New DVD Releases for the Week of May 5
From the Big Screen:
“Selma,” “Fifty Shades of Grey,” “Mr. Turner” and “Black or White.” For more information on these and other releases this week, see the Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases.
This Week’s Highlights:
The best is yet to come when three Frank Sinatra movies come to Blu-ray for the first time as part of the “Frank Sinatra: 5 Film Collection”. Celebrate “The Chairman of the Board’s” Centennial with five classic Sinatra movies on Blu-ray, including newly re-mastered releases of “Anchors Aweigh,” “On the Town” and “Robin and the 7 Hoods” for the first time on Blu-ray. “Ocean’s 11” and “Guys and Dolls” round out the set, which includes a 32-page photo book. Extras include vintage cartoons, vintage featurettes, commentaries, shorts, trailers, more. $69.96 from Warner … “Pitch Perfect Sing-Along Aca-Awesome Edition” is a new sing-along version with on-screen lyrics — just in time for the May 15 theatrical release of “Pitch Perfect 2” — of the 2012 surprise hit starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow and Elizabeth Banks. Newly arrived college freshman Beca (Anna Kendrick) can’t seem to find her place in Barden University’s dog-eat-dog social scene until she discovers a niche that she never knew she was looking for — the school’s struggling a cappella singing group, the Bellas. With Beca’s help, the Bellas start to break free of their bottom-of-the-barrel status by busting out a new and original sound. Includes original and sing-along versions of the film. On DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Universal.
From TV to DVD:
“The Bridge: Season 2” (2013) is a four-disc set with 10 episodes, $49.95. The Danish-Swedish crime series ups the stakes, and the body count, as a shipwreck leads the international team of detectives to forge one hell of a partnership. An abandoned tanker ship crashes into the Oresund bridge, on the border between Sweden and Denmark. Onboard are five Swedish and Danish youths, chained below deck, unconscious. Investigating the incident is Scandinavia’s oddest couple: Swedish detective Saga Noren, hampered by primitive social skills, and Martin Rohde from Denmark, still reeling from the death of his son. Theirs is a friendship born from having been through hell together on the job; adversity has given them grace for the other’s weaknesses. More bizarre crimes follow the tanker incident and they discover they’re up against a deranged activist group who will stop at nothing to convey their message: “The World is Bigger than Us.” As the body count escalates, Saga and Martin know that they’re running out of time and that the next attack could result in the death of thousands. In Danish and Swedish with English subtitles. From MHz Home Entertainment … “Broadchurch: The Complete Second Season” (2015) is a two-disc set with eight episodes, $39.98. In the critically acclaimed second season of the top-rated British mystery series, David Tennant returns as Alec Hardy and Olivia Colman resumes her role as Ellie Miller, last seen having her life torn apart as husband Joe confessed to murdering local schoolboy Danny Latimer in the seaside town. And in the eight gripping episodes of Season Two, the focus is the trial for Latimer’s murder, as well as the return of a murder case that continues to haunt Detective Hardy. Additionally, Hardy and Miller are joined by Emmy nominated film and television actress Charlotte Rampling and Academy Award, BAFTA and Golden Globe-nominated Marianne Jean-Baptiste, as well as James D’Arcy, Eve Myles and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. From Entertainment One … “Dancing on the Edge” (2013) is a three-disc set with all six episodes. In the early 1930s London, the black jazz group known as the Louis Lester Band is on the rise. Managed by the compassionate yet short-tempered Wesley Holt, the band lands a gig at the Imperial Hotel, thanks to the cunning journalist, Stanley Mitchell. They prove to be a hit, and their star begins to rise. Countless aristocrats — including the royal family — ask the band to play at parties, catching the eye of the ambitious American businessman Walter Masterson and his enthusiastic employee, Julian. But just as the band’s success balloons, tragedy strikes, setting off a chain of events that may put an end to it all. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from PBS Distribution … “Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete First Season” (2014) is a three-disc set with all 10 episodes of the AMC series that presents a fictionalized account of the early days of the personal computer creation and the tech heads who would soon create a revolution. Set roughly one year after IBM all but corners the market with the release of its first major product – the IBM PC. In this fictional drama, a former IBM executive, Joe MacMillan, plans to reverse engineer the flagship product of his former employer and forces his current company, Cardiff Electric, into the personal computer race. MacMillan enlists the help of Gordon Clark, a once great engineer who dreams of creating a revolutionary product while trying to manage his initially unsupportive wife Donna, and Cameron Howe, a volatile prodigy who puts her future in jeopardy to join MacMillan’s rogue PC project. The show explores what it’s like to stand at the forefront of something world-changing and work towards it, no matter the risk. