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More DVD News: September 2012

September 25 Releases
From the Big Screen:

"The Avengers" and "Damsels in Distress." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (9/25):

The queen of television variety shows comes to DVD this week. Time Life will release several different configurations of sets of "The Carol Burnett Show" with episodes selected by Burnett: The highlights are "The Carol Burnett Show Ultimate Collection," an overstuffed 22-DVD set housed in a collectible box featuring a replica curtain from the show opening, 50 photo hand-picked episodes, an exclusive 20-page memory book and more than 20 hours of new, never-before-seen bonus features; "The Carol Burnett Show -- Carol's Favorites," a six-DVD set boasting 17 complete, unedited episodes featuring the most popular and hilarious sketches and characters from the series; and "The Best of the Carol Burnett Show," a two-DVD set with seven classic episodes.

I'm a big fan of Scandinavian mysteries and police thrillers ("The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and the "Wallander" series) and "The Man From Beijing" (2011 -- Sweden) fills the bill for more exciting Northern fare. The gruesome discovery of 19 dead bodies in a small town in northern Sweden, a local judge who learns she's related to a number of the victims, and a mysterious diary entry from the distant past are all part of this gripping mystery-thriller film based on the bestseller by internationally renowned crime novelist Henning Mankell (who also penned the Wallander series). The two-part, three-hour film stars Suzanna von Borsody, Michael Nyqvist, Claudia Michelse, Amy Cheng and James Taenaka. From Music Box Films.

photo "Wallander 3" (2011) includes three feature-length BBC Masterpiece episodes based on the Swedish novels by Mankell that follow the adventures of existential detective Kurt Wallander. Kenneth Branagh stars as the eponymous crime fighter and in his hands Wallander is a bit more aloof and laid back than his Swedish counterpart, Krister Henriksson, who plays Wallander in the Swedish TV series (which are actually original teleplays based on Mankell's work). Filmed in Sweden in English. The three episodes -- not as quirky and dark as the Swedish "Wallanders" but each harrowing in their own way -- are "An Event in Autumn," "The Dogs of Riga" and "Before the Frost." From BBC/Warner.

This week's Criterion Collection releases: "Eating Raoul" (1982), a bawdy, gleefully amoral tale of conspicuous consumption. Warhol superstar Mary Woronov and cult legend Paul Bartel (who also directed) portray a prudish married couple feeling put upon by the swingers who live in their apartment building; one night, by accident, they discover a way to simultaneously realize their dream of opening a little restaurant and ridding, themselves of the "perverts" down the hall. In a new, restored digital transfer, supervised by director of photography Gary Thieltges, on DVD and Blu-ray. In "The Game" (1997), enormously wealthy and emotionally remote investment banker Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) receives a strange gift from his ne'er-do-well younger brother (Sean Penn) on his 48th birthday: a voucher for a game that, if he agrees to play it, will change his life. Thus begins a trip down a rabbit hole that is puzzling, terrifying, and exhilarating for Nicholas and viewer alike. In a new, restored digital transfer, supervised by director David Fincher and director of photography Harris Savides, with original theatrical 5.1 surround theatrical soundtrack, in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition.

And don't forget this week's giant Blu-ray set: "Bond 50: The Complete 22 Film Collection" honoring James Bond's golden anniversary, with all 22 007 films -- together for the first time ever -- neatly packaged into one cool, sleek collectable box set. This marks the debut of nine James Bond films previously unavailable on Blu-ray. The set comes with a dossier of more than 122 hours of bonus features.

From TV to Video (9/25):

"American Horror Story: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a four-disc set with 12 episodes from Fox ... "Charlie's Angels: The Complete Series" (1976-1981) is a 27-disc box set that includes the never-before-released-on-DVD fifth and final season, $65.99 from Sony ... "The Crimson Petal and the White" (2012) is a British miniseries based on Michel Faber's international bestseller that follows the fortunes of an ambitious prostitute as she navigates the dark underbelly of Victorian London in pursuit of a better life. $39.99 from Acorn Media ... "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: The Twelfth Season" (2011-12) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $68.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "CSI: New York: The Eighth Season" (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 18 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... photo CSI: Miami: The Final Season (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 19 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Desperate Housewives: The Complete Eighth & Final Season" (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, $45.99 from ABC/Disney ... "Family Guy: Volume Ten" (2011-12) is a three-disc set with 14 episodes, $39.98 from Fox ..."G.I. Joe: Renegades Season One, Volume Two" (2011) from Shout! Factory ... "Gossip Girl: The Complete Fifth Season" (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, $59.98 from Warner ... "Key & Peele: Season One" (2012) is a two-disc set with eight episodes of the Comedy Central sketch series, from Comedy Central ... "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit -- The Thirteenth Year " (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, from Universal ... "Midsomer Murders: Mayhem & Mystery Files" (2006-08) is a collector's set that features the next 15 stand-alone mysteries (episodes from Series 10 and 11) in broadcast order of the best-selling U.K. series, in a 15-disc set, $149.99, from Acorn Media ... "New Tricks, Season 8" (2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes of the BBC series about a team of semi-retired and somewhat curmudgeonly detectives investigating cold cases, $39.99 from Acorn Media ... "Portlandia Season Two" (2012) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $19.95 from Video Services Corp. ... "Rescue Me: The Complete Series" (2004-11) is a 26-disc box set that includes all seven seasons, from Sony ... "Special Branch, Set 1" (1969) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes of the British series that focuses on the Special Branch of London's Metropolitan Police dedicated to stopping terrorist activities in the nation's capital, $59.99 from Acorn Media ... "Touched By an Angel: The Sixth Season" (1999-2000) is a seven-disc set with 26 episodes, $56.99 from Paramount.

