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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, June 25 -- Monday, July 1

All DVD Releases

  • No

    photo On September 11, 1973, a CIA-backed military coup overthrew Chile's democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende, ushering in almost two decades of a repressive, fascist government -- headed by General Augusto Pinochet -- that caused the torture and/or disappearance of more than 40,000 citizens. By 1988, facing international pressure to legitimize his dictatorship, Pinochet created a national plebiscite giving the citizens of Chile the opportunity to vote for or against extending his rule for another eight years. In "No," which is based on the events surrounding the referendum, director Pablo Larrain has created an enlightening, if cynical, look at those who opposed the general and how they went about creating a free Chile. For the plebiscite, citizens could vote either "Yes" or "No," and the foregone conclusion was that -- no matter what -- "Yes" would win. The "No" campaign was given free 15-minute TV spots -- but only in the early hours of the morning when no one would be watching -- to plead their case, for 27 days before the vote. Opposition leaders for the "No" campaign persuaded a brash young advertising executive, Rene Saavedra (Gael Garcia Bernal), to spearhead their campaign, and he used modern advertising techniques -- treating the campaign as if it were a "product" -- to mobilize voters. Against all odds, with scant resources and under scrutiny by the despot's minions, Saavedra and his team's audacious plan won the election and set Chile free from oppression. "No' is filmed in muted, faded colors, using plenty of hand-held camera shots with soft focus, to give the effect of a 1980s documentary. The acting across the board is superb, with many of the participants from the 1988 campaign taking roles in this "version" of the events. Gael Garcia Bernal ("Y Tu Mama Tambien," "The Motorcycle Diaries") holds the screen as the cynical Saavedra, torn between his emotional attachment to the cause (his estranged wife is an anti-Pinochet radical) and his safe life as an bourgeoise advertising executive. Highly recommended. Extras include a very enlightening commentary with Bernal and director Larrain, as well as a Q&A with Bernal. In Spanish with English subtitles. Vitals: Director: Pablo Larrain. Stars: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco, Nestor Cantillana, Antonia Zeger. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 110 min., Drama, Box office gross: $2.196 million, Sony. 3 stars


  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

    photo Up front, let it be known that I'm not a great fan of Steve Carell and Jim Carrey -- I find both actors to be the epitome of (with a few exceptions, such as Carrey in "The Truman Show" or "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" and Carell in "Little Miss Sunshine" and "Dan in Real Life") a snarkiness and self-pity that may make for laughs but certainly doesn't extend the craft of mature male acting. That said, I rather liked "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone," a somewhat by-the-book comedy about a pair of childhood friends -- Carell and Steve Buscemi -- who grow-up together to become the top-ranked magicians/illusionists Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton; together they ruled the Las Vegas Strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt's gigantic ego. What sets the film in motion is the bickering -- and subsequent break-up -- of the pair, which is exaggerated by the growing success of an outrageous guerilla street magician (Carrey) who wants to supplant them as a Vegas headliner. Throw in the always-delightful Alan Arkin as a magician-guru, the always lovely Olivia Wilde as the team's put-upon (and sexy) assistant, and some spectacular illusions and magic tricks, and you have an enjoyable 100 minute outing. And, unlike a lot of stupid comedies these days, "The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" has a heart: The latter part of the film chronicles the boys attempts to get their act back together -- to follow their true dream. Note: The film features James Gandolfini in one of his last roles -- here as a pretentious hotel owner. Extras include a wonderfully clever "Making Movie Magic With David Copperfield" featurette, a gag reel, deleted scenes and alternate takes. Vitals: Director: Don Scardino. Stars: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Jay Mohr, Gillian Jacobs, Brad Garrett. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $22.339 million, Warner. 2 stars

  • The Call

    photo A cliche of a thriller about a 911 operator (Halle Berry) who takes a life-altering call from a teenage girl (Abigail Breslin) who has just been abducted and thrown into the trunk of a serial killer's car. Much of the film revolves around Berry getting Breslin to try to get clues as to her whereabouts; at one point, it's revealed that the man also had killed a young girl that Berry had tried to save under similar circumstances six months earlier. Once the phone call ends, the film degenerates into a predictable psychological whodunit, a kind of water-downed "The Silence of the Lambs" meets "Cellular." Still, there are a few heart-pounding moments for those who want a rush. Vitals: Director: Brad Anderson. Stars: Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 118 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $50.727 million, Sony. 2 stars

    Blu-ray Debuts

  • Help! (1965)
  • Shoah (1985) (Criterion)
    Read more.

