of a football game and a brothel." -- Federico Fellini
"Iron Man 3," "Room 237," "In the House" and "Unfinished Song." For more releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
DVD Collectibles:It's beginning to smell a lot like holiday gift-giving time -- in late September? Yep. This week marks the beginning of an onslaught of box sets, collectors' editions, remasters from the vaults, and all sorts of merchandising gambits to loosen our grip on our wallets. And I couldn't be happier. Here's this week's majestic releases, in order of age-appropriateness:
Warner Home Video is unleashing "The Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector's Edition Blu-ray," a six-disc set with "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises," with the existing extra content for each film. "Batman Begins" and its special features reside on one disc; "The Dark Knight" and its special features take up two discs; "The Dark Knight Rises" also takes up two discs; a sixth disc is devoted to new special features, which include two new featurettes -- "The Fire Rises: The Creation and Impact of The Dark Knight Trilogy" (with never- before-seen footage, rare moments, and exclusive interviews with Guillermo Del Toro, Damon Lindelof, Michael Mann, Richard Roeper, Zack Snyder and others) and "Christopher Nolan & Richard Donner: A Conversation" (Nolan and Richard Donner ["Superman"] sit down to discuss the trials and triumphs involved in bringing the two most iconic superheroes of all time to the big screen, and how "Superman" influenced Nolan when developing" Batman Begins"); IMAX sequences: Scenes from "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises" in the original IMAX aspect ratio; exclusive new collectible memorabilia: Premium Mattel Hot Wheels Vehicles: Batmobile, Batpod and Tumbler, newly commissioned collectible art cards by Mondo featuring Scarecrow, Joker, Bane, Harvey Dent, and Ra's al Ghul, 48-page hardcover book featuring production stills and behind the scenes images from all three movies. Whew! The set, which carries a $99.97 price tag (but is much lower via Amazon), is also available as a download and via UltraViolet.
Next up is Anchor Bay's "Halloween 35th Anniversary Blu-ray" (1978), in an all-new HD transfer personally supervised by the film's original cinematographer, Dean Cundey, with a new 7.1 audio mix (as well as the original mono audio), a brand-new feature length audio commentary by writer-director John Carpenter and star Jamie Lee Curtis, an all-new bonus feature with Curtis, as well as selected legacy bonus features from previous releases. Available in a collectible limited-edition book-style package (available only for the first printing) with 20 pages featuring archival photos, an essay by "Halloween" historian Stef Hutchinson and specially commissioned cover art by Jay Shaw. $34.99. Other extras include "The Night She Came Home" new featurette with Jamie Lee Curtis, "On Location," trailers, TV and radio spots, additional scenes from TV version. The film co-stars Donald Pleasence, P.J. Soles, Kyle Richards, Nancy Loomis, Charles Cyphers and Brian Andrews.
Let's move to the early 1970s now for a stay with one of the true kings of cool, Frank Sinatra's Rat Pack second in command, Dean Martin. Martin's career as a singer and actor, and as an entertainer, in movies and Las Vegas, spanned the 1950s and 1960s; he was a king of primetime TV from 1965 to 1974 with his "Dean Martin Variety Show". He next segued to "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast," a series of television specials that ran from 1974 to 1984 in which Martin and friends would periodically "roast" a celebrity. "The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts: Complete Collection" is the ultimate Roasters DVD set, featuring all 54 roasts with such roastees as Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Carson, Sammy Davis Jr., Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Jackie Gleason, George Burns, Don Rickles, Hank Aaron, Wilt Chamberlin, Joe Namath, Muhammad Ali, Ronald Reagan, Martin himself, and many, many more. The 25-Disc set includes over 40 hours of incomparable comedy, along with more than 15 hours of bonus features highlighted by comedy sketches from "The Dean Martin Show," exclusive interviews (with 34 former Roast participants, production personnel, critics and fans including: Don Rickles, Carol Burnett, Ruth Buzzi, Tony Danza, Abe Vigoda, Angie Dickinson, Dan Haggerty, Ed Asner, Fred Willard, Jimmie Walker, Rich Little, Rip Taylor, Shirley Jones, Tim Conway, Florence Henderson and many more), rare home movies, 11 featurettes and a 44-page collector's book with archival production materials and more. Available exclusively online at deanroasts.com, $249.95. Ships this week. Read the complete press release here. (StarVista Entertainment/Time Life).
Blu-ray debuts this week: "Prince of Darkness (Collector's Edition)" (1987), directed by John Carpenter and starring Donald Pleasence, Jameson Parker, Victor Wong, Lisa Blount, Alice Cooper and Dennis Dun. Extras include commentary with Carpenter, "Sympathy for the Devil": new interview with Carpenter, "Alice at the Apocalypse": new interview with actor and rock legend Alice Cooper, alternate opening from the TV version, more. From Shout! Factory/Scream Factory ..."Psycho II (Collector's Edition)" (1983), directed by Richard Franklin and starring Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia and Dennis Franz; and "Psycho III (Collector's Edition)" (1986), directed by Anthony Perkins starring Perkins, Diana Scarwid, Jeff Fahey, Roberta Maxwell and Hugh Gillin. Both sequels hail from Shout! Factory/Scream Factory.
From TV to DVD:Murder, betrayal, office politics, temptation ... it's all in a day's work for Detective Salvo Montalbano in "Detective Montalbano: Episodes 23 & 24 and Detective Montalbano: Episodes 25 & 26" (2012). The very popular series is filmed in the ancient, sun-washed Sicilian city of Ragusa, and is based on the international best-selling mystery novels by Andrea Camilleri. Luca Zingaretti stars as Montalbano, the head of the police precinct who balances the demands of his Northern Italian superiors and the realities of local Sicilian crime. From MHz Networks ... Matt Smith returns as the 11th Doctor in "Doctor Who: The Complete Seventh Series" (2013), a collection of all 13 episodes from the seventh series, plus the 2011 and 2012 Christmas Specials. As a five-disc DVD, $79.98; four-disc Blu-ray, $89.98. From BBC Home Entertainment ... "Family Guy Volume 11, Season 12" (2012-13) is a three-disc set with 23 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "Foyle's War Set 7" (2013) features three new mysteries of the acclaimed Masterpiece Mystery! series, featuring the complete U.K. broadcast editions. As the series returns, World War II is over, but the Cold War simmers in 1946 London. DCS Christopher Foyle (Michael Kitchen) has retired from police work when Britain's secret intelligence service compels him to join its ranks. Reunited with his former colleague, newlywed Sam Wainwright (Honeysuckle Weeks), Foyle faces newbut no less deadlythreats in the world of spies and counterintelligence. Three-disc DVD, two-disc Blu-ray; $49.99 each from Acorn Media ... "Gene Simmons Family Jewels -- The Final Season" (2013) is a three-disc set, $19.98 from A&E/Lionsgate ... "Hannibal: Season One" (2012) consists of all thirteen episodes of the TV series -- based on the novels of Thomas Harris -- that delves into the complex mind of iconic villain Hannibal Lecter. Four-disc DVD, $39.97; three-disc Blu-ray, $39.98; from Lionsgate ... "Hawaii Five-0 -- The Third Season" (2012-13) features 24 episodes of this contemporary take on the classic series, but here about a new elite federalized task force whose mission is to wipe out the crime that washes up on the Islands' sun-drenched beaches. Formats: Seven-disc DVD, $64.99; six-disc Blu-ray, $72.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "The Lady Vanishes" (2013) is a new adaptation of Alfred Hitchcock's classic 1938 thriller that sees a beautiful, spoiled young woman risk her life to solve the mysterious disappearance of a woman on a train. Stars Tuppence Middleton. $24.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit -- The Fourteenth Year" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, from Universal ... "Modern Family Season Four" (2012-13) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes. DVD, $49.98; Blu-ray Disc, $59.99 from Fox ... "New Tricks Collection: Seasons 1-5" (2012) a the long-running, award-winning British series that follows a motley crew of semi-retired detectives as they investigate cold cases in this fast paced and witty U.K. import. Value-priced 15-Disc Collector's Edition features the longer, unedited UK edition of the 39 episodes from Seasons 1-5 $124.99 from Acorn Media ... "2 Broke Girls: The Complete Second Season" (2012-13) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes that finds best friends Max (Kat Dennings) and Caroline (Beth Behrs) still waiting tables in Brooklyn, but the future looks bright for their start-up business venture. There's a boost from a famous television personality's review of Max's cupcakes, a lucky break in real estate, and a surprise influx of cash, resulting in the grand opening of Max's Homemade Cupcakes. But success doesn't happen overnight. There are rat droppings to be dealt with, plus ex-boyfriends, a new flame, long nights packing a pastry gun ... and an eviction notice. $44.98 from Warner ... "War and Peace" (2007) is a lavish international co-production adaptation of Tolstoy's classic featuring an ensemble cast including Clemence Poesy, Brenda Blethyn, Malcolm McDowell and Ken Duken, filmed on location in Russia and Lithuania. The program aired in Belgium and France in 2007 but was never available in the U.S. Two-disc DVD, $49.99 from Acorn Media.
