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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, March 14 -- Monday, March 20

All DVD Releases

  • Elle

    photo for Elle "Elle" is one of the most deliciously wicked and nasty films of the year, featuring a terrifically convoluted scenario, great performances (including a tour-de-force turn by Isabelle Huppert, who received this year's Golden Globe for Best Actress), and lots of off-kilter sex. It's a psychological thriller that casts a jaundiced eye at marriage, family, business, and relations between the sexes. Michele (Huppert) is the strong-willed head of a leading French video game company, divorced from her husband, having an affair with her best friend's husband, emotionally estranged from her narcissistic mother, and financially responsible for her wimpy son. Her emotional baggage includes being the daughter of an infamous mass murderer, who is soon coming up for a parole hearing. After being attacked and raped in her home by an unknown assailant, Michele's life gets more complicated. Leery of contacting the authorities because of her previous bad experiences with the police, she resolutely tracks the man down on her own, leading to suspicious and at times violent confrontations with those around her. Director Paul Verhoeven has lost none of the directing hubris that was so on display in such films as "Turkish Delight," "Soldier of Orange," "RoboCop" and "Basic Instinct." Here he presents a host of characters (Elle in particular) who are so amoral, mean and selfish that you have difficulty liking any of them -- but like them you do. And, perversely, you get sucked into their lives. A stunning film. Vitals: Director: Paul Verhoeven. Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virgine Aefira. 2016 -- France, CC, MPAA rating: R, 130 min., Mystery/Thriller Box office gross: $1.107 million, Sony. Extras: "A Tale of Empowerment: Making Elle," "Celebrating an Icon: AFI’s Tribute to Isabelle Huppert." 3 stars


  • Passengers

    photo for Passengers "Passengers," a sci-fi yarn about an interstellar spaceship on a 90 year mission to a distant planet that malfunctions and wakes one of its hibernating passengers too early, is a B-film outing with an A-list cast and A-list special effects. The film begins as an existential journey when the Avalon, with some 5200 sleeping colonists and crew members headed across the galaxy, is bombarded by meteors, causing the computer to malfunction and awaken Jim (Chris Pratt), who, faced with nothing but robots and holograms, must eke out a lonely existence before figuring out a way to find companionship. That comes in the form of Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence), a writer also on her way to the new world. The rest of the film revolves around their love story and their subsequent efforts to save the now deteriorating spacecraft from destruction. Viewers looking for a "Star Wars" actioner will have to look elsewhere for their sci-fi fix; this is basically a love tale between two gorgeous people, set on a spaceship. There's solid acting by Pratt and Lawrence, and their chemistry holds the film together. Aside from the spectacular special effects that creates a "real" spaceship in "real" space, the film is fairly predictable. Vitals: Director: Morten Tyldum. Stars: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Inder Kumar, Jamie Soricelli. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 116 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $97.986 million, Sony. Extras: "Outtakes from the Set"; three featurettes: “Casting the Passengers,” “Creating the Avalon” and “On Set with Chris Pratt”; "Book Your Passage": Looking for a new life? Learn more about the Homestead Company. See what awaits you. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, “Space on Screen: The Visual Effects of Passengers” featurette. 2 stars

  • Fences

    photo for Fences Denzel Washington directed and stars in this adaptation of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson in 1950s Pittsburgh. Bitter that baseball's color barrier was only broken after his own heyday in the Negro Leagues, Maxson is prone to taking out his frustrations on his loved ones. Both Washington and co-star Viola Davis won Tonys for their performances in the 2010 revival of the play. Vitals: Director: Denzel Washington. Stars: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 139 min., Drama, Box office gross: $54.023 million, Paramount. Blu-ray extras: "Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen," "The Company of Fences," "Building Fences: Denzel Washington," "Playing the Part: Rose Maxson," "August Wilson’s Hill District." 3 stars

  • Collateral Beauty

    photo for Collateral Beauty When a successful New York advertising executive suffers a great tragedy, he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. Vitals: Director: David Frankel. Stars: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore, Ann Dowd. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 97 min., Drama, Box office gross: $30.982 million, Warner. Extras: "A Modern Fable: Discovering Collateral Beauty." 2 stars

    This Week's Digital Releases

    March 14:

    Elle: A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her.
    Fallen Stars: Indie drama that chronicles the unexpected friendship that develops between two lost souls, set largely in Los Angeles’ vibrant and off beat neighborhood of Koreatown.
    Harry Benson: Shoot First: Fascinating documentary follows the decades-long career of famed photographer Harry Benson, the man behind some of history's most iconic photos, including images of The Beatles, Winston Churchill, Muhammad Ali, Michael Jackson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and more.
    Patriots Day: The story of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible. (DVD, Blu-ray release: March 28)
    Silence: In the 17th century, two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to Japan in an attempt to locate their mentor, who is rumored to have committed apostasy, and to propagate Catholicism. (DVD, Blu-ray release: March 28)
    Why Him?: A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when an over-protective father realizes that his daughter's Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend is about to pop the question. (DVD, Blu-ray release: March 28)

    Read more.

