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More DVD News: January 2013

January 29's Releases
From the Big Screen:

"Hotel Transylvania," "Seven Psychopaths," "The Cold Light of Day," "Paranormal Activity 4" and "The Awakening." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (1/29):

The highlight of the week, of course, is the release of "Downton Abbey Season 3" in a three-disc set with all eight episodes, in U.K. order, plus the 2012 Christmas Special finale, on DVD and Blu-ray from PBS Distribution ... Fans of the great Luis Bunuel will appreciate the gorgeous remastered edition on Blu-ray of the director's last film, "That Obscure Object of Desire" photo (1977), starring Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet and Angela Molina. As in all of his work, Bunuel here takes on power, politics, sex and the Church with a keen eye for irony and the hypocrisy of the powers-that-be. This erotic, romantic drama centers on an aging Frenchman who falls in love with a young woman who repeatedly frustrates his romantic and sexual desires. In pure Bunuelian fashion, the desired woman is played by two different actresses, each representing different sides of her personality. From the StudioCanal Collection/Lionsgate.

With Warner Bros. celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, the studio has put together several nice (and somewhat expensive) packages of films. Kicking off the year is "Best of Warner Bros. 100 Film DVD Collection," a limited and numbered collection of the studio's best films. With two new documentaries, "Tales from the Warner Bros. Lot" and "The Warner Bros. Lot Tour," on 55 discs presented in book style premium packaging. On DVD only, for, $597.92. The "Best of Warner Bros. 50 Film Blu-ray Collection " pulls together 50 films (and the aforementioned documentaries) on 52 discs, $597.92. Read the complete release here.

From TV to DVD (1/29):

photo "Agatha Christie's Partners in Crime: The Tommy & Tuppence Mysteries" isa three-disc set with 11 mysteries from PBS's "Mystery!," from Acorn Media ... "Agatha Christie's Poirot & Marple Fan Favorites Collection" is a six-disc collection bringing together the detectives' 11 most popular mysteries, as voted by Agatha Christie's fans, from PBS's "Masterpiece Mystery!" Also from Acorn Media ... "Femmes Fatales: Season One" (2011) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes of Cinemax's "After Dark" anthology series about powerful, sexy and dangerous women, inspired by and styled in the tradition of pulp stories, film noir and graphic novels; $29.98 from Entertainment One ... "Misfits: Season Two" (2012) is a two-disc set with seven episodes, $24.98 from BBC Entertainment.

Buzzin' the 'B's (1/29):

In "All Superheroes Must Die" (2011), starring Jason Trost, James Remar, Lucas Till, Lee Valmassy and Sophie Merkley, four super heroes find themselves abducted by their arch nemesis and are forced to compete in a series of challenges in order to save an abandoned town full of kidnapped innocent photo civilians; on DVD and Blu-ray from RLJ Entertainment/Image Entertainment ... An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who committed an act of violence against his family years earlier in "Citadel" (2012), starring Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku, Jake Wilson and Amy Shiels; on DVD and Blu-ray from New Video ... A couple is terrorized by a gang who is hunting their son in the creepy home invasion horror-thriller "Cherry Tree Lane" (2010), starring Rachael Blake, Tom Kane, Tom Butcher and Jumayn Hunter; from Image Entertainment ... Four young boys are kidnapped from their families, handicapped by their abductors, and forced to become beggars on the street. They soon find refuge with a skillful Shaolin Kung Fu master who teaches them the art of his craft but, when he's assassinated, they team to fight for justice to stop the man responsible for their master's death in "Bangkok Assassins" (2011 -- Thailand); from Lionsgate ... When 19-year-old Adam photo agrees to do a day's driving for his mum's dodgy boyfriend Peter, it takes him on a 24-hour journey into a nightmarish world of murder, sex trafficking and revenge, in the company of aging hit man Roy in "The Liability" (2013), starring Tim Roth, Jack O'Connell, Talulah Riley, Kierston Wareing and Peter Mullan; from Lionsgate ... A ladies man gets hooked into the "love section" by a hard-working single mom in "The Love Section" (2012), starring Mekhi Phifer, Brian Hooks, Tangi Miller, Omar Miller, Kellita Smith and Lawrence Adisa; from One Village Entertainment/Image Entertainment ... Four friends embark on a wild journey to L.A. to compete in the Cyberbowl Video Game Championship in "Noobz" (2012), starring Jason Mewes, Blake Freeman, Matt Shively, Moises Arias, Casper Van Dien and Zelda Williams; from Big Air Studios.

Foreign (1/29):

photo "Tales of the Night" (2011 -- France) extends the shadow puppet style of French filmmaker Michael Ocelot's earliest works, with black silhouetted characters set off against exquisitely detailed Day-Glo backgrounds bursting with color and kaleidoscopic patterns. The film weaves together six exotic fables, each unfolding in a unique locale, from Tibet, to medieval Europe, to the Land of the Dead: "The Werewolf," "Ti Jean and the Belle-Sans-Connaitre," "The Chosen One and the City of Gold," "Boy Tam-Tam," "The Boy Who Never Lied" and "The Doe-Girl and the Architect's Son." On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from GKIDS/New Video.

For the Family (1/29):

Scholastic Storybook Treasures has two releases this week: "Stone Soup ... And Other Stories From the Asian Tradition" (2012): Highlighted by author/illustrator Jon J. Muth's award-winning take on "Stone Soup," this new DVD also features three other classic tales, as well as a Read-Along function which highlights the words as they are spoken, allowing young viewers to follow along with the narrators. The three other stories: "The Five Chinese Brothers," "Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China" and "Stonecutter." $14.95 ... photo "Stories About African American Heritage Featuring March On!" (2012): In "March On: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World," written by Dr. Christine King Farris, narrated by Lynn Whitfield, Martin Luther King Jr.'s sister travels back to 1963 to present a personal, stirring account of the remarkable day when Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream Speech." Additional stories -- narrated by celebrities such as Michael Clarke Duncan, James Earl Jones, Forest Whitaker, Phylicia Rashad, Samuel L. Jackson -- include: "Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears," "Duke Ellington," "Ella Fitzgerald: The Tale of Vocal Virtuosa," "Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story From the Underground Railroad" and "Martin's Big Words." Three-disc set, $24.95 ... "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2" (2013) is a DC Universe original animated movie on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, from Warner .... "Madly Madagascar" (2013) offers more animated adventures of the wild animals from Madagascar; from Fox ... "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic -- Pinkie Pie Party" (2013) consists of five party-themed episodes, $14.97 from Shout! Factory Kids.

