OnVideo: OCTOBER's Top Movies
DOPEThis Sundance Film Festival favorite tells the story of Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a young man carefully surviving life in a tough Los Angeles neighborhood filled with gangsters and drug dealers, while juggling his senior year filed with college applications, interviews and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.
Director: Rick Famuyiwa. Stars: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Blake Anderson, Zoe Kravitz, Rakim Mayers. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 103 min., Comedy Drama, Box office gross: $16,726 million, Universal. Available: 10/13.
THE GALLOWSTwenty years after an accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play, students at the same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy -- but ultimately find out that some things are better left alone.
Director: Chris Lofing and Travis Cluff. Stars: Reese Mishler, Pfeifer Brown, Ryan Shoos, Cassidy Gifford. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 81 min., Horror, Box office gross: $22.581 million, Warner. Extras: "Charlie: Every School Has Its Spirit"; deleted scenes; gag reel. Blu-ray adds Lofing and Cluff's original feature length cut of the film, the "director's cut" that initially caught the attention of the film's producers and led to "The Gallows" worldwide theatrical release; concept, original version and theatrical trailers. Available: 10/13.
THE GIFTChilling psychological thriller that asks the question, "Can you really go through life having never wronged anyone?" Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going as planned until a chance run-in with Simon's high school acquaintance sends their world into a tailspin. At first Simon doesn't recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton), but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. As Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between Simon and Gordo, she starts to contemplate: HSow well do we really know those closest to us, and are bygones ever really bygones?
Director: Joel Edgerton. Stars: Jason Bateman, Rebecca Hall, Joel Edgerton, Allison Tolman, Tim Griffin. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 108 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $42.349 million, Universal. Blu-ray extras: Alternate ending, deleted scenes, "Karma for Bullies," "The Darker Side of Jason Bateman," trailers, commentary with writer-director Joel Edgerton. Available: 10/27.
JURASSIC WORLDShattering records globally, "Jurassic World" crushed the opening-weekend boxoffice, scoring the highest domestic, international and worldwide openings of all time. The film has taken in more than $1.6 billion globally to become the third-highest grossing film in history. Twenty-two years after the abortive opening of Jurassic Park, an even bigger and enormously popular attraction has risen on Isla Nubar: Jurassic World. To keep attendance high, the park operators introduce a new, genetically modified hybrid creature called Indominus Rex. Bigger, stronger and far more intelligent than any dinosaur that ever walked the earth, the secretive new breed also proves more dangerous than anyone ever anticipated. Chris Pratt stars as Owen Grady, the park's ex-military expert in animal behavior, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, Jurassic World's driven careerist, who have to team up to save the park's tourists when chaos erupts.
Director: Colin Trevorrow. Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, BD Wong, Judy Greer, Irrfan Khan. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 125 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $639.568 million, Universal. Extras: Deleted scenes; "Dinosaurs Roam Once Again" behind-the-scenes look at the making of "Jurassic World's" visual effects and how the dinosaurs came to life; "Chris & Colin Take On The World" in which Chris Pratt and director Colin Trevorrow interview each other and discuss "Jurassic World" as well as the other "Jurassic Park" movies. Blu-ray adds "Welcome to Jurassic World" in-depth take on the creation, look and feel of "Jurassic World" Director Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg discuss how the idea of the film came together and how the casting was decided;" Jurassic World: All-Access Pass" in which Pratt and Trevorrow discuss key moments in the film, supported by behind-the-scenes footage and VFX breakdowns; "Innovation Center Tour With Chris Pratt"; "Jurassic's Closest Shaves" with clips from all the films in the franchise showing "near death" or extremely scary encounters with dinosaurs. Available: 10/20.
MAGIC MIKE XXLPicking up the story three years after Mike (Channing Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, "Magic Mike XXL" finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house in one last blow-out performance in Myrtle Beach, and with legendary headliner Magic Mike sharing the spotlight with them. On the road to their final show, with whistle stops in Jacksonville and Savannah to renew old acquaintances and make new friends, Mike and the guys learn some new moves and shake off the past in surprising ways. Sequel to the 2012 surprise hit.
Director: Gregory Jacobs. Stars: Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez,Gabriel Iglesias, Amber Heard, Donald Glover, Stephen "Twitch" Boss , Michael Strahan, Andie MacDowell Elizabeth Banks, Jada Pinkett Smith. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 115 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $65.655 million, Warner. Extras: "The Moves of Magic Mike XXL," "Georgia." Blu-ray adds extended Malik dance scene. Available: 10/06.
MARVEL'S AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRONGood intentions wreak havoc when Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) unwittingly creates Ultron (James Spader), a terrifying A.I. monster who vows to achieve "world peace" via mass extinction. Now, Iron Man, Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) -- alongside Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) -- must reassemble to defeat Ultron and save mankind ... if they can!
