Click here for stale news from the days of yore

DVD and Blu-ray Releases For July 30, 2013

Annika Bengtzon, Crime Reporter: Episodes 1-3 and Episodes 4-6 (2012) Based on author Liza Marklund's best-selling Swedish crime novels. Annika Bengtzon is a journalist and working mother of two struggling to keep her marriage alive. Fearless in her search for the truth, she won't take no for an answer from anyone: not from prestigious academicians, or drug dealers or from colleagues inside her own profession. Her passion for getting the story may bring her into dangerous situations, but it ultimately allows her to peer into the heart of every crime. Annika's not afraid to square off with hardened criminals, but her toughest challenge seems to be trying to balance the job with her sometimes tumultuous private life. Each three-disc set consists of three complete feature-length episodes, $39.95 each. In Swedish with English subtitles. Formats: DVD. (MHz Networks).

 
Banshee: The Complete First Season (2013) Four-disc set with 10 episodes of the Cinemax series that follows an ex-con who assumes the identity of the sheriff of a small town where he continues his criminal activities, even as he's hunted by the shadowy gangsters he betrayed years earlier. Formats: DVD, $39.98; Blu-ray Disc, $49.99; Digital. Extras: "NYC Bus Crash" special effects; "Town of Secrets" featurette; "Banshee Origins" prequel videos; "Zooming In: Episodes 7 & 8"; commentaries; deleted scenes; episode recaps. Blu-ray adds "Inside the Title Sequence"; "Reveal the Code": "Banshee: Origins" comic book. (HBO).

 
Black Rock (2012) Katie Aselton, Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth. Three childhood friends get together for a private camp out at an iconic setting from their childhood, an empty island off the coast of Maine, to renew their bond of sisterhood. The trio, however, quickly finds themselves in a fight for their lives when they meet three men who have come to the island for a hunting trip and a night of drinking spirals into a tragic accident. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. Extras: Commentary with director-actress Katie Aselton and actress Lake Bell, "Behind the Scenes of Black Rock" featurette, "A Thrilling Score: The Music of Black Rock" featurette. (Lionsgate).

 
Blaze You Out (2013) Veronica Diaz Carranza, Melissa Cordero, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Mark Adair-Rios. A strong-willed young woman -- an aspiring DJ -- ventures into the ruthless underworld of the town's heroin trade in order to save her younger sister's life. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette. (Lionsgate).

 
The Bronte Sisters (1979) Dir.: Andre Techine; Isabelle Adjani, Isabelle Huppert, Marie-France Pisier, Patrick Magee, Pascal Greggory. A rediscoverrd and remastered classic. Nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 1979 Cannes International Film Festival, "The Bronte Sisters" has been only rarely seen in the decades since, but its reputation as an atmospheric and passionate masterpiece has grown. An early success for the revered director Andre Techine ("Rendez-vous," "Scene of the Crime," "Wild Reeds"), the film stars three of France's most enduring actresses: Isabelle Adjani, Marie-France Pisier vand Isabelle Huppert. Director Techine, who co-wrote the film with Pascal Donitzer (writer of Jacques Rivette's film of "Wuthering Heights"), achieves an authentic depiction of the bleak, lonely existence of the Victorian-era Bronte sisters Emily (Adjani), Charlotte (Pisier) and Anne (Huppert). The young women live in a Yorkshire village under the stern eye of their minister father (Patrick Magee) and a rigid aunt -- and also have to deal with their troubled, opium-addicted brother Branwell (Pascal Greggory). While all four siblings have artistic ambitions, their dreams are thwarted by romantic disappointments and tragic illness. But remarkably, against all odds (and using male pseudonyms), the sisters publish their first poetry and novels, including Emily's "Wuthering Heights," Charlotte's "Jane Eyre" and Anne's "Agnes Grey." Techine's sensitive biographical film poignantly contrasts the sisters' humdrum lives with the wildly romantic fantasies that they conjured in their extraordinary novels. With stunning cinematography by Bruno Nuytten and powerful music by Philippe Sarde, "The Bronte Sisters" is a richly rewarding film; it's both a step back into history and a startling look at the immediacy of artistic creation.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary; making-of feature with director Andre Techine, screenwriter Pascal Bonitzer and others; more. (Cohen Film Collection).