Buzzin' the 'B's (9/25):

A small town pastor moves to the big city and achieves success as a televangelist, only to face inner and outer spiritual demons in "The Holy Roller" (2010), starring Angus Benfield, Victoria Abbott, Jeremy Brennan and Mark Hadlow. From Image Entertainment ... "Klown" (2010 -- Denmark) is based on the wildly popular six-season Danish TV show of the same name about debauchery in which two wildly inappropriate friends run amok through the Danish countryside plowing through social taboos and absurd sexual encounters. On DVD and Blu-ray from Drafthouse Films/Image Entertainment ... "The Letter" (2011), starring Winona Ryder, Josh Hamilton, James Franco, Marin Ireland and Katherine Waterston, is a mind-bending thriller about a playwright who begins to mentally unravel and cannot decide if she is the center of a manipulative plot or simply losing her grip on reality. From Lionsgate ... Italian genre film legend Gianni Garko stars in "Night of the Devils" (1972), a terrifying photo masterpiece of the macabre, based on Tolstoy's story "The Wurdulak," in which a nameless mentally ill man is found wandering in the woods, his mind lost in fever dreams of gruesome, sexual imagery. On DVD and Blu-ray from Rarovideo/Entertainment One ... "Resident Evil: Degeneration" (2011) is the CGI-animated next chapter in the smash hit "Resident Evil" saga. From Sony ... In "The Samaritan" (2011), starring Samuel L. Jackson, Ruth Negga, Luke Kirby, Tom Wilkinson, Deborah Kara Unger and Gil Bellows, a mournful con man (Jackson), finished with the grifter's life, gets sucked into an ingenious plan for a score involving his ex-partner's son. From IFC Entertainment ... In "Sleepless Night" (2011 -- France), a cop with a connection to the criminal underworld finds his secret life exposed when he and his partner are caught stealing cocaine from a powerful drug dealer, a move that puts his son's life in jeopardy. From Tribeca Film/Cinedigm ... While protecting a crime boss's home in the Carpathian Mountains, a contract killer and his old friend get into a dangerous situation when the boss's wife is accidentally killed in the Tarantino-esque thriller "Snowman's Land" (2010 -- Germany), starring Jurgen Rissmann, Thomas Wodianka, Reiner Schone, Eva-Katrin Hermann and Walera Kanischtscheff. From Music Box Films ... In "Strippers vs. Werewolves" (2012), the stage is set for a war between strippers and werewolves when a member of a bloodthirsty pack of lycans is murdered; the girls have until the next full moon before the wolf pack shows up to hunt down the killer and seek retribution. Stars Robert Englund, Billy Murray, Steven Berkoff, Alan Ford, Lee Asquith-Coe, Sarah Douglas and Lysette Anthony. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA ... In an isolated, slowly dying mining town, children are vanishing without a trace -- abducted, the townsfolk whisper, by a mysterious entity known locally as "The Tall Man" (2012), starring Jessica Biel, Jodelle Ferland, Samantha Ferris and Stephen McHattie. On DVD and Blu-ray from Image Entertainment ... A faceless voyeur terrorizes a seemingly happy suburban couple in "388 Arletta Avenue" (2011), starring Nick Stahl, Mia Kirshner, Devon Sawa and Aaron Abrams. From Tribeca Film/Cinedigm ... When his grandfather from Transylvania dies and sends him his dog, Fang, a young boy soon discovers that his gramps' best friend is a 600-year-old, English-speaking "Vampire Dog" (2012), starring Collin MacKechnie, Julia Sarah Stone, Amy Matysio, Ron Pederson and the voice of Norm MacDonald. From Entertainment One.

On the Indie Front (9/25):

A neurotic writer working on his new film gets into a tricky situation when an A-list actress shows interest in the role intended for his girlfriend in "She Wants Me" (2012), starring Josh Gad, Hilary Duff, Kristen Ruhlin and Johnny Messner. From Grand Entertainment ... A Vietnam veteran, one-time poet and now a staggering drunk, decides to get his life together and returns to his family home in suburban Chicago, where he helps his teenage nephew with the youngster's dream of buying a boat and sailing from Lake Michigan to the Atlantic and beyond in "Drunkboat" (2010), starring John Malkovich, Jacob Zachar, Dana Delany and John Goodman. From Virgil Films ... Christopher Plummer takes the role of Shakespeare's exiled royal Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan turned sorcerer, in this version of "The Tempest" (2010), performed at the prestigious Stratford Shakespeare Festival. From Entertainment One.

Foreign (9/25):

Following a tragic accident, a young woman is widowed and her life comes crashing down around her in "Delicacy" (2012 -- France). But when an unexpected romance rekindles her zest for life, she fights self-doubts and a host of other obstacles. Stars Audrey Tautou and Francois Damiens. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Cohen Media group.

Special Interest (9/25):

"Adventures In Plymptoons!" (2012) Dis a documentary on independent animator Bill Plympton, whose illustrations have been featured in The New York Times, The Village Voice, Vogue, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Penthouse, and National Lampoon. Plympton has directed and animated over 60 animation shorts, live action features, music videos, commercials and documentaries, and earned two Academy Award-nominations for his films "Your Face" in 1987 and for "Guard Dog" in 2005. From Cinema Libre ... "Just Around the Corner" (2011) is a music documentary about music promoter and manager Bob Benjamin's battle against photo Parkinson's Disease. Featuring performances by Joe D'Urso, Joe Grushecky, Ed Kowalczyk (former front man of the band Live), Jesse Malin, Willie Nile, Bruce Springsteen and others. From Virgil Films ... "To Whom It May Concern: Ka Shen's Journey" (2010) is a documentary on Nancy Kwan, who was discovered in London's Royal Ballet School by producer Ray Stark and went on to star in "The World of Suzie Wong" and "Flower Drum Song" but -- at the height of her career -- returned to Hong Kong to care for her ailing father. From Virgil Films ..."Pink Ribbons, Inc." (2011): Pink ribbons ... they're everywhere: T-shirts, hats, yogurt cups, KFC buckets, car ads, NFL stadiums ... the list goes on and on. They make us feel good, as if we're all engaged in a successful battle against breast cancer. But who is really benefiting? This documentary goes inside the story to reveal those who have co-opted what marketing experts have labeled a "dream cause." From First Run Features ... "Surviving Progress" (2011) is a provocative documentary that explores the concept of progress in our modern world, guiding us through the major "progress traps" facing our civilization in the arenas of technology, economics, consumption and the environment. Featuring Jane Goodall, Margaret Atwood, Stephen Hawking, Craig Venter, Robert Wright, David Suzuki, Michael Hudson, Ronald Wright and more. From First Run Features.