Special Interest (1/29):

"Universal 3D Nature Documentaries" has three 3D/2D Blu-ray combo packs due this week: Amazing Ocean 3D: Be amazed by little schools of fish that swim right into your living room; see squid and the elusive octopus up close, along with the magnificent manta ray, dolphins and turtles. Shot in stereoscopic 3D, "Amazing Ocean 3D" is a breathtakingly beautiful experience for the whole family.
photo Fascination Coral Reef: Enter the fascinating world of the coral reefs and experience breathtaking flora and fauna up close and in 3D. Watch an entire ecosystem of marine species including blowfish, porcupine fish, goliath groupers, giant morays, sea turtles and whale sharks, as well as the play of colors of the many different coral and anemone species.
Fascination Coral Reef: Mysterious Worlds Underwater: Often referred to as "The Pearls in the Indian Ocean," the Maldives' true treasures are to be found beneath the waves: the coral reefs. Watch breathtaking colorful coral forests, turtles searching for food, huge swarms of colorful fish taking refuge in the numerous caves and crevices. And wonder at the incredible diversity of life on the coral reef.

In "The Mighty Mississippi With Trevor Mcdonald" (2013), British broadcast journalist Trevor McDonald takes an adventure along the historic and epic 2,320 mile-long Mississippi River. Starting at the Gulf of Mexico, McDonald's journey leads him to encounter a dazzling array of characters and stunning locations as he examines the role this important river has played in American history. $24.99 from PBS Distribution.

January 22's Releases
From the Big Screen:

"End of Watch," "The Paperboy," "Searching for Sugar Man," "The Imposter," "Keep the Lights On," "For A Good Time, Call ..." and "Pina." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (1/22):

Ready for some wild Japanese action films this week? First up is the hard-boiled Japanese gangster film "Hard Romanticker" (2011). Based on director Gu Su-yeon's semi-autobiographical novel, "Hard Romanticker" is a violent outing that delivers its story with photo equal amounts style and carnage. Bleached blond Gu (Shota Matsuda) -- a stand-in for the director -- is a young cocky Korean-Japanese hoodlum living in the seaside city of Shimonoseki in Yamaguchi Prefecture, a working-class hellhole. The Japanese gangsters look down on the "zainichi" (Japanese-born, but of Korean ancestry) but that doesn't bother Gu, who regularly cruises the city looking for fights with the Yakuza as well as the Korean gangs (referred to derogatorily as NK, for North Korean). When someone accidently kills the grandmother of a ruthless rival thug, Gu soon finds himself on the receiving end as he becomes the target for bloody, even deadly revenge. And it doesn't help that the police are on his tail as well. There's lots of brutality, chases and fights and no one comes out ahead. Extras include a 12-page collectors booklet that includes an essay on "Hard Romanticker," a study of Toei Studios Yakuza films by Japanese cinema expert Patrick Macias, and a gallery of original Toei movie posters. On DVD from Artsploitation Films.

At the complete other end of the spectrum is the comedy-actioner "Dead Sushi" (2012), a wacky martial arts film about the daughter of a legendary sushi chef who finds work at a photo rural hot springs inn where a pharmaceutical firm is holding a work retreat. When a disgruntled former researcher uses a serum to awaken the murderous instincts of ordinary sushi, turning them into bloodthirsty monsters, the girl must use both her sushi training and her martial arts skills to save the others and defeat the monsters. You've never seen anything like a small slab of sushi flying through the air chomping down on unsuspecting humans (and, as the film progresses, there's hundreds of the killer sushis floating about) nor the human-sushi-zombies who spit up rice as they amble around the retreat. It's crazy and fun and loaded with CGI blood. From Millennium Entertainment/Action Slate.

I don't watch much television (cable or broadcast), preferring that any time I spend in front of a small screen be devoted to watching movies on DVD and Blu-ray. I have a bare-bones satellite set up, with MSNBC, a smattering of PBS stations, and local outlets; if I had any movie channels (TCM, for example), I'd never sleep. So you'll have to excuse me when I come late to well-touted series and then champion them; "better late than never," my parents used to say. Last year I "discovered" the Swedish "Wallander" and gobbled down the series in a week long orgy of viewing (with the British "Wallander" for desert). Now, I've come across the photo immensely popular "Waking the Dead" and, I'm ashamed to admit, have only jumped on board for last week's release by BBC Entertainment of Season Seven (2008: Three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98). But what I've seen so far has knocked me out. Like "Wallander," "Waking" revolves around a moody, older police detective who heads up a crime unit (in this case, a special "cold case" team) that goes after murderers, dope and human smugglers, kidnappers, racists, terrorists and other assorted perverts and miscreants and brings the perps to justice (though justice here is a relative term since there are psychological bills to be paid by some of the criminals). And while the group of detectives, psychologists and forensic experts work as a smooth team, there's an edginess to their relationships that, at times, mimics the extreme edginess of the story lines. And, much like the American "Law & Order," cases are not always what they seem to be and change and morph as new clues are uncovered. So don't bother me now; I'm watching TV.

And don't forget this week's Blu-ray debut: "Ivan's Childhood" (1962), the debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky ("Andrei Rublev"), is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy's war-ravaged youth. Moving back and forth between the traumatic realities of World War II and serene moments of family life before the conflict began, Tarkovsky's film remains one of the most jarring and unforgettable depictions of the impact of war on children. High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack, from The Criterion Collection.