 
Bus Stop BLU-RAY DEBUT (1956) Dir.: Joshua Logan; Marilyn Monroe, Don Murray, Arthur O'Connell, Betty Field, Eileen Heckart. Extras: Theatrical trailer, other Monroe movie trailers. (Fox).

 
Cloudburst (2011) Olympia Dukakis, Brenda Fricker, Ryan Doucette, Kristin Booth, Jeremy Akerman, John Dunsworth. Olympia Dukakis and Brenda Fricker star as an aging lesbian couple who escape from their nursing home in Maine and head up to Canada to get married; while on the road, they pick up a young hitchhiker (Ryan Doucette) with his own issues: He's returning to Nova Scotia to visit his dying mother. With equal parts humor and grace, the film explores the themes of life, death and love through the eyes of this oddball trio. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurette, interviews with the cast. (Wolfe Video).

 
The Demented (2013) Sarah Butler, Brittney Alger, Kayla Ewell, Richard Kohnke, Michael Welch. Six college friends on a weekend getaway find themselves fighting for their lives after a terrorist attack turns the local residents into rage infused zombies. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo. (Anchor Bay).

 
The Devil's Backbone (2001 -- Spain) The most personal film by Guillermo del Toro is also among his most frightening and emotionally layered. Set during the final week of the Spanish Civil War, "The Devil's Backbone" tells the tale of a 10-year-old boy who, after his freedom-fighting father is killed, is sent to a haunted rural orphanage full of terrible secrets. Del Toro effectively combines gothic ghost story, murder mystery, and historical melodrama in a stylish concoction that reminds us -- ­as would his later "Pan's Labyrinth" -- ­that the scariest monsters are often the human ones. In Spanish with English subtitles. New 2K digital film restoration, approved by director Guillermo del Toro and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary featuring Del Toro; video introduction by Del Toro from 2010; new interviews with Del Toro about the process of creating the ghost Santi and the drawings and designs made in preparation for the film; "¿Que es un fantasma?," a 2004 making-of documentary; "Spanish Gothic," a 2010 interview with Del Toro about the genre and its influence on his work; interactive director's notebook, with Del Toro's drawings and handwritten notes, along with interviews with the filmmaker; four deleted scenes, with optional commentary; new featurette about the Spanish Civil War as evoked in the film; program comparing Del Toro's thumbnail sketches and Carlos Gimenez's storyboards with the final film; selected on-screen presentation of Del Toro's thumbnail sketches alongside the sections of the final film they represent (Blu-ray edition only); trailer; booklet featuring an essay by critic Mark Kermode (The Criterion Collection).

 
Don Matteo Episode 33-44 and Episodes 45-56 (2000) Actor Terence Hill stars as Don Matteo, a thoroughly ordinary Catholic priest with an extraordinary ability to read people and solve crimes. He's a parish priest who never met an unjustly accused person he didn't want to help. His friend and chess partner is policeman Marshal Cecchini, who slips him information about new cases much to the chagrin of the police chief who isn't at all thrilled about the collaboration. But he's in agreement with Don Matteo about one thing: the importance of justice being served. Don Matteo has one more concern besides justice: to bring a word of hope to the culprit no matter what the crime. Each four-disc set contains 12 episodes, $39.95 each. In Italian with English subtitles. Formats: DVD. (MHz Networks).