    Blu-ray Debuts

  • Canoa: A Shameful Memory (Criterion)

    Read more.

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All DVD Releases

American Violence (2017) Denise Richards, Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau, Columbus Short, Johnny Messner, Michael Paré, Bruce Dern, Stipe Miocic, Rob Gronkowski. Thriller follows one man’s path to execution and the strong-minded doctor brought in to take a deeper look at the violent circumstances that have doomed him. Jackson Shea (Lyman-Mersereau) has lived a life of deceit, brutality and corruption. But when a series of chilling, violent events lands him on Death Row, Dr. Amanda Tyler, a psychologist (Denise Richards) must determine whether his violent behavior is inherent in his soul, or if he is able to be rehabilitated. As the interview commences, and Jack's fate hangs in the balance, Amanda must determine whether or not a stay of execution should be granted. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital. (Cinedigm).

Being 17 (2016 -- France) Dir.: André Téchiné; Sandrine Kiberlain, Kacey Mottet Klein, Corentin Fila. Damien and Thomas are French teenagers from very different upbringings who go to the same high school but can’t stand each other. When circumstances bring Damien’s mother Marianne to invite Thomas to live with them, the young men are forced to coexist and work through their emerging attraction and complicated desires. Formats: DVD. (Strand Releasing).

A Boatload of Wild Irishmen (2010) Credited as the father of modern documentary film, Robert Flaherty is also a controversial figure. The minute he chose to stage scenes in his seminal Inuit film project, "Nanook of the North," he was opening documentary's Pandora's Box. "A Boatload of Wild Irishmen" is an entertaining portrait of Flaherty that looks beyond standard polemical positions to present a complex view of the man and his work. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: A 16-page booklet with a new essay by noted film scholar, Brian Winston; three video extras: Ricky Leacock's final filmed interview; J.C. Boudreaux, the boy in Louisiana Story, remembers Flaherty; and thoughts on Flaherty and the Documentary. (Icarus Films). Read more.

Canoa: A Shameful Memory photo for Canoa: A Shameful Memory (1976 -- Mexico) One of Mexico's best-regarded works of political cinema, "Canoa: A Shameful Memory" reimagines a real-life incident that had occurred just eight years before its release, when a group of urban university employees on a hiking trip were viciously attacked by residents of the village of San Miguel de Canoa, who had been manipulated by a corrupt priest into believing the travelers were communist revolutionaries. Intercutting footage from a fictional documentary about the village with gruesome scenes of the crime itself, director Felipe Cazals produced a daring commentary on the climate of violence and repression in Mexico during that era, including the military's infamous massacre of demonstrating students in Tlatelolco, Mexico City. With its gritty newsreel style, Canoa is a visceral expression of horror as well as an important historical document. New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Felipe Cazals, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New introduction by filmmaker Guillermo del Toro; new conversation between filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón and Cazals; trailer; an essay by critic Fernanda Solórzano. (The Criterion Collection).

Collateral Beauty (2016) Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore, Ann Dowd. Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "A Modern Fable: Discovering Collateral Beauty." (Warner).

photo for The Creeping Garden The Creeping Garden (2014 - UK) An award-winning feature-length creative documentary exploring the extraordinary world of the plasmodial slime mould as revealed through the eyes of the fringe scientists, mycologists and artists who work with them. Long overlooked by biologists, in recent years this curious organism has become the focus of much research in such areas as biological-inspired design, emergence theory, unconventional computing and robot engineering, much of which borders on the world of science fiction. The film transports us from the laboratory into its natural habitat, depicting these otherworldly lifeforms using startling time-lapse macro-cinematography to reveal hidden facets of the world around us. Co-directed by the artist film-maker Tim Grabham and author and film critic Jasper Sharp, with an original soundtrack composed by celebrated musician and producer Jim O'Rourke (Sonic Youth, Grizzly Man), "The Creeping Garden" is a unique exploration into a hitherto untapped subject matter, immersing the viewer within the worlds of the observers and the observed. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: Audio commentary by directors Tim Grabham and Jasper Sharp; "Biocomputer Music," a short film by Grabham on the first biocomputer music system, allowing a two-way musical dialogue between man and slime mould; "Return to the Fungarium," a featurette revealing further treasures of the fungarium at Kew Gardens; "Feeding Habits of Physarum," a featurette on the feeding preferences and dislikes of slime moulds; three cinema iloobia short films: "Milk" (2009), "Rotten" (2012) and "Paramusical Ensemble" (2015); Angela Mele's animated slime moulds; gallery; U.S. theatrical trailer; reversible sleeve featuring two pieces of original artwork. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).

