Set in a futuristic dystopia where society is divided into five factions that each represent a different virtue, teenagers have to decide if they want to stay in their faction or switch to another -- for the rest of their lives. Tris Prior makes a choice that surprises everyone. Then Tris and her fellow faction-members have to live through a highly competitive initiation process to live out the choice they have made. They must undergo extreme physical and intense psychological tests that transform them all. But Tris has a secret: She's a Divergent, which means she doesn't fit into any one group. If anyone knew, it would mean a certain death.
Targeted by a faction leader determined to eliminate all Divergents, Tris turns to the one person she believes she can trust: Four, an instructor for the militant Dauntless faction, and a man full of dark secrets. Together, Tris and Four uncover a mind-bending conspiracy that will put their courage to the ultimate test ... and forever link their destinies. Based on Veronica Roth's No. 1 New York Times best-selling book series which has sold nearly 22 million copies worldwide. The next three installments -- "Insurgent" and "Allegiant Parts 1 & 2" -- will be released theatrically on March 20, 2015, March 18, 2016 and March 24, 2017, respectively.
Extras: Deleted scenes, commentary with director Neil Burger, commentary with producers Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher. Blu-ray adds "Bringing Divergent to Life" documentary, "Faction Before Blood" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Neil Burger. Stars: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zo Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 139 min., Sci-Fi-Action-Romance, Box office gross: $150.544 million, Lionsgate.
God's Not Dead
College freshman and devout Christian Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) finds his faith challenged on his first day of Philosophy class by the dogmatic and argumentative Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo). Radisson begins class by informing students that they will need to disavow, in writing, the existence of God on that first day, or face a failing grade. As other students in the class begin scribbling the words "God Is Dead" on pieces of paper, Josh find himself at a crossroads, having to choose between his faith and his future. Radisson assigns him a daunting task: if Josh will not admit that "God Is Dead," he must prove God's existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence over the course of the semester, and engage Radisson in a head-to-head debate in front of the class. If Josh fails to convince his classmates of God's existence, he will fail the course and hinder his lofty academic goals.
Vitals: Director: Harold Cronk. Stars: Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, David A.R. White, Tommy Blaze, Dean Cain.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 113 min., Comedy/Drama/Family, Box office gross: $57.684 million, Pure Flix Entertainment.
Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents' deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force -- unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim's innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again
Blu-ray extras: Deleted scenes, "Inside the Mirror: Creating Oculus," original "Oculus" 33-minute short film, commentary by Mike Flanagan and Trevor Macy, theatrical trailer.
Vitals: Director: Mike Flanagan. Stars: Karen Gillan, Katee Sackhoff, James Lafferty, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane, Kate Siegel.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Horror, Box office gross: $27.440 million, Fox.
Need for Speed
The film centers around Tobey Marshall (Aaron Paul), a blue-collar mechanic who races muscle-cars on the side in an unsanctioned street-racing circuit. Struggling to keep his family-owned garage afloat, he reluctantly partners with the wealthy and arrogant ex-NASCAR driver Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper). But just as a major sale to car broker Julia Bonet (Imogen Poots) looks like it will save Tobey's shop, a disastrous race allows Dino to frame Tobey for a crime he didn't commit, sending Tobey to prison while Dino expands his business out west. Two years later, Tobey is released and set on revenge -- but he knows his only chance to take down his rival Dino is to defeat him in the high-stakes race known as De Leon -- the Super Bowl of underground racing. However to get there in time, Tobey will have to run a high-octane, action-packed gauntlet that includes dodging pursuing cops coast-to-coast as well as contending with a dangerous bounty Dino has put out on his car. With the help of his loyal crew and the surprisingly resourceful Julia, Tobey defies odds at every turn and proves that even in the flashy world of exotic supercars, the underdog can still finish first. Based on the best-selling video game series.
Extras: "Capturing Speed: Making an Authentic Car Movie," "Need for Speed Rivals" trailer. Blu-ray adds "Ties That Bind," "The Circus Is In Town," commentary with director Scott Waugh and Aaron Paul, Monarch & Maverick outtakes, deleted scenes, "The Sound of Need for Speed," "B-Camera" crash compilation (Easter Egg).