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Anchor Bay … “Masters of Sex: Season Two” (2014) is a two-disc set with all 12 episodes, from Sony … “Masterpiece: Mr. Selfridge Season 3 “ (2015) is a three-disc set with 10 episodes. Based on the historical exploits of the founder of London’s legendary department store, Selfridge & Co., the series follows Harry through tumultuous times and changing fashions—trends that he helped set. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from PBS Distribution … “Parenthood: Season Six” (2014-15) is a three-disc set with 13 episodes, $39.98. Get ready to say goodbye to the Braverman family in the sixth and final season of “Parenthood,” the gripping series lauded by critics and beloved by viewers. The tightknit siblings turn to each other as they face uncertain futures: Sarah considers her relationship with Hank, Adam and Crosby struggle to keep The Luncheonette afloat, and Julia and Joel ponder reconciliation. But the greatest concern for everyone is the health of Zeek, the adored and booming patriarch who has always led their clan with vigor … until now. From Universal … “Parenthood: The Complete Series” (2010-15) is a 23-disc set with 103 episodes, $119.98. Family always comes first with the Bravermans in this collection that captures every wise, warm and witty moment from the critically lauded series. From executive producers Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Jason Katims comes all six seasons of “Parenthood,” the dramatic series that touches on all the rewarding and real aspects of being a parent, child or sibling. Join an all-star cast, including Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard and Erika Christensen, as they take on raising babies, toddlers, tweens, teens and even older parents. From Universal … “White Collar: The Complete Sixth Season” (2014) is a two-disc set with all six episodes, $19.98 from Fox.
Buzzin’ the ‘B’s:
“Black Sea” (2014), starring Jude Law, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, David Threlfall, Konstantin Khabenskiy, Michael Smiley and Grigory Dobrygin, is a thriller that centers on a rogue submarine captain (Jude Law) who, after being laid off from a salvage company, pulls together a misfit crew to go after a sunken treasure rumored to be lost in the depths of the Black Sea. As the captain and his crew embark on their expedition, greed and desperation take control on board their claustrophobic vessel — and the increasing uncertainty of the mission causes the men to turn on each other and fight for their own survival. On DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Universal … “Against the Sun” (2014), starring Tom Felton, Garret Dillahunt and Jake Abel, is a true story out of World War II about three U.S. Navy airmen who have crash landed in the South Pacific and must find a way to survive the most impossible of odds. A WWII pilot, bombardier, and radioman find themselves adrift on a lifeboat without food or water after being forced to ditch their plane during a scouting mission. From Anchor Bay … “The Last Five Years” (2014), starring Anna Kendrick, Jeremy Jordan, Meg Hudson and Cat Lynch, is a musical chronicling a love affair and marriage taking place over a five year period. Jamie Wallerstein (Jordan) is a young, talented up and coming novelist who falls in love with Cathy Hiatt (Kendrick), a struggling actress. Their story is told almost entirely through song. All of Cathy’s songs begin at the end of their marriage and move backwards in time to the beginning of their love affair, while Jamie’s songs start at the beginning of their affair and move forward to the end of their marriage. They meet in the center when Jamie proposes. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Radius-TWC/Anchor Bay … In “Love, Rosie” (2014), starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin, Rosie and Alex have been best friends since the moment they met at age 5, facing the highs and lows of growing up side by side. A fleeting shared moment, one missed opportunity, and the decisions that follow send their lives in completely different directions. As each navigates the complexities of life, love, and everything in between, they always find their way back to each other. From Paramount … In “Miss Julie” (2014), directed by Liv Ullmann and starring Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton, Chastain and Farrell take a sizzling turn as a wealthy aristocrat and her father’s valet whose innocent flirtation turns into a heated and dangerous affair that tests the boundaries of class and desire, based on Strindberg’s play. From Lionsgate … “Spare Parts” (2015), starring George Lopez, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carlos PenaVega and Marisa Tomei, is the remarkable true story of four Phoenix high school students who come together against all odds to compete against MIT in a national underwater robotics competition. When four wildly different high schoolers team up to enter a robotics competition against the nation’s top tech colleges, no one believes they have a chance-no one but Fredi (Lopez), their new substitute teacher. As Fredi challenges his students to be the best they can be, they show him the power of never giving up, in an unforgettable tale that shines with heart, humor, and hope. From Lionsgate … A groom and his three best men travel to the Australian outback for his wedding, where they discover that unpredictable relatives, a cross-dressing sheep and a deranged drug dealer don’t necessarily add up to a match made in heaven in “A Few Best Men” (2011), starring Rebel Wilson, Olivia Newton-John, Laura Brent, Xavier Samuel, Kris Marshall and Kevin Bishop. Directed by Stephan Elliot (“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”). From Universal.