Buzzin' the 'B's:Jason Statham must be one of the hardest working actors in Hollywood, bouncing from action film to action film with aplomb (he's been in 17 films since 2008). His choice of films may not be perfect, but his characters are: the world weary, emotionally damaged soldier-ex-criminal-detective-etc. who must right wrongs and set things straight with the world (read: the bad guys). Statham's characters always seem real: they're flawed and disturbed and they know it. In "Redemption" (2013), he again chooses this type of character -- an ex-British Special Ops soldier who flips out in Afghanistan when the crew of his Humvee is slaughtered. Now content to hide out in London with a lady friend in homeless camps, Statham gets sucked into London's criminal underworld when he's attacked by a pair of vicious "taxmen" (low-level scum who operate a protection racket on the indigent), and, in the process of running from them, gets an opportunity to remake himself and his life. He ends up taking a job as an enforcer for a Chinese criminal overlord, doing work no-one else will do -- extortion, money collection, strong-arming, immigrant smuggling, all the time seeking redemption some how. He finds that in a nun who runs a homeless soup kitchen, and between his involvement with her and his search for the killer(s) of his ex-girlfriend (who was murdered shortly after they split up), his search for absolution drives the latter part of the film. This is not a traditional smack-em up actioner -- there's a noir feel about it, courtesy of writer-director Steven Knight and cinematographer Chris Menges -- and bits and pieces of the plot are really offbeat, mostly in Statham's relationship with the nun. A very interesting "B" effort. From Lionsgate ... In "Blood of Redemption" (2013), starring Dolph Lundgren, Vinnie Jones, Billy Zane, Robert Davi and Gianni Capaldi, a gangster with power, money and love is betrayed by his inner circle, arrested and sent to jail. When he's released, he makes a bloody return to the underworld to exact revenge on those who set him up. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Entertainment One ... From the minds that brought you last year's "V/H/S" comes "V/H/S/2" (2013), an all-new anthology of dread, madness, and gore. Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find another collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student's disappearance. Directed by Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Eduardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans and Jason Eisener. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo and VHS. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... Three years after a tragic accident left a student dead at the annual homecoming dance, a group of seniors find themselves haunted by a deadly visitor from their past who hunts them down in the halls of academe in "Bloody Homecoming" (2012), starring Jim Tavare, Rae Latt, Lexi Giovagnoli, Alex Dobrenko and Randi Lamey. From Image/RLJ Entertainment ... Based on the novel by Par Lagerkvist, winner of a Nobel Prize in Literature, "Barabbas" (2012) is a two-part mini-series that explores the story of a man whose life was spared because of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Filmed on location in Tunisia. Stars Billy Zane, Hristo Shopov, Paolo Seganti, Christiana Capotondi and Filippo Nigro. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment ... Tensions rise between lifelong friends Mitchell and Carter after their truck breaks down on an isolated desert road and they start to attack each other's life decisions with unwavering -- and life-threatening -- brutality in ,b>"Scenic Route" (2013), starring Josh Duhamel and Dan Fogler. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc. from Vertical Entertainments.
On the Indie Front:In "Anything Is Possible" (2013), 12-year-old Ethan Bortnick, the Guinness World Book of Records' youngest solo headline entertainer, plays Nathan, a boy who becomes separated from his mother during a tsunami rescue mission in Japan. When he returns to Detroit, Child Care Services threatens to take him away from his dad when it's revealed that the man isn't his biological father, and Nathan runs away. But with the help and support of the strangers he meets along the way -- including a homeless Iraq-war veteran, a wealthy philanthropist and kids at the local orphanage -- he discovers his musical gift, a sense of belonging and his true purpose. Co-stars Jonathan Bennett and Lacey Chabert. From Image Entertainment ... In "Ashes" (2012), starring Ajay Naidu, Faran Tahir, Heather Burns and Piper Perabo, a young Indo-American man struggles in the inner city of New York to support himself and his mentally ill older brother. From Green Apple Entertainment ... The vivacious author of the best-selling book "The Power of Love" is invited to a radio talk show, where she helps listeners improve their relationships by counseling callers with their love matters, eventually and unwittingly exposing her own love-related issues on air in "The Power of Love" (2013), starring Vivica Fox, Malik Barnhardt, Wood Harris and Joe Torry. From Maddox Entertainment.
For the Family:"Geronimo Stilton: Operation ShuFongFong" (2013) features four adventures of the brilliant mouse journalist and his courageous pals as they launch paws-first into exciting capers in search of the next big scoop. The hit animated TV series is inspired by the best-selling Scholastic book series of the same name. The episodes: "Operation ShuFongFong," in which Geronimo and his sidekicks journey deep into the Bandel Jungle to retrieve a pair of stolen ShuFongFong lizards; "Mouse House of the Future," where Geronimo reluctantly accepts Professor Cheesewheel's offer to make his messy house fully automatic, complete with a robot butler; "Reported Missing," which finds Geronimo and team trekking to Africa to uncover the secret of an adventurer who vanished without a trace long ago; and "It's My Scoop," where Geronimo learns that he needs to be more careful with his notes if he is to stop getting scooped by rival news organization, The Daily Rat. From Entertainment One ... In order to keep his promise to aging kung fu master Sifu, Fu the rabbit, a humble chef, must venture out of the comfort of his kitchen, team up with a kung fu prodigy and her sidekick, and go on a heroic quest to defeat Sifu's arch-nemesis to save their kung fu academy from peril in "Legend of Kung Fu Rabbit" (2011), with the voices of Jon Heder, Michael Clarke Duncan, Rebecca Black, Claire Geare and Tom Arnold. From Lionsgate ... "Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales Ruh-Roh Robot!" (2012) is a two-disc set with 13 fan-favorite zany mysteries, $19.98 from Warner.
Special Interest:For "The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear" (2012 -- Georgia), filmmaker Tinatin Gurchiani put out a casting call for young adults, aged 15-23, to make a film about growing up in her home country, Georgia, and to find commonalities across social and ethnic lines. The boys and girls who responded to the call were radically different from one another, as were their personal reasons for auditioning. Some wanted to be movie stars and saw the film as a means to that end; others wanted to tell their personal story. Gurchiani traveled through cities and villages interviewing the candidates and filming their daily lives. From Icarus Films Home Video ... The documentary "Dear Mom, Love Cher" (2013) provides a rare peek into Cher's fascinating family history and features in-depth interviews with her mother, Georgia Holt, daughters Cher and Georganne LaPiere Bartylak, and grandchildren Chaz Bono and Elijah Blue Allman. $14.98 from Lionsgate.