September 18 Releases
From the Big Screen:

"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," "The Cabin in the Woods" and "Hysteria." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (9/18):

There's so many great release arriving this week it's difficult to decide where to begin, so we'll start off with our friends at The criterion Collection, who never fail us with the photo quality of their reissues. This week they have the Blu-ray debuts of a pair of great films by director Marcel Carne and screenwriter Jacques Prevert, "Children of Paradise" (1945) and "Les visiteurs du soir" (1942). Poetic realism reached sublime heights with "Children of Paradise (Les enfants du paradis)," widely considered one of the greatest films of all time. This nimble depiction of 19th-century Paris's theatrical demimonde, filmed during World War II, follows a mysterious woman (Arletty) loved by four different men (all based on historical figures): an actor, a criminal, a count, and, most poignantly, a street mime (Jean-Louis Barrault, in a longing-suffused performance for the ages). With sensitivity and dramatic elan, director Marcel Carne and screenwriter Jacques Prevert resurrect a world teeming with hucksters and aristocrats, thieves and courtesans, pimps and seers. Thanks to a major new restoration, this iconic classic looks and sounds richer and more detailed than ever. New high-definition digital transfer from Pathe's 2011 restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack. Extras include "Once Upon a Time: Children of Paradise," a 2010 documentary on the making of the film; "The Birth of Children of Paradise," a 1967 German documentary that features interviews with cast members Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, production designer Alexandre Trauner and others; and a booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Dudley Andrew and excerpts from a 1990 interview with director Marcel Carne.

A work of poetry and dark humor, "Les visiteurs du soir" is a lyrical medieval fantasy. Two strangers (Arletty and Alain Cuny), dressed as minstrels, arrive at a castle in advance of court festivities -- and it is revealed that they are actually emissaries of the devil himself, dispatched to spread heartbreak and suffering. Their plans, however, are thwarted by an unexpected intrusion: human love. Often interpreted as an allegory for the Nazi occupation of France, during which it was made, "Les visiteurs du soir" is a moving and whimsical tale of love conquering all. New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack.

On the American side, Paramount has finally released "Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures" on Blu-ray. The nicely anointed package includes all four films, "Raiders of photo the Lost Ark," "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." "Raiders of the Lost Ark" has been meticulously restored under the supervision of Steven Spielberg and sound designer Ben Burtt, with careful attention to preserving the original look, sound and feel of the film. The original negative was first scanned at 4K and then examined frame-by-frame so that any damage could be repaired. The sound design was similarly preserved using Burtt's original master mix, which had been archived and unused since 1981. New stereo surrounds were created using the original music tracks and original effects recorded in stereo but used previously only in mono.In addition, the sub bass was redone up to modern specifications and care was taken to improve dialogue and correct small technical flaws. An impressive viewing (and listening) feat.

"Ed Wood" (1994), directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp, Martin Landau (in one of the most incredible performances of his career), Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Vincent D'Onofrio and Bill Murray, makes its Blu-ray debut by Disney. Goodies on the disc include deleted scenes, "Making Bela" make-up featurette, "Pie Plates Over photo"Judge Dredd" (1995), starring Sylvester Stallone, Armand Assante, Rob Schneider, Jurgen Prochnow, Max von Sydow, Diane Lane, Joanna Miles, Joan Chen and Balthazar Getty ... From Warner comes the Blu-ray debuts of "Devil's Advocate: Unrated Director's Cut" (1997), directed by Taylor Hackford and starring Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves and Charlize Thereon, with commentary by Hackford and deleted scenes; and "Queen of the Damned" (2002), starring Aaliyah, Stuart Townsend and Marguerite Moreau. Extras include an "Aaliyah Remembered" tribute, "Creating the Vampires" featurette, "The Music of Lestat" featurette, commentary, additional scenes, gag reel, three music videos ... Fox will release the Blu-ray debuts of two films by Danny DeVito: "Hoffa" (1992), starring Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Armand Assante, J.T. Walsh, John C. Reilly and Frank Whaley; and "The War of the Roses" (1989), starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Marianne Sagebrecht, Sean Astin and Heather Fairfield.

Two other notable releases this week: "Chico & Rita" (2011), which was nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, takes place in Cuba in 1948 and follows Chico, a young piano player with big dreams, and Rita, a beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice, who chase their ambitions and each other from Havana to New York and Hollywood to Paris, in a story of love and heartbreak spanning six decades. The original soundtrack by multi-Grammy-winning Bebo Valdes features the music of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonius Monk, Charlie Parker, Tito Puente and others. From Flatiron Film Company/New Video ... "End of the Road" photo (1970), directed by Aram Avakian, co-written by Terry Southern, and starring Stacy Keach, Harris Yulin, Dorothy Tristan, James Earl Jones and Grayson Hall, is based on the book by John Barth, known for his post-modernist and metafictive works (posing questions about relationship between fiction and reality). After a catatonic episode on a railway station platform after his college graduation, Jacob Horner (Keach) is taken to "The Farm," a bizarre insane asylum run by Doctor D (Jones). After being "cured," Jacob takes a job as an English lecturer at a nearby college and begins a disastrous affair with the wife of a colleague. This seventies art house film with a strong anti-establishment sensibility needs to be seen -- it's a hidden gem from the revolutionary film fervor of the era, but be forewarned: It's tough going at times because some of the film's artifice (the opening collage of images depicting the war in Vietnam and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., among other horrors of mid-Century America; the wild jumpcuts; out-of-focus photography; and deliberately mannered acting and dialogue) just doesn't hold up after 40 some years. Still, it's a document of its time, and features the first starring roles of Jones, Keach, Yulin, and Avakian's wife, Tristan, and was the debut for cinematographer Gordon Willis. From Warner.

