This Week's DVD, Blu-ray Releases -- OnVideo

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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, April 5 -- Monday, April 11

All DVD Releases

  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

    photo for Star Wars: The Force Awakens This first of three sequels to "Star Wars" shattered box office opening-week records to become the highest grossing U.S. film of all time with over $930 million domestic, and the second-highest worldwide grossing film (behind "Avatar") with $2.82 billion worldwide. Thirty years following the battle of Endor, the Resistance is still hard at work rebuilding the galaxy from the ashes of the Empire -- but find themselves in trouble when Luke Skywalker, the last of the Jedi, disappears -- and remnants of the Empire, calling themselves the First Order, threaten to unleash the Dark Side on the universe. A young Resistance pilot (Oscar Isaac) teams with a scavenger from the planet Jakku (Daisy Ridley), an ex-Stormtrooper named Finn (John Boyega) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) to track down Skywalker, keeping one step ahead of the nasty dark warrior Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the forces of the Dark Side. There's plenty of new faces (including a new droid, BB-8, and a new Supreme Leader, Snoke, played by Andy Serkis) and old (in addition to Ford, Mayhew and Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher shows up as General Leia Organa) -- there's even a guest appearance by C-3PO. Almost a retelling of the original "Star Wars" saga, director J.J. Abrams' "The Force Awakens" infuses this myth -- and the franchise -- with new blood and energy. There are some faults, mainly the underwhelming performances by Ridley and Boyega, some cheesy special effects sequences (in particular the attack of the rathtars on the freighter manned by Solo and Chewbacca), and a bit too much buddy-boy gee-whiz excitement on the part of Isaac and Boyega. For the most part, though, this "Star Wars" is a terrific sci-fi joy ride with clear cut heroes and villains, fairly tight direction, and, aside from my quibbles above, good acting. The home video release is a class act, from the cool, jet-black plastic Blu-ray case to the plethora of neat bonus features. And don't forget the best part of the film -- the forever young Harrison Ford as Han Solo, still a wisecracking, hard-fighting, intergalactic hipster. Vitals: Director: J.J. Abrams. Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew. 2015, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 136 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $930 million, Disney. Extras: "Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey" behind-the-scenes documentary; "The Story Awakens: The Table Read"; "Building BB-8"; "Crafting Creatures"; "Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight"; "John Williams: The Seventh Symphony"; "ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force"; "Force For Change": Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the "Star Wars: Force for Change" initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others; deleted scenes. 3 stars
    Order "Star Wars" here.


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    All DVD Releases

    Banshee: The Complete Third Season (2015) Four-disc set with 10 episodes. The Cinemax action-drama series charts the continuing twists and turns that follow Lucas Hood (Antony Starr), an ex-convict who improbably assumes the identity of sheriff of the rural, Amish-area town of Banshee, Pa., where his former lover and partner-in-crime has been living under her own alias, Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic). Season 3 picks up a month after the Season 2 finale, when Carrie's father, gang kingpin Rabbit (Ben Cross), finally met his demise after a climactic church shootout. Carrie, now photo for Banshee: The Complete Third Season exposed and estranged from her husband and kids, remains in Banshee, working as a waitress by day while moonlighting with Lucas, Sugar Bates (Frankie Faison) and Job (Hoon Lee) on a variety of local heists. As Lucas finds it harder and harder to keep his true identity from his deputies -- especially Siobhan Kelly (Trieste Kelly Dunn), now his romantic interest -- he and the Banshee police force become embroiled in a new conflict between Amish gangster Kai Proctor (Ulrich Thomsen) and Chayton Littlestone (Geno Segers), the vicious, vengeance-minded leader of the Redbone wing of the Kinaho tribe. And as fists and bullets fly in and around Banshee, Lucas concocts a new scheme that could net his thieves a fortune -- by robbing a decommissioned Marine compound housing millions of dollars. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: "Making of the Episode 2 Title Sequence" looks at the different layers that went into the making of the second episode's unique title sequence; "Banshee Origins" featurette with the story before the story with eight prequel videos featuring the cast of "Banshee"; "Banshee Origins Saga" two-part feature that explores the lives of Lucas, Carrie, Job and more before they made their way to Banshee; "Burton vs Nola Camera Movement" and "Burton vs Nola Stunts" offer behind the scenes looks at the epic fight scene; "Genoa Rehearsal" for the season's final showdown; "Zoomed In, Episodes 1-8 & 10" behind the scenes on key, adrenaline filled scenes; deleted scenes, sins promo; episode recaps; audio commentaries with cast and crew. (HBO).

    photo for Casual: Season One Casual: Season One 2015) Two-disc set with all 10 episodes of the Hulu original series that follows brother and sister Alex (Tommy Dewey) and Valerie (Michaela Watkins) as they manage to live with one another while attempting to keep Valerie's teenage daughter, Laura (Tara Lynne Barr), on the right track -- with a house full of one-night stands, bizarre encounters, and attempts to master the art of dating. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: "Creating Casual" behind-the-scenes featurette. (Lionsgate).