DVD Collectibles (9/17):The highlight of the week is Shout! Factory's "The Bruce Lee Legacy Collection," an 11 Blu-ray/DVD box set in book-style packaging marking the 40th anniversary of the release of "Enter the Dragon" and the 40th anniversary of Lee's death). The set offers the first-ever Blu- ray presentations (as well as the DVD versions) of "The Big Boss," "Fist of Fury," "Way of the Dragon" and "Game of Death" and includes three documentaries on two discs, "Bruce Lee: The Legend" (and the original version "Bruce Lee: The Man, The Legend"), the critically acclaimed "I Am Bruce Lee" and "The Grandmaster and the Dragon: William Cheung and Bruce Lee"; and a bonus disc with hours of extra content. The book includes 68 pages of archival materials, rare and never-before-released photos, a new essay on Lee's amazing career, and much more. $119.99.
"Two Men in Manhattan" (1959) is a rediscovered gem from master filmmaker Jean-Pierre Melville. Melville's moody dramas, including "Bob le Flambeur," "Le Doulos," "Le Samourai" and "Army of Shadows," were deeply influenced by classic Hollywood crime pictures, making iconic use of cigarette-smoking, world-weary gangsters and detectives in trenchcoats and fedora hats. His minimalist style, including shooting on real locations, was a major influence on the next generation of filmmakers that would create the New Wave. The dark shadows of New York come to life here in this tale about a French UN delegate who disappears into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Melville himself) and hard-drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasse) on a mission to find him. Their only lead: pictures of three women that could indicate a scandal. Though not the best of Melville's outings (it was a major flop at the boxoffice and was never released in the states), the film nevertheless is a shining example of Melville's existential filmmaking: the protagonists (one a hero, the other an antihero) must grapple with ethical dilemmas throughout the course of their Odyssey and decide whether they should cash in on their discovery or squash their finding for the sake of the greater good. The location shots of New York are gorgeous; the interiors (shot in a studio in France) no so. The story line is corny at times and requires leaps of faith by the viewer because of plot inconsistencies -- but the film has more to do with the appearances of reality than realism for its own sake. Extras include a conversation between film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky and a new essay by Melville scholar Ginette Vincendeau. On Blu-ray and DVD from Cohen Film Collection.
The Criterion Collection this week offers the Blu-ray debut of Richard Linklater's "Slacker" (1991), a prime example of American independent film that presents a day in the life of a loose-knit Austin, Texas, subculture populated by eccentric and overeducated young people. Linklater and his crew threw out any idea of a traditional plot, choosing instead to create a tapestry of over 100 characters, each participant "handing off" the movie to the next character he or she meets in the loose-knit structure (ala Luis Bunuel's "The Phantom of Liberty"). Also from Criterion comes "Autumn Sonata" (1978) on DVD and Blu-ray. The film was the only collaboration between cinema's two great Bergmans -- Ingmar, the iconic director of "The Seventh Seal," and Ingrid, the monumental star of "Casablanca." The grand dame, playing an icy concert pianist, is matched beat for beat in ferocity by the filmmaker's recurring lead Liv Ullmann as her eldest daughter. Over the course of a long, painful night that the two spend together after an extended separation, they finally confront the bitter discord of their relationship. Both releases come loaded with extras ... "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz (almost as a precursor to "All About Eve") and starring Ann Sothern, Linda Darnell, Jeanne Crain, Kirk Douglas and Paul Douglas, arrives on Blu-ray from Fox. In this award-winning melodrama, a letter is addressed to three wives from their "best friend," Addie Ross, announcing that she is running away with one of their husbands -- but she doesn't say which one, forcing the women to reminisce about the ups and downs of their marriages -- giving the viewer a glimpse into their lives and loves. A fabulous peek at mid-century culture and mores -- with great acting and directing. Extras include commentary and "Biography: Linda Darnell: Hollywood's Fallen Angel." Other Blu-Ray releases this week: universal has broken up its "Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection" Blu-ray set and has released four of the horror classics separately on Blu-ray: "Frankenstein" (1931), "Dracula" (1931), "The Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) and "The Wolf Man" (1941), $26.98 each.
From TV to DVD (9/17):"Adventure Time: Jake the Dad" (2013) is an all-new compilation that features 16 popular episodes from seasons 4 and 5 of the series, plus a must-have Jake hat included as an on-pack bundle, $24.98 from Warner ... "Arrow: The Complete First Season" (2012-13) (2012-13) includes all 23 episodes of CW's modern-day re-imagining of the iconic DC Comics superhero. After being marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen returns home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills that he uses in a war on crime in this hard-hitting action series. Available as a five-disc DVD, $59.98; and a Blu-ray/DVD Combo (four Blu-ray discs, five DVD discs) for $69.97. From Warner ... "Bates Motel: Season One" (2013) is a modern day re-imagining of the classic film "Psycho" that looks at Norman Bates' teenage years and his intricate relationship with his mother, weaving a web of deception, murder and unexpected twists in a small town where nothing is what it seems. Stars Freddie Highmore and Vera Farmiga. Three-disc set with 10 episodes, $44.98 on DVD and Blu-ray. From Universal ... "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation -- The Thirteenth Season" (2012-13) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $69.99 from CBS/Paramount ... In "Dalziel & Pascoe: Season 8" (2004), Superintendent Andy Dalziel, a blowhard old-school detective and his cultured by-the-book partner, Peter Pascoe, return for another season of puzzling cases and surprising twists. Two-disc DVD, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Grimm: Season Two" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes. Now fully embracing his identity as a Grimm (a line of guardians who mediate between the human world and the world of the monsters of mythology), Portland homicide detective Nick Burkhardt tackles even more gruesome and bizarre crimes linked to creatures of lore. On $59.98; Blu-ray, $69.98. From Universal ... "The Hollow Crown: The Complete Series" (2012) is the miniseries adaptation of four of Shakespeare's most celebrated historical plays: "Richard II," "Henry IV (Part 1 and Part 2)," and "Henry V." Academy Award-winner Jeremy Irons, Tom Hiddleston and Ben Whishaw in his award-winning role as Richard II star in this epic tale of three Kings and their battle for survival, and the rise and fall of a dynasty. From Universal ... "Leverage Season Five" (2012-13) is a four-disc set with 15 episodes, $29.98 from Fox ... "The Mentalist: The Complete Fifth Season" (2012) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes of the show about Patrick Jane, the California Bureau of Investigation consultant and former faux-psychic obsessed with finding Red John, the serial killer who murdered his family. The Sunday night hit procedural combines crime-solving twists with wry humor that celebrate mind over matter. Though Red John may still be at large, the CBI has captured Lorelei, one of his accomplices. With Lorelei firmly in the grasps of the CBI, will Jane be able to get information about Red John out of her? $59.98 from Warner ... "Nashville: The Complete First Season" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 21 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "Top Gear: The Worst Car in the History of the World" (2013) has hosts Jeremy Clarkson and James May traveling to the very distant North of England to name and shame the most rubbish car from a manufacturer which, frankly, should have known better, and argue over the great and the awful from Peugeot, Ford, Mahindra, FSO, Alfa Romeo, Rolls Royce, Porsche, Citroen, Saab, and many more. $9.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Vegas -- The DVD Edition" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 21 episodes of the series inspired by the true story of former Las Vegas Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a former military police officer, who now patrols the once-desolate desert city. As corruption builds within Las Vegas during the 1960s, Lamb is called upon to bring order to the new entertainment mecca, putting him face-to-face with the ruthless Chicago gangster who intends to claim Vegas as his own. Extras include "He Ain't Like the Real Law," which profiles the real life of Sheriff Ralph Lamb; more. $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Waking The Dead: Season Eight" (2012) returns with a dark and frightening new season. The Cold Case Squad has new offices in an eerie basement and a new team member who is keeping secrets. Three months have passed since the death of his son, and Boyd is determined to get back to work with his team he seems more reckless than ever. And could Eve be in a relationship with a man who was involved in a murder thirteen years ago? Two-disc set with eight episodes, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment.