Buzzin' the 'B's (1/22):

"Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai" (2011 -- Japan) is director Takashi Miike's tale of revenge, honor and disgrace. When a mysterious samurai arrives at the doorstep of his feudal lord, requesting an honorable death by ritual suicide in his courtyard, the lord threatens him with the brutal tale of Motome, a desperate young ronin who made a similar request with ulterior motives, only to meet a grisly end. Undaunted, the samurai begins to tell a story of his own, with an ending no one could see coming. A remake of Masaki Kobayashi's 1962 classic samurai film, "Harakiri." From Tribeca Films ... "Tai Chi Zero" (2012 -- China) is the first chapter in a planned trilogy by director Stephen Fung ("House of Fury," "Jump"); it's a photo steampunk-infused martial arts epic featuring martial arts choreography by the legendary Sammo Hung. The film follows Yang Lu Chan, a young genius who, tired of being picked on, travels to Chen Village to learn the art of Tai Chi. Luchan finds out the hard way that it is forbidden for a villager to teach an outsider when the villagers, from strong men to old women to little children, repeatedly challenge him to a series of fights, all of which he loses quite badly. But when a frightening army of steampunk soldiers bearing strange machines show up, the villagers realize that in order to save their home, they must trust this strange outsider with the knowledge of Tai Chi. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA ... In "Officer Down" (2012), starring Stephen Dorff, James Woods, Stephen Lang, Dominic Purcell and Walton Goggins, a dirty cop, shot in a drug bust gone wrong and saved by a stranger, gets a second chance to clean up his life and must go rogue to find the men responsible for a string of assaults on young women. On DVD and Blu-ray from Anchor Bay.

"Abel's Field" (2012), starring Kevin Sorbo, Samuel Davis and Richard Dillard, is a melodrama about a high school senior, left motherless by tragedy and abandoned by his father, who has to support his little sisters while putting up with the daily bullying of the high school football team -- until he fights back. From Sony ... "Death Race 3: Inferno" (2013) stars Luke Goss, Danny Trejo, Ving Rhames and Dougray Scott in the second "Death Race" sequel, in which the legendary Frankenstein partakes in an unimaginably vicious new competition that pits teams of hardened convicts against each other in a blood-spattered, photo winner-take-all race through South Africa. From Universal ... "Hansel & Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft" (2012) stars Fivel Stewart, Booboo Stewart, Eric Roberts and Vanessa Angel in the fairy tale update that has a modern-day Hansel and Gretel entering an elite boarding school where they meet up with a coven of witches. From Lionsgate ... When a former member of a religious cult dies in a mysterious accident in Amish Country, his wife begins to fear for her life and the lives of her friends at the hands of the evil cult and its fanatical leader in "Deadly Blessing" (1981), starring Maren Jensen, Susan Buckner, Sharon Stone, Jeff East, Lisa Hartman, Lois Nettleton and Ernest Borgnine. On DVD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory ... In "The Nest" (1988), starring Robert Lansing, Lisa Langlois, Franc Luz, Terri Treas and Stephen Davies, cockroaches overrun the quiet town of North Port when an innocent experiment conducted by the nearby INTEC Corporation goes terribly wrong, making ordinary roaches turn into creatures with a taste for blood. Worse, the roaches are genetically mutating ... literally becoming whatever they eat. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Shout! Factory ... A dropout comes to the aid of a chubby and suicidal high-school kid by recruiting him as the drummer for his upstart punk-rock band in "Fat Kid Rules the World" (2012), directed by Matthew Lillard and starring Billy Campbell and Matt O'Leary; from ARC Entertainment.

On the Indie Front (1/22):

Polar-opposite brothers Randy and Kirk never saw eye-to-eye, but their rivalry is taken to a new level when Randy hijacks Kirk's son's sleepover, taking the boys on a Scout Trip to remember in "Nature Calls" (2012), starring Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville and Rob Riggle; from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... A hip Silver Lake (Los Angeles) family's relaxed dynamic is tested after they take in a young artist so she can complete her art film in "Nobody Walks" (2012), starring John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby and Rosemarie DeWitt. On DVD and Blu-ray from Magnolia Home Entertainment.

Special Interest (1/22):

"American Experience: The Abolitionists" (2013) is a documentary on the dedicated citizens who tore the nation apart in the 19th century in order to create a more perfect union. Men and women, black and white, Northerners and Southerners, poor and wealthy, these passionate anti-slavery activists fought body and soul in the most important civil rights crusade in American history. Brings to life the intertwined stories of Frederick Douglass, photo William Lloyd Garrison, Angelina Grimke, Harriet Beecher Stowe and John Brown. $24.99 from PBS Distribution ... A diverse group of full-of-attitude New Yorkers reveals how a hidden world of beautiful wild birds in the middle of Manhattan has upended and magically transformed their lives in "Birders: The Central Park Effect" (2012). The film reveals the extraordinary array of wild birds -- more than 200 avian species, from hummingbirds and herons to owls and hawks -- that make regular layovers in Manhattan's grandest park and the equally colorful New Yorkers who schedule their lives around the rhythms of the birds' migration patterns. From Music Box Films ... "The Men Who Built America" tells the story of the men who played a significant role in the shaping of this country. From Carnegie, Morgan, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and Ford, the miniseries looks at how these individuals took a nation decaying from the Civil War into the greatest economic and technological superpower the world has ever seen. Three-disc DVD ($29.98) and Blu-ray ($39.99) from Lionsgate ... "Beauty Is Embarrassing" (2012) is a biography of Wayne photo White, a designer, painter, puppeteer, sculptor and musician who has made an indelible mark on the creative world, tracing his career from his stint as an underground cartoonist in New York's East Village to his big break as a designer, puppeteer and voice-over actor on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" (for which he won three Emmys), as well as his work animating music videos for The Smashing Pumpkins and Peter Gabriel. From Docurama ... "Dirty Energy: The Deepwater Horizon Diaster" (2013) is an award-winning documentary that shares first hand stories from the fishermen, local environmentalists, scientists and members of the cleanup crew who were hardest hit by the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon accident that began on April 20th, 2010, when the drilling rig exploded off the Gulf of Mexico, taking the lives of 11 workers and pouring millions of barrels of oil into the ocean, creating one of the worst environmental disasters in history. From Cinema Libre Studio ... "Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis" (2011) is an Encore channel documentary that examines the career of one of the nuttiest and most innovative comedic minds of all time. $19.98 from Anchor Bay.