Vitals: Director: Scott Waugh. Stars: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 130 min., Action, Box office gross: $43.189 million, Disney.
Muppets Most Wanted
Two Frogs! One Pig! Intrigue! Music! Mayhem! Muppets! Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Animal and the entire Muppets gang head out on a world tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe's most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine -- the World's Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit -- and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two (Ricky Gervais). Kermit is put behind bars at the mercy of prison warden Nadya (Tina Fey), and Constantin takes his place. As Constantine Dominic plot the robbery of the century, they are pursued by Sam Eagle and Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon (Ty Burrell). Will Constantine get away with his nefarious scheme? Will Kermit escape in time to save the day? With guest cameos by Tony Bennett, Sean Combs, Rob Corddry, Celine Dion, Josh Groban, Salma Hayek, Ray Liotta, Ross Lynch, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christoph Waltz and more.
Extras: "I'll Get You What You Want" music video performed by Bret McKenzie. Blu-ray adds "The Unnecessarily Extended Cut" featuring 12 minutes of exclusive scenes not seen in theaters; "The Statler and Waldorf Cut," "The Longer Longest Blooper Reel in Muppets History," "Rizzo's Biggest Fan."
Vitals: Director: James Bobin. Stars: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Animal, Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, Tina Fey.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 107 min., Family, Box office gross: $50.012 million, Disney.
Ivan Locke (Tom Hardy) is a man at the top of his game. A dedicated husband and father and a star employee at a high-powered construction firm, he's the model of cool professionalism with a talent for managing complex situations. Driving home on the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Locke makes a sudden choice to confront the only situation in his life that can't be neatly handled. He quickly learns that the cost of becoming a better man is high.
Extras: "Ordinary Unraveling: Making Locke" featurette, commentary with writer-director Steven Knight.
Vitals: Director: Steven Knight. Stars: Tom Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Andrew Scott, Olivia Colman, Tom Holland, Ben Daniels.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 85 min., Drama/Suspense, Box office gross: $.523 million, Lionsgate.
A Haunted House 2
Marlon Wayans returns in this outrageous and wickedly funny sequel as Malcolm who, after exorcising the demons of his ex, is starting fresh with his new girlfriend (Jaime Pressly) and her two children. But after moving into their dream home, he's once again plagued by bizarre paranormal events.
Extras: Deleted and extended scenes; commentary with actor/co-writer/producer Marlon Wayans, director Michael Tiddes and co-writer/producer Rick Alvarez.
Vitals: Director: Michael Tiddes. Stars: Marlon Wayans, Jaime Pressly, Essence Atkins, Gabriel Iglesias, Missi Pyle, Ashley Rickards, Affion Crockett, Steele Stebbins, Rick Overton.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 86 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $16.846 million, Universal.
Frankie & Alice
The remarkable true story of an African American go-go dancer named Frankie (Halle Berry) who has dissociative identity disorder (DID); she struggles to retain her true self while fighting against two very unique alter egos: a seven-year-old named "Genius" and a Southern white racist woman named "Alice." In order to stop the multiple voices in her head, Frankie works with a psychotherapist (Stellan Skarsgard) to uncover and overcome the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her, and the truth that is locked inside her mind.
Extras: "The Making of Frankie & Alice with Halle Berry" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Geoffrey Sax. Stars: Halle Berry, Stellan Skarsgard, Phylicia Rashad, Chandra Wilson, Rosalyn Coleman, Joanne Baron, Brian Markinson.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.693 million, Lionsgate.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Ho-hum. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" continues the rebooting of the Spider-Man saga, with Andrew Garfield again reprising his role as "Spidey" and Emma Stone co-starring as Parker/Spider-Man's girlfriend Gwen Stacy. But there's something missing here; there's just not enough oomph, even with formidable special-effects villains Electro (Jamie Foxx), Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti), and despite an emphasis on the back story and the disappearance of Parker's parents. It's all pretty predictable and, at times -- especially in the scenes between Parker/Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy -- boring. There's no sense of humor, no spaciousness here, no surprises; it's all too formulaic. Spidey is stuck in a claustrophobic web of his own making. And, boy, do we miss the sexy Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson.