From TV to Video (9/18):

"Best of Ancient Aliens" (2012) features four of the series most compelling episodes, in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo for $19.95, from A&E ... "Cajun Pawn Stars: Season One" (2012) is a single disc with eight episodes, $19.95 from A&E ... "Get a Life: The Complete Series" (1990-92) is a five-disc set with 25 episodes, from Shout! Factory ... "Hawaii Five-O (2010): The Second Season" (2011-12), is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, on DVD, $59.99 and Blu-ray Disc, $69.99, with an "Aloha Action!" "Hawaii Five-O'Ahu" interactive guide, a gag reel, "Becoming a SEAL: An Insider's Guide to the World's Toughest Training" featurette and photo deleted scenes, from CBS/Paramount ... "Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1993" (1993) features more episodes of the world's longest running sitcom, about three old men from Yorkshire who have never grown up, in a two-disc set, $34.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "The Mentalist: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, $59.98 with "California Bureau of Investigation (CBI): Behind the Badge" featurette, from Warner ... "Modern Family: The Complete Third Season" (2011-12) is a three-disc set with 24 episodes on DVD, $49.99 and Blu-ray Disc, $59.99, with such extras as deleted family interviews, deleted and extended scenes, "Destination: Wyoming," "A Day on the Set With Ty," "Adventures of the Modern Family Kids," "A Modern Family Christmas," "Driving Lessons," "Ed O'Neill Gets a Star," "Modern Family Goes to Disneyland," and a gag reel, from Fox ... "Rawhide Season Five: Volume One & Volume Two" (1962-63), is comprised of two four-disc sets, $42.99 each, from CBS/Paramount ... "Suburgatory: The Complete First Season" (2011-12) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, with featurettes, a gag reel and unaired scenes, from Warner ... "Supernatural: The Complete Seventh Season" (2011-12) is a four-disc set with 23 episodes, $59.98 on DVD and Blu-ray, with featurettes, commentaries, a gag reel and outtakes, from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's (9/18):

After failing to get his wife pregnant, a guy recruits his pals to steal the deposit he left at a sperm bank years before in "The Babymakers" (2012), starring Paul Schneider, Olivia Munn, Kevin Heffernan and Wood Harris. On DVD and Blu-ray from Millennium Entertainment ... In "Bait 3D" (2012), starring Xavier Samuel, Sharni Vinson, Alex Russell and Julian McMahon, a group of survivors in a sleepy beach town find themselves trapped inside a submerged supermarket after a freak tsunami; as they try to escape to safety, they soon discover that there is a predator among them more deadly than the threat of drowning -- ­vicious great white sharks lurking in the water, hungry for fresh meat. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray 3D, from Anchor Bay ... "Conception" (2011) is a romantic comedy that proves it takes more than sex to make a baby. From a couple fighting the odds of fertility to young photo teenagers losing their virginity, the film follows nine very different couples on the night they conceive, showing that sex can sometimes be more neurotic than erotic. Stars Pamela Adlon, David Arquette, Aaron Ashmore, Moon Bloodgood, Julie Bowen, Connie Britton, Jennifer Finnigan, Tim Griffin, Steve Howey, Sarah Hyland, Jennifer Jostyn and Leila Charles Leigh. From Tribeca Film/Cinedigm ... A substitute teacher (Adrien Brody) who drifts from classroom to classroom and school to school finally finds a connection to the students and teachers during his latest assignment at an apathetic public school in "Detachment" (2011), directed by Tony Kaye and also starring Marcia Gay Harden, Sami Gayle, Christina Hendricks, William Petersen, Bryan Cranston, Tim Blake Nelson, Betty Kaye, Lucy Liu, Blythe Danner and James Caan. From Tribeca Film/Cinedigm ... A fallen angel attempts to redeem himself after failing to protect a child in his care by involving himself in a crime case that follows on from the child's death in "Godforsaken" (2010), starring Annabel Wright, Trevor White, Nick Ashdon and Vernon Dobtcheff. From MTI Home Video.

"Gone Hollywood" (2010) follows the journey of a handsome actor (Fernando Carrillo) who, after coming to Hollywood, is skyrocketed to stardom by a hit television show, only to fall on tough times after that first big break turns into a dead end. Down on his luck, he gets a surprise curveball when his late father leaves him a fortune -- but there's a catch -- he must go back home to reopen his dad's bar. From Image Entertainment ... In "The Magic of Belle Isle" (2012), directed by Rob Reiner and starring Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Kenan Thompson and Fred Willard, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door -- an attractive single mom and her young daughters, who help him find inspiration again. On DVD and Blu-ray from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... In "The Revenant" (2011), starring David Anders, Chris Wylde, Louise photo Griffiths and Jacy King, a fallen soldier who somehow finds he has joined the ranks of the living dead decides to do law enforcement a favor by cleaning up the streets. From Lionsgate ... "Salvation Boulevard" (2011) is a dark comedy set in the world of fundamentalist Christians and mega-churches. Born-again Christian Carl (Greg Kinnear) witnesses his evangelical pastor, Dan Day (Pierce Brosnan), accidently shoot a man in the head. Framed by the pastor and forced to run, Carl must now tangle with his family, the devout mega-church followers, a Mexican crime lord and Pastor Day himself. Co-stars Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Marisa Tomei and Ciaran Hinds. From Sony ... When a young "good time girl" witnesses a violent act committed by two Sheriff's Deputies, she heads for the safety of the wilderness, stumbling onto the cabin of a recluse who prefers to keep civilization at arm's length; his solitary life spirals into chaos when the girl shows up, followed by the deputies in "The Victim" (2011), starring Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Ryan Honey, Denny Kirkwood and Danielle Harris. On DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay ... "Winning Favor" (2012) is a family-friendly small-town basketball melodrama about competing high school teams. Stars Mathew Ashford, Bonnie Johnson and Dallas Mix. From Entertainment One.

Foreign (9/18):

In "The Woman in the Fifth" (2011 -- France), starring Ethan Hawke, Kristin Scott Thomas and Joanna Kulig, a down-and-out college lecturer flees to Paris after a scandal costs him his job. In the City of Lights, he tries to reconcile with his wife and daughter, taking a room in a shady hotel and getting an equally shady job as a night watchman; he eventually meets a mysterious widow and begins an affair with her that leads to a series of inexplicable events -- including death and destruction. From New Video ... In the critically acclaimed "Oslo, August 31st" (2012 -- Norway), a young man on the verge of successfully completing treatment at a drug rehab in the countryside is allowed to go into Oslo for a job interview but instead uses the opportunity to revisit friends and old haunts, spending the day and night wrestling with the chance of love and the possibility of a new life. From Strand Releasing.

For the Family (9/18):

"Thomas & Friends: Blue Mountain Mystery -- The Movie" (2012) is a new feature that finds a mystery engine on the Island of Sodor; Thomas must track down clues to discover the lost engine, along the way revealing the power of friendship. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Lionsgate ... "Best of Wubbzy: Fan's Choice" (2012)showcases six engaging stories -- the most popular as determined by a special "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" Facebook fan vote: "Follow The Leader," "The Wubbzy Shuffle," "Wubbzy The Star," "Tooth or Dare," "Wubbzy's Makeover" and "Wubbzy Bounces Back" -- plus a special bonus seventh episode, "Wubbzy The Hero." $14.98 from Anchor Bay.