January 15's Releases
From the Big Screen:

"Taken 2," "To Rome With Love," "Won't Back Down," "Farewell, My Queen" and "The Possession." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (1/15):

At the top of the list this week are two releases from the folks at The Criterion Collection: "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), Alfred Hitchcock's first film after signing to the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation. This fleet and gripping early thriller, about an ordinary British couple vacationing in Switzerland who suddenly find themselves embroiled in a case of international intrigue when their daughter is kidnapped by spies plotting a photo political assassination, is pure Hitchcock, and set the tone for films like "The 39 Steps" and "The Lady Vanishes." In a new high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition ... And the restored director's cut of Volker Schlondorff's "The Tin Drum" (1979) -- a version never before seen in the United States -- a visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Gunter Grass's acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire. Oskar is born in Germany in 1924 with an advanced intellect. Repulsed by the hypocrisy of adults and the irresponsibility of society, he refuses to grow older after his third birthday. While the chaotic world around him careers toward the madness and folly of World War II, Oskar pounds incessantly on his beloved tin drum and perfects his uncannily piercing shrieksThis Week's Releases (January 15)
From the Big Screen:

"Taken 2," "To Rome With Love," "Won't Back Down," "Farewell, My Queen" and "The Possession." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

. Newly remastered 5.1 surround soundtrack, approved by Schlondorff and presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray edition.

For boomers (and cartoon fans) there's photo "Captain Cornelius' Cartoon Lagoon" (2013), a new animated/puppet show of old cartoons in which animated characters Wet Willy Jones and Axel Rodd Mcgee go on an undersea quest aboard the Manta Ray -- a cartoon-retrieving vessel commanded by Captain Cornelius Cartoon -- to collect and comment on some of the classic cartoons -- the best and the worst ever made -- in Cartoon Lagoon. The spirit of the show harkens back to a time when kids would wake up before their parents on a Saturday morning with a big bowl of cereal and watch cartoons because that was the only time they were on. In this debut voyage, the crew finds classics like Casper the Friendly Ghost, Popeye, Gumby, Felix the Cat, Superman, Woody Woodpecker, Little Lulu, Captain Nemo and more. $12.99 from Cartoon Lagoon Studios, and available at Amazon.

From TV to Video (1/15):

"Being Human: Season 4" (2012) is a three-disc set with eight episodes; DVD, $49.98; Blu-ray Disc, $59.98 from BBC Entertainment ... In the Hallmark Channel original movie"Cupid" (2012), starring Joely Fisher, Jamie Kennedy, Roark Critchlow and Rebecca McFarland, a workaholic longing to find her perfect match gets an unexpected visitor at her workplace who tells her that if she can help one couple fall in love before Valentine's Day, her own true love will be revealed. From Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment ... "Ghost Hunters Academy" (2011) features a group of aspiring ghost hunters fresh from college exploring some of the world's most haunted locations; four-disc set with 12 episodes, $24.98 from Image photo Entertainment ... "Last of the Summer Wine: Vintage 1997" (1997) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $34.98 from BBC Entertainment ... "Life's Too Short: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a two-disc set with seven episodes, $29.98 from HBO ... "Love Me" (2012), starring Lindsey Shaw, Jamie Johnston, Jean-Luc Bilodeau and Kaitlyn Leeb, is a teen thriller about a missing 16-year-old high school girl, the rich new boy in town, and a young girl desperately wanting to fall in love. From Anchor Bay ... "Men of a Certain Age: The Complete Second Season" (2012) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from TNT/Warner ... "Merlin: The Complete Fourth Season" (2011) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes; DVD, $49.98; Blu-ray Disc, $59.98; from BBC Entertainment ... "Perry Mason: The Eighth Season, Volume 2" (1965) is a four-disc set with the final 15 episodes of Season Eight, $57.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Twenty-Twelve: The Complete Series" (2011-12) is a satirical look at the bureaucratic team responsible for delivering the biggest show on earth: the 2012 London Games. Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98 from BBC Entertainment ... When a reluctant bodyguard is hired to protect a bride-to-be from frightening death threats, she must blend in during the ceremony and reception to uncover the truth behind the suspicious guest list in the Hallmark Channel original movie "Undercover Bridesmaid" (2012), starring Brooke Burns, Nicole Paggi, Justin Baldoni and Gregory Harrison; from Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment ... "Waking the Dead: Season Seven" (2008) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, $39.98 from BBC Entertainment.

Buzzin' the 'B's (1/15):

Here's an interesting lost film: "Wake in Fright" (1971). Directed by Ted Kotcheff ("First Blood," "North Dallas Forty," "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz)", the movie tells the story of a British schoolteacher's descent into personal demoralization at the hands of the deranged, hard-drinking residents of a remote Australian town. The film had its world premiere at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival, where it was nominated for a Palme d'Or. Retitled "Outback" and hurried into a few theaters across the U.S. with minimal advertising support, the movie lasted barely a week before it was pulled from circulation and vanished into obscurity. For over three decades the film materials were thought to be lost, until the movie's persistent cinematographer unearthed the original negative elements in Pennsylvania photo in canisters marked for imminent destruction. The materials were painstakingly restored frame by frame and the new restoration was invited back to Cannes in 2009. On DVD and Blu-ray from Drafthouse Films/Image Entertainment ... There's twice the action and twice the adrenaline rush with an action-packed double feature starring world renowned martial arts sensation Jackie Chan: "Crime Story/The Protector Double Feature" (1993/1985), on DVD and Blu-ray from Shout! Factory ... Set in a dystopian future where corporate brands have created a disillusioned population, one man's effort to unlock the truth behind the conspiracy leads to an epic battle with the hidden forces that control the world in "Branded" (2012), starring Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Jeffrey Tambor, Ingeborga Dapkunaite and Max Von Sydow; on DVD and Blu-ray from Lionsgate ... "Counterpunch" (2013), starring Danny Trejo, Steven Bauer, Alvaro Orlando, Oscar Torre and Camila Banus, is based on a true story, about a young boxer from the wrong side of the tracks with big dreams of winning the Golden Gloves boxing championship, who gets a second shot at the championship after running afoul of the law. From Lionsgate ... "30 Nights of Paranormal Activity With The Devil Inside the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" (2012) is a found footage parody: Dana's father was sent to a psychiatric hospital after he killed the entire cast of "The Artist" while an exorcism was being performed on him. She continues on with her life -- gets married, has kids and moves into the same (haunted) house she grew up in. But now she must battle the demons that haunted her father before her. Stars Kathryn Flore, Flip Schultz and French Stewart. On DVD and Blu-ray from Fox.