Buzzin' the 'B's (9/17):"Hidden in the Woods" (2012 -- Chile), starring Siboney Lo and Carolina Escobar, is based on a bizarre true story -- and is not for the faint of heart. Being remade in the U.S. by the original's director, Patricio Valladares -- the film features extreme violence, prostitution, sexual assault, buckets of blood and even cannibalism. Deep in the Chilean countryside, Ana and Anny live with their deformed brother and are subject to their father's perverse and sadistic whims. After a dispute with the police leaves a wake of death and mutilation, they flee and find refuge in a remote cabin hidden from society. Meanwhile, a crime lord, convinced they have stolen the massive stash of drugs their father was hiding, sends a violent pack of thugs to find them. Spanish with English subtitles. With an eight-page collector's booklet and a behind-the-scenes featurette. From Artsploitation Films ... "Bless Me, Ultima" (2013), starring Miriam Colon, Benito Martinez and Dolores Heredia, was written for the screen and directed by Carl Franklin. A drama set in New Mexico during WWII, it centers on the relationship between a young man and an elderly medicine woman who helps him contend with the battle between good and evil that rages in his village. From Sony ... In "Breakout (aka Split Decision)" (2013), starring Brendan Fraser, Dominic Purcell, Ethan Suplee, Daniel Kash, Holly Deveaux and Amy Price-Francis, an innocent camping trip takes a dark turn for a young brother and sister when they witness a murder and become the killers' next target. Serving time over a protest gone terribly wrong, their father, Jack Damson (Fraser), devises a plan to break out of prison and rescue his kids. From Sony ... In "Drift" (2012), starring Myles Pollard, Xavier Samuel and Sam Worthington, two brothers in Australia in the 1970s battle killer waves, uptight society, corruption and ruthless bikers to create a surf business -- rethinking board design, crafting homemade wetsuits and selling merchandise out of their van -- and kick-start the modern surf industry. Inspired by a real story.On DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate ... After a young girl has her first baby tooth fall out, she becomes haunted by a hideous "tooth fairy" in "The Haunting of Helena" (2012 -- Italy), starring Harriet MacMasters-Green, Jarreth J. Merz, Matt Patresi, Giuliano Montaldo and Sabrina Jolie Perez; from Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment ... "Suddenly" (2013), directed by Uwe Boll and starring Ray Liotta, Dominic Purcell and Michael Pare, is a remake of the 1954 Frank Sinatra classic that follows the journey of a washed-up war veteran, now a local cop and town drunk, as he must come to grips with his demons in order to stop three assassins before they kill the U.S. president as his travelcade passes through the small town of Suddenly. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment ... When their latest work is buffed by a rival crew, two determined graffitti writers embark on an elaborate plan to "bomb" the ultimate location: the New York Mets' Home Run Apple in "Gimme the Loot" (2012), starring Ty Hickson and Tashiana Washington. But first they need to raise money to meet their goal. Over the course of two whirlwind summer days, the pair travel on a epic urban adventure involving black-market spray cans, illicit bodegas, stolen sneakers, a high-stakes heist, and a beautiful girl whose necklace is literally their key to fame. From IFC Films ... In "Java Heat" (2013), starring Mickey Rourke, Kellan Lutz and Ario Bayu, a Muslim detective teams with an American FBI agent/Marine posing as a graduate student to find the man behind a series of deadly terrorist bombings in Indonesia. The unlikely duo embark on a treacherous manhunt for the attacks' real perpetrator, a new breed of klepto-terrorist who is even more twisted and terrifying than the Jihadist terrorists he hides behind. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc from IFC Films ... In "Simon Killer" (2012), starring Brady Corbet and Mati Diop, a recent college graduate flees to Paris after a break-up, where his involvement with a prostitute begins to reveal a potentially dark past. From IFC Films ... Fifteen years after an on-campus murder, students re-open the case for a class and uncover a truth more horrifying and closer to home than they ever imagined in "Unsolved" (2009), starring Jerome Braggs, Amy Briede and Lezette Boutin. From MVD Entertainment.
On the Indie Front (9/17):
Foreign (9/17):"Augustine" (2013 -- France), starring Vincent Lindon, Soko, Chiara Mastroianni, Olivier Rabourdin and Roxane Duran, is the true story of the unusual relationship that developed between a pioneering 19th century French neurologist and his star patient, a teenaged maid, brought to life in this darkly sensual period drama, a complex and startling portrait of power, desire and madness, written and directed by first-time feature filmmaker Alice Winocour. In Belle Epoque Paris, 19-year-old kitchen maid Augustine (Soko) suffers an inexplicable seizure that leaves her partially paralyzed, and she is shipped off to an all-female psychiatric hospital specializing in the then-fashionable ailment of "hysteria." Augustine captures the attention of renowned neurologist Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot (Lindon), mentor of Sigmund Freud, after she has another attack that appears to give her intense physical pleasure. Intrigued, Charcot begins using her as his principal subject, hypnotizing her in front of his fellow doctors. As Augustine displays her spectacular fits in lecture halls, the lines between doctor and patient become blurred, radically impacting the course of both of their lives. On DVD and Blu-ray from Music Box Films ... "In the Fog" (2012 -- Russia), starring Vladimir Svirskiy, Vladislav Abashin and Sergei Kolesov, takes place in 1942 on the western edge of the USSR under German occupation. In the region, local partisans are waging a brutal battle against their foreign enemies. Sushenya, an innocent rail worker, is arrested with a band of saboteurs when a train is derailed not far from his village. The German officer decides to set him free rather than hang him with the others, but rumors of Sushenya's "treason" spread quickly and partisans Burov and Voitik seek revenge. Captured by the partisans, Sushenya is led through the forest where they are ambushed. Soon he finds himself one-on-one with his wounded enemy, forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances. From Strand Releasing ... Set in France during WWII, "War of the Buttons" (2012 -- France) tells the tale of two rival groups of kids from neighboring villages. Pre-teen rebel Lebrac leads a spirited group of kids in a pint-sized "war" where the victory comes from capturing the enemies' buttons, belts, and laces -- forcing them to return home ragged to face their mothers' reprimand. When Violette, a young Jewish girl, comes to town to hide from the Nazis, Lebrac befriends her and the children put their own conflicts aside to protect their new friend from the very real war happening around them. Stars Jean Texier, Ilona Bachelier, Guillaume Canet, Laetitia Casta and Kad Merad. From The Weinstein Co./Anchor Bay ... "The Last Tycoon" (2012 -- Hong Kong), starring Chow Yun-Fat, Sammo Hung Kam-Bo and Francis Ng, spans 30 tumultuous years in Shanghai beginning at the turn of the 20th century, telling the story of the rise and fall of real-life gangster Cheng Daqi (Yun-Fat) and his violent swath through the criminal underworld. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo, from Well Go USA.
For the Family (9/17):"Barney: Most Huggable Moments" (2013) is a two-disc set that celebrates more than 25 years of sharing, caring and imagination with Barney and his friends; includes episodes never-before seen on DVD and the delightful "Barney: Dino-mite Birthday." Barney brings preschoolers on journeys big and small and reminds everyone that they're special just the way they are. $14.98 from Lionsgate ... "Thomas & Friends: King of the Railway -- The Movie" (2013) is a new feature for kids 2 to 5 that introduces four new engines on the Island of Sodor, including Stephen, who is based on the legendary "Stephenson's Rocket," one of the fastest and most advanced steam locomotives of its day. The engines also go on an adventure involving suits of armor, coats of arms and legends of long-ago heroes. On DVD, $19.98; Blu-ray/DVD Combo, $24.99 from Lionsgate.