 
Fernando Di Leo: The Italian Crime Collection: Vol. 2 Three more films from the influential Italian director -- considered by some, like Quentin Tarantino, who was immensely influenced by the director, to be "without a doubt, the master of (the gangster movie) genre" -- come to home video in the U.S., headed up by his lost masterpiece, "Shoot First, Die Later," which makes it to DVD and Blu-ray for the first time, digitally remastered and restored from 35mm negatives. Di Leo was a master of Mafia mayhem with ultraviolence (for its time), wild car chases and lurid tales of pimps and petty gangsters, made cheap and quick. Di Leo began as a screenwriter on Spaghetti Westerns, then soft-core exploitation films, then -- supposedsly inspired by the new realism of such American fare as "The French Connection" -- went on to make a series of Italian crime genre films that were marked by social criticism of Italy's eonomic and political landscape of corrupt cops, politicians and church officials. The three films here: "Shoot First Die Later" (1974), "Kidnap Syndicate" (1975) and "Naked Violence" (1969). In a classy three-disc boxed set with an illustrated booklet and documentaries on each disc. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Raro Video USA).

 
Filly Brown (2012) Gina Rodriguez, Jenni Rivera, Lou Diamond Phillips, Edward James Olmos, Emilio Rivera. The inspiring portrait of a young woman striving to find her voice -- without compromising herself or the fate of her family. Filly Brown is a young aspiring hip-hop artist from Los Angeles. With her mother in prison and her father struggling to provide for his daughters, Filly knows that a record contract just might be the answer to her family's financial problems. So when a record producer offers her a shot at stardom, she has to choose between selling out her dreams -- or saving her family. Latin Grammy nominee Jenni Rivera' final on-screen appearance before her untimely death. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. (Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment).

 
The Fog Collector's Edition (1980) Dir.: John Carpenter; Adrienne Barbeau, Jamie Lee Curtis, Janet Leigh, Tom Atkins, John Houseman, Hal Holbrook. Features a new transfer of the film supervised by Oscar-nominated cinematographer Dean Cundey. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Exclusive interview with Jamie Lee Curtis discussing "The Fog" and covering her legendary early 80s "Scream Queen" career; commentary featuring Adrienne Barbeau, Tom Atkins and production designer Tommy Lee Wallace; retrospective interview with director of photography Dean Cundey about his many legendary collaborations with John Carpenter; "Horror's Hallowed Grounds" locations featurette. Extras from the MGM prior release include "Tales From The Mist: Inside The Fog" featurette; "Fear on Film: Inside The Fog" featurette; "The Fog: Storyboard to Film" featurette; outtakes; theatrical trailers and TV spots; photo gallery and storyboards; commentary with writer-director John Carpenter and writer-producer Debra Hill. (Scream Factory/Shout! Factory.)

 
G.I. Joe: Retaliation (2013) Dwayne Johnson, Channing Tatum, Bruce Willis, Adrianne Palicki, D.J. Cotrona, Jonathan Pryce, Arnold Vosloo. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Blu-ray Extras: Commentary by director Jon M. Chu and producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura; "Mission Briefing" look at pre-production, previsualization, storyboards and more; "Deployment" look at the stunts, costumes and more; "Two Ninjas" focuses on two G.I. Joe favorites, Snake Eyes and Jinx, and the filming of the Dojo sequence; "The Desert Attack" in-depth look at the filming of the pivotal action sequence; "COBRA Strikes" villain highlights; "The Lone Soldiers" behind-the-scenes as Roadblock, Flint and Lady Jaye go on the run; "The Monastery" examination of the Himalayan escape sequence; "Fort Sumter" all-access view of the climax; deleted scenes. Both combos include a limited time offer to receive a free set of personalized dog tags. (Paramount).

 
The Incredible Melting Man BLU-RAY DEBUT (1977) Alex Rebar, Burr DeBenning, Myron Healey, Michael Alldredge, Ann Sweeny. Extras: Commentary by writer-director William Sachs, interviews with special makeup effects wizards Rick Baker and Greg Cannom and Sachs, theatrical trailers. (Scream Factory/Shout! Factory.)