On the Indie Front (1/15):

After being granted a questionable transfer that will keep him stateside as his National Guard unit deploys for Iraq, Lieutenant Danny Sefton (Seth Gabel) becomes embroiled in a last photo minute AWOL attempt by one of his soldiers (Bow Wow) -- forcing him to choose between his loyalties to the fleeing soldier, his unit and his fiancé in "Allegiance" (2012). Based on the director’s own personal experiences while serving in the military, the film pays tribute to the 21 million veterans living in the United States today. It was written, directed, produced and financed almost entirely by veterans. Co-stars Aidan Quinn, Malik Yoba, Pablo Schreiber and Reshma Shetty. Former Navy SEALS and Army Green Berets were enlisted to train the actors and extras. On DVD and Blu-ray from XLrator Media ... In "The Last Fall" (2012), starring Lance Gross, Matthew A. Cherry, Nicole Beharie and Vanessa Bell Calloway, an NFL journeyman struggles to deal with life's complexities after his professional career is over; from One Village Entertainment/Image Entertainment.

Foreign (1/15):

Inspired by events that took place in Massachusetts, Delphine and Muriel Coulin's provocative debut "17 Girls" (2011 -- France) focuses on a group of bored teenage girls who all make an irrevocable pact. When Camille accidentally becomes pregnant, she encourages her friends and fellow high school classmates to follow suit. It's only a matter of time before 17 girls in the high school are pregnant and the town is thrown into a world of chaos. Set in the writer-directors' small, seaside hometown of Lorient in Brittany. Stars Louise Grinberg, Juliette Darche and Roxane Duran. From Strand Releasing.

For the Family (1/15):

In "Thomas & Friends: Muddy Matters" (2013), Thomas and his engine friends handle some dirty jobs in five episodes: "Muddy Matters," "Thomas and the Garbage Train," "Don't Bother photo Victor," "Whiff's Wish" and "Thomas Toots the Crows." From Lionsgate ... "SpongeBob SquarePants: Extreme Kah-Rah-Tay!" (2012) consists of eight episodes of the kids and adults fav, $14.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount ... "Power Rangers Samurai: A Team Divided Volume 3" (2012) includes four episodes, with cast interviews, Power Rangers Dubstep and a character gallery; "Power Rangers Super Samurai: Rise of the BullZooka Volume 3 " (2012) also includes four episodes, with "Behind the Scenes of Power Rangers Super Samurai," Power Rangers MEGA Flash Mob and a weapons gallery; each sells for $14.97 from Lionsgate ... "The Amazing World of Gumball: The Mystery" (2011) features 12 episodes from the first season of the Cartoon Network series, $14.97 from Warner ... "Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer" (2013) is an animated adventure about an over-confident teen, Thor, the Norse god of thunder and lightning, who join forces with other gods against an evil queen and her army of giants. With the voices of Justin Gregg, Pail Tylak and Nicola Coughlan; from ARC Entertainment.

Special Interest (1/15):

People: "Three Stars" (2010) focuses on 10 world-class chefs, showing the everyday drama of life in gourmet restaurants. Includes exclusive interviews and behind-the-scenes access to these multi-talented culinary artisans as they explore new creations in their gastronomic laboratories, hunt for exquisite ingredients in local markets, and gather rare edible plants along rough coastlines. Featuring chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Rene Redzepi, Yannick photo Alleno, Nadia Santini, Olivier Roellinger, Sergio Herman, Sven Elverfeld, Hideki Ishikawa, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak. From First Run Features ... Despite his sudden death in 1973 at the age of 32, legendary icon Bruce Lee continues to influence the world of martial arts, popular culture and entertainment to this day. "I Am Bruce Lee" (2011) delves deeper into the compelling saga behind Bruce Lee than ever before and deftly unravels Lee's fascinating life through his own words and visually stunning actions, as well as through the eyes of his family, close friends and luminaries from the world of sports and entertainment. From Shout! Factory ... "Bill Moyers: Becoming American" (2003) is a PBS documentary that traces the history of Chinese Americans. From Acorn Media ... "The Other Dream Team" (2012) is the incredible story of the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, whose athletes struggled under Soviet rule, became symbols of Lithuania's independence movement, and -- with help from the Grateful Dead -- triumphed at the Barcelona Olympics. Documents the Lithuanians' experiences behind the Iron Curtain for 50 years, where elite athletes were subjected to the brutalities of Communist rule. As they hid from KGB agents and feared for their lives, Lithuania's basketball stars always shared a common goal -- to utilize their athletic gifts to help free their country. The film features the original members of the 1992 basketball team as well as interviews with American sports figures Bill Walton, Bob Costas and Jim Lampley. From Lionsgate

Places: "Detropia" (2012) is a documentary on the city of Detroit and its woes, which are emblematic of the collapse of the U.S. manufacturing base. Detroit was the birthplace of the middle class, an industrial utopia where anyone who worked hard enough could experience the American Dream. Today, Detroit is on the brink of bankruptcy. In the past 10 years this iconic Midwestern city has lost 25% of its population and 50% of its manufacturing jobs. photo Local officials are in the midst of the most dramatic "downsizing" of an American city ever seen -- demolishing thousands of homes, reconsolidating massive tracts of excess land, cutting basic services and even encouraging Detroiters in the most marginal neighborhoods to move. Detroiters who have stuck with the city are at the breaking point. Despite these desperate conditions, artists and curious outsiders flock to the city in search of inspiration and opportunity. From Docurama ... "Battle for Brooklyn" (2012) Since the start of this NBA season, the cheers of major league sports fans are being heard in Brooklyn for the first time since baseball's Dodgers went West 55 years ago. But not everyone is cheering. The story of the construction of the Barclays Center, a tale of citizens forced out of their homes by wealthy developers and politicians, is now told in this urgent documentary, an intimate look at the very public and passionate fight waged by residents and business owners of Brooklyn's historic and densely populated Prospect Heights neighborhood as they face condemnation of their property to make way for the polarizing Atlantic Yards project, a massive plan to build 16 skyscrapers and a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets. From Virgil Films.

