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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, February 16 -- Monday, February 22

All DVD Releases

  • Trumbo

    photo for Trumbo The Hollywood Blacklist -- the persecution of Hollywood screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other entertainment professionals for their political beliefs -- destroyed careers and families for more than a decade, beginning in 1947 when the House Un-American Activities Committee began investigating "Communist infiltration" of Hollywood's creative community. "Trumbo" is a stirring dramatization of the fight by Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) -- one of the most successful screenwriters of the 1940s -- against the U.S. government and the studio bosses who strangled his livelihood by blacklisting him -- and nine others, collectively known as the "Hollywood 10" (though there were scores of others who were blacklisted, the "Hollywood 10" were the most visible at the time, being singled out for refusing to testify before Congress and refusing to "name names"). A tour-de-force performance by Cranston -- and an over-the-top supporting performance by John Goodman as an exploitation-film producer who supports Trumbo during the Blacklist. Cranston has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. Vitals: Director: Jay Roach. Stars: Bryan Cranston, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Alan Tudyk, John Goodman, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dean O'Gorman, Michael Stuhlbarg. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 124 min., Drama, Box office gross: $7.361 million, Universal. Extras: "Who is Trumbo?", "Bryan Cranston Becomes Trumbo.". 3 stars


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  • Steve Jobs

    photo for Steve Jobs "Steve Jobs" is an interesting if not in-depth look at Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple and one of the chief architects of the digital age. The film -- almost a theatre piece, with its emphasis on dialogue over action and its three-act structure -- is set backstage at three iconic product launches spearheaded by Jobs: the launch of the Macintosh in 1984, the unveiling of NeXT computers in 1988, and the release of the iMac in 1997. At each juncture Jobs interacts with marketing chief Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet), Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen), Apple CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), his daughter Lisa Brennan and his ex-lover Chrisaan Brennan. Though based on Walter Isaacson's well-rounded, best-selling biography of Jobs, this Danny Boyle-directed film -- written by Aaron Sorkin, who also wrote "The Social Network" -- depicts the man solely as a self-centered jerk who was "cruel and inhumane" to everyone around him. It's a narrow view of the visionary who gave us the iPod and the iPhone, and though mildly entertaining, it's forgettable filmmaking. "Steve Jobs" has garnered Oscar nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Fassbender and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Kate Winslet. Vitals: Director: Danny Boyle. Stars: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Drama, Box office gross: $17.766 million, Universal. Extras: "Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs," commentary with director Danny Boyle, commentary with writer Aaron Sorkin and editor Elliot Graham. 2 stars

  • The 33

    photo for The 33 A by-the-book and unimaginative dramatization of the plight of the 33 miners who had been buried alive for 69 days by the catastrophic explosion and collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine in Chile in 2010. During the ordeal, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, waited and watched anxiously for any sign of hope. The film is based on the story by Jose Rivera and the book "Deep Down Dark" by Hector Tobar, and was filmed on location -- with the cooperation of the miners, their families and their rescuers -- in Chile's harshly remote yet stunningly beautiful Atacama desert just kilometers away from where the event took place, and deep within two mines located in central Colombia. Vitals: Director: Patricia Riggen. Stars: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips,Bob Gunton, Gabriel Byrne. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 127 min., Drama, Box office gross: $12.188 million, Warner. Extras: "The 33 The World Was Watching," theatrical trailer. Blu-ray adds "The Mine Collapse." 2 stars

  • Black Mass

    photo for Black Mass Dramatization, "ripped from the headlines," of the life of James "Whitey" Bulger, a vicious and ruthless Boston gangster who collaborated with the FBI in order to eliminate the Italian mob; this unholy alliance gave Bulger carte blanche to murder and pillage at will. Though the crime thriller boasts a great performance by Johnny Depp as Bulger, the film pretty much has no reason for existing. Vitals: Director: Scott Cooper. Stars: Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: R, 122 min., Drama, Box office gross: $62.575 million, Warner. Extras: "Johnny Depp: Becoming Whitey Bulger" featurette. Blu-ray adds "The Manhunt for Whitey Bulger," "Black Mass: Deepest Cover, Darkest Crime." 2 stars




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    All DVD Releases

    Black Mass (2015) Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon. The true story of Whitey Bulger, the brother of a state senator and the most infamous violent criminal in the history of South Boston, who became an FBI informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Johnny Depp: Becoming Whitey Bulger" featurette. Blu-ray adds "The Manhunt for Whitey Bulger," "Black Mass: Deepest Cover, Darkest Crime." (Warner).