Extras: Four deleted scenes, filmmaker commentary, Alicia Keys' "It's On Again" music video. Blu-ray adds six-part, behind-the-scenes documentary "The Wages of Heroism: Making The Amazing Spider-Man 2," nine additional deleted scenes (including "Peter Meets His Father.")
Vitals: Director: Marc Webb. Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Dane DeHaan, Denis Leary, Martin Sheen, Colm Feore, Chris Cooper, Marton Csokas, Chris Zylka, Frank Deal.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 142 min., Action, Box office gross: $202.084 million, Sony.
Only Lovers Left Alive
The tale of two fragile and sensitive vampires, Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton). Both are cultured intellectuals, mature and charmingly ultra-cool with an all-embracing passion for music, literature and science, who have evolved to a level where they no longer kill for sustenance, but still retain their innate wildness. Their love story has endured several centuries but their debauched idyll is threatened by the uninvited arrival of Eve's carefree little sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) who hasn't yet learned to tame her wilder instincts. Driven by sensual photography, trance-like music, and droll humor, Jim Jarmusch's poetic love story -- set against the romantic desolation of Detroit and Tangier -- is a meditation on art, science, and the mysteries of everlasting love. Features a great underground music soundtrack.
Extras: "Traveling at Night With Jim Jarmusch" featurette, deleted and extended scenes, Yasmine Hamdan "Hal" music video.
Vitals: Director: Jim Jarmusch. Stars: Tilda Swinton, Tom Hiddleston, Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Jeffrey Wright.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 123 min., Drama, Box office gross: $1.061 million, Sony.
The Quiet Ones
A university student (Sam Claflin) and some classmates are recruited to carry out a private experiment -- to create a poltergeist. Their subject: an alluring, but dangerously disturbed young woman (Olivia Cooke). Their quest: to explore the dark energy that her damaged psyche might manifest. As the experiment unravels along with their sanity, the rogue students are soon confronted with a terrifying reality: they have triggered an unspeakable force with a power beyond all explanation.
Extras: Commentary with director John Pogue and producer Tobin Armbrust, deleted scenes, gag reel. Blu-ray adds "Welcome to the Experiment: Making The Quiet Ones" documentary, "Manifesting Evil: Visual Effects" featurette.
Vitals: Director: John Pogue. Stars: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke, Erin Richards, Rory Fleck-Byrne, Laurie Calvert, Max Pirkis.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 98 min., Supernatural Horror, Box office gross: $7.995 million, Lionsgate.
Although Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), an 18th century English woman of mixed race, is raised in privilege by her aristocratic great-uncle (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), she is denied a proper social standing because of her skin color. But when Dido falls in love with a young idealist lawyer (Sam Reid) who aspires to create positive change, she finds herself caught between two worlds. With everything to lose, she struggles to convince those around her -- and the society in which she lives -- to overcome their biases and accept her fully. Only if she succeeds will she find true happiness. Based on an extraordinary true story.
Extras: "Belle: The Story," "Gugu Mbatha-Raw Breakout Role," "The Power of Belle," "From Painting to Screen," "The History Behind the Painting," stills gallery.
Vitals: Director: Amma Asante. Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sam Reid, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 104 min., Drama, Box office gross: $6.210 million, Fox.
After a disastrous blind date, single parents Lauren (Drew Barrymore) and Jim (Adam Sandler) agree on only one thing: they never want to see each other again. But when they each sign up separately for a fabulous family vacation with their kids, they are all stuck sharing a suite at a luxurious African safari resort for a week.
Extras: "Adam and Drew: Back Together Again," "Bella Thorne's Makeover," deleted scenes, "Georgia." Blu-ray adds "Safari," "Animals," "Parasailing," "Ostriches," "Dick's Customer Service," "Herlihopps: Basketball Actor," "Nickens."
Vitals: Director: Frank Coraci. Stars: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Kevin Nealon, Terry Crews, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Joel McHale, Abdoulaye Ngom, Jessica Lowe, Bella Thorne, Emma Fuhrmann.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 117 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $45.212, million, Warner.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.