Special Interest (9/17):"Brainwave" (2012) is a three-disc set with 10 programs of the series of conversations called Brainwave that take place in New York City each year in which the best and brightest artists and scientists participate in provocative, far-reaching, unscripted conversations to explore memory and perception, creativity and consciousness, happiness, fear, illusions, and dreams. Launched by the Rubin Museum of Art in 2008 and now in its sixth edition, Brainwave pairs celebrities from many walks of life -- actors, musicians, comedians, composers, filmmakers, choreographers, artists, and authors -- with leading neuroscientists and other experts to explore how the human mind works. The series has not aired on television, and this collection features some of the most interesting participants, including superstar chef Mario Batali, author R.L. Stine (Goosebumps series), Debra Winger, comedian Lewis Black and musician Henry Rollins. $59.99 from Athena ... "A Girl and a Gun" (2012) brings a female perspective to the debate that's raging across the nation and explores the intersection of "girl power" and firepower. Filmed throughout the U.S., the film delves deep into the American gun world to show the relationship between women and their guns. The classic Hollywood portrayals of pistol packin' mamas, tomboy sharp shooters, sexually twisted femme fatales, and high-heeled, cold-blooded assassins are caricatures. In truth, the typical woman who hangs out at rifle ranges and keeps ammo in her purse is the girl-next-door, the single mom, a hard working sister or aunt. Breaking through the stereotypes, the film reveals how some women have embraced this object whose history is deeply bound to men and masculinity. From First Run Features ... In "Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan: Creepy Crawlers and Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan: Deadliest Critters" (2012) actor and wildlife enthusiast Dominic Monaghan travels across the globe, from the rainforests of Ecuador to an underground river in Laos, to uncover the scariest and most exotic creatures on the planet. InCreepy Crawlers," Monaghan meets the giant white goliath beetle of Cameroon, the Giant Huntsman Spider of Laos, the worlds largest centipede -- scolopendra gigantica -- of Venezuela, an aggressive, venomous carnivore that is rumored to snatch bats right out of the air. In "Deadliest Critters" he travels to Guatemala to seek out an endangered and venomous reptile, the Guatemalan beaded lizard, then he meets one of the most dangerous scorpions in the world, the black hairy thick-tailed scorpion in Namibia, then goes to the Ecuadorian rainforest to face off with a 4 million-strong colony of flesh-eating, venom injecting army ants, and finally travels from the snake-infested rice paddies of Vietnam' Mekong Delta to a crocodile filled lake in search of one of the world's most dangerous aquatic insects -- the giant water bug. $14.98 each from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Fear Files" (2005) is a three-disc set that explores the legends of ghosts, vampires and the history of the haunting holiday of Halloween. This creepy compilation features over three hours of frightening programming with three History specials: "The Hauntings," "Vampire Secrets" and "The Haunted History of Halloween." $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Haunted History " (2013) takes viewers deep into frightening ghostly events that linger within historic locations across the United States. Driven by terrifying eyewitness accounts, each episode examines a site's spooky events in relation to its gruesome past. Hear the ghosts of soldiers at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, meet the restless souls plaguing Salem, Massachusetts, visit Chicago's infamous "Murder Castle" and many more. $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Space Junk 3D" (2013), originally created for exhibition in IMAX theatres, and narrated by Tom Wilkinson, is the first movie to explore the exponentially expanding ring of debris that's orbiting -- and threatening -- out planet's space lanes. On 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.
"Star Trek Into Darkness," "Love Is All You Need," "Chasing Ice" and "Peeples." Read more at the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
DVD Collectibles (9/10):We loved Mike Nichols' 1996 "The Birdcage," starring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion whose lives are thrown topsy-turvy when they agree to put up a false straight front for their son who's set to marry the daughter of a right-wing moralistic U.S. Senator. But 18 years earlier we fell in love with the original, Edouard Molinaro's "La Cage aux Folles" (1978), which is making its Blu-ray debut this week via The criterion Collection. How can you go wrong here: Toss in great acting and direction and a groundbreaking story line (in a less tolerant era), all set in the breathtaking environs of St. Tropez. Renato (Ugo Tognazzi) and Albin (Michel Serrault) -- a middle-aged gay couple who are the manager and star performer at a glitzy drag club -- agree to hide their sexual identities, along with their flamboyant personalities and home decor, when the ultraconservative parents of Renato's son's fiancee come for a visit. This elegant French farce about the importance of nonconformity and the beauty of being true to oneself was a breakout art-house smash in America and, of course, spawned "The Birdcage" and a major Broadway musical. In a new 2K digital film restoration, with a new interview with director Edouard Molinaro; archival footage featuring actor Michel Serrault and Jean Poiret, writer and star of the original stage production of "La Cage aux Folles"; a booklet featuring an essay by critic David Ehrenstein; and more.
The mid-1960s was a great time for spy films, with such dashing spymasters as James Bond (Sean Connery), Derek Flint (James Coburn), Matt Helm (Dean Martin), Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) and Quiller (George Segal). Each had their light-hearted moments amongst the spying, mayhem and killing (and a couple, of course, were too light-hearted), but none of them were as bleak as "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" (1965), based on the best-selling novel by John le Carre, about a Cold War spy on one final dangerous mission in East Germany. Richard Burton is superb as Alec Leamas, whose relationship with a beautiful librarian, played by Claire Bloom, puts his assignment in jeopardy. It's very hard-edged and depressing, but a perfect paradigm for the frightening Cold War atmosphere of the mid century. In a new high-definition digital film restoration from Criterion, with an exclusive, wide-ranging interview with author John le Carre; "The Secret Centre: John le Carre," a 2000 BBC documentary on the author's life and work; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Michael Sragow; and more.
Paramount has tied in two Blu-ray releases to "Star Trek Into Darkness": "Star Trek: Stardate Collection: contains all 10 original "Star Trek" films together on Blu-ray in a premium, collectible package with 12 discs and 25 hours of bonus content: interviews with the cast and crew, commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes and much more. The "Star Trek: The Original Series -- Origins" collection showcases the origins episodes of the most significant characters from "Star Trek: The Original Series." Introduced by Rod Roddenberry, son of "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry, and starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Nichelle Nichols, George Takei, Walter Koenig and Ricardo Montalban, this collection includes: "The Cage," thr original pilot episode of the epic series that introduced the iconic characters Captain Pike and Spock; "Where No Man Has Gone Before" second pilot episode in which Captain James T. Kirk is first seen at the helm of the Enterprise; "Space Seed" debut of the unforgettable super villain, Khan; "Errand of Mercy" introduces the legendary alien race the Klingons; "The Trouble With Tribbles." Other Blu-ray releases this week: "The Fly" (1958), starring David Hedison, Patricia Owens, Vincent Price and Herbert Marshall, from Fox ... and, on Friday, September 13, Warner will spring "Friday the 13th: The Complete Collection" with all 12 films from Warner Bros. and Paramount in one "Horrific" collection: a 10-Disc set with seven Blu-ray debuts and 11 hours of extra content in collectible tin packaging; includes a 40-page book with behind-the-scenes photos, a Camp Crystal Lake counselor patch, more. $129.95. And speaking of Friday the 13, the folks over at 1428 Films have put together "Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th" that takes viewers behind the mask on a journey into the making of the landmark horror franchise -- from its humble beginnings in 1980 at a New Jersey summer camp to the blockbuster release of its 2009 "reboot." Combining hundreds of rare and never-before-seen photographs, film clips, outtakes, archival documents, conceptual art and behind-the-scenes footage, and featuring interviews with more than 150 cast and crew members spanning all twelve films and the television series, this is the ultimate tribute to one of horror's most iconic and enduring franchises. $29.95 in a two Blu-ray/two DVD Combo.