On the Indie Front:
In “Amira & Sam” (2014), starring Martin Starr, Laith Naklil, Dina Shihabi and Paul Wesley, a U.S. army veteran’s unlikely romance with an Iraqi immigrant is put to the test when she is faced with the prospect of deportation. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Drafthouse Films/Cinedigm.
For the Family:
In “Great Figures of the Bible” (1999), Nobel Prize-winning author Elie Wiesel looks at the stories of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac, Job, Moses, and David. With the presence of a master storyteller and the keen insights of a historian, he explores the human condition as revealed in these extraordinary tales and discovers exciting insights for today’s times. Filmed on location in Israel and featuring works of art from around the world, this is compelling viewing for audiences of all faiths. Six half-hour episodes, $24.95 from SISU Home Entertainment … “Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal Season 1” (2011) is the fourth series of the global franchise based on the Japanese collectible trading card game. When aspiring duelist Yuma meets Astral, a mysterious visitor from another world, it seems like the perfect match. While Yuma requires Astral’s dueling expertise, Astral needs Yuma to gather 99 Number Cards that contain his lost memories. They would be dueling’s greatest tag team…if they could only get along. Six-disc DVD, $44.99 from Cinedigm … “Sesame Street: Elmo The Musical Volume 2: Learn and Imagine” (2015) features seven episodes that will have kids singing, dancing, playing and imagining along with Elmo on math-filled adventures. Each episode is an interactive musical adventure created by Elmo and the child at home focusing on imagination and math skills, such as enumeration, relational concepts, addition/subtraction, geometric shapes and many more. From Warner … “Children’s Classics Collection” features seven animated tales in one package: “Dorothy in the Land of Oz,” “The World of Strawberry Shortcake,” “Strawberry Shortcake in Big Apple City,” “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Puff the Magic Dragon in the land of Living Lies,” “Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody” and “Peter & the Magic Egg”; $16.99 from CBS Entertainment/Paramount … “Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: Surf’s Up Scooby-Doo!” (2014) is a two-disc set with 13 fan favorite mysteries, $19.98. Includes the new 22-minute cartoon “Scooby-Doo! and the Beach Beastie.” From Warner.
- “Hating Obama” (2014): President Obama has been the recipient of some of the most groundbreaking and hate-filled moments in American Presidential history. While it is clear and apparent that all Presidents have received some form of opposition and low approval ratings throughout their terms in office, President Obama has experienced many more instances that could be attributed to racism as America’s first “black” President. The purpose of this documentary is to shine a light on the most egregious and hateful moments that we have seen President Obama and his family subjected to, while taking a look at his record of accomplishments and responses to some of the hatred. Ultimately the film leads us to open and continue a dialogue by asking the question: Is President Obama hated for his policies or because he’s black? From Cinedigm.
- “Lost Rivers” (2012): Nearly every major city was built near the convergence of many rivers. As cities grew with the Industrial Revolution, these rivers became conduits for disease and pollution. The 19th century solution was to bury them underground and merge them with the sewer systems. They still run through today’s metropolises, but do so out of sight. This documentary examines hidden waterways in cities around the world and introduces people dedicated to exploring and exposing them. From Icarus Films.