This Week's DVD, Blu-ray Releases -- OnVideo

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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, July 23 -- Monday, July 29

All DVD Releases

  • Ginger & Rosa

    photo Sally Potter, director of the outlandish "Orlando" (1992) and "The Tango Lesson" (1997), continues her skein of interesting and quirky productions with "Ginger & Rosa," a coming-of-age story set in London in 1962. The story: Two teenage girls -- Ginger & Rosa -- are inseparable. They skip school together, talk about love, religion and politics and dream of lives bigger than their mothers' domesticity. As the Cold War meets the sexual revolution and the threat of nuclear holocaust escalates, the girls face the clash of desire and the determination to grow up. Ginger (Elle Fanning) is drawn to poetry and protest, while Rosa (Alice Englert) shows Ginger how to smoke cigarettes, kiss boys and pray. Both rebel against their mothers: Rosa's single mum, Anoushka and Ginger's frustrated painter mother, Natalie. Meanwhile, Ginger's pacifist father, Roland, seems a romantic, bohemian figure to the girls. He encourages Ginger's Ban-the-Bomb activism, while Rosa starts to take a very different interest in him. As Ginger's parents fight and fall apart, Ginger finds emotional sanctuary with a gay couple, both named Mark, and their American friend, the poet Bella. Finally, as the Cuban Missile Crisis escalates -- and it seems the world itself may come to an end -- the lifelong friendship of the two girls is shattered. "Ginger & Rosa" takes the familiar teen-coming-of-age genre and subverts it into a sensitive look at the real joys and sorrows of growing up, presenting her characters with more predicaments than most kids have to face and merging the personal with the political. Potter ups the ante of coming-of-age tales set in the 60s -- or any decade, for that matter -- by adding in the anti-war sentiments and a love affair between one of the girls and the other's dad. And, the icing on the cake: Elle Fanning is spectacular as Ginger. Extras include deleted scenes, cast interviews, an audio commentary with writer-director Potter and two featurettes going behind-the-scenes into the making of the film. Vitals: Director: Sally Potter. Stars: Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.05 million, Lionsgate. 4 stars


  • Trance

    photo "Trance" is an all-out assault on the psychological thriller by master-of-every-genre Danny Boyle. Much like his assault on science fiction, "Sunshine," audiences shied away from "Trance," most likely because the meat of the film can't be encapsulated in a few words or a 60-second trailer. "Trance" is nothing short of a visual mind game that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, heroes and villains, recalling the more monumental early works of David Cronenberg. It's a convoluted crime caper-mystery-thriller roller-coaster ride in which the viewer -- as well as the protagonists -- never know what's real and what's fiction. The story: Simon (James McAvoy), a fine art auctioneer, teams up with a criminal gang to steal a $27 million Goya painting, but after suffering a blow to the head during the heist, he awakens to discover he has no memory of where he hid the painting. When physical threats and torture fail to produce answers, the gang's leader, Frank (Vincent Cassel), hires hypnotherapist Elizabeth Lamb (Rosario Dawson) to delve into the darkest recesses of Simon's psyche. As Elizabeth begins to unravel Simon's broken subconscious, the lines between truth, suggestion, and deceit begin to blur. Though it may take some extra viewing to unravel the truth (if that's even possible), the film is well worth putting on your list -- if nothing else than for the stunning performance by Dawson. Extras include deleted scenes, commentary and behind-the-scenes featurettes. Vitals: Director: Danny Boyle. Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Tuppence Middleton, Sam Creed. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $2.310 million, Fox. 3 stars

