The untold story of the iconic villain from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty." A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land's fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal -- an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king's successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora (Elle Fanning). As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent's true happiness as well.
Extras: "Aurora: Becoming a Beauty" in which Elle Fanning reveals her lifelong love of Disney's original animated classic. Blu-ray adds "From Fairy Tale to Feature Film": Reimagining Maleficent for a new generation, "Building an Epic Battle": Creating the clash between Maleficent and King Henry's forces, "Classic Couture" examines Maleficent's head wraps and jewelry, "Maleficent Revealed" explore the layers of extraordinary special effects, deleted scenes.
Vitals: Director: Robert Stromberg. Stars: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Juno Temple, Sharlto Copley, Peter Capaldi, Brenton Thwaites, Ella Purnell, Imelda Staunton, Sam Riley. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 97 min., Fantasy Adventure, Box office gross: $230.339 million, Disney.
A Most Wanted Man
Hamburg, Germany: 2012. A mysterious, tortured and near-dead half-Chechen, half-Russian man on the run (Grigoriy Dobrygin) arrives in the city's Islamic community desperate for help and looking to recover his late Russian father's ill-gotten fortune. Nothing about this young man seems to add up; is he a victim or a thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction? Both German and U.S. security agencies take a close interest: as the clock ticks down and the stakes rise, the race is on to establish this most wanted man's true identity. Drawn into this web of intrigue are a banker (Willem Dafoe) and a young female lawyer (Rachel McAdams) who is determined to defend the defenseless. All the while, they are being watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who fights to put the pieces together as the clock ticks. In an adrenaline laced and heart-rending escalation of tension and collision, it's not long before he becomes everyone's most wanted man. John Le Carre's cerebral tale of intrigue and spying is also a contemporary and deeply human meditation on love, rivalry and the politics we live with every day.
Extras: "The Making of A Most Wanted Man" featurette,
"Spymaster: John Le Carre in Hamburg" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Anton Corbijn. Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Grigoriy Dobrygin, Willem Dafoe, Robin Wright, Daniel Bruhl, Martin Wuttke, Nina Hoss, Rainer Bock, Kostja Ullmann.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 121 min., Suspense/Drama, Box office gross: $15.920 million, Lionsgate.
Planes: Fire & Rescue
Follow-up to last year's hit "Planes." When world-famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his team, a bunch of all-terrain vehicles known as The Smokejumpers. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire, and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.
Extras: Exclusive Animated Short "Vitaminamulch: Air Spectacular"; "Welcome to Piston Peak!" mock-umentary promotional piece that shows off all the highlights of the Piston Peak National Park and its aerial firefighting team; "CHoPs" TV Promo; "Air Attack: Firefighters From The Sky" behind-the-scenes piece that takes an inside look at the real smoke jumpers and firefighters; Spencer Lee Music Video "Still I Fly"; two deleted scenes; animated shorts: "Dipper," "Smokejumpers."
Vitals: Director: Roberts Gannaway. Stars: Voices of Dane Cook, Julie Bowen, Ed Harris, Captain Dale Dye, Cedric the Entertainer, Erik Estrada, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, John Michael Higgins, Hal Holbrook, Stacy Keach, Regina King, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Wes Studi.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 83 min., Animated, Box office gross: $52.950 million, Disney.
The story of Hercules after his famous 12 labors. Haunted by a sin from his past, Hercules has become a mercenary. Along with five faithful companions, he travels ancient Greece selling his services for gold and using his legendary reputation to intimidate enemies. But when the benevolent ruler of Thrace and his daughter seek Hercules' help to defeat a savage and terrifying warlord, Hercules finds that in order for good to triumph and justice to prevail, he must again become the hero he once was.
Blu-ray extras: Commentary by director Brett Ratner and producer Beau Flynn, "Brett Ratner and Dwayne Johnson: An Introduction," "Hercules and his Mercenaries" featurette, "Weapons!" featurette, "The Bessi Battle" behind-the-scenes featurette, "The Effects of Hercules," 15 deleted/extended scenes.
Vitals: Director: Brett Ratner. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Tobias Santelmann, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolso Berdal.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: 98, PG-13 min., Action, Box office gross: $72.385 million, Paramount.
Clint Eastwood's big-screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. The story of their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the songs that influenced a generation, including "Sherry," "Big Girls Don’t Cry," "Walk Like a Man," "Dawn," "Rag Doll," "Bye Bye Baby," "Who Loves You," and many more. Stars John Lloyd Young, who reprises his Tony Award-winning portrayal of the legendary lead singer of The Four Seasons, Frankie Valli; Erich Bergen stars as Bob Gaudio, who wrote or co-wrote all of the group's biggest hits; Michael Lomenda and Vincent Piazza star respectively as Nick Massi and Tommy DeVito, two original members of The Four Seasons; Christopher Walken stars as mobster Gyp DeCarlo.