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    All DVD Releases

    As Luck Would Have It (2011 -- Spain) Jose Mota, Salma Hayek. An out-of-work publicist who suffers an accident looks to sell the exclusive interview rights to the highest bidder in an attempt to provide for his family.Formats: DVD. (IFC Films).

    Babar Adventure Pack (2013) Three-disc set with "Babar: The Movie," "Best Friends Forever" (which features four classic Babar episodes from the popular HBO series: "Between Friends," "Friendly Agreement," "An Elephant's Best Friend" and "City Ways") and "School Days" (episodes include "School Days," "Peer Pressure," "Every Basket Has a Silver Lining" and "Kings of the Castle"); 19.98. Formats: DVD. (Entertainment One).

    Beauty and the Least (aka Ben Banks) (2012) Mischa Barton, Ben Banks, Melora Hardin, David Sullivan. Serial underachiever and stoner Ben Banks (played by Ben Banks), in his 12th year of community college, surprisingly gets involved with a beautiful barista with a shady past that includes a local conspiracy and a dead body. Formats: DVD, VOD. (Green Apple Entertainment).

    Beck: Volume 7 Episodes 19-21 and Volume 8 Episodes 22-24 (2006-07) Three episodes of the mystery series about Swedish detective Martin Beck, a cop with no style and no flash, and squarely in middle age, but good at one thing: methodically bringing down dangerous criminals lurking in the seedy Stockholm underworld. Based on the novels by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo (one of which was made into "The Laughing Policeman," starring Walter Matthau). Read more about the episodes here. Formats: Two-disc and three-disc DVD sets, respectively, $39.95 each. (MHz Networks).

    Black Pond (2011) Black comedy about an ordinary British family and their friend who are accused of murder when a stranger dies at their dinner table. Formats: DVD. (Entertainment One).

    Borgen -- Season Two (2012) The second season of Denmark's blockbuster political drama follows the country's first female prime minister, the charismatic Birgitte Nyborg, her cynical spin doctor, Kasper Juul, the ambitious journalist, Katrine Fonsmark and her more seasoned colleague, Hanne Holm, as the political power plays and the personal costs for the players continue. Four-disc set with 10 episodes (Episodes 11-20), $49.95. In Danish with English subtitles. Formats: DVD. (MHz Networks).

    The Call (2013) Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin, Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Emergency Procedure: Making the Film" featurette; commentary with Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin and filmmakers. Blu-ray adds alternate ending; deleted and extended scenes; Michael Eklund audition tape; two featurettes: "A Set Tour of The Hive and The Lair" and "Inside the Stunts." (Sony).

    Cody the Robosapien (2013) David Eigenberg, Penelope Ann Miller, Bobby Coleman, Kim Coates. Live-action/animated family feature film based on the best-selling Robosapien toy range. A robot designed for search-and-rescue missions is hijacked by its corporate owners for military purposes; programmed by its inventor to escape, it gets damaged in a chase and is discovered by a 12-year-old boy, who fixes it and names it Cody. The two are inseparable and the robot becomes a family member -- until the corporation kidnaps the inventor and the boy's mother, forcing the boy and his robot to figure out a way to pull the plug on the evil plan. Formats: DVD. (Anchor Bay).

    photo CSI: NY - The Final Season (2012) Five-disc set with all 17 episodes of the final system of the police procedural starring Gary Sinise, Sela Ward, Carmine Giovinazzo and Eddie Cahill as a group of forensic investigators who use high-tech science to discover traces of evidence and solve crimes in the Big Apple. Formats: DVD, $64.99. Extras: "A Day Off With ..." featurette as the cast and producer recount the episodes that showcased each character's "day off"; "NYPD Clue" featurette on the Clue-game based episodes "Clue: SI"; "On Thin Ice" featurette on cast members' hockey skills; "Fireworks" featurette goes behind the scenes on the explosive beginning of this season's first episode; "In Vino Veritas" featurette on the Vegas/NY crossover episode. (CBS/Paramount).

