A mistaken delivery in Mumbai's famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects Ila, a neglected housewife, to Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Through a series of exchanged notes that they pass back and forth through the lunches, Saajan and Ila find comfort in their unexpected friendship. Gradually, their notes become little confessions about their loneliness, memories, regrets, fears, and even small joys. They each discover a new sense of self and find an anchor to hold on to in the big city of Mumbai, a city that so often crushes hopes and dreams. Still strangers physically, Ila and Saajan become lost in their virtual relationship, one that could jeopardize both their realities.
Extras: Commentary with writer-director Ritesh Batra.
Vitals: Director: Ritesh Batra. Stars: Irrfan Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Nimrat Kaur.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 104 min., Romantic Drama, Box office gross: $3.428 million, Sony.
Jason Bateman makes his feature directorial debut with this subversive comedy ... and stars as Guy Trilby, a 40-year-old who finds a loophole in the rules of The Golden Quill national spelling bee and decides to cause trouble by hijacking the competition. Contest officials, outraged parents, and overly ambitious 8th graders are no match for Guy, as he ruthlessly crushes their dreams of victory and fame. As a reporter (Kathryn Hahn) attempts to discover his true motivation, Guy finds himself forging an unlikely alliance with a competitor: awkward 10-year-old Chaitanya (Rohan Chand), who is completely unfazed by Guy's take-no-prisoners approach to life.
Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, "The Minds and Mouths Behind Bad Words," commentary with Jason Bateman.
Vitals: Director: Jason Bateman. Stars: Jason Bateman, Rohan Chand, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Philip Baker Hall, Judith Hoag, Beth Grant.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 89 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $7.738 million, Universal.
The Raid 2
Immediately following the events of the sleeper hit "The Raid" (2011) -- in which he fought his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen -- Rama (Iko Uwais) is forced to reinvent himself as an undercover cop in order to provide protection for his wife and child. Working for the anti-corruption taskforce led by the one person he can trust, Bunawar (Cok Simbara), he is given a mission to engage himself as an enforcer for a local mob boss, Bangun (Tio Pakusodewo). Finding a way in through Bangun's son Uco (Arifin Putra), Rama must hunt for information linking Bangun with police force corruption. All the while, he harbors a dangerous and personal vendetta for revenge and justice that threatens to consume him -- and bring both this mission and the organized crime syndicates crashing down.
Extras: English dub in addition to the original Indonesian language version of the film; director commentary with Gareth Huw Evans; featurettes: "The Next Chapter: Shooting a Sequel" and "Cinefamily Foundation Q&A with Gareth Huw Evans, Iko Uwais & Joe Trapanese." Blu-ray adds "Gang War" deleted scene; featurettes: "Ready for a Fight: On Location" and "Violent Ballet: Behind the Choreography."
Vitals: Director: Gareth Huw Evans. Stars: Iko Uwais, Cok Simbara, Tio Pakusodewo, Arifin Putra, Julie Estelle.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 150 min., Action, Box office gross: $2.586 million, Sony.
As an auteur whose midnight movie classics, "El Topo" and "The Holy Mountain" captivated enthusiastic audiences, cult-film director Alejandro Jodorowsky set his sights on his most ambitious project yet -- a feature film adaptation of Frank Herbert's futuristic best-seller, "Dune." In 1975, Jodorowsky began work on this most ambitious project. Starring his own 12-year-old son Brontis alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most provocative talents of the era, including H.R. Giger ("Alien")and Jean "Moebius" Giraud, Jodorowsky's adaptation of the novel was poised to change cinema forever. After two years, however, the project fell apart. Through interviews with legends and luminaries including Giger, Gary Kurtz (producer, "Star Wars: Episodes IV and V") and Nicholas Winding Refn (director, "Drive"), and an intimate and honest conversation with Jodorowsky, director Frank Pavich's film finally unearths the full saga of "The Greatest Science Fiction Movie Never Made." Jodorowsky granted Pavich unprecedented access to his production materials on the ill-fated project, including the extraordinary hard-bound book of meticulous story boards, which Jodorowsky used as a "calling card" to pitch his film to Hollywood studios. Jodorowsky also provided candid and comprehensive interviews about his ambitious screenplay, and his global search for a stellar cast and crew to bring his vision to the screen.
Extras: Deleted scenes.
Vitals: Director: Frank Pavich.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Documentary, Box office gross: $.523 million, Sony.