Extras: "Oh, What A Night to Remember" featurette. Blu-ray adds "From Broadway to the Big Screen" featurette, "Too Good to Be True" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Clint Eastwood. Stars: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza, Christopher Walken, Mike Doyle, Steve Monroe, Steve Schirripa, James Madio, Kathrine Narducci, Jeremy Luke, Freya Tingley. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 134 min., Musical/BioDrama, Box office gross: $46.772 million, Warner.
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The second chapter of the "How to Train Your Dragon" trilogy returns to the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years after the two have successfully united dragons and Vikings on the island of Berk. While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island's new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace. Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.
Vitals: Director: Dean DeBlois. Stars: Voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, T.J. Miller, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Jonah Hill, Craig Fergusion, Kristen Wiig.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 102 min., Animated Family/Comedy/Fantasy, Box office gross: $174.725 million, DreamWorks/Fox.
Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) is having a bad day. She’s totaled her clunker car, gotten fired from her thankless job at a greasy burger joint and, instead of finding comfort at home, finds her husband getting comfortable with the neighbor in her own house. It's time to take her boom box and book it. The bad news is she's broke and without wheels. Her only way out is with her hard-partying grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon), who has a car, cash, and an itch to see Niagara Falls -- leading to a road trip neither will ever forget.
Extras: Gag reel. Blu-ray adds extended cut, "Tammy's Road Trip Checklist," deleted scenes, fun extras.
Vitals: Director: Ben Falcone. Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Dan Aykroyd, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Toni Collette, Nat Faxon.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $81.530 million, Warner.
Let's Be Cops
When two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party, they become neighborhood sensations. But when the newly-minted "heroes" get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.
Extras: "Brothers in Blue" featurette, commentary by director Luke Greenfield, commentary by co-writer Nicholas Thomas, theatrical trailer, image gallery. Blu-ray adds deleted and alternate scenes, "Let's Be Cops" camera test, "Real Funny" featurette.
Vitals: Director: Luke Greenfield. Stars: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Nina Dobrev, James D'Arcy, Andy Garcia, Rob Riggle.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 104 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $79.628 million, Fox.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Straight from the pages of Frank Miller's cutting edge series "Sin City," co-directors Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez reunite to bring the visually stunning stories back to the screen, weaving together two of Miller's classic stories with new tales. Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) struggles with his inner demons and tries to maintain control until his former lover, the goddess Ava Lord (Eva Green), returns wanting his help to escape her abusive husband. Though once he learns her true intentions are far more sinister than they appear, he recruits the help of Marv (Mickey Rourke) and Gail (Rosario Dawson). Meanwhile, a cocky young gambler (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) takes his chances winning against the most powerful man in Sin City, Senator Roark (Powers Boothe). But this is the least of problems for Senator Roark because Nancy Callahan (Jessica Alba) has been driven insane by John Hartigan's (Bruce Willis) selfless suicide and is no longer a damsel in distress, but is out for blood, compelled to avenge Hartigan by hunting down Senator Roark.
Vitals: Director: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller. Stars: Jessica Alba, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Rosario Dawson, Eva Green, Jeremy Piven, Jaime King, Bruce Willis, Dennis Haysbert, Powers Boothe, Ray Liotta, Stacy Keach, Lady Gaga, Jamie Chung, Juno Temple, Alexa Pena, Christopher Meloni, Marton Csokas.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 102 min., Crime-Thriller, Box office gross: $13.754 million, Anchor Bay.
22 Jump Street
After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) when they go deep undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. Now they don't have to just crack the case - they have to figure out if they can have a mature relationship. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them.
Extras: Commentary with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum; five deleted & extended scenes; "The Perfect Couple of Directors" featurette; "Line-O-Rama: Schmidt and Tattoo Art." Blu-ray adds 17 additional deleted & extended scenes; six additional featurettes: "Everything is Better in College" look at Jenko and Schmidt’s undercover transformation into college students, "Janning and Chonah" dives into the relationship of the film's two stars, "New Recruits: Casting 22 Jump Street," "The Perfect Line: Ad-libbing on Set," "Don’t Cry Yet: The Mr. Walters Prison Scene" with unfiltered improvisation that occurred while filming the Mr. Walters prison scene, and "The Dramatic Interpretation of 22 Jump Street" version of the film (with all jokes removed); "Joke-a-Palooza" montage of jokes cut from the film; four more "Line-O-Ramas"; two videos: "Zook & McQuaid's Football Tape" and "Jenko Split."
Vitals: Director: Chris Miller and Phil Lord. Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Nick Offerman, Dave Franco, Peter Stormare, Sal Longobardo, Wyatt Russell, Richard Grieco, Amber Stevens.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Action-Comedy, Box office gross: $190.822 million, Sony.
The Wind Rises
In "The Wind Rises," Jiro dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni. Nearsighted and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world's most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film chronicles much of his life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan's plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko, and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo. Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.
Extras: "The Wind Rises: Behind the Microphone." Blu-ray adds storyboards; original japanese trailers and TV spots; announcement of the completion of the film.
Vitals: Director: Hayao Miyazaki. Stars: Voices of: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, Elijah Wood, Jennifer Grey, Mae Whitman, Werner Herzog, William H. Macy.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Animated Drama, Box office gross: $5.220 million, Studio Ghibli/Disney.