From TV to DVD (9/10):"Blue Bloods -- The Third Season" (2012-13) is a Six-disc set with 23 episodes of the series about the Reagans, a multi-generational family of cops dedicated to New York City law enforcement, starring Tom Selleck, Donnie Wahlberg, Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes, Amy Carlson, Sami Gayle and Len Cariou, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Chicago Fire: Season One" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, $44.98. An up-close and personal view into the lives of everyday heroes follows the adventures of the men and women of Chicago Firehouse 51, the courageous firefighters, rescue squad and paramedics whose actions make the difference between life and death. From Emmy Award-winning executive producer Dick Wolf ("Law & Order"), from Universal ... "Homeland Season Two" (2012) is a four-disc set with 12 episodes, on DVD, $59.98 and Blu-ray Disc, $69.99; from Fox ... "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia Season 8" (2012) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ... "The League Season 4" (2012) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes $29.98 from Fox ... In "Luther 3" (2013), Idris Elba returns as John Luther in the third installment of the riveting psychological mini-series, in a two-disc DVD, $34.98 BBC Home Entertainment ... "Parade's End" (2012) is a five-part miniseries that explores a bygone England -- spanning from the Edwardian era to the chaos and destruction of World War I, based on four related novels by Ford Madox Ford published in the 1920s. Adapted for the small screen by Tom Stoppard, who vividly captures the devastation of war and the end of Edwardian ideals, bridging the gap between feudal England and the dawn of modernism. From HBO ... "Supernatural: The Complete Eighth Season" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98. Also available as a four-disc Blu-ray with UltraViolet digital copies, $69.97. After a year apart, Sam and Dean are reunited in the Eighth Season premiere. After escaping from Purgatory with the help of a vampire named Benny, Dean heads straight for Sam, but the reunion isn't exactly everything he imagined it would be. Although Sam drops everything to join his brother, leaving the life he had grown accustomed to enjoy turns out to be harder than he imagined. In the meantime, Benny's help turns out to be more than what Dean bargained for. As the brothers struggle with their unexpected reunion, they make a shocking discovery that could lead them on a deeply personal mission to settle old scores. From Warner.
Buzzin' the 'B's (9/10):In "Delete" (2011), starring Keir Gilchrist, Janet Kidder, Matt Frewer, Erin Karpluk, Ryan Robbins, Seth Green and Gil Bellows, a nearly triggered nuclear reactor meltdown turns out to be the work of a world-wide artificial intelligence that has turned into a conscious entity with the sole purpose of destroying the world, one disaster at a time, and the only way to save the world is to create a second form of artificial intelligence that is just as alive, just as intelligent and just as dangerous. Part of the Doomsday thriller series. From Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment) ... In "Wish You Were Here" (2012), starring Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer, Anthony Starr and Felicity Price, the lives of a group of Australian friends are irreparably changed after one of them goes missing during a spontaneous vacation in Cambodia. As the investigation into the disappearance begins to reveal the nefarious motivations behind their trip, the remaining three struggle to carry on with their lives in Sydney amidst the threat that even more damning details will emerge From Entertainment One ... In "Frankenstein's Army" (2013), starring Karel Roden, Joshua Sasse, Robert Gwilym and Alexander Mercury, Russian soldiers pushing into eastern Germany toward the end of World War II stumble across a secret Nazi lab in which a German scientist, Viktor, has unearthed and begun experimenting with the journal of Dr. Frankenstein, with the goal to create an army of super-soldiers stitched together from the body parts of fallen Germans -- in a desperate attempt to prevent Hitler's defeat. On DVD and Blu-ray from MPI/Dark Sky Films ... Nine friends take a holiday at a Victorian home on a private island and uncover a game that when played brings out the worst in each of them. Jealously, greed, hatred, lust, all of the things they keep buried deep inside themselves rise to the surface and come to a boil in "The Black Waters of Echo's Pond" (2009), starring Danielle Harris, Robert Patrick and James Duval. On DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay ... One family's world begins to unravel when a newly hired contractor with a sinister agenda enters their home, sabotaging their car, ruining the house's plumbing and planting evidence framing the husband for an affair in "The Contractor" (2013), starring Brad Rowe, Christina Cox, Danny Trejo, Taylor Spreitler and Arianne Zucker. From Lionsgate ... "Blood" (2012), starring Paul Bettany, Mark Strong, Stephen Graham and Brian Cox, is a thriller charting the moral collapse of a police family in which two cop brothers, smothered by the shadow of their former police chief father, must investigate a crime they themselves have committed. On DVD and Blu-ray from Image Entertainment ... When the teenage daughter of a reclusive family of artists falls in love with an unusual boy at school, she awakens mysterious powers -- she's the last in a long line of female mystics who have practiced their magical traditions in secret for centuries -- and discovers ancient secrets that will change her life forever in "The Last Keepers" (2013), starring Aidan Quinn, Virginia Madsen, Zosia Mamet and Olympia Dukakis. From Vertical Entertainment ... In "The Mole Man of Belmont Avenue" (2010), two slacker brothers inherit a brownstone apartment building and run it into the ground: Tenants are moving out, no one drinks at the bar downstairs, and the building's pets go missing. To make matters worse, they soon discover a mysterious creature is hiding in the basement, trying to eat every living thing in the building one by one. Stars Mike Bradecich, John LaFlamboy, Robert Englund and Tim Kazurinsky. From Level 33 Entertainment.
Ready for some vintage 'B'? Synapse Films is releasing "Frankenhooker" (1990), a fairly funny take-off on Frankenstein and slasher films of the era. When Jeffrey Franken's fiancee is chopped to pieces by the blades of a remote-controlled lawnmower, he uses his dubious medical knowledge to try to bring her back to life, reassembling her using the body parts of New York City's finest prostitutes and resurrecting her during a heavy lightning storm. Unfortunately for Jeffrey, his dear Elizabeth's brain is scrambled and she runs amok on 42nd Street, turning tricks and bringing high-voltage death to her customers ... Vinegar Syndrome has a trio of double bills: "Blood Thirst/Thirsty Dead": Two blood drinking B-movies made by Americans in Manila: "Thirsty Dead" (1966): A sinister cult kidnaps beautiful women to use in their ghastly blood rites. "Blood Thirst" (1972): After a series of brutal killings, an American investigator probes the violent goings on and discovers a horrifying secret ... "The Doll Squad/Mission: Killfast Blu-ray": Two classics from cult movie legend Ted V. Mikels explode. In "The Doll Squad" (1973), a foursome of female agents are out to stop a vicious evil mastermind from unleashing the bubonic plague. In "Mission: Killfast," martial arts master Tiger Yang faces off against a group of savvy weapons dealers, resulting in a non-stop orgy of shoot-outs, explosions, and bikini clad beauties. ... "Death Force/Vampire Hookers" (1978) Two blood soaked epics from the king of Filipino exploitation, Cirio H. Santiago. "Death Force": After being left for dead by his fellow smugglers, Doug (James Inglehart) is rescued by two Japanese soldiers, living on a remote island, who teach him the ways of the samurai. Finally returning to the USA, he quickly exacts a brutal and bloody revenge. Co-stars Leon Issac Kennedy and Jayne Kennedy. Presented uncut and under its original title for the first time on home video. "Vampire Hookers": When their commanding officer goes missing, two American sailors discover a group female of vampires who pose as prostitutes to lure men into their secret lair. Stars John Carradine ... And, last but not least, Synapse Films is offering up "Twins of Evil" (1971), starring Peter Cushing, Dennis Price and Playboy centerfold models twins Mary and Maria Gellhorn in a Hammer horror classic about Satanism and witch hunts.