  • Twixt

    photo for Francis Ford Coppola's Twixt After a two-decade fallow period with dramas, Francis Ford Coppola returned to his horror roots (that began during his apprenticeship with Roger Corman) with "Twixt," a vanity production (it had to follow three self-imposed mandates that Coppola requires in all of his new work: That it be his own original story and screenplay, have some personal element, and be self-financed) that failed to stir any appreciation by critics and lacked any theatrical release of note. Unfortunately, this lackluster film won't rise to the top of the director's list of memorial work, thought it does have its moments. Basically, there's too much overacting, too much underacting, and too much silliness for the dreamlike plot to grab at the viewer. The story: A writer (a portly, underachieving Val Kilmer) with a declining career arrives in a small town as part of his book tour and gets caught up in a murder mystery involving a young girl, a story that could be source material for his next novel. That night in a dream he is approached by a mysterious young ghost named V (Elle Fanning). He's unsure of her connection to the murder in the town, but is grateful for the story being handed to him. But as he investigates the killing, he uncovers more horrifying revelations, and is ultimately led to the truth of the story, finding that the ending has more to do with his own life than he could ever have anticipated. This particular story came to Coppola during a vivid dream he had while on a trip to Istanbul and is inspired by the writings of Edgar Allen Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Also stars Bruce Dern (who chews the scenery), Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley and David Paymer. Extras include "Twixt -- A Documentary by Gia Coppola," an on-set featurette by the director's granddaughter that offers an insightful look into the production, as well as allowing Coppola to wax poetic on the process of filmmaking -- insights that turn out to be more interesting than the film he made. Vitals: Director: Francis Ford Coppola. Stars: Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley, David Paymer. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 88 min., Horror Thriller, Fox. 2 stars

  • Pieta

    photo for Drafthouse Films and Kim Ki-Duk's Pieta In this intensely haunting story, a loan shark lives an isolated and lonely existence, using brutality to threaten and collect paybacks from desperate borrowers for his moneylender boss. He mercilessly collects the debts without regard to the pain he causes his countless victims. One day, a mysterious woman appears, claiming to be his long-lost mother. Coldly rejecting her at first, he gradually accepts her in his life and decides to quit his cruel job and seek a decent, redemptive life. However, he soon discovers a dark secret stemming from his past and realizes it may be too late to escape the horrific consequences already set in motion from his previous life. Winner of Best Picture trophies from 2012 Venice Film Festival, 2012 Blue Dragon Awards, 2013 Fantasporto Festival and the 2012 Satellite Awards, and Best Director nods at the 2012 Dubai International Film Festival and a Jury Award at South Korea's 2012 Grand Bell Awards. Vitals: Director: Kim Ki-Duk. Stars: Lee Jung-jin, Cho Min-soo. 2013, CC, MPAA rating: NR, 104 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.020 million, Drafthouse Films. 3 stars

    Blu-ray Debuts

  • Babette's Feast (1987) (Criterion)
  • The Ice Storm (1997) (Criterion)
  • The 300 Spartans (1962)
    Read more.

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    All DVD Releases

    Babette's Feast (1987 -- France) At once a rousing paean to artistic creation, a delicate evocation of divine grace, and the ultimate film about food, the Oscar-winning "Babette's Feast" is a deeply beloved cinematic treasure. Directed by Gabriel Axel and adapted from a story by Isak Dinesen, this is the layered tale of a French housekeeper with a mysterious past who brings quiet revolution in the form of one exquisite meal to a circle of starkly pious villagers in late 19-century Denmark. "Babette's Feast" combines earthiness and reverence in an indescribably moving depiction of pleasure that goes to your head like fine champagne. In Danish, French, and Swedish with English subtitles. New 2K digital film restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New interview with actor Stephane Audran; "Karen Blixen: Storyteller," a 1995 documentary about the author of the film's source story, who wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen; new visual essay by filmmaker Michael Almereyda; new interview with sociologist Priscilla Parkhurst Ferguson about the significance of cuisine in French culture; trailer; booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Mark Le Fanu and Dinesen's 1950 story. (The Criterion Collection).

    Detention of the Dead (2013) Jacob Zacher, Alexa Nikolas, Christa B. Allen, Jayson Blair, Justin Cho, Max Adler. "The Breakfast Club" meets "Zombieland" when a group of teenagers trapped in detention fight for survival after their classmates turn into a ravenous zombie horde. Can a cheerleader, a stoner, a jock, a bully, a goth, and a nerd put aside their differences for one night to take on the undead? Formats: DVD, VOD. Extras: Commentary by writer-dIrector Alex Craig Mann, "Detention of the Dead: Behind the Scenes" featurette. (Anchor Bay).