Arriving in Paris for the first time since their honeymoon in an attempt to rekindle their 30-year marriage, British college philosophy professor Nick (Jim Broadbent) and school teacher Meg (Lindsay Duncan) get off to a rocky start in a cheap and depressing lodge. Moving into a swankier hotel with view of the Eiffel Tower sets them off on a better path, but it doesn't distract them from the knowledge that Nick is being nudged into early retirement, Meg is getting fed up with teaching, and each of them wants a fresh start that may or may not include the other. The diffident, wistful Nick and demanding, take-charge Meg careen from contentment to disharmony to resignation and back again as they take stock of three decades of deep tenderness -- and even deeper regret. A surprise invitation from Nick's old buddy Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), a Paris-based American academic Nick hasn't seen in years, prompts Meg and Nick to take a broader view of their relationship. And it proves to be the catalyst that provides Nick and Meg with an unexpectedly hopeful vision of what their love and marriage might still become. Extras: Commentary with director Roger Michell and producer Kevin Loader; behind-the-scenes featurette with Jim Broadbent, Linday Duncan, Jeff Goldblum, Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi; "How to dance 'The Madison' tutorial video; illustration gallery; theatrical trailer.
Vitals: Director: Roger Michell. Stars: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum, Olly Alexander, Xavier De Guillebon, Brice Beaugier, Lee Michelsen, Marie-France Alvarez.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Comedy/Drama/Romance, Box office gross: $1.844 million, Music Box Films.
Nymphomaniac Volume I & II
"Nymphomaniac" is the wild and poetic story of a woman's journey from birth to the age of 50 as told by the main character, the self-diagnosed nymphomaniac Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg). On a cold winter's evening the old, charming bachelor, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), finds Joe beaten up in an alley. He brings her home to his flat where he cares for her wounds while asking her about her life. He listens intently as Joe recounts the lushy branched-out and multifaceted story of her life, rich in associations and interjecting incidents. "Volume II" is the continuation of Joe's sexually dictated life and delves into the darker aspects of her adulthood, obsessions and what led to her being in Seligman's care.
Extras: "The Characters," "The Director," "The Sex," AXS TV: "A Look at Nymphomaniac," trailers.
Vitals: Director: Lars von Trier. Stars: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Stacy Martin, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Christian Slater, Jamie Bell, Uma Thurman, Michael Pas, Connie Nielsen, Ananya Berg.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: NR, Drama. Vol. 1: 110 min., Box office gross: $.726. Vol. II: 123 min., Box office gross: $.278. Magnolia Home Entertainment.
"Rio 2" finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving their domesticated life in that magical city for a journey to the Amazon. There they encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild and Blu goes beak-to-beak with the villainous Nigel and meets the most fearsome adversary of all: his father-in-law.
Extras: "Rio Refresher," "Birds and Beats: The Singing Talents of Rio 2," "Nigel the Shakespearean Cockatoo and Friends," "What is Love?" music video by Janelle Monae, "I Will Survive" multi-language sequence, still gallery, theatrical trailers. Blu-ray adds deleted scene; " Boom, Shake, Snap: The Local Sounds of Brazil" ("The Bodybeats of the Barbatuques," "How to Play the Barbatuques!" "Rhythmic Rio" and "The Upbeat Uakti Jam Behind the Scenes"); "Music and Dance Sing-Along Machine" with 10 songs from the film; "You Be the Judge" Tapir, Monkey and Turtle auditions; two downloadable bonus songs: "I Will Survive" and "Poisonous Love," both performed by Gabi (Kristin Chenoweth) and Nigel (Jemaine Clement); 15 exclusive levels for Angry Birds Rio.
Vitals: Director: Carlos Saldanha. Stars: Voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Leslie Mann, Rodrigo Santoro, Jake T. Austin, Jamie Foxx, Kristin Chenoweth, Rita Moreno.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: G, 101 min., Animated, Box office gross: $124.250 million, Fox.
Under the Skin
An existential science fiction film that journeys to the heart of what it means to be human, extraterrestrial -- or something in between. A voluptuous woman of unknown origin (Scarlett Johansson) combs the highways in Scotland in search of isolated or forsaken men, luring a succession of lost souls into an otherworldly lair. They are seduced, stripped of their humanity, and never heard from again. Based on the novel by Michel Faber, "Under the Skin" examines human experience from the perspective of an unforgettable heroine who grows too comfortable in her borrowed skin, until she is abducted into humanity with devastating results.
Extras: "Making of Under the Skin" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Jonathan Glazer. Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Paul Brannigan, Jessica Mance, Joe Szula, Krystof Hadek, Jeremy McWilliams.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 107 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $1.531 million, Lionsgate.
Heaven Is for Real
Based on the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book, "Heaven Is for Real" recounts the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son's extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Greg Kinnear stars as Todd Burpo, the real-life father whose son Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton shares the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth ... things he couldn't possibly know.