 
Irene Huss Episodes 7-9 and Episodes 10-13 (2007) Based on the best-selling Swedish crime fiction of Helene Tursten, "Irene Huss" is about a former European ju-jitsu champion, a mother of two teenage daughters, and a Detective Inspector with the Violent Crimes Unit. Her husband, Krister, is a successful chef, and luckily for Irene, he gladly shoulders a fair share of the household tasks. At the Violent Crimes Unit in Gothenburg, Irene encounters a wide range of criminal minds from international serial killers to psychotic young girls. Each new case brings its share of quirks and quandaries to the table, sometimes forcing the entire team to put their lives on the line. Each three-disc set consists of three complete feature-length episodes, $39.95 each. In Swedish with English subtitles. Formats: DVD. (MHz Networks).

 
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox (2013) The next entry in the popular, ongoing series of DC Universe Original Animated Movies. When time travel allows a past wrong to be righted for Flash and his family, the event's temporal ripples prove disastrous, creating a fractured, alternate reality where the Justice League never formed, and even Superman is nowhere to be found. Amidst a new world being ravaged by a fierce war between Wonder Woman's Amazons and Aquaman's Atlanteans, Flash must team with a grittier, more violent Batman and government agent Cyborg to restore the continuity of Flash's original timeline. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "A Flash in Time" featurette on other dimensions, "My Favorite Villains! The Flash Bad Guys" featurette, "From the DC Comics Vault": Bonus cartoon episodes, "The Flashpoint Paradox" audio commentary. (Warner).

 
Kendra on Top: The Complete First Season (2012) Two-disc set with 14 uncensored episodes, $24.98. Formats: DVD. (MPI Media Group).

 
The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh (2012) Vanessa Redgrave, Aaron Pool. After the mysterious death of the reclusive Rosalind Leigh (Redgrave), her estranged son, antiques collector Leon (Poole), arrives at her house to take stock of his inheritance. Once there, he discover that she had been living in a shrine devoted to a mysterious cult. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: Commentary with director Rodrigo Gudino, a making-of featurette, "Mercan Dede" featurette, poster, photo gallery, "The Facts in the Case of Mister Hollow" short film. (Image Entertainment).

 
Love Me Tender BLU-RAY DEBUT (1956) Richard Egan, Debra Paget, Elvis Presley. Extras: Commentary Elvis Historian Jerry Schilling; featurettes: "Elvis Hits Hollywood," "The Colonel & The King," "Love Me Tender: The Birth & Boom of the Elvis Hit"; "Love Me Tender: The Soundtrack." (Fox).

 
The Magic School Bus: Revving Up (2013) Three-disc set -- "Under Construction," "Getting Energized" and "Cracks a Yolk" -- each containing three new episodes running the gamut from computers and electricity to city critters and desert adaptation. Each DVD also contains a special bonus episode fort more than four-and-a-half hours of Frizz-tastic fun. Formats: DVD, $24.95. (Scholastic Storybook Treasures).

 
The Magic School Bus: In a Pickle (2013) Four never-before-released episodes including the title episode about microbes, along with "Meets Molly Cule," "Makes a Stink" about smell and "Meets the Rot Squad" which covers decomposition. Formats: DVD, $12.95. (Scholastic Storybook Treasures).

 
Meet the Small Potatoes (2013) Family fun-filled adventure follows Ruby, Nate, Chip and Olaf from the humble dirt of an Idaho farm to become a global singing sensation; an inspirational tale of friendship and creativity that proves even the smallest potato can make big dreams come true. Voiced by Malcolm McDowell and featuring songs by Tony-winning composer Jerry Bock ("Fiddler on the Roof"). First introduced in the Disney Junior series "Small Potatoes." Formats: DVD. (Universal).

 
Midsomer Murders, Series 1,2,3,4 and 5 Repackaged, individual series sets (in the original U.K. broadcast order) of the modern classic British village mysteries. The bucolic surroundings harbor macabre crimes and eccentric characters that are no match for nice-guy detective Tom Barnaby and his eager assistant Sergeant Troy. Series 1 is a three-disc set with five mysteries; Series Two and Three are two-disc sets with four mysteries each; Series Four and Five are three-disc sets with five mysteries each. $59.99 each set. (Acorn Media).