    Dora & Blue's Clues Double Feature: Dora's Musical School Days & Blue's Big Musical Movie (2013) Double the fun and learning with Dora (kids help Boots' teacher get to school on time to greet her students with a song, learn new Spanish words, cheer up the Grumpy Old Troll and help Dora and Boots deliver mail) and Blue and friends (kids help to get a backyard music show underway by keeping a checklist, assembling the stage and costumes, writing a song with G-Clef -- voiced by Ray Charles -- and of course, playing Blue's Clues to find Blue a singing partner). Formats: DVD, $16.99. Extras: "Dora's Musical School Days": "The Wonder Pets! sneak peek. "Blue's Big Musical Movie": Music videos: "I Can Be Anything I Want to Be" and "There It Is"; "Who Am I" interactive guessing game; "Backstage at Blue's Clues" featurette; two "Blue's Clues" DVD-ROM Games: Instrument Sound Matching and Water Xylophone. (Nickelodeon).

    Dragons: Riders of Berk (2013) Two-disc set with 20 episodes of the TV series based on the DreamWorks franchise. Formats: DVD. (Fox).

    The Gangster (2012 -- Thailand) Based on the notorious Bangkokian gangs of the 1950s-60s, this story follows a newly released prisoner who wants to go straight but, because he knows nothing else but the life of a gangster, he returns to his old gang. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: "Making of The Gangster," behind the scenes, international trailer. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

    Ginger & Rosa (2013) Elle Fanning, Alice Englert, Alessandro Nivola, Christina Hendricks, Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening. Formats: DVD. Extras: Deleted scenes, cast interviews, an audio commentary with writer-director Sally Potter and two featurettes going behind-the-scenes on the making of the film. (Lionsgate).

    Graceland (2012 -- Philippines) Arnold Reyes, Menggie Cobarrubias, Ella Guevara. Family man Marlon Villar, the longtime chauffeur of Manuel Chango, a corrupt Filipino politician, finds himself in an impossible situation when, while driving his daughter and the politician's daughter home, their car is ambushed in a kidnapping attempt and, during the confusion of the ambush, the wrong girl is taken and held for ransom. Marlon is determined to save his daughter, but between the conflicting motives of the kidnappers, the politician and the police, Marlon is forced into a terrible downward spiral of deceit and betrayal. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. Extras: Commentary with writer-director Ron Morales, producers and more; "A Life for Every Lie: The Making of Graceland"; deleted scenes, alternate ending, 16-page booklet. (Drafthouse Films).

    Home Run (2013) Scott Elrod, Dorian Brown. A pro ball player with a substance abuse problem is forced into rehab in his hometown, finding new hope when he gets honest about his checkered past, and takes on coaching duties for a misfit Little League team. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: (Millennium Entertainment).

    House Party: Tonight's the Night (2013) Tequan Richmond, Zac Goodspeed, Rolonda Watts, Christopher "Kid" Reed, Christopher "Play" Martin, Gary Anthony Williams, Tristin Mays. Fourth sequel in the "House Party" franchise has a college-bound high schooler throwing one last party that turns into an epic disaster where anything can happen and anyone might turn up ... including the original house partyers, Kid 'n Play. Formats: DVD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "House Party 5: Keepin' It Old School" featurette, deleted scenes. (Warner).

    The Ice Storm BLU-RAY DEBUT (1997) Suburban Connecticut, 1973. While Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook" speech drones from the TV, the Hood and Carver families try to navigate a Thanksgiving break simmering with unspoken resentment, sexual tension, and cultural confusion. With clarity, subtlety, and a dose of wicked humor, Academy Award–winning director Ang Lee renders Rick Moody's acclaimed novel of upper-middle-class American malaise as a trenchant, tragic cinematic portrait of lost souls. Featuring a tremendous cast of established actors (Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver) and rising stars (Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Elijah Wood, Katie Holmes) "The Ice Storm" is among the finest films of the 1990s. Restored high-definition digital film transfer, supervised and approved by director Ang Lee and director of photography Frederick Elmes, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Extras: Commentary featuring Lee and producer-screenwriter James Schamus; documentary featuring interviews with actors Joan Allen, Kevin Kline, Tobey Maguire, Christina Ricci, Sigourney Weaver, and Elijah Wood; interview with novelist Rick Moody; deleted scenes; footage from a 2007 event honoring Lee and Schamus at New York's Museum of the Moving Image; visual essays featuring interviews with the film's cinematographer and production and costume designers; theatrical trailer; essay by critic Bill Krohn. (The Criterion Collection).

    The Jeffrey Dahmer Files (2012) Documentary on serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, who was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to 957 years in prison for killing 17 people and dismembering their bodies over a 13-year period. Stories of necrophilia and cannibalism added to the horror of Dahmer's crimes. This film explores Dahmer by talking to those who knew him during and after his hidden killing spree. Formats: DVD. (IFC Entertainment).