For the Family (9/10):There's a plentiful supply of DVDs this week for the kids:
Special Interest (9/10):"Ping Pong" (2012 -- U.K.) is a documentary about eight pensioners -- in their 80s and 90s and one 100-year-old, with 703 years of experience between them -- from across the planet who compete in the World Over 80s Table Tennis Championship in Inner Mongolia. The film shows that the advanced masters scene is like those in other sports, with rivalries, egomania and even dirty tricks -- like stealing an opponent's bat. From Cinedigm ... From Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney comes "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks" (2013), a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller about Julian Assange and the creation of WikiLeaks, the controversial website that facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Paralleling Assange's rise and fall with that of Pfc. Bradley Manning, the young soldier who leaked hundreds of thousands of classified documents, the documentary is a multi-layered expose about transparency in the information age and our ever-elusive search for the truth.From Universal ... Even though summer is officially over, party-time never stops. Here's two DVDs to help you throw a great soirre: "Flair Bartending: The Working Flair Series" (2013) is a two-disc instructional DVD that includes step-by-step, slow-motion tutoring of 240 Flair Bartending moves, hosted by Scott Young, an internationally renowned bartending instructor and founder of ExtremeBartending.com. Flair Bartending series and Extreme Bartending have been seen on "The Rachel Ray Show" and featured in over 400 TV interviews and magazine/newspaper articles. $19.98 from Shelter Island; "How to Be the Life of the Party" (2013) is a jam-packed, ultra-fun three- hour program that teaches viewers how to be the center-of-attention at any party, birthday bash, BBQ or friendly gathering. $9.98 from Shelter Island.
"Stories We Tell," "Now You See Me," "From Up on Poppy Hill" and "The Iceman." Read more at the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
DVD Collectibles (9/3):For collectors of old TV series, the folks over at StarVista Entertainment/Time Life have just released "Mama's Family: The Complete Series." From the first time the wildly-popular sketch "The Family" aired on "The Carol Burnett Show" in 1974, Vicki Lawrence has been followed by a buxom, blue-haired, purse-lipped, 65-year-old widow. This is, of course, Thelma Mae Crowley Harper, Lawrence's indelible, abrasive and smart alecky alter ego who would eventually be spun-off into her own delightfully offbeat sitcom "Mama's Family," which debuted on NBC on January 22, 1983 and ran for six seasons (until 1990). Set in the fictional city of Raytown, "Mama's Family" revolves around the eye-opening escapades of the Harper clan, headed by formidable matriarch, Mama Harper, a fiery-tempered no-nonsense woman who does not suffer fools gladly. In fact, she makes everybody suffer a little with her patented snappy retorts that truly put the "diss" in dysfunction. Across 130 30-minute episodes spanning six seasons, viewers were treated to hilarious -- and sometimes heart-warming -- family comedy. Adding to the mix were Mama's journalist sister, Fran (Rue McClanahan), who lives with her; her youngest son, Vint (Ken Berry), who moves in with his two teenagers after he's evicted; and Naomi (Dorothy Lyman), who marries Vint by Episode 4. Mama's extended family includes her two daughters, highfalutin' Ellen (Betty White) and high-strung Eunice (Carol Burnett), as well as Eunice's husband, Ed (Harvey Korman). The set is comprised of 130 episodes across 24 DVDs in a collector's set with an introductory note from Vicki Lawrence. On DVD for $199.95 from MamasFamilyDVDs.com. The set includes a collectible "Mama's Family" album featuring character bios, a "Mama's Family" tree, and interviews and anecdotes from cast members; 10 hours of specially-created bonus material including interviews, featurettes and much, much more.
More Collectibles:Warner has released a new Blu-ray version of Andrew Davis's 1993 "The Fugitive," starring Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward, Julianne Moore, Joe Pantoliano, Andreas Katsulas, Jeroen Krabbe. Dubbed "The Fugitive 20th Anniversary Blu-ray," the release features a new featurette, "The Fugitive: Thrill of the Chase," with Andrew Davis, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones and others. The original extras include an introduction by Davis and Ford; commentary by Davis and Jones; "On the Run With the Fugitive" behind-the-scenes featurette; "Derailed: Anatomy of a Train Wreck" behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Fugitive" (2000 WB Pilot); and the theatrical trailer.
From TV to DVD (9/3):"Ancient Aliens: Season 5 -- Volume 1" (2012) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $19.98 from Lionsgate ... "Criminal Minds -- The Eighth Season" (2012) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes of the series that revolves around an elite team of FBI profilers who analyze the country's most twisted criminal minds, anticipating their next moves before they strike again. The Behavioral Analysis Unit's most prominent agent is David Rossi (Joe Mantegna), a founding member of the BAU, who returns to help the team solve new cases, while pursuing some unfinished business of his own. Each member brings his or her own area of expertise to the table as they pinpoint predators' motivations and identify their emotional triggers in the attempt to stop them. $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Da Vinci's Demons -- The Complete First Season" (2013) is a three-disc set with all eight episodes of the Starz Original series that follows the "untold" story of Leonardo Da Vinci during his early years in Renaissance Florence, using only his genius to fight against those who use history, religion and politics to suppress the truth. On DVD, $44.98; Blu-ray Disc, $54.99; from Anchor Bay ... Stephen Tompkinson and Andrea Lowe star as the tenacious and stubborn Chief Inspector Alan Banks and the feisty and headstrong Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot in "DCI Banks: Aftermath" (2010), a chilling crime story based on the hugely successful novel from award-winning international crime writer Peter Robinson. A young woman is unconscious, bleeding from a head wound. Her husband is hiding in the cellar, ready to wield a knife at anyone who tries to enter and desperate to protect his secret. What happens next leaves one of the officers dead, the other fighting for her career and Banks with a chilling murder investigation that will test him to the limit. $19.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Haven: The Complete Third Season" (2012) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes. When FBI Agent Audrey Parker arrives in Haven, Maine on a routine case, she quickly finds herself involved in the return of the Troubles, a series of supernatural afflictions that have long cursed the seaside town and its residents. Joining the Haven Police Department, Audrey began to realize that it was fate -- not luck -- that brought her to this place and that she is inexplicably linked to the mysteries of Haven. This season picks up immediately after the end of Season 2, with Audrey having been brutally kidnapped, Nathan warned against pursuing a relationship with Audrey, and Duke seemingly engaged in a fight to death with Nathan after he discover his family lineage is to kill Haven citizens with Troubles. On DVD and Blu-ray from Entertainment Ones ... "The Jesse Stone Collection" is an eight-disc set with all the installments of the Tom Selleck-starring crime drama, packed in a box with a collectable Paradise Police Department baseball hat. $95.99 from Sony ... "The Office Season Nine" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes. Join the Scranton gang for the ninth and final season of the groundbreaking Emmy Award-winning hit series. Andy's back in charge as regional manager at Dunder Mifflin, but a journey of self-discovery leads to unexpected consequences. Jim lands the job of his dreams, but he and Pam must now adjust to a long-distance relationship. Meanwhile, Dwight steps up on the family farm; Darrel looks at new career opportunities; and Erin struggles with matters of the heart. And ... everyone is excited to finally see the long awaited documentary about their lives in the office, an event nine years in the making. On DVD, $49.99; Blu-ray Disc, $59.98; from Universal ... "Parks and Recreation: Season Five" (2012-13) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $39.98. from Universal ... "Person of Interest: The Complete Second Season" (2012-13) contains all 22 episodes of the series about investigators who save potential criminal targets and prevent violent crimes before they happen. On Five-disc DVD, $59.98; Blu-ray/DVD Combo with five DVDs, five Blu-rays, $69.97; from Warner ... "Regular Show: Fright Pack" (2013) features 14 scary stories from Cartoon Network's Emmy Award-winning hit animated comedy series. $19.82 from Warner ... "Revolution: The Complete First Season" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 20 episodes, $59.98. Also available as a nine-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo with UltraViolet digital copies, $69.97; from Warner ... "Scandal: The Complete Second Season" (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 22 episodes, $45.99 from Disney ... "Sinbad: The Complete First Season" (2012) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes of the SyFy series. On DVD, $29.98; Blu-ray Disc, $34.98; from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Spartacus: War of the Damned -- The Complete Third Season" (2013) Three- disc set with all 10 episodes. Following the defeat of Roman commander Gaius Claudius Glaber, Spartacus and his men have amassed major victories against the Romans after the battle of Vesuvius. These victories have not only forged the legend of Spartacus, they have greatly increased the ranks of the rebellion slaves to more than 30,000. The Roman Senate turns to Marcus Crassus, a wealthy, strategic politician, for aid. He respects his opponent and refuses to make the same mistakes Glaber and his predecessors have. With a young and fiercely competitive Julius Caesar as an ally, Crassus is determined to crush Spartacus and his rebellion. On DVD, $49.98; Blu-ray Disc, $59.99; from Anchor Bay ... "The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Fourth Season" (2012-13) (2012-13) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98. This season starts off with everything in transition. Senior year is finally here, and Elena should be having the time of her life. Instead, she faces her worst nightmare, struggling with the painful transformation from human to vampire. As Damon mentors Elena into a supernatural life, their repressed passions explode, causing Stefan to undertake a desperate quest to restore humanity to the girl he adores. But as Elena ruthlessly quenches her newfound thirst for blood, and her friends race to find a vampire cure based on clues inked onto Jeremy's flesh, the world around them falls prey to a host of sinister forces. Also available as a nine-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo with UltraViolet digital copies, $69.97. From Warner.