Laughs: Everything and everybody is fair game, from Asian women, gays, Mexicans, animals, pop stars, and her own domain of reality television, as Joan Rivers goes to great lengths to insult everyone in "Joan Rivers: Don't Start With Me" (2012), her first stand-up DVD. From Entertainment One ... On a mountaintop deep in the Mojave Desert, away from the plush safety of the typical comedy club filled with his adoring fans, Harland courageously takes on Mother Nature in a stand-up set on the world's biggest stage in "Harland Williams: A Force of Nature" (2012), from Image Entertainment ... "Anthony Jeselnik: Caligula" (2013) is an extended and uncensored one-hour stand-up featuring performances from "Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump," "Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen" and "Comedy Central Roast of Roseanne," from Comedy Central/Paramount.

January 8's Releases
From the Big Screen:

"Frankenweenie," "Hit & Run," "House at the End of the Street" and "Dredd." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

DVD Collectibles (1/8):

Topping the list of collectibles this week is the Blu-ray debut of "The Jazz Singer" (1927), starring Al Jolson, Warner Oland, May McAvoy and Eugenie Besserer in a Blu-Ray Book package with behind-the-scenes collector's cards, lobby cards, souvenir program, a booklet with reproductions of vintage documents, a post premiere telegram from Al Jolson, and a collection photo of vintage cartoons and rare early sound era shorts and Vitaphone talkies; $35.99 from Warner ... Follow that up with the Blu-ray debut of "Two-Lane Black Top" (1971) from maverick director Monte Hellman. Drag racing east from L.A. in a souped-up '55 Chevy are the wayward Driver and Mechanic (singer-songwriter James Taylor and the Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson, in their only acting roles), accompanied by a tagalong Girl ("Cockfighter's" Laurie Bird). Along the way, they meet Warren Oates's Pontiac GTO-driving wanderer and challenge him to a cross-country race -- ­the prize: their cars' pink slips. But no summary can do justice to the existential punch of "Two-Lane Blacktop." With its gorgeous widescreen compositions and sophisticated look at American male obsession, this stripped-down narrative is one of the artistic high points of 1970s cinema; from The Criterion Collection.

The "Lost Films of Herschell Gordon Lewis" brings together three previously thought lost sexploitation features from Herschell Gordon Lewis, the acclaimed master of exploitation cinema: "Ecstasies of Women" (1969) is a torrid comedy/drama set in the swinging world of late 60s Los Angeles; "Linda and Abilene" (1969) combines the savagery of a classic Hollywood Western with sequences of intense eroticism; "Black Love" (1971) exposes the lovemaking habits of a contemporary black couple through a series of amusing and creative vignettes. All three films have been restored in 2K from their original camera negatives and are being released on home video for the first time. In a Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Vinegar Syndrome/CAV Distributing.

There's three more Blu-ray debuts this week: "Driving Miss Daisy" (1989), "Mrs. Miniver" (1942) and "Grand Hotel" (1932).

And now for something completely different: Take a look at "Lapland Odyssey" (2010 -- Finland), a buddy-road-trip comedy that's thankfully short on the photo raunch but long on off-kilter humor and heart. Set in the frozen landscape of northern Finland (Lapland), this comedy follows a raucous road trip that begins when slacker Janne is sent out into the night by his beautiful and frustrated girlfriend Inari to purchase a cable box for their home. But the quest is not as simple as it sounds. Janne, accompanied by his two hapless and troublemaking friends, is propelled along a bizarre journey filled with such obstacles as naked, gun-toting Russians, a very very hostile reindeer, a Jacuzzi of bikini-clad beauties, barroom brawls, Inari's creepy ex-boyfriend, and much more. From indie distribution company Artsploitation Films, a new home for edgy, unpredictable and provocative films from around the world.

From TV to Video (1/8):

"Anger Management: Season One" (2012) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes, $29.97 from Lionsgate ... "Dallas: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes of the new series inspired by the original: The saga of the Ewing family dynasty continues with the children of J.R., Sue Ellen and Bobby battling each other for the coveted Southfork family estate. photo Extras include a "Back in Production" behind-the-scenes featurette, "Dressing Dallas" costume featurette, deleted scenes and a "Who Shot J.R.?" featurette; $39.98 from Warner ... "Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 1" (2011) is a three-disc set with 12 episodes, and "Dance Moms Season 2: Volume 2" (2012) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $24.98 each from Lionsgate ... "Enlightened: The Complete First Season" (2011) is a two-disc set with 10 episodes; DVD, $39.98; Blu-ray Disc, $49.99; from HBO ... "Episodes: The Complete First and Second Seasons" (2011-12) is a two-disc set with 16 episodes, with "Biographies" and photo galleries; $41.99 from CBS/Paramount ... "Fury -- The Lost Episodes" (1955-1960) features 23 episodes of the show about a boy and his horse; it includes 18 episodes never before on home video. The show, starring Peter Graves, aired for five seasons, then aired in syndication throughout the mid-1960s and 1970s under the name "Brave Stallion." $9.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "Game Change" (2012), directed by Jay Roach and starring Julianne Moore, Ed Harris, Woody Harrelson, Alex Hyde-White, Brittany Underwood, Kevin Bigley, Peter MacNicol, Jamey Sheridan, Sarah Paulson and Ron Livingston, revisits a defining moment in U.S. politics with a searing, behind-the scenes look at John McCain's beleaguered 2008 presidential campaign -- from the decision to select Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as a running mate to the ticket's ultimate defeat in the general elections. Winner of five 2012 Emmy Awards. Based on the best-selling book of the same name. On DVD and Blu-ray from HBO ... "The Goode Family: The Complete Series" (2009) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $22.97 from Shout! Factory ... In "Hearts Afire -- The photo Complete Series" (1992), John Ritter and Markie Post starred as a strict Washington conservative and a liberal journalist, respectively, who fall in love. Includes all 54 episodes, $9.98 from Mill Creek Entertainment ... "The Hour 2" (2011) is the second season of the acclaimed BBC America behind-the-scenes drama and espionage miniseries set in Cold War-era England that centers on a journalist, a producer, and an anchorman for an investigative news program. Available as a two-disc set with six episodes; DVD, $34.98; Blu-ray Disc, $39.98. From BBC Home Entertainment ... "Midsomer Murders Set 21" includes four new, contemporary stand-alone murder mysteries in the regional community of Midsomer; there's a new DCI and a new partner. Available as a four-disc DVD and two-disc Blu-ray. From Acorn Media ... In "Red Dwarf X" (2012), the most inept band of space travelers ever to roam the interstellar highway return with an all-new season of misadventures. Two-disc set with six episodes; DVD, $34.98; Blu-ray Disc, $39.98. From BBC Entertainment ... "Smash: Season One" (2012) is a four-disc set with 15 episodes, $59.98 from Universal.