Special Interest (9/18):

"Speak" (2012) is a fascinating documentary film about the fear of public speaking and an exploration of the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Filmmakers Paul Galichia and Brian Weidling embarked on an almost two year journey conducting hundreds of interviews about public speaking anxiety as well as capturing every stage of the tense, highly competitive World Championship of Public Speaking. It all culminates in a week of fascinating human drama in Calgary, Alberta, after which one person is crowned "World Champion of Public Speaking." Funny, inspiring, moving, and utterly absorbing, the docu follows the trail of those brave souls who take on the fear of public speaking -- the world's number one fear -- and live to tell the tale. From Tumbleweed Entertainment ... "Steve Martin: The Television Stuff" (2011) is a three-disc set of funnyman Steve Martin's stand-up and TV work, including "On Location With Steve Martin" (1976), "Steve Martin: A Wild And Crazy Guy" (1978), "Steve Martin: Comedy Is Not Pretty" (1980), "All Commercials photo ... A Steve Martin Special" (1980), "Steve Martin's Best Show Ever" (1981), "Homage to Steve" (1984) and "Bits And Pieces" (1966-2005), a collection of Steve's television guest appearances, speeches and music videos. Includes a 24-page booklet. From Shout! Factory ... "American Experience: Death and The Civil War" (2012) is a Ric Burns' documentary that explores an essential but largely overlooked aspect of the most pivotal event in American history: the transformation of the nation by the death of an estimated 750,000 people in four dark and searing years from 1861 to 1865. From PBS Distribution ... "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap" (2012) is a critically-acclaimed documentary directed and hosted by rap legend Ice-T that explores the craft and skills of rap, delving into what goes on inside the minds and erupts from the pens of rap legends. The performance film features some of the genre's biggest talents, including Chuck D, Grandmaster Caz, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Melle Mel, Q-Tip, Redman, Mos Def, Afrika Bambaataa, B Real, Immortal Technique, Ice Cube, MC Lyte, Nas, Dr. Dre, KRS One, Common and Kanye West. $19.97 from Indomina Releasing ... A&E has three releases this week: "James Bond Gadgets" (2007), a History documentary that is a comprehensive guide to the cars, weapons and cool gadgets used in the James Bond films. Bonus: The Ian Fleming episode of Biography; $19.95 ... "Secret Access: The Presidency" (2012) is a three-disc set with three documentaries: "Secret Access: Air Force One," "The White House: Behind Closed Doors" and "The President," $29.95 ... "America's Book of Secrets" (2012) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes of the series that exposes the timeless mysteries of our most-guarded institutions: The White House, the Pentagon, Area 51, Fort Knox, West Point ... and even the Playboy Mansion. $29.95.

September 11 Releases
From the Big Screen:

"Snow White & the Huntsman," "What to Expect When You're Expecting," "For Greater Glory," "Girl in Progress" and "October Baby." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (9/11):

photo The folks at the Warner Archive are digging deep into their vault every month, coming up with some interesting additions to their gigantic DVD catalog of Warner Bros. and MGM tiles from the late 20th century. This week on offer are two oddball Westerns: "The Wrath of God" (1972), starring Robert Mitchum, Frank Langella (his first big role), Rita Hayworth (in her last role), Victor Buono and Ken Hutchison. The film follows the story of an adventurer, a hard-drinking priest (Mitchum) and a smuggler who team up to topple a Latin American despot in the 1920s. The other outing this week is "The Five Man Army" (1969), starring Peter Graves and James Daly. This Spaghetti Western is about a group of bandits, led by Graves, who plan on robbing a train transporting gold for the Mexican army. Both are available now from The Warner Archive.

With the release date fast approaching for Tim Burton's "Frankenweenie" (due Oct. 5), Warner is releasing a nifty Blu-ray set of Burton's filmed called, appropriately enough, "The Tim Burton Blu-Ray Collection." The set includes "Pee-wee's Big Adventure," "Batman," "Batman Returns," "Beetlejuice," "Mars Attacks!", "Charlie & the Chocolate Factory" and "Tim Burton's Corpse Bride," as well as a 64-page collectible hardcover book. $59.99.

And last but not least, for you ghoul lovers, Fox has the Blu-ray debut of "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1986), directed by Tobe Hooper and starring Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Jim Siedow, Bill Moseley and Bill Johnson. Extras include a couple commentaries and a pair of featurettes, "The Cutting Room Floor" and "It Runs in the Family."

From TV to Video (9/11):

International comedy sensations Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return to their celebrated roles as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone in "Absolutely Fabulous: 20th Anniversary Specials" (2012), which includes three all-new specials, written by Saunders. Twenty years left since we first met them, the ladies are a tiny bit older, none the wiser, but definitely still Absolutely Fabulous. $24.98 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Fifth Season" (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 24 episodes, on DVD and Blu-ray from Warner ... "Blue Bloods: The Second Season" (2011) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Castle: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011-12) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, $45.99 from ABC/Disney ... "Spartacus: Vengeance -- The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes, available on DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay ... "30 Rock: Season 6" (2012) is a three-disc set with 22 episodes, $49.98 from Universal ... "The Vampire Diaries: The Complete Third Season" (2011-12) includes all 22 episodes, on DVD ($59.98) and Blu-ray Combo Pack ($69.97); from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's (9/11):

"Appropriate Adult" (2011), starring Dominic West, Emily Watson and Monica Dolan, is based on the true story of British serial killer Fred West and his relationship with his "appropriate adult," Janet Leach. After volunteering as West's appropriate adult -- a person from the community who assists vulnerable adults facing criminal charges -- Janet finds herself sitting with West during his highly-charged police interviews, where she was privy to unknown facts about the scale and the photo nature of his crimes. From Inception Media Group ... A near-death experience forces a con man to come to terms with his shady past, and although he builds a new life for himself, he's dragged back in for one last job in "Bad Karma" (2011), starring Ray Liotta, Dominic Purcell, Andy McPhee and Vanessa Gray. From Anchor Bay ... Set in the strange and oppressive emotional landscape of 1983, a heavily-sedated young woman tries to make her way out of Arboria, a secluded, quasi-futuristic commune, in "Beyond the Black Rainbow" (2010), a Reagan-era fever dream inspired by hazy childhood memories of midnight movies and Saturday morning cartoons. Stars Michael Rogers, Eva Allan, Scott Hylands and Marilyn Norry. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... A British Secret Service Agent is forced to go "off the grid" in a desperate bid to thwart a radical group operating inside London, facing off against a British-born law student turned extremist in "Cleanskin" (2012), starring Sean Bean, Abhin Galeya and Charlotte Rampling. From Entertainment One ... Director Noboru Iguchi and special effects director Yoshihiro Nishimura, creators of "Mutant Girls Squad," reunite for the cyborg-filled action-packed comedy-thriller "Karate-Robo Zaborgar" (2011 -- Japan), about a secret-police officer who teams up with his super robot "Zaborgar" to battle all manner of mechanized super weapons in their quest for justice. From Well Go USA.