    The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2015) This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party ... and the group and its leadership remain powerful and enduring images in our popular imagination. This documentary weaves together the voices of those involved with the Panthers: police informants, journalists, white supporters and detractors, those who remained loyal to the party, and those who left it. Features firsthand accounts from participants, including Kathleen Cleaver, the first communications secretary of the Black Panther Party, Elaine Brown, former Black Panther Party chairman (1974-1977), Emory Douglas, the Black Panther party's minister of culture and chief art director for the party s newspaper, and others.Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (PBS Distribution).

    photo for The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series The Brady Kids: The Complete Animated Series (1972-73) The members of the original Brady Bunch cast returned to voice their iconic roles for 22 episodes of this animated series. When the six Brady kids befriend a magical bird and two panda cubs, their adventures become more amazing than ever: they travel to ancient Greece, blast off for an out-of-this-world trip and help thwart a bank robbery. Formats: Three-disc DVD. (Shout! Factory).

    Criminal Activities (2015) John Travolta, Michael Pitt, Dan Stevens, Christopher Abbott, Rob Brown, Edi Gathegi, Jackie Earle Haley. Four friends stumble into a deal too good to refuse, but when their investment goes bad, they learn that part of their funding came from a notoriously ruthless crime boss ... and it's payback time. Now they must successfully kidnap a family member of a rival kingpin in order to erase the life-threatening debt. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD. (RLJ Entertainment).

    Death By Hanging (1968) Genius provocateur Nagisa Oshima ("In the Realm of the Senses"), an influential figure in the Japanese New Wave of the 1960s, made one of his most startling political statements with this compelling pitch-black satire. In this macabre farce, a Korean man is sentenced to death in Japan but survives his execution, sending the authorities into a panic about what to do next. At once disturbing and oddly amusing, Oshima's constantly surprising film is a subversive and surreal indictment of both capital punishment and the treatment of Korean immigrants in his country. New, restored 4K digital transfer, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New interview with critic Tony Rayns, new high-definition digital transfer of director Nagisa Oshima's 1965 experimental short documentary "Diary of Yunbogi," trailer, booklet with an essay by critic Howard Hampton. (The Criterion Collection).

    photo for Estranged Estranged (2015) Amy Manson, James Cosm, Craig Conway, James Lance, Eileen Nicholas. After years of partying abroad, a terrible accident has January (Amy Manson) confined to a wheelchair, with no memory of her past, her family, or the stately manor that was once her home. But something isn’t right. They say she ran away, but won’t tell her why. Her sister wishes she’d never come home. They’re locking her in at night. And the way her brother looks at her ... Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. Extras: Making-of featurette. (Well Go USA).

    Girls: The Complete Fourth Season (2015) Two-disc set with all 10 episodes of the series that follows the misadventures of a group of twenty-something friends in and out of NYC. This season finds the girls tentatively edging towards maturity as they take on new personas in new worlds. As the season begins, Hannah (Lena Dunham) leaves New York to attend the prestigious Iowa Writers' Workshop in the hopes of becoming a more serious writer, while confronting uncertainty in her relationship photo for Girls: The Complete Fourth Season with Adam (Adam Driver). Meanwhile, back in New York, Marnie (Allison Williams) pursues a music career while balancing her professional and romantic relationship with Desi (Ebon Moss-Bachrach); Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) graduates and begins interviewing for jobs, while sorting out her relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky); and Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is trying out sobriety through AA, though her ability to stir up drama remains undiminished. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc Digital. Extras: Episodic recaps, Season 3 recap, "Inside the Episodes," seven commentaries with cast and crew including Lena Dunham, Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Zosia Mamet and more. Blu-ray adds deleted & extended scenes, gag reels, "The Making of Girls," Marnie & Desi's full "Breathless" performance, Marnie's solo "Riverside" performance. (HBO).



    Hatched (2016) Voices of Jeff Foxworthy and Sean Astin. Three young chicks -- Cluck Norris, Chickpea and Tiny SchwarzHENegger -- are determined to show everyone that chickens really can fly, but when their tiny alien pal, Magic, is in danger, the young feathered trio join the efforts of their animal neighbors to save their home and their friend from the "fowlest" of villains. Formats: DVD. (Cinedigm).