    The King of the Streets (2012 -- China) Yuen Song, Becki Li, Yang Junping, Hou Xu. An angry ex-con returns to the streets in search of a new life but also seeks to avenge the death of his parents some eight years earlier by local gangsters. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. (Well Go USA).

    Kiss of the Damned (2012) Josephine de La Baume, Milo Ventimiglia, Roxane Mesquida, Riley Keough. A Beautiful vampire's passionate affair with a human screenwriter -- and the safety of the whole vampire community -- gets endangered when her troublemaker sister unexpectedly comes to visit. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary with writer-director Xan Cassavetes, interview with Josephine de la Baume, interview with Roxane Mesquida, AXS TV interview with Milo Ventimiglia, AXS TV Interview with Roxane Mesquida, theatrical trailers. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

    Love and Honor (2013) Liam Hemsworth, Aimee Teegarden, Teresa Palmer, Austin Stowell. When a young soldier in Vietnam in 1969 gets dumped by his hometown girl, he and his best friend decide to go AWOL and return to the States to win her back. In just seven days they must get to the U.S., change her mind and make it back to their posts without getting caught. But when they arrive in Michigan they find the girl and her beautiful, committed activist friend at the heart of the anti-war movement. Now the young soldiers must make some life-changing decisions. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (IFC Films).

    New World (2013 -- South Korea) Lee Jeong-jae, Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jun-min. Korea's biggest crime organization, "Goldmoon," has been infiltrated by a cop and when the head of the syndicate dies, the police chief orders the undercover cop to participate in project "New World," designed to bring down the notorious crime organization by damaging the relationship between the two feuding contenders. The undercover cop faces a difficult decision: follow the chief's orders or maintain his loyalty to "Goldmoon." Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. Extras: "The Making of New World," photo gallery. (Well Go USA).

    Pieta (2013 -- South Korea) Lee Jung-jin, Cho Min-soo. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary with director Kim Ki-duk, Cho Min-soo and Lee Jung-jin; "God, Have Mercy On Us" featurette with interviews with Kim Ki-duk, Cho Min-soo and Lee Jung-jin; "Winning the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice Film Festival"; behind the scenes featurettes; filmography of Kim Ki-duk; 16-page booklet. (Drafthouse Films).

    Robotech: 2-Movie Collection (1985/2013) The Robotech chronicle continues with the unveiling of the all-new anime adventure "Love Live Alive," coupled with "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles." Formats: DVD. Extras: "Love Live Alive": Pre-production gallery. "The Shadow Chronicles": "Birth of a Sequel" featurette; score music video; "Anime Selects" podcast coverage; "!Pon Anime" podcast interview; "Robotech 3000" demo reel; "Robotech 3000" motion capture sequences; deleted scenes; outtakes; animatics; trailers; image galleries: personnel dossier, ship registry, mecha database, prelude to "The Shadow Chronicles," secret files. (Lionsgate).

    The Silence (2010 -- Germany) Ulrich Thomsen, Sebastian Blomberg, Katrin Sass, Jule Boewe, Burghart Klaussner, Wotan Wilke Mohring. A decades-old unsolved murder of a young girl bears an eerie resemblance to the recent disappearance of a 13-year-old, sparking a harrowing investigation into the mystery of the seemingly parallel crimes. Unhealed wounds are opened and fresh dangers arise as detectives, parents and the retired investigator of the first case set out to uncover the truth. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital. Extras: Two films by director Baran bo Odar: "Quietsch" (7 min.) and "Under the Sun" (60 min.), interviews with cast and crew, TV spots, trailer. (Music Box Films).

    Starbuck (2013 -- French Canadian) Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand, Dominic Philie. At 42, David lives the life of an irresponsible adolescent. He coasts through life with minimal effort and maintains a complicated relationship with Valerie, a young policewoman. Just as she tells him she's pregnant, David's past resurfaces. Twenty years earlier, he began providing sperm to a fertility clinic in exchange for money. He discovers he's the father of 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a class action lawsuit to determine the identity of their biological father, known only by the pseudonym Starbuck. Formats: DVD. Extras: Interview with Patrick Huard and director Ken Scott; deleted scenes, bloopers; music videos. (Entertainment One).