When Brent rejects classmate Lola's invitation to the prom, Lola goes ballistic and gets twisted revenge on him by capturing him and keeping him alone at her own terrifying and demented private dance, in "The Loved Ones" (2009), winner of the Toronto International Film Festival's Midnight Madness People's Choice award. Stars Xavier Samuel and Robin McLeavy. From Paramount ... On the eve of the annual Scarecrow Festival, two St. Charles police officers search for a return killer the same night four teenagers go missing on "Munger Road" (2011), starring Bruce Davison, Randall Batinkoff, Trevor Morgan, Brooke Peoples, Lauren Storm and Hallock Beals. From Freestyle Digital Media ... When radio talk show therapist Sonny Blake moves back to her photo childhood home on seemingly idyllic "Rosewood Lane" (2011) after her alcoholic father dies, she discovers her neighbors are terrified of the local paperboy, a cunning and dangerous sociopath who may have gruesomely killed her father ... and others. Stars Rose McGowan, Daniel Ross Owens, Bill Fagerbakke, Ray Wise and Lesley-Anne Down. From Universal ... "6 Bullets" (2011) is the latest Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle, about an unstoppable ex-mercenary with a dark past who reluctantly returns to action in order to help rescue a kidnapped American girl from a foreign crime syndicate. Co-stars Joe Flanigan, Bianca Bree and Anna-Louise Plowman. From Sony ... When greedy Las Vegas casino owner Alex Stratholme steals $20 million dollars from his employees' pension fund, ex-baseball-phenom-turned-electrician Nick Davis rallies a ragtag team of casino staff to pull off an against-all-odds Las Vegas heist with a twist in "Stealing Las Vegas" (2012), starring Eric Roberts, Ethan Landry, Antonio Fargas and Michael Tylo. From Anchor Bay ... "Vile" (2011) is another "Saw" clone, here about a group of strangers who find themselves imprisoned in a house, willing to do anything to survive. Stars Eric Jay Beck, April Matson, Akeem Smith and Greg Cipes. From Inception Media Group.

On the Indie Front (9/11):

When a young man prepares to leave Tucson for his freshman year at an East Coast prep school, he also faces separation from his flaky, new age mother and the only real father he has ever known: Goat Man, in "Goats" (2011), starring David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, Ty Burrell, Keri Russell, Justin Kirk, Graham Phillips and Dakota Johnson. On DVD and Blu-ray from Image Entertainment.

Foreign (9/11):

"Where Do We Go Now?" (2011 -- Lebanon) blends humor and lighthearted musical moments to take a powerful look into the deeply rooted religious differences between Christians and photo Muslims living in a small Lebanese village. The critically-acclaimed film follows the antics of the town's women as they try to keep their blowhard men from starting a religious war, from faking a miracle to hiring a troop of Ukrainian strippers. On DVD and Blu-ray from Sony.

For the Family (9/11):

"Awesome Adventures: Thrills & Chills" (2012) is a collection of seven Halloween episodes featuring Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder, $14.98 from Lionsgate ... In "Barbie: The Princess & the Popstar" (2011), Princess Barbie magically swaps places with a pop star who's visiting her kingdom on a music tour. From Universal ... "Power Rangers Monster Bash" (2011) brings together three Halloween-themed episodes from the "Power Rangers Samurai" series, $14.98 from Lionsgate.

Special Interest (9/11):

In "Ghosts of the Abyss 3D" (2003), director James Cameron travels back to the site of his greatest inspiration -- the legendary wreck of the Titanic. With a team of the world's foremost historic and marine experts and friend Bill Paxton, he embarks on an unscripted adventure back to the final grave where nearly 1,500 souls lost their lives a century ago. Using state- photo of-the-art technology developed expressly for this expedition, Cameron and his crew are able to explore virtually all of the wreckage, inside and out, as never-before. Available as a three-disc Blu-ray set (Blu-ray 3D Disc + Blu-ray 2D Disc + DVD), $44.99 from Disney ... "My Trip to Al-Qaeda" (2010) chronicles fundamentalist Islam's rise to power, the people behind it, and why they're terrorizing the entire world, while also exploring writer Lawrence Wright's struggle to maintain his objectivity as a journalist writing about Islamic terror. One of the interesting facts in the documentary: "the number of Muslims that have died at the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq alone far exceeds the total of Americans that died on 9/11." Directed by Alex Gibney and based on Pulitzer Prize-winner Wright's play. From Docurama ... "John Leguizamo: Tales From a Ghetto Klown" (2012) profiles award-winning actor and playwright John Leguizamo's unorthodox rise to success and his struggles to mount his latest one-man show on Broadway and beyond. From PBS Distribution.

'Titanic' Sails to Blu-ray Today

Titanic BLU-RAY DEBUT (1997) Dir.: James Cameron; Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton, photo Bernard Hill, David Warner. A four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo (with digital copy), a four-disc 3D Blu-ray set and a two-disc DVD version. Both Blu-ray sets feature more than 2 1/2 hours of new bonus footage, including a fascinating in-depth exploration of the film with Cameron, as well as new National Geographic documentary footage that further probes the mysteries of why and how the "unsinkable" ship sank. The sets also boast previously released special features including 30 deleted scenes, over 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes, a look at the groundbreaking visual effects, over 2,000 photos, three commentaries and much, much more. The two-disc DVD set comes with deleted scenes and digital download. Read more here. September 4's Releases
From the Big Screen:

"Safe," "The Five-Year Engagement" and "Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles: (9/4)

photo The 800-pound gorilla this week is, of course, the Blu-ray and 3D Blu-ray release of 1997's "Titanic." The highest grossing film of all time will be available as a four-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo (with digital copy), a four-disc 3D Blu-ray set and a two-disc DVD version. Both Blu-ray sets feature more than 2 1/2 hours of new bonus footage, including a fascinating in-depth exploration of the film with director James Cameron, as well as new National Geographic documentary footage that further probes the mysteries of why and how the "unsinkable" ship sank. The sets also boast previously released special features. From Fox. Available next Monday.