Daniel Visits the Farm (2017) Features four grr-ific stories from the popular PBS KIDS series "Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood," produced by The Fred Rogers Company. In this new collection, Daniel rides a horse for the first time with encouragement from Dad Tiger, helps his sister Margaret feed adorable ducks, plays “farm” with O the Owl, and helps his mom give baby sister a bath. Formats: DVD, Digital. (PBS Distribution).

Drunk History: Season 4 (2016) Single disc with all 11 episodes. Host Derek Waters is back with a whole season's worth of historical tales told by some of the most captivating (and totally wasted) storytellers around. It's the history they never taught you, narrated by guest stars who never thought they'd drink this much. Formats: DVD. Extras: "Election Special," extended Drunk Narrator moments and deleted scenes. (Paramount).

Elle (2016 -- France) Director: Paul Verhoeven. Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virgine Aefira. A successful businesswoman gets caught up in a game of cat and mouse as she tracks down the unknown man who raped her. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "A Tale of Empowerment: Making Elle," "Celebrating an Icon: AFI’s Tribute to Isabelle Huppert." (Sony).

Fences (2016) Adapted by legendary writer August Wilson from his own renowned play, "Fences" follows former Negro-league baseball player Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) in 1950s Pittsburgh as he fights to provide for those he loves in a world that threatens to push him down. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Blu-ray extras: "Expanding the Audience: From Stage to Screen," "The Company of Fences," "Building Fences: Denzel Washington," "Playing the Part: Rose Maxson," "August Wilson’s Hill District." (Universal).

The Jetsons & WWE: Robo-Wrestlmania (2017) Everyone’s favorite futuristic family travels back in time to team up with some of today’s biggest WWE Superstars to save Orbit City from a wrestle-bot army in an all-new original animated movie. In the midst of an exhibition match, a powerful snow storm freezes Big Show solid. One hundred years later, Big Show has finally thawed and is discovered by George Jetson. His first mission is to revive wrestling in 22nd century Orbit City. With Big Show’s help, Elroy and George build robotic Superstars. But Big Show had big plans of his own. The wrestle-bot army manages to capture Orbit City, leaving George and the Jetsons family one option: travel back in time to enlist WWE Superstars Alicia Fox, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Sheamus to help defeat the Big Show and his wrestle-bot army in the future. Formats: DVD, Digital,. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurettes. (Warner).

Passengers (2016) Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne, Inder Kumar, Jamie Soricelli. A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers (Pratt, Lawrence) are awakened 90 years early. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, 4K Ultra HD/3D/Blu-ray Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Outtakes from the Set"; three featurettes: “Casting the Passengers,” “Creating the Avalon” and “On Set with Chris Pratt”; "Book Your Passage": Looking for a new life? Learn more about the Homestead Company. See what awaits you. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, “Space on Screen: The Visual Effects of Passengers” featurette. (Sony).

Red Dawn Collector’s Edition (1984) Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Ben Johnson, Harry Dean Stanton, Ron O’Neal, William Smith, Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey, Powers Boothe. From writer-director John Milius comes the tale of what-could-have-been, had the Cold War gone another way. When Communist paratroopers descend on a Colorado high school football field, a group of students wages an all-out guerilla war to save their town -- and their country. Formats: Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New “A Look Back at Red Dawn,” featuring brand-new stories from co-star Doug Toby, casting director Jane Jenkins, production designer Jackson DeGovia and editor Thom Noble; four archival featurettes: “Red Dawn Rising,” “Training For WWIII,” “Building the Red Menace” and “WWIII Comes to Town”; original theatrical trailer. (Shout! Factory).