Buzzin' the 'B's (1/8):

A priceless Apache war mask has been stolen from an Indian casino causing criminals, frat boys, tomahawk-wielding hit men, modern-day cowboys, Elvis impersonators and a six-foot-tall blonde assassin to rampage through a small desert Nevada town in hopes of claiming the treasure first in "Guns, Girls and Gambling" (2011), starring Gary Oldman, Christian Slater, Dane Cook, Powers Boothe, Jeff Fahey, Megan Park and Chris Kattan; on DVD and Blu-ray from Universal ... In "War of the Dead" (2011 -- USA-Lithuania-Italy), photo starring Andrew Tiernan, Mark Wingett, Mikko Leppilampi and Jouko Ahola, a platoon of American and Finnish soldiers is driven deep into a Russian forest where its captain discovers a terrifying secret: They're fighting an army of undead Nazi soldiers who can't be killed. On DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Entertainment One ... The National Geographic Channel feature "Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden" (2012) is based on true events and framed by real-time footage, and recounts the dramatic behind-the-scenes decisions that brought the world's most wanted man to justice. Stars Cam Gigandet, Anson Mount, Freddy Rodriguez, Xzibit, Kathleen Robertson, Eddie Kay Thomas and Kenneth Miller. On DVD and Blu-ray from The Weinstein Company/Anchor Bay ... In "Now Is Good" (2012), starring Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine, a young woman (Fanning), after being told she has only a few months to live, decides to fill her remaining days with unexpected adventure, laughter and romance. Based on the romantic best-seller. From Sony ... The smash U.K. series The Inbetweeners makes it way to the big screen with "The Inbetweeners Movie" (2012). After high school graduation, best friends Will, Jay, Neil and Simon jet off on an all-expenses paid, no-holds-barred, totally mental trip to an exotic Greek isle. Buoyed by dreams of endless sun-drenched days, booze-fueled evenings and booty-filled nights, the young lads are on the loose in virgin territory but soon discover that they're in way over their heads. Stars James Buckley, Joe Thomas, Simon Bird and Blake Harrison. From Lionsgate ... photo "The Assassins" (2012 -- China), starring Chow Yun-Fat, Yifei Liu and Hiroshi Tamaki, is an historical action drama set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history and focuses on Han Dynasty warlord Cao Cao (Chow Yun-Fat) in his later years, as he explores the areas of military tactics, love, and the relationship between father and son. On DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA ... In this modern retelling of the classic horror tale "Hansel & Gretel" (2013), Dee Wallace, the kind-hearted mother in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," transforms into a cannibalistic monster who enslaves teen siblings in her house of terror deep in the forest. Co-stars Brent Lydic and Stephanie Greco. From The Asylum ... When a school project goes terribly wrong in the family friendly mystery "Ghost Trap" (2013), Cynthia Carter finds herself doing community service at mean, old Mrs. Gotham's house, rumored to be haunted. But it takes more than gossip to scare this scientist-in-training and she's determined to get to the bottom of the eerie happenings. From Inception Media Group ... photo"Pathfinders: In the Company of Strangers" (2011), starring Michael Conner Humphreys and Christopher Serrone, is the true story of the American Pathfinders, volunteer paratroopers whose deadly mission was to land 30 minutes before the Normandy invasion, locate and mark strategic "drop zones" and set up the top-secret navigation equipment needed to guide the main airborne assault on D-Day. On DVD and Blu-ray from Inception Media Group ... "Sleep Tight" (2011) is a creepy thriller from Spain. Toiling silently among the residents of an everyday Barcelona apartment building, doorman Cesar harbors a dark secret: His sole desire in life is to make others unhappy. When he sets his sights on Clara, one of his building's cheeriest residents, his sick need blossoms into a full-fledged obsession. Latest film from Jaume Balaguero, the director of "Fragile" and the horror-thrillers "[Rec]" and "[Rec] 2." On DVD and Blu-ray from Dark Sky Films ... "Stone of Destiny" (2008) is the story of Ian Hamilton, a dedicated nationalist who re-ignited Scottish national pride in the 1950s with his daring raid on the heart of England to bring the Stone of Scone back to Scotland. From Green Apple Entertainment.

On the Indie Front: (1/8)

A small town cinema in rural Ireland becomes the setting for a dramatic struggle between faith and passion, Rome and Hollywood and a man and his conscience in the 1950s in "Stella Days" (2011), starring Martin Sheen and Stephen Rea; from Tribeca Film ... When a prank caller convinces a fast food restaurant manager to interrogate an innocent young employee for theft, she commences the photoinvestigation, following step-by-step instructions from the "officer" at the other end of the line, no matter how invasive they become in the based-on-a-true-story "Compliance" (2012), starring Dreama Walker, Ann Dowd and Pat Healy. From Magnolia Home Entertainment ... "Who Did I Marry?" (2012), starring Terri J. Vaughn and Thomas Ford, is a filmed stage play that explores the boundaries of love and marriage when a young wife discovers her husband's infidelity. From Entertainment One ... In "The Wise Kids" (2012), starring Tyler Ross, Molly Kunz and Allison Torem, three teenage friends contemplate their next stage of life following graduation: Brea, an introspective pastor's daughter experiencing debilitating doubt, the hyperactive Laura, Brea's best friend and a devout believer, and gay teen Tim, who draws strength from the support of his PFLAG Dad as he copes with the twists and turns of late adolescence. From Wolfe Video.