Director: Joss Whedon. Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 141 min., Action, Box office gross: $456.282 million, Disney. Extras: Making-of featurette. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, more making-of Featurettes, gag reel, commentary. Available: 10/02.
MAXA precision-trained military dog, Max serves on the frontlines in Afghanistan alongside his handler, U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott. But when things go terribly wrong on maneuvers, Kyle is mortally wounded and Max, traumatized by the loss of his best friend, is unable to remain in service. Sent stateside, the only human he seems willing to connect with is Kyle's teenage brother, Justin, so Max is saved when he is adopted by Kyle's family. But Justin has issues of his own, including living up to his father's expectations, and he isn't interested in taking responsibility for his brother's troubled dog. However, Max may be Justin's only chance to discover what really happened to his brother that day on the front, and with the help of Carmen, a tough-talking young teen who has a way with dogs, Justin begins to appreciate his canine companion. Justin's growing trust in Max helps the four-legged veteran revert back to his heroic self, and as the pair race to unravel the mystery, they find more excitement -- and danger -- than they bargained for.
Director: Boaz Yakin. Stars: Josh Wiggins, Lauren Graham, Thomas Haden Church, Luke Kleintank, Robbie Amell, Mia Xitlali. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 111 min., Action Adventure, Box office gross: $40.808 million, MGM/Warner. Extras: "Working with Max": Meet the dogs that play Max and see inside tricks of the trade. Blu-ray adds "Hero Dogs: A Journey" behind-the-scenes look at amazing military trained K9s. Available: 10/27.
PAPER TOWNSAdapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green ("The Fault in Our Stars"), this is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one. After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears -- leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher. The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving. Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship -- and true love.
Director: Jake Schreier. Stars: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, Justice Smith, Austin Abrams, Halston Sage, Jaz Sinclair. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Romantic Drama, Box office gross: $31.233 million, Fox. Available: 10/20.
PIXELSWhen intergalactic aliens misinterpret video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them, they attack the Earth, using the games as models for their various assaults. President Will Cooper (Kevin James) has to call on his childhood best friend, 80s video game champion Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), now a home theater installer, to lead a team of old-school arcaders (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) to defeat the aliens and save the planet. Joining them is Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist supplying the arcaders with unique weapons to fight the aliens.
Director: Chris Columbus. Stars: Adam Sandler, Michelle Monaghan, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Kevin James, Ashley Benson, Jane Krakowski, Brian Cox, Lainie Kazan, Sean Bean. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Animated/Family/Sci Fi, Box office gross: $73.990 million, Sony. Extras: Two featurettes: "Q*Bert," the adorable digital bit hopper comes to life; "Dojo Quest" look at the new classic arcade game that gave life to the unstoppable Lady Lisa; "Game On" music video by Waka Flocka Flame ft. Good Charlotte. Blu-ray adds Six more featurettes: "The Creator of the Machine" in which PAC-MAN creator Toru Iwatani goes on-set with a cameo, and discusses his experience and his take on "Pixels"; "The Space Invader" winner of an arcade contest had a walk on role in the film; "PAC-MAN" detailed look at the PAC-MAN action sequence; "Donkey Kong" stunts;behind-the-scenes "Centipede" giant insect attack; inside look at "Galaga," the 80 arcade favorite that leads the alien invasion. Available: 10/27.
SAN ANDREASAfter the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter. But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over ... it's just getting started.
Director: Brad Peyton. Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, Ioan Gruffudd, Archie Panjabi, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson, Paul Giamatti. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 114 min., Action, Box office gross: $150.001 million, New Line Cinema/Warner. Extras: Commentary by director Brad Peyton, "San Andreas: The Real Fault Line," "Dwayne Johnson to the Rescue," "Scoring the Quake," deleted scenes, gag reel, stunt reel. Available: 10/13.
TOMORROWLANDBound by a shared destiny, a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor jaded by disillusionment embark on a danger-filled mission to save our world from danger by unearthing the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory as "Tomorrowland."
Director: Brad Bird. Stars: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Raffey Cassidy, Hugh Laurie, Tim McGraw. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 130 min., Sci-Fi, Box office gross: $93.019 million, Disney. Extras: "Brad Bird Production Diaries: Diary Entry #3 – NASA," "Blast from the Past Commercial." Blu-ray adds "Remembering the Future: A Personal Journey Through Tomorrowland With Brad Bird"; "Casting Tomorrowland"; "A Great Big Beautiful Scoring Session"; "The World of Tomorrow Science Hour" hosted by futurologist David Nix; Animated short: "The Origins of Plus Ultra"; "Brad Bird Production Diaries: Diary Entry #1 – The First Day," "Diary Entry #2 – Tomorrowland vs. the Weather," "Diary Entry #3 – NASA"; eight deleted scenes; four Easter Eggs. Available: 10/13.
All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Universal Blu-ray Player, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.
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October 1, 2015