Just prior to "Titanic's" release, Warner Home Video will send out (on Friday) the "Harry Potter Wizard's Collection," a new limited and numbered 31-disc collection that features all previously released Harry Potter content plus five hours of never-before-seen exclusive material, with all eight movies in Blu-ray and DVD as well as UltraViolet digital copies (and with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1 and Part 2" in 2D and 3D). Packaged in a gift box measuring 12-3/4" x 10-9/16" x 11-1/4" and weighing 19 lbs, with eight must-have pieces of collectible movie memorabilia. This baby has a lofty, bewitching price-tag that mere muggles might not appreciate: $499.99 (though Amazon is taking orders at $344.99).

"Frank Capra: The Early Collection" is a box set of five 1930s pre-code Capra classics coming to DVD for the first time, put together by Turner Classic Movies, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and The Film Foundation. The set includes re-mastered editions of "Rain or Shine" (1930), and four early collaborations between Capra and his legendary leading lady, Barbara Stanwyck: "Ladies of Leisure" (1930), "The Miracle Woman" (1931), "Forbidden" (1932) and "The Bitter Tea of General Yen" (1933). From the TCM Vault Collection at http://shop.tcm.com.

There's a slew of Blu-ray debuts this week: Stuart Gordon's over-the-top sicko "Re-Animator" (1985), starring Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale and on in a perverse tale about a young doctor who creates a serum to photo reanimate the dead, from Image Entertainment ... one of our favorites, the cult classic "Killer Klowns From Outer Space" (1988), in which invaders from outer space take the f9/4llllllll (9/4)orm of wild, unpredictable and villainous circus clowns, starring Grant Cramer, Suzanne Snyder, John Allen Nelson, John Vernon, from Fox ... John Hughes' 1984 teen comedy "Sixteen Candles" (1984), starring Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Michael Schoeffling, Paul Dooley, John Cusack, Jami Gertz, Joan Cusack and Gedde Watanabe, from Universal ... the animated "Mad Monster Party" (1967), in which Baron Von Frankenstein has decided to retire as the head of the Worldwide Organization of Monsters and hosts a party to deliver the news; Von Frankenstein's guests include a who's who of Halloween favorites, including the Werewolf, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Mummy, the Invisible photo Man and more. Features the voices of Boris Karloff and Phyllis Diller, from Lionsgate ... The cult classic "Mother's Day" (1980) (recently remade), about three young women who are abducted by homicidal momma's boys who, goaded by their "Mother," perform violent and graphic acts of torture against the three women. The women eventually escape, and serve their maniacal abductors some old-fashioned justice. Stars Nancy Hendrickson, Deborah Luce, Tiana Pierce, Frederick Coffin, Michael McCleery and Beatrice Pons. From Anchor Bay ... Vittorio De Sica's neorealist masterpiece "Umberto D." (1952), which follows the daily life of an elderly pensioner as he struggles to make ends meet during Italy's postwar economic recovery. From The Criterion Collection ... and "Jeepers Creepers" (2001), from Fox.

From TV to Video: (9/4)

In "Adventures of the Wilderness Family Trilogy" (1975), a modern-day family becomes bored with the hassles of the city life in Los Angeles and moves to the Rocky Mountains, from Lionsgate ... "Bored to Death: The Complete Third Season" (2011) features eight episodes of the quirky HBO series, on DVD and Blu-ray, from HBO ... "Criminal Minds: The Seventh Season" (2011-12) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Fringe: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011-12) is a six-disc set with 22 episodes, from Warner ... "The Good Wife: The Third Season" (2011-12) is a six-disc set with 22 photoepisodes, $64.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Grounded For Life: The Complete Series" (2001-05) is a 13-disc set with all five seasons, $44.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "Haven: The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, on DVD and Blu-ray from Entertainment One ... "How to Make It in America: The Complete Second Season" (2011) is a two-disc set with all eight episodes, on DVD and Blu-ray from HBO ... "Hung: The Complete Third Season" (2011), is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, on DVD and Blu-ray from HBO ... "The Office: Season Eight" (2011-12) is a five-disc set with 23 episodes, from Universal ... "Person of Interest: The Complete First Season" (2011-12) is a six-disc set with 23 episodes, on DVD and Blu-ray, from Warner ... "R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour: The Series Volume 1 and Volume 2" (2010-11) each contain five fiendishly delightful episodes from the kids series, $14.97 from Shout! Factory ... "Roseanne -- Season Five" (1992-93) and "Roseanne -- Season Six" (1993-94 )are three-disc sets with 25 episodes, $14.98 each from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "That '70s Show -- Season Five" (2002-03) and "That '70s Show -- Season Six" (2003-04) are three-disc sets with 25 episodes, $14.98 each from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "Two Broke Girls" (2011) features the first season's 24 episodes, on three-disc DVD for $44.98 and two-disc Blu-ray for $54.97, from Warner.

Buzzin' the 'B's: (9/4)

When a mysterious crate of exotic tea washes ashore near a tiny fishing village, the locals find that the contents make an addictive herbal tea that turns the villagers into kill-crazy zombies in "Attack of the Herbals" (2011), starring Calum Booth, Steve Worsley, Liam Matheson, Claire McCulloch and Richard Currie. From MTI Home Video ... "For the Love of Money" (2011), starring Yehuda Levi, Delphine Chaneac, Joshua Bitton, Jeffrey Tambor, Jonathan Lipnicki, Edward Furlong, Oded Fehr, Paul Sorvino and James Caan, is based on a true story about a gangster who leaves his old, seedy lifestyle to start over with his family but, photo after relocating to Los Angeles, it isn't long before the world of crime that he tried to escape finds him. On DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate ... A high school valedictorian who gets baked with the local stoner finds himself the subject of a drug test; knowing he'll fail, he concocts a plan to get the entire graduating class to face the same fate, and fail in "High School" (2010), starring Adrien Brody, Michael Chiklis, Sean Marquette, Matt Bush, Colin Hanks and Yeardley Smith. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay ... An affluent woman is framed for the murder of her husband and faces a mountain of evidence stacked against her in "Last Will" (2010), starring Tatum O'Neal, Tom Berengr, Peter Coyote and James Brolin. From Green Apple Entertainment ... In "8:46" (2011 (named for the time the first hijacked plane slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001), actress and first-time director Jennifer Gargano ("The Sopranos") follows the lives of an ensemble of diverse characters living in New York, New Jersey and the vicinity just before and after the attack. Seamlessly blending actual news footage from 9/11 into these fictional stories, director Gargano creates an unforgettable tableau of the day that changed the world forever. From Virgil Films.