For the Family: (1/8)

"Best of Widget!" (2012) includes six episodes -- plus a special bonus show -- featuring Wubbzy's pal Widget as he modifies a road racer for the Wuzzleburg Derby, tries to become a ballerina, and invents a solar-powered photo super-robot. "Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" has been a hit with young viewers and families since its 2006 premiere on Nickelodeon, and this DVD is the second in the "Best of Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!" series. From Anchor Bay ... "Angelina Ballerina: Dance Around the World" (2013) consists of five new episodes of the preschool favorite dancing mouse as she dances around the world: "Angelina and the Irish Jig," "Angelina and the Cheddar Cheese Slide," "Angelina and the Windy Children's Day," "Angelina and the Smelly Cheese" and "Angelina and the Dragon Dance." $14.98 from Lionsgate ... In "Barney: Let's Go to the Moon" (2013), Barney and his friends discover that the sky's not the limit when you use your imagination in three "space" adventures: "Dream Big," "The Misbegotten Moon" and "The Amazing Captain Pickles." $14.98 from Lionsgate ... "Monsuno: Destiny" (2012) is the first DVD collection based on the highly popular Nicktoons animated series; five episodes, $14.97 from Shout! Factory Kids.

Special Interest (1/8):

"Hollywood: Streets of Gold" is an anthology of five documentaries on Hollywood: 1961's "Hollywood: The Golden Years" takes a look at the Golden Age of Cinema from its beginnings to the advent of sound, narrated by Gene Kelly; Henry Fonda narrates and looks at the lives, performances and mystique of the iconic personalities that made Hollywood the glamor capital of the world in 1963's "Hollywood: The Great Stars"; 1966's "The Legend of Marilyn Monroe" is a documentary on the life and career of the iconic sex symbol, narrated by director John Huston; Henry Fonda interviews Ingrid Bergman, Katharine Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, Rock Hudson and many more Hollywood insiders in 1969's "Hollywood: The Selznick Years"; 1982's "Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter" is a retrospective look at 60 years of great moments in film comedy, from the 1920s photo to the present. An incredible bargain at $9.98. From Mill Creek Entertainment ... The world of nature, and mankind's place in, is at the center of "Samsara" (2012) (a Sanskrit word meaning "continuous flow," referring to the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), the new feature shot on five continents over five years and created by Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, the makers of the critically acclaimed "Chronos" and "Baraka." This one-of-a-kind look at our world, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the depths of Yosemite Valley and 25 countries in between (photographed in 70mm and transferred to 4K digital projection format), offers mesmerizing images of unprecedented clarity that illuminate the links between humanity and the rest of nature, showing how our life cycle mirrors the rhythm of the planet. On DVD and Blu-ray from MPI Media Group ... In "George Lopez: It's Not Me, It's You" (2012), George Lopez returns to HBO for his third live solo stand-up special, direct from the 7,000-seat Nokia Theatre in L.A. In the special, Lopez discusses the state of Latinos in the U.S. and covers topics such as dating and marriage, alcohol and drugs, parenting, irritating pets, Latino environmental firsts, getting old, the behavior of children, politics and more. $19.97 from HBO.

January 1's Releases
From the Big Screen:

"Cosmopolis." For more releases this week, see the "Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases."

From TV to Video (1/1):

photo "Being Human: The Complete Second Season" (2012) is a four-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98, on DVD and Blu-ray. Extras include a "making-of" featurette, a behind-the-scenes Vlog, and footage of the stars at San Diego Comic Con 2012. From Entertainment One ... "Doctor Zhivago" (2003) is a two-disc set of the complete U.K. broadcast edition starring Keira Knightley, Hans Matheson and Sam Neill. From Acorn Media ... "Lillie" (1979) is a four-disc set with all 13 episodes of the British period miniseries that vividly captures the complex Lillie Langtry, who became one of the most infamous figures of the Victorian age: a woman who captivated such diverse figures as Walt Whitman, James Whistler and George Bernard Shaw. From Acorn Media ... "Trial & Retribution, Set 6" is a two-disc set with the last four feature-length mysteries of the gripping British crime series. From Acorn Media.

Buzzin' the 'B's (1/1):

A platoon of American and Finnish soldiers is driven deep into a Russian forest where its captain discovers a terrifying secret: They're fighting an army of undead Nazi soldiers who can't be killed in War of the Dead" (2011 -- USA-Lithuania-Italy), starring Andrew Tiernan, Mark Wingett, Mikko Leppilampi and Jouko Ahola. On DVD and Blu-ray from Entertainment One ... In "The Trouble With Bliss" (2011), 35-year-old Morris Bliss is clamped firmly in the jaws of New York City inertia: He wants to travel but has no money; he needs a job but has no photo prospects; he still shares an apartment with his widowed father; and perhaps worst of all, the premature death of his mother still lingers and has left him emotionally walled up. When he finds himself wrapped up in an awkward relationship with the sexually precocious, 18-year-old daughter of a former classmate and the advances of his very forward neighbor, Morris quickly discovers his static life unraveling and opening up in ways that are long overdue. Stars Michael C. Hall, Brie Larson, Sarah Shahi, Rhea Perlman, Chris Messina, Peter Fonda and Lucy Liu. From Anchor Bay ... In "The Thompsons" (2012), starring Corey Knauf, Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer, Mackenzie Firgens, Ryan Hartwig, Elizabeth Henstridge, Sean Browne and Tim Holloway, America's most anguished vampire family -- on the run with the law on their trail -- heads to England to find an ancient vampire clan. What they find instead could tear their family, and their throats, apart forever. On DVD and Blu-ray from XLrator Media.

Special Interest (1/1):

photo Four years ago, the presidential candidates agreed that climate change was a critical issue demanding urgent attention. But that national call to action has disappeared and in the past four years public opinion on the climate issue has cooled. This election cycle, the presidential candidates barely discussed climate change. And new studies find that only about half of Americans believe global warming is caused by human activity. What's behind this dramatic reversal? "Frontline: Climate of Doubt" (2012) describes the individuals and groups behind an organized effort to attack science by undermining scientists, and to unseat politicians who say they believe there is current climate change caused by human activity. $24.99 from PBS Distribution.

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December 1, 2012
OnVideo News (ISSN 1094-3676).