    Superjail! Season 3 photo for Superjail! Season 3 (2013) Ten episodes from the Adult Swim animated comedy about Superjail, the largest and most brutal prison in the world. Built in an active volcano, this complex routinely has riots and murders, though nobody is ever able to escape. The Warden, who is in charge of the prison, has gone insane over the years and has decided to make his prison unlike any other in the world. Each near 11-minute "Superjail!" episode features a sequence of escalating and unprintable carnage; this season includes more fist fights, baffling love triangles and psychedelic animation that will melt your face off. $19.97. Formats: DVD. Extras: Animatics, rough cuts, Introstring featurette. (Warner).

    Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Season 3 (1989-90) Four-disc set with all 47 episodes of the entire third season of the classic 80s TV series, $19.98. Formats: DVD. (Lionsgate).

    The 300 Spartans BLU-RAY DEBUT (1962) Richard Egan, Ralph Richardson, Diane Baker. Extras: original theatrical trailer, TV spots. (Fox).

    Trance (2013) Director: Danny Boyle. Stars: James McAvoy, Rosario Dawson, Vincent Cassel, Tuppence Middleton, Sam Creed. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: "Hypnotherapy," "The Look," "The Power of Suggestion-Making Trance," "The Final Rewrite," theatrical trailer. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, "Trance Unraveled" (Easter Egg), "Kick Off," "Danny's Film Noir," Danny Boyle retrospective, short film: "Eugene" by Spencer Susser. (Fox).

    Twixt (2011) Dir.: Francis Ford Coppola; Val Kilmer, Bruce Dern, Elle Fanning, Ben Chaplin, Joanne Whalley, David Paymer. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. Extras: "Twixt -- A Documentary by Gia Coppola." (Fox).

    Vanishing Waves (2012 -- Lithuania-France-Belgium) Award-winning film by Lithuanian director Kristina Buozyte is a science fiction romance that is equally occupied by the erotic as well as the fantastic. Lukas (Marius Jampolskis) is assisting a scientific research team by functioning as a patient in a series of heavily monitored (and medicated) sensory deprivation experiments wherein he is attempting to make some form of contact with the subject, Aurora (Jurga Jutaite), a young woman who has been locked in a comatose state for some time. Doctors initially hope for just a vague reaffirmation of consciousness, but the experiment takes an unexpected twist when Lukas and Aurora actually develop a strong psychic link in their mutually altered forms of consciousness…and their link quickly evolves into a romantic, sexually charged relationship. As Lukas hides this data from his researchers, he and Aurora meet secretly and passionately in a series of surreal dreamscapes created by their collective minds, but their union is tragically doomed to collapse around them. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Original trailer and soundtrack, a Cineuropa interview with director Kristina Bouzyte, a 12-page fully illustrated booklet on the genesis of the film, a making-of featurette, Bouzyte's first feature film, "The Collectress." (Artsploitation Films).

    A Viking Saga: The Darkest Day (2012) Marc Pickering, Mark Lewis Jones, Elen Rhys, Joshua Richards, Michael Jibson. Follows the true story of a young monk who faces a horde of deadly Vikings during his daring journey to deliver a sacred book to a holy monastery. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Behind-the-scenes interviews with cast and crew. (Lionsgate).

    The Wedding Chapel (2013) Mark Deklin, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Shelley Long. A single painter, down on her luck, takes a break from her mundane life and visits her mom, in hopes of finding some inspiration. During her visit she becomes involved in a mission to conserve the local church, which is in danger of being shut down; her efforts not only give her a new outlook on life, but also enables her mother to rekindle a long lost love from her past. Formats: DVD. (Nasser Entertainment/Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment).

    Welcome to the Punch (2013) Mark Strong, James McAvoy, Andrea Riseborough, David Morrissey, Peter Mullan. Three years earlier, master criminal Jacob Sternwood (Strong) escaped London during a daring robbery that left detective Max Lewinsky (McAvoy) physically and emotionally scarred. When a failed heist puts Sternwood's son in a hospital, the fugitive is forced to come out of hiding in Iceland-- giving Max his second chance to get the one criminal who got away. But as Max returns to the pursuit of his arch-nemesis, he begins to uncover evidence of a vast conspiracy that may put him in even greater danger than his personal vendetta. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (IFC Films/MPI Media Group).

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