"My Sucky Teen Romance" (2012) is an over-the-top indie horror film about real-life vampires prowling a science fiction convention and the two high school girls who have to put a stop to the bloodsucking. Stars Elaine Hurt, Patrick Delgado, Lauren Lee, Lauren Vunderink. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from MPI/Dark Sky Films ... After the terror unleashed on Lake Victoria in "Piranha 3D," the prehistoric school of bloodthirsty piranhas are back in "Piranha 3DD" (2011) and this time, no one is safe from the flesh-eating fish as they sink their razor-sharp teeth into the visitors of summer's best attraction, The Big Wet Water Park. Packed with ferocious flesheaters and scantily-clad young victims. Stars Danielle Panabaker, Matt Bush, David Koechner, Chris Zylka, Katrina Bowden, Gary Busey, Christopher Lloyd and David Hasselhoff. From Anchor Bay ... A former motorcycle gang member who now earns his living as a photo bike messenger becomes the unwitting pawn of a group of terrorists when he picks up a girl group singer in "Quick" (2011 -- South Korea): The villains want him to make a series of deliveries during a certain time or the girl's booby-trapped helmet will blow up. With the police hot on his trail, he races to complete the deliveries and stop the timer on the helmet. Stars Min-ki Lee, Ye-won Kang, In-kwon Kim. On DVD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory ... Written and directed by Kaige ("Farewell My Concubine") and set during the opulent Yuan Dynasty in the 5th century B.C., "Sacrifice" (2010 -- China) is the story of a newborn prince whose entire family is wiped out by a rival general who ruthlessly seizes the throne; the boy is raised by a faithful doctor who trains him to seek his revenge as an adult. Stars Ge You, Wang Xue-Qi, Fan Bing-Bing, Zhang Feng-Yi and Huang Xiaoming. From Indomina Releasing ... In "Touchback" (2011), starring Brian Presley, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Blucas, Kurt Russell and Christine Lahti, a man looks back 15 years to the injury that ended his career as a promising high-school football player. On DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay Films ... In "White Vengeance" (2011 -- China), starring Leon Lai, Feng Shaofeng, Yifei Liu, Zhang Hanyu, Anthony Wong and Jordan Chan, two brothers contend for success and power during the fall of China's Qin Dynasty. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA.

For the Family: (9/4)

"Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation -- Volume One" (1997) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.93 from Shout! Factory ... "Storytime With Spot" (2012) features five stories plus two bonus stories, $9.97 from BBC Home Entertainment ... "Tom & Jerry: Tricks & Treats" (2012) showcases 20 Tom and Jerry cartoons plus two bonus cartoons, $19.97 from Warner ... "The Garfield Show: Holiday Extravaganza" (2012) photo features six new holiday-themed episodes, from Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment ... the folks at Scholastic Media/New Video have repackaged "The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series" -- the most innovative science-learning show for kids ever to grace TV -- with a striking 3D lenticular cover with new artwork that makes the vibrant characters leap off the page; the eight-disc set contains all 52 episodes and includes a guide for kids with teasers, trivia and experiments, plus a Parents' Guide with lessons and learning options; $79.95. Scholastic also has smaller sets of the series available this week: "The Magic School Bus: Blast Off! From Sea to Space," a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $24.95; "The Magic School Bus: Field Trip Fun and Games," a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $24.95; and "The Magic School Bus Singles": "The Human Body" (Science topics include digestion and body mechanics), "Super Star Power" (science topics include stars and cells), "Takes a Dive" (Science topics include coral reefs and tidal zones) and "Takes Flight" (Science topics include weather and flying).

Special Interest: (9/4)

There's three very interesting documentaries due this week:

  • "The Pinochet Case" (2001) This investigation of the Spanish charges against General Augusto Pinochet is an essential part of filmmaker Patricio Guzman's career-long exploration of Chilean history since Salvador Allende's 1973 election and the bloody coup -- photo led by Pinochet and aided by the U.S. government -- that followed. In September 1998, Pinochet flew to London on a pleasure trip, and shortly thereafter began experiencing back pain and underwent an operation in a London clinic. Upon waking from surgery, he was arrested by the London police. The case against Pinochet had begun in Spain two years before his arrest. "The Pinochet Case" explores how a small group of people in Madrid laid the groundwork for this incredible feat -- catching a dictator 25 years after his rise to power, making him the first to be humbled by the international justice system since the Nuremberg trials. When Pinochet finally returned to Chile, he faced 200 accusations of crimes, this time in Chilean courts. Eventually the Chilean Supreme Court also stripped him of his immunity, and on January 29, 2001, Judge Juan Guzman placed Pinochet under house arrest. $24.98 on DVD from Icarus Films Home Video.
  • "Holy Flying Circus" (2012) re-imagines the controversy surrounding Monty Python's 1979 film, "Life of Brian," which was greeted with widespread outcry and accusations of blasphemy. Matters reached a head when Michael Palin (played by Charles Edwards) and John Cleese (played by Darren Boyd) agreed to take part in a BBC talk show about "Life of Brian" with a Church of England bishop and a staunchly Catholic broadcaster. The ensuing TV debate put the Pythons in their most absurd role yet: the voice of reason. Available as a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Acorn Media.
  • "The Musical Brain" (2012) Inspired by Dr. Daniel Levitin's book, "This is Your Brain on Music," international recording superstar Sting agreed to put his own musical brain to the test to find out how various types of music -- complex and simple -- affect him, on an emotional and a physical level. Also features interviews with Michael Buble, Feist and Wyclef Jean. $24.99 from PBS Distribution.
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August 1, 2012
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