    The Iron Ministry (2014) Filmed over three years on China's railways, J. P. Sniadecki's masterful documentary traces the vast interiors of a country on the move: flesh and metal, clangs and squeals, light and dark, language and gesture. Scores of rail journeys come together into one, capturing the thrills and anxieties of social and technological transformation. "The Iron Ministry" immerses audiences in fleeting relationships and uneasy encounters between humans and machines on what will soon be the world's largest railway network. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Formats: DVD. (Icarus Films).

    The Kid (1921) Charlie Chaplin was already an international star when he decided to break out of the short-film format and make his first full-length feature. The Kid doesn't merely show Chaplin at a turning point, when he proved that he was a serious film director — it remains an expressive masterwork of silent cinema. In it, he stars as his lovable Tramp character, this time raising an orphan (a remarkable young Jackie Coogan) he has rescued from the streets. Chaplin and Coogan make a miraculous pair in this nimble marriage of sentiment and slapstick, a film that is, as its opening title card states, "a picture with a smile—and perhaps, a tear." New 4K digital restoration of Charlie Chaplin's 1972 re-release version of the film, featuring an original score by Chaplin, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New audio commentary featuring Chaplin historian Charles Maland; "Jackie Coogan: The First Child Star," a new video essay by Chaplin historian Lisa Haven; "A Study in Undercranking," a new piece featuring silent-film specialist Ben Model; interviews with Coogan and actor Lita Grey Chaplin; excerpted audio interviews with cinematographer Rollie Totheroh and film distributor Mo Rothman; deleted scenes and titles from the original 1921 version of "The Kid"; "Charlie on the Ocean,'" a 1921 newsreel documenting Chaplin's first return trip to Europe; footage of Chaplin conducting his score for "The Kid"; "Nice and Friendly," a 1922 silent short featuring Chaplin and Coogan, presented with a new score by composer Timothy Brock; trailers; booklet with an essay by film historian Tom Gunning. (The Criterion Collection).

    photo for Labyrinth of Lies Labyrinth of Lies (2014 -- Germany) Alexander Fehling. Drama exposes the post-war conspiracy of prominent German institutions and government branches to cover up the crimes of Nazis during World War II. Germany 1958. In those years, "Auschwitz" was a word that some people had never heard of, and others wanted to forget as quickly as possible. Against the will of his immediate superior, young prosecutor Johann Radmann begins to examine the case of a recently identified teacher who was a former Auschwitz guard. Radmann soon lands in a web of repression and denial, but also of idealization. He devotes himself with utmost commitment to his new task and is resolved to find out what really happened. He oversteps boundaries, falls out with friends, colleagues and allies, and is sucked deeper and deeper into a labyrinth of lies and guilt in his search for the truth. But what he ultimately brings to light will change the country forever. Germany's Academy Award entry for Best Foreign-language Film. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. Extras: Commentary with director Giulio Ricciarelli and Aactor Alexander Fehling, Jewish Film Festival Q & A with Ricciarelli and Fehling, deleted scenes. (Sony).

    photo for McHale's Navy/McHale's Navy Joins The Air Force McHale's Navy/McHale's Navy Joins The Air Force Double feature with 1964's "McHale's Navy", in which the crew finds themselves in deep trouble when a well-meaning plot to save an orphanage backfires and leaves them up to their necks in debt and McHale (Ernest Borgnine) and the boys have a new scheme up their sleeve to save their skins. In the 1965 follow-up, "McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force", a series of snafus finds the hapless Ensign Parker (Tim Conway) in a case of mistaken identity when he switches uniforms with a pilot ... and the Air Force gains an airhead. Formats: DVD. (Shout! Factory).

    The Mutilator (1985) Although the slasher film was in decline by the mid-1980s, there were still some grisly delights to be had... and they don't come much grislier than writer-director Buddy Cooper's sickening stalk-and-slash classic. When Ed receives a message from his father asking him to go and lock up the family's beach condo for the winter, it seems like the perfect photo for The Mutilator excuse for an alcohol-fuelled few days away with his friends. After all, his dad has forgiven him for accidentally blowing mom away with a shotgun several years ago ... hasn't he? But no sooner are the teens on the island than they find themselves stalked by a figure with an axe (and a hook, and an onboard motor) to grind ... Originally entitled Fall Break (watch out for the incongruous theme song of the same name), "The Mutilator" has earned a reputation amongst horror fans as one of the "holy grails" of 80s splatter mayhem due to its highly inventive (and not to say, decidedly gruesome) kill sequences, courtesy of FX wizard Mark Shostrom ("Videodrome", "Evil Dead II"). In a new 2K restoration from original vault materials of the R-rated and Unrated versions of the film. Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray). Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: New interviews with cast and crew; reversible sleeve featuring original artwork; fully-illustrated collector's booklet featuring new writing on the film alongside archive articles from Fangoria magazine. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).