 
Niagara 60th Anniversary BLU-RAY DEBUT (1953) Dir.: Henry Hathaway; Marilyn Monroe, Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters, Max Showalter. Extras: theatrical trailer, more Monroe movie trailers. (Fox).

 
A Night for Dying Tigers (2010) Gil Bellows, Jennifer Beals, Kathleen Robertson, John Pyper-Ferguson. A young man's extended family gathers for his farewell dinner before he goes to prison for five years. As the reunion devolves, the truths behind the family's long history of conflict and tragedy are surprisingly revealed. Formats: DVD. (Monarch Home Entertainment).

 
Old Dog (Lao Gou/Khyi Rgan) (2011 -- Tibet) Directed by Pema Tseden, the leading artist of the burgeoning Tibetan cinema, and the first director to produce a Tibetan-language feature in mainland China. The film tells the story of a family on the Himalayan plains who discover that their dog is worth a fortune, but that selling it comes at a terrible price. First release by Icarus Film's dGenerate Films Home Video Collection. Formats: DVD. (Icarus Films).

 
Peggy Sue Got Married BLU-RAY DEBUT (1986) Dir.: Francis Ford Coppola; Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Barry Miller, Catherine Hicks, Joan Allen, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jim Carrey, Maureen O'Sullivan, Leon Ames. Also available on DVD. (Image Entertainment).

 
Power Rangers Seasons 4-7 (1996) Deluxe 21-DVD box set with all 183 episodes, including a disc jam-packed with bonus features including rarely seen archival material, brand-new retrospective featurettes including interviews with members of the cast, creative team, and fans, and more. Lord Zedd and Rita Repulsa have been defeated once again, but the Command Center is in ruins, and King Mondo is on his way to conquer Earth. Picking up right where "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" and "Mighty Morphin Alien Ranger"s left off, "Power Rangers: Seasons 4–7" continues the saga of the heroic "teenagers with attitude" through four more seasons: "Power Rangers ZEO," "Power Rangers Turbo," "Power Rangers in Space" and "Power Rangers Lost Galaxy." Formats: DVD, $129.99. (Shout! Factory).

 
Rushlights (2013) Josh Henderson, Haley Webb, Beau Bridges, Aidan Quinn. Two delinquent teenage lovers from the suburbs of Los Angeles travel to a small southern town to falsely claim a dead friend's inheritance. The pair wind up in a nightmare of greed and betrayal when confronted with the twisted and bizarre underworld of Tremo, Texas. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Vertical Entertainment).

 
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4 BLU-RAY DEBUT (1990-91) From the season premiere -- the epic conclusion of the two-part cliffhanger "The Best Of Both Worlds" -- to its thrilling finale "Redemption Part 1," "Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 4" is distinguished as one of the most favored among fans. Six-disc set with 26 episodes. Extras: Episode commentaries with writers Ronald D. Moore and Brannon Braga, director Rob Bowman,scenic artists/Star Trek consultants Mike & Denise Okuda; "Relativity: The Family Saga of The Next Generation," a multi-part documentary that examines both the show's explosion into a pop culture phenomenon after its third season and the Enterprise crew's interpersonal bonds and family relationships, as depicted in "Brothers" and "Reunion"; "In Conversation: The Art Department," a look at some of TNG's most-iconic designs, complemented by fresh interviews with production team members Herman Zimmerman, Doug Drexler, Rick Sternbach, the Okudas, Dan Curry and more; Departmental Briefing Year Four: Production; Mission Overview Year Four; Selected Crew Analysis Year Four; New Life and New Civilizations; Chronicles from the Final Frontier; Season 4 Gag Reel; episodic promos. $129.99. (Paramount).