    Crawlspace (2012) Amber Clayton, Nicholas Bell. When Pine Gap, a top-secret government facility operated by the United States military deep in the heart of the unforgiving Australian desert comes under attack from unknown forces, an elite team is sent in to extract the military scientists. Things go wrong, however, when they encounter a beautiful young woman with no memory of how she came to be in the base, and find it overrun by disturbed patients from the base's medical sector. Formats: DVD. (IFC Films).

    Dead Souls (2012) Jesse James, Bill Moseley, Magda Apanowicz, Noah Fleiss, Jaiden Kaine, Geraldine Hughes. A man returns to the deserted family farmhouse he inherited on his 18th birthday, only to uncover his checkered past: His preacher father had sacrificed the family to a powerful demon, and the man's return stirs the decades-old forces trapped in the home. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary, bloopers, tour of the set, TV spots. (Scream Factory/Shout! Factory).

    photo Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series (2012) Fifteen-disc box set includes all 110 episodes of the classic television series created, produced and hosted by legendary comedian Bill Cosby. The show, based on Cosby's remembrances of his childhood gang, focused on the lovable, oversized Albert and his friends in North Philadelphia. The show always had an educational lesson emphasized by Cosby's live-action segments, and the gang would usually gather in their North Philadelphia junkyard to play a rock song on their cobbled-together instruments at the end of the show. Famous, among other reasons, for Albert Jackson's signature salutation, "Hey! Hey! Hey!" Formats: DVD, $119.99. Extras: Commentary by Cosby; a 16-page book; the documentary "Hey, Hey, Hey ... It's The Story of Fat Albert," featuring an all-new interview with Bill Cosby. (Shout! Factory).

    The Garfield Show: Pizza Dreams (2013) Garfield's pizza appetite is put to the test as he goes on a diet in this collection of animated episodes. Formats: DVD, $14.93. (Gaiam Vivendi).

    Hansel & Gretel Get Baked (2013) Molly C. Quinn, Michael Welch, Lara Flynn Boyle, Andrew James Allen. A brother and sister battle a witch who lures teenagers into her suburban home with her special blend of marijuana, called Black Forest; there she proceeds to cook and eat her wasted patrons to maintain her youth and beauty. The siblings track a missing friend to the "sweet old lady's" house, where they must save him and themselves from a gruesome death -- which could be the last high of their lives. Formats: DVD. (Tribeca Film).

    Help! BLU-RAY DEBUT (1965) Dir.: Richard Lester; The Beatles, Leo McKern, Eleanor Bron, Victor Spinetti, Roy Kinnear. Extras: "The Beatles in Help! behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Restoration of Help!"; "A Missing Scene"; "Memories of Help!" with ; U.S. theatrical trailers; 1965 radio spots; digipack with posters and lobby cards artwork as well as a booklet with remembrances by Richard Lester and Martin Scorsese. (Capitol).

    Honest (2012) The critically acclaimed British dramedy follows the fortunes of the criminally minded Carter family after their patriarch is sentenced to four years in jail for robbery. Lindsay (a deliciously brazen Amanda Redman), the beleaguered matriarch, resolves to clean up her life, and is determined to drag her conniving children back to the straight and narrow as well. But going legit isn't as easy as it seems. U.S. debut. Two-disc set with six episodes, $39.99. Formats: DVD. Extras: Production notes, text interviews with the cast, photo gallery. (Acorn Media).

    The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013) Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey, Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Jay Mohr, Gillian Jacobs, Brad Garrett. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Digital, UltraViolet. Extras: "Making Movie Magic With David Copperfield," gag reel, deleted scenes, alternate takes. (Warner).