Into the Storm
In the span of just a few hours, the city of Silverton is ravaged by an unprecedented onslaught of the most furious twisters they've ever seen. The entire town is at the mercy of the erratic and deadly cyclones, even as storm trackers predict the worst is yet to come. Most people seek shelter, while others run toward the vortex, testing how far a storm chaser will go for that once-in-a-lifetime shot. Told through the eyes and lenses of professional storm chasers, thrill-seeking amateurs, and courageous townspeople, the actioner throws you directly into the eye of the storm to experience Mother Nature at her most extreme.
Extras: "Fake Storms: Real Conditions" featurette. Blu-ray adds "Into the Storm: Tornado Files," "Titus: The Ultimate Chasing Vehicle."
Vitals: Director: Steven Quale. Stars: Richard Armitage, Sarah Wayne Callies, Matt Walsh, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Arlen Escarpeta, Max Deacon, Nathan Kress, Jeremy Sumpter, Kyle Davis, Jon Reep.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 89 min., Action, Box office gross: $46.659 million, Warner.
If I Stay
Romantic film based on the best-selling novel. Seventeen-year-old Mia Hall (Chloe Grace Moretz) thought the hardest decision she would ever face would be whether to pursue her musical dreams at Juilliard or follow a different path to be with the love of her life, Adam (Jamie Blackley). But what should have been a carefree family drive changes everything in an instant, and now her own life hangs in the balance. Caught between life and death for one revealing day, Mia has only one decision left, which will not only decide her future but her ultimate fate.
Extras: "Never Coming Down" music video, free download of the song "Mind" from the "If I Stay" soundtrack, deleted scenes, commentary by R.J. Cutler and Alison Greenspan, music commentary, image gallery, theatrical trailer. Blu-ray adds "I Never Wanted to Go" music montage, three-part "Beyond the Page" featurette with interviews with the cast, crew and author Gayle Forman ("The Love of Music," "Adapting If I Stay," "An Out of Body Experience"). Vitals: Director: R.J. Cutler. Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard, Liana Liberato, Stacy Keach, Gabrielle Rose, Jakob Davies. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 123 min., Drama, Box office gross: $49.128 million, Fox.
And So It Goes
There are a million reasons not to like realtor Oren Little (Michael Douglas), and that's just the way he likes it. Willfully obnoxious to anyone who might cross his path, he wants nothing more than to sell one last house and retire in peace and quiet -- until his estranged son suddenly drops off a granddaughter (Sterling Jerins) he never knew existed and turns his life upside-down. Clueless about how to care for a sweet, abandoned 9-year-old, he pawns her off on his determined and lovable neighbor Leah (Diane Keaton) and tries to resume his life uninterrupted. But little by little, Oren stubbornly learns to open his heart -- to his family, to Leah, and to life itself.
Vitals: Director: Rob Reiner. Stars: Diane Keaton, Michael Douglas, Yaya Alafia, Sterling Jerins, Frances Sternhagen, Paloma Guzman.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 94 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $15.155 million, Fox.
The November Man
Thriller set in the ruthless world of international espionage. Code named The November Man, Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan) is a lethal and highly trained ex-CIA agent, who has been living in Switzerland. When Devereaux is lured out of retirement to safeguard a beautiful witness targeted for assassination (Olga Kurylenko), he's drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse with his former friend and protege David Mason (Luke Bracey). With no one to trust, Peter must survive Mason's relentless assault, and root out a suspected CIA mole who may pose the greatest threat of all.
Vitals: Director: Roger Donaldson. Stars: Pierce Brosnan, Luke Bracey, Olga Kurylenko, Bill Smitrovich, Amila Terzimehic.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 153 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $24.823, million, Fox.
Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas
Madea gets coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas, but the biggest surprise is what they'll find when they arrive. As the small, rural town prepares for its annual Christmas Jubilee, new secrets are revealed and old relationships are tested while Madea dishes her own brand of Christmas Spirit to all.
Extras: First look at "Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love," Tyler Perry's first animated feature; "Jolly Follies" behind-the-scenes featurette.
Vitals: Director: Tyler Perry. Stars: Tyler Perry, Chad Michael Murray, Alicia Witt, Eric Lively, Kathy Najimy, Tika Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy.
2013, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $52.528 million, Lionsgate.
The Expendables 3
Barney (Sylvester Stallone), Christmas (Jason Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Mel Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill ... or so he thought. Stonebanks, who eluded death once before, now is making it his mission to end The Expendables -- but Barney has other plans. Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables' most personal battle yet.
Blu-ray extras: "The Expendables 3" documentary, "New Blood: Stacked and Jacked" featurette, "The Total Action Package" featurette, "Christmas Runs the Gauntlet" extended scene, gag reel.
Vitals: Director: Patrick Hughes. Stars: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Antonio Banderas, Kelsey Grammer, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Kellan Lutz , Ronda Rousey, Glen Powell, Victor Ortiz, Robert Davi, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 126 min., Action, Box office gross: $38.988 million, Lionsgate.
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.