From the Big Screen:
“Jupiter Ascending,” “Focus,” “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water” and “McFarland, USA.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
From TV to DVD:
“Falling Skies: The Complete Fourth Season” (2014) includes all 12 episodes of the sci-fi series that takes place in the chaotic aftermath of an alien attack that has left most of the world completely incapacitated. In the six months since the initial invasion, the few survivors have banded together outside major cities to begin the difficult task of fighting back. Each day is a test of survival as citizen soldiers work to protect the people in their care while also engaging in an insurgency campaign against the occupying alien force. In this season, the pressure continues to mount for survivors as they try to regain control of earth. Keeping up their fight in the war is becoming increasingly difficult as their hopes of life after the alien destruction become more of a distant reality. With the new capitol in Charleston, the 2nd Mass could end up revisiting old territory. Three-disc DVD: $39.98, two-disc Blu-ray: $49.99, from Warner … “Justified: The Complete Final Season” (2015) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes. Timothy Olyphant returns one last time as U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, a man who attempts to bring law and order back to Harlan County. Based on Elmore Leonard’s short story, “Fire in the Hole,” this critically acclaimed series comes to a head in the series’ final hours with a standoff between Raylan and his longtime enemy, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins). From Sony … “The L Word: The Complete Series” (2004-09) is a 24-disc set with all six seasons, $72.99. Dive into a woman’s world when this collection arrives in a sleek new repackage on DVD. After Showtime made gay men the focus of its original series “Queer as Folk,” the network created this series about a tight-knit group of lesbians in Los Angeles. The drama was far removed from its working-class male counterpart in both style and content: While the men of “QAF” enjoyed a fabulous if melodramatic life on the middle-class streets of Pittsburgh, the women of “The L Word” lived it up in sunny California, with gorgeous houses, glamorous careers, and sexy wardrobes. Filled with complex characters, some straight and some gay, “The L Word” aired for six seasons, creating both a loyal fan base and television history with its iconic portrayal of the lesbian community. The series stars an ensemble cast including Jennifer Beals, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Pam Grier, Katherine Moennig and Mia Kirshner. From Paramount … “Parks & Recreation: Season Seven – The Farewell Season” (2015) is a two-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98. The year is 2017, and Leslie Knope’s life has changed dramatically: she’s now the mother of triplets and works for the National Parks Department but — most shockingly — has become sworn enemies with her former friend and mentor, Ron Swanson. Join Leslie’s final acts of determination (and sometimes desperation) to make Pawnee “the greatest town in America” even better. From Universal … “Pretty Little Liars: The Complete Fifth Season” (2014) is a five-disc set with 25 episodes, $59.98. Season five begins in the moments following the epic Season Four finale, in which Ezra was shot, among other shocking acts and revelations. Alison is alive and back in Rosewood, and everyone is affected by her return — but is she the same Alison after being on the run? Hanna’s ex, Caleb, returns, but he, too, is changed. Plus, how does Mona fit into everything and what is Melissa hiding? With more questions than ever and other familiar faces back in Rosewood, there are now five pretty little liars trying to piece together who has been tormenting them. Includes the series’ landmark 100th episode. From Warner … “Rectify: The Complete Second Season” (2014) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes, $29.98. Nineteen years ago, Daniel Holden was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of his teenage girlfriend, Hanna Dean. Thanks to newly discovered DNA evidence and the efforts of his sister Amantha and lawyer Jon Stern, Daniel’s conviction has been vacated and he’s returned to his mother Janet’s home in Paulie, Georgia. But not everyone is convinced of his innocence nor is his future as a free man secure. Season Two finds Daniel committed to living in the present and making choices that prove frustrating for some of the Holden/Talbot family. Unfortunately, there are places and faces in Paulie that remind Daniel of the past: his incarceration, Hanna, and his role the night of Hanna’s murder. He’s forced to the realization that he must understand and accept what really happened if he’s ever going to know any peace, a conclusion that shapes his determination to do whatever it takes to finally put his past behind him, no matter how high the price … “Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Fifth Season” (2014-15) is a four-disc set with all 18 episodes, $39.98 from Warner … “The Wire: The Complete Series Blu-ray” (2002-2008) is a 20-disc set with all 60 episodes remastered in 16×9 fullframe HD, $199.99. In the six years that have passed since the conclusion of the HBO series “The Wire,” the critically acclaimed drama has turned into a worldwide phenomenon that has been hailed as “the best show in the history of television” by MSNBC. “The Wire” depicts an American urban dystopia, framed in our time, in which easy distinctions between good and evil and crime