Robo-Dog: Airborne (2017) Sequel to 2015’s family film "Robo-Dog." When the world’s most advanced K-9 loses his family and his memory chip, it’s up to his best friend Tyler and his scientist dad to find Robo-Dog and bring him home. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: "Ruff Cut: Behind the Scenes of Robo-Dog: Airborne" featurette, four TV’s “Minuscule” bonus episodes. (Lionsgate).

photo for Solace Solace (2015) Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish. When FBI Special Agent Joe Merriwether (Morgan) is unable to solve a series of homicides, he enlists the help of a former colleague, Dr. John Clancy (Hopkins), a retired physician with psychic powers. Soon, Clancy realizes that his exceptional intuitive powers are no match for the extraordinary powers of the vicious murderer (Farrell). Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Commentary with director Afonso Poyart, “Visions and Voices: The Making of Solace” featurette. (Lionsgate).

Spacepop: Princess Power (2017) Music, friendship, fashion and girl power unite in this first full-length feature film based on the YouTube webseries. Five teenage intergalactic princesses -- headstrong Athena, sassy Rhea, free spirit Hera, punk rock Juno and fashionista Luna -- fight to save the universe from the evil Empress Geela, disguised as the out-of-this-world band, SpacePOP. Formats: DVD. Extras: Three new extended lyric music videos. (Sony).

photo for Story of Sin Story of Sin (1975 -- Poland) The life of a beautiful, young and pious woman is thrown into chaos when her parents take in a dashingly handsome lodger. Having embarked on a torrid affair, the lodger goes off to Rome to seek a divorce from his estranged wife. Unable to live apart from her beloved, she leaves home only to fall prey to the infatuations and lusts of a band of noble admirers, unsavory criminals and utopian do-gooders. The only feature Walerian Borowczyk ("The Beast," "The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Miss Osbourne") made in his native Poland, "Story of Sin" transforms Stefan Zeromski's classic melodrama into a deliriously surrealistic meditation on l'amour fou. 2K restoration from the original film negative. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: New 2K restorations from the original negatives of Borowczyk's ground-breaking Polish shorts: "Once Upon a Time" (co-directed by Jan Lenica), "Dom" (co-directed by Lenica) and "The School"; new introduction by poster designer Andrzej Klimowski; new interview with "Story of Sin" lead actor Grazyna Dlugolecka; new interview featurette on Borowczyk's career in Poland by Daniel Bird (co-founder Friends of Walerian Borowczyk); new interview featurette on Borowczyk's innovate use of classical music in his films by writer and filmmaker David Thompson; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Andrzej Klimowski. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).

To Tell the Truth (2012) Two films that explore the development of documentary, from the emergence of political filmmaking during the Great Depression to using documentary in the battle of ideas during World War II. "Working for Change" is a history of the early development of documentary filmmaking in the US and UK from 1929 to 1941. It is focused on the social and political movements of the times, the Great Depression, and the New Deal. "The Strategy of Truth" is an examination of documentary filmmaking in 1933 to 1945 during World War II, and how film was used as propaganda in the US, the UK, and Germany. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Alec Baldwin on the importance of documentaries; Agnes Varda on the making of documentaries; film historian Kevin Brownlow on Leni Riefenstahl, propagandist for the Nazis; additional interviews with Jeffrey Richards, Jo Fox, and David Culbert; two World War II documentaries by John Huston ("Let There Be Light" and "The Autobiography of a Jeep").(Icarus Films). Read more.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season Two (2016) Two-disc set with 13 episodes. As Kimmy continues to learn the ways of New York City, she's got her roommate Titus and socialite Jacqueline by her side to tackle all social matters that are hashbrown: relevant. Formats: DVD. (Universal).

photo for Z Nation: Season 3 Z Nation: Season 3 (2016) Three-disc set with all 14 episodes. With Operation Bite Mark in shambles and the group again on the hunt for Murphy, the fate of humanity rests not in the jaws of zombies, but in the rise of a new breed of hybrid "blends." Created and controlled by Murphy, the ever-growing army of blends is hell bent on spreading their message of "No Fear" across the land. With all new horrors like Wolf-Zombies, Electro-Shock Zombies, and the deadly Enders, "Z-Nation: Season 3" has a new mission with even more blood-splattering fun. Formats: DVD. Extras: "Z Nation: Making of Season 3," "Z Nation: A Look at Special Effects Makeup," "Learn to Count with Z Nation Season 3, Episode 1." (Universal).

Z Nation: Season 1-3 Collection (2014-16) Nine-disc set with all 42 episodes. Three years after the devastating ZN1 virus gutted the country, a group of strangers band together to transport the only known survivor of the zombie attack— Murphy -- from New York to California. As humanity's last hope to develop a vaccine, Murphy's dark secret could seriously endanger the mission. An epic road trip filled with non-stop thrills, chills, and blood-splattering zombie fun. Formats: DVD. Extras: All the bonus features from the previous seasons. (Universal).

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