Extras: "Colton Goes to Heaven" behind-the-scenes featurette, deleted scenes. Blu-ray adds "The Making of Heaven Is for Real" featurette, "Creating Heaven" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Randall Wallace. Stars: Greg Kinnear, Thomas Haden Church, Kelly Reilly, Connor Corum, Lane Styles.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 99 min., Drama, Box office gross: $86.550 million, Sony.
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of artificial intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will -- they shoot him with a radioactive bullet and he is given only a month to live -- they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to become a participant in his own transcendence.
Will's scientist wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany) upload Will's consciousness into the supercomputer that the project has developed and his consciousness remains alive after his body's death. Soon, Will's virtual form is connected to the Internet, and he grows in knowledge and capability as he merges with other computers around the world. But the worst fears of Evelyn and Max are realized as Will's thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.
Extras: "What Is Transcendence?" "Wally Pfister: A Singular Vision." Blu-ray adds "Guarding the Threat," "The Promise of A.I.," "It's Me" "Singularity," "R.I.F.T."
Vitals: Director: Wally Pfister. Stars: Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., Morgan Freeman.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 119 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $22.209 million, Warner.
When DEA task force leader Breacher Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger) storms a heavily armed cartel safe house, rogue members of his team use it as a cover to steal $10 million in cash. But just when they think their secret is safe, agents are killed off one-by-one, and everyone is a suspect, including the squad itself.
Extras: "Making Sabotage" featurette. Blu-ray adds alternate endings. Vitals: Director: David Ayer. Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Olivia Williams, Terrence Howard, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Mireille Enos.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Action, Box office gross: $10.499 million, Universal.
Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club
When five struggling single moms put aside their differences to form a support group, they find inspiration and laughter in their new sisterhood, and help each other overcome the obstacles that stand in their way.
Extras: Two behind-the-scenes featurettes.
Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Amy Smart, Zulay Henao, Cocoa Brown, Ryan Eggold, Tyler Perry.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 111 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $15.986 million, Lionsgate.
A cinematic portrayal of famed labor organizer Cesar E. Chavez, focusing on Chavez's fearless determination in organizing the largest non-violent protest in U.S. history to accomplish his ultimate goal of obtaining basic human rights for more than 50,000 farm workers in California. Chronicling the birth of a modern American movement, the film tells the story of the famed civil rights leader and labor organizer torn between his duties as a husband and father and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers. Passionate but soft-spoken, Chavez embraced non-violence as he battled greed and prejudice in his struggle to bring dignity to people. Chavez inspired millions of Americans from all walks of life who never worked on a farm to fight for social justice. His triumphant journey is a remarkable testament to the power of one individual's ability to change the world.
Extras: "Making of Cesar Chavez"documentary.
Vitals: Director: Diego Luna. Stars: Michael Pena, John Malkovich, America Ferrera, Rosario Dawson, Wes Bentley.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 102 min., Bio-Drama, Box office gross: $5.500 million, Lionsgate.
After 12 years in prison, Dom Hemingway (Jude Law), a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse who is funny, profane, and dangerous, sets off with his partner in crime Dickie (Richard E. Grant) looking to collect what he's owed for keeping his mouth shut and protecting his boss Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir). After a near death experience, Dom tries to re-connect with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke), but is soon drawn back into the only world he knows, looking to settle the ultimate debt.
Extras: Promotional featurettes, "Ping-Pong Loop," commentary by director Richard Shepard, gallery, theatrical trailer.
Vitals: Director: Richard Shepard. Stars: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Luca Franzoni, Richard Graham, Nick Raggett, Simeon Moore.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 93 min., Crime Comedy, Box office gross: $.518 million, Fox.
Russell Crowe stars as Noah, the man chosen by his God to undertake the great task of saving animal species before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world. An interesting and exciting -- if controversial to some -- take on the Biblical epic.
Blu-ray extras: Three behind-the-scenes featurettes: "Iceland: Extreme Beauty," "The Ark Exterior: A Battle for 300 Cubits" and "The Ark Interior: Animals Two By Two."
Vitals: Director: Darren Aronofsky. Stars: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Logan Lerman, Nick Nolte.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 137 min., Drama, Box office gross: $99.877 million, Paramount.
The Other Woman
New York attorney Carly Whitten (Cameron Diaz) is nobody’s fool. So when she accidentally discovers that her too-good-to-be-true boyfriend Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is married, she's less than thrilled. Not only that, she and Mark's wife Kate (Leslie Mann) learn about yet another mistress (Kate Upton). Before long, however, the betrayed women have become unlikely pals who've decided to teach their three-timing man a lesson. The more the trio learns about Mark, the worse he seems, and the more fun they have without him as they plot mutual revenge.
Extras: Gag reel, "Giggle Fit," gallery. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes.
Vitals: Director: Nick Cassavetes. Stars: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kate Upton, Nicki Minaj, Don Johnson.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $81.112 million, Fox.
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.