and punishment are challenged at every turn. In five successive seasons, the series depicts a Baltimore in which institutional prerogatives, economic inequalities and a brutalizing drug war confound the efforts to advance the city and its people. The series’ first season lays out the futility of the drug war, while the second highlights the deindustrialization and the death of the working class. The third season introduces the city’s political culture and lays out the forces that stand in the path of actual reform. The fourth season addresses the educational system and the actual opportunities that remain to coming generations. The fifth and final season examines the media culture and its role in perpetuating the status quo. Amid all of this, carefully drawn characters on both sides of the law and from a variety of Baltimore cultures move forward as best they can, human to a flaw, struggling against a system that seems weighted against civic progress. From HBO.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
In “Camp X-Ray” (2014), starring Kristen Stewart, Peyman Maadi, John Carroll Lynch and Lane Garrison, a young woman (Stewart) joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. But she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay instead, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, she strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the detainees. From IFC Films … Taking place 10 years after the events of its predecessor, the sequel “Monsters: Dark Continent” (2014) is set against the backdrop of a world proliferated by “Infected Zones” where fearsome monsters lord over the regions and threaten humanity. This film follows four fresh army recruits as they embark on a life-altering mission in the Middle East, through the heart of monster territory to save a group of fellow soldiers. Stars Johnny Harris, Joe Dempsie, Sofia Boutella, Sam Keeley. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from RADiUS/Anchor Bay … In “Blindsided (aka Penthouse North)” (2013), starring Michael Keaton, Michelle Monaghan and Andrew W. Walker, journalist Sara (Monaghan), who lost her vision while on assignment in Iraq, is living a seemingly quiet life with her boyfriend Ryan, until she’s taken hostage on New Year’s Eve by a pair of murderous thieves — including the dangerous Hollander (Keaton) — who are on the hunt for diamonds they believe she’s hiding. From Cinedigm … A young man has to take it all off to earn money to become a famous hip-hop artist in “American Bad Boy”
(2015), starring Katt Williams, Obba Babatunde, Ciarra Carter, Antoine Cleveland, Orlando Brown. From Lionsgate … In “Asylum” (2014), starring Stephen Rea, Bruce Payne and Caroline Ford, a veteran hostage negotiator’s next call leads him to an overrun insane asylum where he discovers that dark forces are pushing the patients to commit atrocities, and he may be the only one that can stop them.From Lionsgate … In “The Squeeze” (2015), starring Jeremy Sumpter, Christopher McDonald, Jillian Murray and Michael Nouri, a humble young golf phenom from a small southern town gets hooked up with a flashy gambler and the pair start hustling their way to Las Vegas, where an infamous mobster sets up a million dollar match. The gangster threatens the young man’s life if he doesn’t lose and the gambler friend threatens his life if he doesn’t win. Caught in the squeeze, his only chance is to pull off the biggest sting in the history of golf. From ARC Entertainment … “Asmodexia” (2014 — Spain) follows five days in the lives of an exorcist and his granddaughter, working in the Barcelona area. Their mission is to help those possessed by The Evil One, an infection of the soul that is spreading fast among the most vulnerable members of society: children, mental patients, drug addicts. With a mysterious cult also following their every move, their battles are becoming increasingly difficult. From IFC Films … In “Private Number” (2014), starring Tom Sizemore, Judd Nelson, Nicholle Tom and Hal Ozsan, a series of sinister phone calls haunt an ex-alcoholic writer as he struggles to finish a novel. Efforts to trace the calls result in dead ends, leaving the author with no choice but to solve the mystery himself. As he pieces together scant information he discovers the local police are hiding details about a horrific serial killer and, in his obsessive search for answers, he loses his grip on reality, and spirals downward into a maelstrom of violence and terror. From ARC Entertainment … “The Taking of Tiger Mountain” (2014 — China) is director Tsui Hark’s thrilling adaptation of Qu Bo’s adventure novel stars Tony Leung Ka-fai as a ruthless bandit, ruling the lands of Northeast China from his fortress on Tiger Mountain. A captain of the Liberation Army (Lin Gengxin) launches a counter-insurgency against the dictator with a skilled investigator (Zhang Hanyu) sent to destroy the gang from the inside. Set in the late 1940s, the action unfolds with audiences immersed in spurting blood, flying bullets, airborne knives, falling rocks, cannon fire and a covert raid by skis. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA … “Scarecrows” (1988), starring Ted Vernon, Michael David Simms, Richard Vidan and Kristina Sanborn, makes its Blu-ray debut this week. After a band of ex-military criminals pulls off a multi-million dollar heist, they hop aboard a plane headed for Mexico. But when one of their own betrays them, they suddenly find themselves on the ground and on the run through a field of scarecrows near an abandoned farmhouse. And as night sets in, the real nightmare begins. From Scream Factory.