairspray" (1988), starring Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Divine, Deborah Harry, Ricki Lake, Jerry Stiller, Mink Stole and Pia Zadora. It's Baltimore, 1962, and rebellious "pleasantly plump" teenager Tracy (Ricki Lake) attempts to be one of the featured stars on a popular dance show and win the coveted "Miss Auto Show" crown. Waters' first "mainstream" pic takes an ironic and tongue-in-cheek look at the 50s/60s dance show craze and dance fads, segregation, class warfare and the soon-to-be born protest movement of the 1960s. Oh, and there's plenty of generation-gap hijinks between Tracy and her parents ((Divine and Jerry Stiller) and a pair of proto-hippies (Ric Ocasek and Pia Zadora). "Hairspray" was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2002 and then made again into a 2007 musical feature (adapted from the play) starring Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden and Queen Latifah. A must for any collection. From Warner.
From TV to DVD:
"Agatha Christie's Poirot, Series 11" (2008-09) is a two-disc set with four Poirot (David Suchet) mysteries in the U.K. broadcast order: "Mrs. McGinty's Dead," "Cat Among the Pigeons," "Third Girl" and "Appointment with Death." From Acorn Media … "Ancient Aliens: Season 5 – Volume 2" (2013) is a three-disc set with the second half of the fifth season. On DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate … "Bible Secrets Revealed" (2013) is a six-hour miniseries that explores the mysteries and uncovers the hidden facts about one of the most read books in history. $14.98 from Lionsgate … "A Cross to Bear" (2012) is a TV movie about a would-be dancer with no family connections who finds herself fighting alcoholism and living on the streets with her newborn child who eventually finds refuge at the home of a former nurse who has dedicated her life to helping women like her. Stars Danielle Deadwyler, Jackie Long, Kim Fields, Malinda Williams. From One Village Entertainment … "Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor" (2013) features the final appearance of Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor in this Christmas special. DVD, 14.98; Blu-ray Disc, 19.98. From BBC Home Entertainment … "Mr. & Mrs. Murder, Series 1" (2013) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes of this warm and witty whodunit from Down Under that follows fun-loving and flirtatious couple Nicola (Kat Stewart) and Charlie Buchanan (Shaun Micallef) who run a cleaning service for crime scenes who find that closing cases comes just as naturally as cleaning them up. $59.99 from Acorn Media … "Noah and the Great Ark" (2013) is comprised of three History Channel documentaries "Noah and the Ark: Voyage to a New Beginning," "Mega Disasters: Noah's Great Flood" and "Mysteries of the Bible: Noah and the Flood." Arrives in time for the theatrical release of "Noah," starring Russell Crowe and directed by Darren Aronofsky. $14.98 from Lionsgate … "Rawhide The Seventh Season Volume One & Volume Two" (1964-65) are four-disc sets with 15 episodes each, $46.99 each. Guests joining Clint Eastwood for the seventh season included Dean Martin, Barbara Eden, Slim Pickins, Gavin MacLeod, Harry Dean Stanton, Robert Blake and Brock Peters. From CBS Home Entertainment/Paramount … "The Venture Bros. Season Five" (2012-13) features eight episodes of the popular Adult Swim animated series about the Venture family; in Season Five they roam from the steamy jungles of Central America, to the sparkling sands of the Greek Islands, to the seedy back alleys of Tangier, to the jagged cliffs of By-Golly Gulch. DVD, $24.98; Blu-ray Disc, $31.97. From Warner … "The Vikings: Dark Warriors" (2013) consists of three History Channel documentaries: "Vikings: Voyage to America," "Leif Ericson: Voyages of a Viking" and "Viking Underground." $14.98 from Lionsgate.