    In the Family (2012) Sebastian Banes, Patrick Wang, Trevor St. John, Lisa Altomare, Susan Kellerman. Heartfelt story woven around child custody, two-Dad families, loss, interracial relations, the American South, and the human side of the law explores what it means to be in a family. A precocious six-year-old, Chip lives with his two dads, Cody and Joey, but when Cody dies suddenly in a car accident, and Joey and Chip struggle to find their footing again, Cody's will reveals that he named his sister as Chip's guardian, and the boy is wrested from the only family he ever had. Formats: Two-disc DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: "Simple Expressions of Absolute Values" video essay by Kevin B. Lee; "The Mirror to Nature" video essay by H.P. Mendoza; "A Tour of the Cutting Room Floor" and "Sculpting a Scene," video essays by director Patrick Wang; behind-the-scenes featurette; theatrical trailer; booklet. (In the Family LLC).

    Into the White (2012) Rupert Grint, David Kross, Florian Lukas. When two enemy fighter planes are shot down during WWII, the stranded survivors -- German and British crew members -- are forced to seek refuge in an isolated cabin in order to withstand the harsh spring in the mountainous wilderness of Norway. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: AXS TV: "A Look at Into the White," trailer. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

    Jack Taylor, Set 1 (2013) Based on the bestselling crime fiction by Ken Bruen and filmed on location against the rugged backdrop of western Ireland, this gripping series follows Jack Taylor (Iain Glen), a fortysomething ex-cop trying to earn a living as a private detective in his native Galway. Self-destructive, pigheaded, and overly fond of the bottle, Taylor has burned a lot of bridges, but he still has a knack for uncovering ugly truths. Available to U.S. audiences for the first time. Three-disc set with three mysteries, $49.99. Formats: DVD. Extras: Photo galleries. (Acorn Media).

    Lord of Darkness (aka Sawney: Flesh of Man) (2012) David Hayman, Sam Feeney, Gavin Mitchell, William Houston. When a curious journalist digs too deep into the past of legendary serial killer Sawney Bean and his cannibalistic family, he comes fact to face with the murderers -- and gets captured with no easy way to escape. Formats: DVD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Deleted scenes, outtakes. (Lionsgate).

    MADtv: Season Three (1997-98) Four-disc set with 25 episodes, $29.93. Formats: DVD. (Shout! Factory).

    Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis 6 (2013) Kevin Whately returns as Inspector Lewis, teamed with his cool, cerebral partner Detective Sergeant Hathaway (Laurence Fox) for a sixth and final season of the gripping detective drama. Two-disc set with three feature-length episodes. Formats: DVD, $29.99; Blu-ray disc, $34.99 (PBS Distribution).

    New Tricks, Season 9 (2013) Britain's highest-rated TV drama follows the exploits of a group of retired cops -- the old dogs of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad -- who with wit, camaraderie, and smarts solve high-profile cold cases. The crew is led by Detective Superintendent Sandra Pullman (Amanda Redman), a much younger detective who keeps the oldsters in line. Though a bit more talky than we're used to, the series is charming and enjoyable. Three-disc set with 10 unedited U.K. episodes, $39.99. Formats: DVD. Extras: Behind-the-scenes clips. (Acorn Media).

    No (2013) Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco, Nestor Cantillana, Antonia Zeger. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary with Gael García Bernal and director Pablo Larrain; Q&A with Gael García Bernal. (Sony).

    North Face BLU-RAY DEBUT (2008 -- Germany) Benno Furmann, Florian Lukas, Johanna Wokalek, Ulrich Tukur. Extras: "The Making of North Face," "The Visual Effects of North Face," deleted scenes, theatrical trailer. (Music Box Films).

    Phantom (2012) Ed Harris, David Duchovny, William Fichtner. At the height of the cold war, the world holds its breath when a Soviet submarine armed with nuclear missiles goes missing in the Pacific while on board the vessel the battle-tested captain (Harris) and a rogue KGB agent (Duchovny) are waging a life-and-death game of cat and mouse. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Facing the Apocalypse," "The Real Phantom," "Jeff Rona: Scoring the Phantom," "An Ocean Away" music video, commentary. (Fox).