Buzzin' the 'B's (9/3):When some down-on-their-luck old-timers are at risk of losing their home to developers, a group of young, inept criminals decide to take matters into their own hands. The only thing standing in their way? A zombie outbreak in London. Now, it's up to a bunch of east-enders to fight their way out of the zombie-infested city, led by an unlikely gang of amateur bank robbers and foul-mouthed, plucky pensioners in "Cockneys vs. Zombies" (2012 -- U.K.), starring Rasmus Hardiker, Harry Treadaway, Michelle Ryan, Georgia King, Richard Brier, Honor Blackman and Alan Ford. From Shout! Factory ... In "Empire State" (2012), starring Liam Hemsworth, Emma Roberts, Dwayne Johnson and Nikki Reed, a security guard job with the Empire State Armored Truck Company is unwittingly drawn into an elaborate scheme to rob the company, resulting in the largest cash heist in U.S. history. Hot on their trail is a veteran NYPD Detective, as well as the local crime bosses who want to know who pulled a job on their turf. On DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate ... "The Stranger Within" (2012), starring Billy Baldwin, Estella Warren and Sarah Butler, is a psychological thriller about a young married couple whose vacation on a remote Mediterranean island becomes a living nightmare when they meet a mysterious woman with blood on her hands and a penchant for mind games.From Sony.
On the Indie Front (9/3):In "The English Teacher" (2013), Linda (Julianne Moore) is a 40-year-old unmarried high school English teacher in a small town where she shares a small apartment with two cats and her rich collection of great literature. She maintains no close personal relationships aside from those she has with her favorite authors. But her simple life changes when former star pupil Jason (Michael Angarano) returns to town after failing as a playwright in New York. Pressured by his overbearing father (Greg Kinnear), Jason may be forced to give up his dreams and go to law school. Unwilling to let that happen, Linda mounts his play at her school with flamboyant drama teacher Carl (Nathan Lane) directing, and puts her own reputation and teaching career on the line. On DVD, Blu-ray from Cinedigm ... In "Slightly Single in L.A." (2013), starring Lacey Chabert, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Kip Pardue, Haylie Duff, Jonathan Bennett, Simon Rex, Mircea Monroe and Chris Kattan, a hip, quirky, independent single gal living in the glossy city of Los Angeles can't seem to make things work -- at her job, with her friends, and definitely not with men. In a city where hype, hookups, and heartbreak are as common as reality shows, it's hard for her to find something real ... until she gets caught in the middle of a love triangle with her best friend and a guy from her past. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA ... An off-beat family of New Yorkers must come to terms with their own misgivings about life, relationships and the sheer unpredictability of love itself in "Petunia" (2012). The comedy weaves together the lives of three brothers as they unlearn everything their psychoanalyst parents have taught them; it's is a film about a dysfunctional family unit on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Stars Thora Birch, Brittany Snow, Tobias Segal, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Christine Lahti and Michael Urie. From Wolfe Video.
Foreign (9/3):"What If...? (Notre univers impitoyable)" (2007 -- France) is an interesting concept bogged down by slow pacing and predictable actions. Victor and Margot are two lawyers on the fast track to success at a major law firm ... and also a loving couple. After a senior partner at the firm dies unexpectedly, it's decided that either Margot or Victor will be promoted to the important position. The other will have to settle for a supporting role. The romantic comedy delves into both scenarios: Margot as the new senior partner, breaking down gender barriers and becoming the glamorous new star of the firm, while Victor labors in her shadow; or Victor as the gung-ho, hard-driving new partner, with Margot relegated to serving coffee at the office and caring for their children. In both scenarios, the couple's relationship is rocked by infidelity, family versus career conflicts, and questions about true values. From First Run Features ... "Blancanieves" (2013 -- Spain) is a twist on the "Snow White" fairy tale, set in southern Spain in the 1920s; it's director Pablo Berger's tribute to silent films. Once upon a time there was a little girl who had never known her mother. She learned the art of her father, a famous bullfighter, but was hated by her evil stepmother. One day she ran away with a troupe of dwarves, and became a legend. Winner of the 2013 Goya Award for best Picture. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Cohen Media Group.
For the Family (9/3):"Power Rangers Megaforce: Ultimate Team Power -- Volume 1 " (2012) includes the first four episodes of Power Rangers Megaforce with five new Power Rangers protecting the Earth from the evil Warstar aliens and their massive invasion, $14.98 from Lionsgate ... "Wild Kratts: Wildest Animal Adventures" (2013) is a five-disc set with 20 episodes of the kids series that transforms Martin and Chris Kratt into animated versions of themselves, allowing the real-life zoologists to visit wild animals in their little-seen habitats and to showcase key science concepts along the way. $39.99 from PBS Distribution ... As the annual Halloween Boo Festival approaches in "Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest" (2013), George the inquisitive monkey and his friends hear about a legendary scarecrow who steals hats, and they set out to find him. $14.98 from Universal.
Special Interest (9/3):"Duane Allman -- Song of the South: Duane Allman and the Rise of The Allman Brothers" (2013): In the early to mid 1970s a handful of bands from the Deep South reinvigorated American popular music by fusing blues, country, and rock 'n' roll styles into a new and unique form. But the man who had sparked this renaissance and who had struggled to gain acceptance in an industry firmly established in the North and out West, was by then just a memory. Duane Allman, the lead guitarist and driving force behind Southern Rock pioneers The Allman Brothers Band, lived a tragically short life, but during his brief career he changed music forever. This documentary looks at Allman's life, work and musical output, from his early days in Florida to his influential session work in Muscle Shoals, his monumental collaboration with Eric Clapton in Derek & The Dominos and the inimitable virtuosity with which he set The Allman Brothers Band alight. On DVD from MVD Visual ... "Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie" (2012): Morton Downey Jr. earned his name as "Father of Trash Television" by tearing apart the traditional TV talk format and turning the debate of current issues into a gladiator pit. His blow-smoke-in-your-face style drew a rabid cult following in the late 1980s. The documentary includes archival footage of Downey (who also was a successful songwriter, penning such tunes as "Because We're Young" and "Hearts Are Wild") and bizarre animation. On DVD and Blu-ray from Magnolia Home Entertainment.
"Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood's Legendary Director," the first biography of the director of "High Sierra," "White Heat" and other classics.