 
Star Trek: The Next Generation -- Redemption BLU-RAY DEBUT (1991) A two-part "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode re-edited as a feature-length presentation. Captain Picard and Lieutenant Worf fight to end a Klingon Civil War. Extras: Commentary with writer-producer Ronald D. Moore and scenic artists/Star Trek consultants Mike & Denise Okuda; "Survive and Succeed: An Empire at War" special featurette explores the Klingon mythology of Star Trek: The Next Generation and features all-new interviews with writer/producer Moore, who, in addition to "Redemption," wrote some of the franchise's most memorable Klingon story lines, and some of the actors who played the most renowned Klingon characters including Dorn (Worf), Robert O'Reilly (Gowron) and Gwynyth Walsh (B'Etor); two episodic promos. $24.99. (Paramount).

 
3 Businessmen (1998) Dir.: Alex Cox; Miguel Sandoval, Robert Wisdom, Alex Cox. A surrealistic fable from the director of "Repo Man." Two businessmen, Benny and Frank, venture out into the streets of Liverpool, a city neither of them knows, in search of dinner. They wander for miles, unable to find a meal, unaware that the town they began their journey in has morphed: first into Rotterdam, then into Tokyo, and Hong Kong. Abandoned by a taxi in the desert, they encounter a third businessman -- Leroy -- are fed, and briefly discover the metaphysical explanation for their trek. Formats: DVD. Extras: "How to Watch This Film: A User's Guide." (Microcinema International).

 
Touched By an Angel Season Eight (2001-02) Six-disc set with 22 episodes of the popular series that follows the adventures of Monica (Roma Downey), a young earthbound angel, and her down-to-earth supervisor, Tess (Della Reese), as they inspire others to change their lives for the better. Working alongside Monica is caseworker and angel of death Andrew (John Dye) and new trainee angel Gloria (Valerie Bertinelli). Formats: DVD,$59.99. (CBS/Paramount).

 
Under the Bed (2012) Jonny Weston, Gattlin Griffith, Peter Holden, Musetta Vander, Kelcie Stranahan. Two brothers team up to battle a creature under the bed. Every child knows about the monster under the bed -- Neal Hausman's mistake was trying to fight it. Neal returns from a two-year exile following his tragic attempt to defeat the monster only to find his father ticking ever closer to a breakdown, a new stepmother who fears him, and his little brother being terrorized by the same monster.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (XLrator Media).

 
War Flowers (2012) Christina Ricci, Gabrielle Popa, Bren Foster, Jason Gedrick, Tom Berenger. Civil War drama about a Southern woman -- whose youngest child was lost to scarlet fever and whose husband is in the Confederate army -- who takes care of a badly wounded Yankee soldier left behind after a nearby battle. Formats: DVD. (Green Apple Entertainment).

 
War on Whistleblowers: Free Press and the National Security State (2013) True stories of four American whistleblowers who exposed fraud in government, including the Stellar Wind program, a super secret warrantless surveillance program that violated American's privacy rights and the warrantless wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA) under the Bush administration. Formats: DVD. Extras: Commentary by director Robert Greenwald, extended interviews, trailers. (Disinformation Company).

 
The Wheels on the Bus: All Around Town (2013) Dove Foundation-approved series recommended for children ages 1-5 features all the classic "Wheels on the Bus" verses, plus some bouncy new ones, as well as Roger Daltry as the voice of Argon the Dragon. Three episodes have Papaya and Mango learn about all different type of jobs, visit a jungle bird show and a mechanics garage, and learn the ultimate Fairie's Golden Rule: be nice to others and they will be nice to you. Formats: DVD. (Entertainment One).

 
The Wheels on the Bus: Animal Adventure (2013) Dove Foundation-approved series recommended for children ages 1-5 features all the classic "Wheels on the Bus" verses, plus some bouncy new ones, as well as Roger Daltry as the voice of Argon the Dragon. Papaya, Mango and Argon introduce young viewers to reptiles, bugs, sharks, turtles, dolphins, elephants, zebras and more in four episodes. Formats: DVD. (Entertainment One).