    photo for Pray for Death Pray for Death (1985) Sho Kosugi, James Booth, Donna Kai Benz. Martial arts legend Sho Kosugi stars as a family man driven to exact vigilante justice -- ninja style. Akira (Kosugi) has brought his wife and two boys to the United States in search of a better life. But their slice of the American Dream is quickly soured when they fall foul of a group of jewelry thieves. Unfortunately for the bad guys, they didn't count on Akira being a secret black ninja. New digital transfers of the Unrated and R-rated versions with original uncompressed PCM Stereo 2.0 audio. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: "Sho and Tell Part 1: Birth of a Ninja" interview with Sho Kosugi, in which the star discusses the early stages of his film career, leading up to his role in "Pray for Death"; "Sho Kosugi on Martial Art Forms" an archive interview with Kosugi, including footage of his ninja demonstration from the 1985 New York premiere of "Pray for Death"; "Sho Kosugi Trailer Gallery"; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matthew Griffin. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).

    Steve Jobs (2015) Director: Danny Boyle. Stars: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels. Paints an intimate portrait of Apple's Steve Jobs, the brilliant man at the epicenter of the digital revolution, backstage in the final minutes before three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Inside Jobs: The Making of Steve Jobs," commentary with director Danny Boyle, commentary with writer Aaron Sorkin and editor Elliot Graham. (Universal).

    Taviani Brothers Collection "The Night of the Shooting Stars" (1982), "Kaos" (1984) and "Padre Padrone" (1993). In Italian with English subtitles. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Cohen Film Collection).

    The 33 (2015) In 2010, the eyes of the world turned to Chile, where 33 miners had been buried alive by the catastrophic explosion and collapse of a 100-year-old gold and copper mine. Over the next 69 days, an international team worked night and day in a desperate attempt to rescue the trapped men as their families and friends, as well as millions of people globally, waited and watched anxiously for any sign of hope. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "The 33 The World Was Watching," theatrical trailer. Blu-ray adds "The Mine Collapse." (Warner).

    photo for Togetherness: The Complete First Season Togetherness: The Complete First Season (2015) Two-disc set with all eight-episodes of the series that follows four adults living under one roof struggling to keep their relationships and dreams alive as they approach the age of forty. Created by Jay Duplass & Mark Duplass. In the series, Brett (Mark Duplass) is a straitlaced sound designer trying to rediscover himself while his wife Michelle (Melanie Lynskey) is eager to rekindle her passion for romance and life. Their lives are shaken up with the arrival of Michelle’s sister Tina (Amanda Peet), who comes to stay with them as she desperately tries to find a husband and get her bouncy-castle business off the ground, and Brett’s best friend Alex (Steve Zissis), who decides to give his stalled acting career one last try. Blending laughter and pathos, "Togetherness" shows the tragically comedic struggle to follow personal dreams while still remaining good friends, siblings, and spouses to each other. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Digital. (HBO).

    The Trials of Jimmy Rose (2015) Three-part miniseries. Ray Winstone plays Jimmy Rose, a career criminal newly free after 12 years in prison. Greeted with cold disdain from his wife, Jacki, Jimmy decides to stick to the terms of his parole: hold down a job and stay right in the eyes of the law. But when he finds out that his beloved granddaughter is in trouble, Jimmy will go to extraordinary lengths for his family. Formats: DVD. (Acorn Media).

    Trumbo (2015) Bryan Cranston, Louis C.K., Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Alan Tudyk, John Goodman, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Dean O'Gorman, Michael Stuhlbarg. In 1947, Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. The film recounts how Trumbo used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice of the blacklist. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Who is Trumbo?", "Bryan Cranston Becomes Trumbo." (Universal).

    photo for Wiener Dog Internationals (2015) Voices of Morgan Fairchild, Bryan Batt, Jason London. Dove Foundation-approved animated family adventure about Shelly, the U.S. wiener dog racing champion. The Jack family is at it again, as they enter the International World of Wiener Dog Racing. The kids sneak away to enter Shelly in the Internationals, and find themselves caught in a devious plot hatched by Miss Merryweather that may change wiener dog races forever. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Lionsgate).


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