    A Place at the Table (2012) Documentary investigates the hunger experienced by millions of Americans, and proposes solutions to the problem. 50 million people in the U.S. -- one in four children -- don't know where their next meal is coming from, despite our having the means to provide nutritious, affordable food for all Americans. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine this issue through the lens of three people who are struggling with food insecurity. Includes interviews with activists such as Witness to Hunger's Mariana Chilton, Top Chef's Tom Colicchio and Jeff Bridges (Founder of The End Hunger Network). Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Deleted scenes; cast and crew interviews; deleted interviews; AXS TV:" A Look at A Place at the Table"; "A Good Day" PSA; "A Place at the Table – The Book"; "The Full Effect: Plum Organics Mission to Nourish Children Across America"; commentary with director Kristi Jacobson, director Lori Silverbush and Tom Colicchio; trailers. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

    Pusher (2012) Richard Coyle, Bronson Webb, Agyness Deyn, Zlatko Buric. In London, a street dealer's life spins out of control over the course of one week after he borrows money from his supplier on what's supposed to be a sure thing. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Q&A with the filmmakers and cast, making-of featurette. (Anchor Bay).

    The Rambler (2013) Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne. A stranger, known only as "the Rambler," just released from prison and anxious to build a new life, comes home to a faithless girlfriend and embarks on a cross-country journey to what hopefully is a new start. On the trip he encounters all sorts of obstacles and dangers on his road to redemption: a scientist with a dream-recording (onto VHS) machine, a cab driver with an unnatural love of the original Frankenstein film, "mummies" in the back of trucks and -- exploding heads. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Anchor Bay).

    Shoah BLU-RAY DEBUT and DVD (1985) Over a decade in the making, Claude Lanzmann's nine-hour-plus opus is a monumental investigation of the unthinkable: the murder of more than six million Jews by the Nazis. Using no archival footage, Lanzmann instead focuses on first-person testimonies (of survivors and former Nazis, as well as other witnesses), employing a circular, free-associative method in assembling them. The intellectual yet emotionally overwhelming "Shoah" is not a film about excavating the past but an intensive portrait of the ways in which the past is always present, and it is inarguably one of the most important cinematic works of all time. New high-definition digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. Extras: Three additional films by director Claude Lanzmann: "A Visitor From the Living" (1999, 68 minutes), "Sobibor, October 14, 1943, 4 p.m. "(2001, 102 minutes) and "The Karski Report" (2010, 54 minutes); new conversation between critic Serge Toubiana and Lanzmann; interview with Lanzmann about "A Visitor From the Living" and "Sobibor"; new conversation between associate director of photography Caroline Champetier and filmmaker Arnaud Desplechin; trailer; booklet featuring an essay by critic Kent Jones and writings by Lanzmann. (The Criterion Collection).

    Supporting Characters (2012) Alex Karpovsky, Tarik Lowe, Arielle Kebbel, Melonie Diaz, Kevin Corrigan. Two New York film editors and best friends balance their personal relationships while reworking a movie in crisis. One, who's having troubles with his fiancee, begins to fall for the film's flirtatious ingenue; the other young man struggles to focus on his editing work in between fights with his tempestuous girlfriend. Formats: DVD. (Tribeca Film).

    Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete Second Season (2011-12) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.98. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, extended musical numbers, special FX bonus material, blooper reel, "In Memoriam": A tribute to the fallen students of Crowley High, script to screen featurette, cast and crew commentary for Episode 13, cast Q&A. (Entertainment One).

    Venus and Vegas (2012) Eddie Kaye Thomas, Donald Faison, Eddie Guerra, Jaime Pressly, Molly Sims, Roselyn Sanchez, Joe Rogan, Steven Bauer, Florence Henderson. Comedy about three Las Vegas buddies who rob a warehouse full of counterfeit casino chips that belong to old-school Vegas mobster Frank Santino; when the heist goes bad and one of the guys is taken prisoner by the Santinos, the wanna-be criminals need to sort out the mess, cash out the chips and get out alive. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. (Image Entertainment).

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June 23, 2013
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