    Cherry Tree (2015) Naomi Battrick, Anna Walton, Patrick Gibson, Sam Hazeldine, Leah McNamara. When a young woman learns that her father is dying, she makes a pact with the head of a centuries-old witches' coven -- a coven that uses the fruit of an ancient cherry tree in a bloody secret ritual that restores life to the dead and dying -- to save his life in exchange for a child. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital. (Dark Sky Films).

    Curveball (2015) Rockmond Dunbar, Jean-Luc McMurtry, Lynn Whitfiel, E. Roger Mitchell, Adam Aalderk. Coming of age story about a young boy who puts his troubled childhood behind him with the help of the two things he could always depend on: his love of baseball and his best friend .. until his best friend starts leading him into trouble -- playing hard and partying harder. Formats: DVD, Digital.(RLJ Entertainment).

    Dangerous Men (2005) Melody Wiggins, Kelay Miller, Bryan Jenkins, Coti Cook, John Clure, Carlos Rivas, Lawrence McNeal III. The fanatical brainchild of Iranian polymath John S. Rad, "Dangerous Men" was a passion project that remained in obsessive production for nearly two decades before finally debuting in Californian theaters in 2005. An unflappably prodigious creative photo for Dangerous Menforce, Rad handled much of the technical duties of the film, appearing multiple times in the film's credits as the director, writer, location scout, producer, executive producer, and more. Despite initially languishing at the boxoffice during its limited theatrical release, and never finding a like-minded audience before Rad's untimely death in 2007, "Dangerous Men" developed a devoted following before vanishing as mysteriously as it appeared. Working with the late artist's family, the Drafthouse Films team worked tirelessly alongside the American Genre Film Institute to locate and restore the original film. "Dangerous Men" was re-released into theaters in October 2015, garnering enthusiastically baffled acclaim from critics. The story: After Mina witnesses her fiance's brutal murder by beach thugs, she sets out on a venomous spree to eradicate all human trash from Los Angeles. Armed with a knife, a gun, and an undying rage, she murders her way through the masculine half of the city's populace. A renegade cop is hot on her heels, a trail that also leads him to the subhuman criminal overlord known as Black Pepper. Blades flash, blood flows, bullets fly and synthesizers blare as the morgue overflows with the corpses of "Dangerous Men." Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: 16-page booklet featuring the only documented full-length interview with John S. Rad, audio commentary featuring "Destroy All Movies" authors Zack Carlson and Bryan Connelly, "That's So John Rad" original documentary about the film and its original 2005 theatrical release, rare footage of John S. Rad appearing on local access television, interview with director of photography Peter Palian, original theatrical trailer. (Drafthouse Films/MVD Entertainment).

    photo for Death Walks Twice: Two Films By Luciano Ercoli Death Walks Twice: Two Films By Luciano Ercoli Emerging at the peak of the giallo boom of the early '70s, Luciano Ercoli's "Death Walks" films are two superlative examples of the genre linked by their shared casting of the stunning Nieves Navarro (billed under her adopted stage name of Susan Scott) as the lead woman in peril. In "Death Walks on High Heels" (1971), exotic dancer Nicole (Navarro), the daughter of a murdered jewel thief, finds herself terrorized by a black-clad assailant determined on procuring her father's stolen gems. Fleeing Paris and her knife-wielding pursuer, Nicole arrives in London only to discover that death stalks her at every corner. Returning in "Death Walks at Midnight" (1972), Navarro stars as Valentina -- a model who, in the midst of a drug-fueled photoshoot, witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment opposite hers. But when it becomes clear that the savage slaying she describes relates to a crime that took place six months earlier, the police are at a loss -- forcing Valentina to solve the mystery alone. Offering up all the glamour, perversity and narrative twists and turns that are typical of the giallo genre at its best, Luciano Ercoli's "Death Walks on High Heels" and "Death Walks at Midnight" anticipate the super-stylized trappings of Brian De Palma's early psycho thrillers (most notably, "Dressed to Kill"). Limited Edition boxed-set (3000 copies) with limited edition 60-page booklet containing new writing on the films. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: "Death Walks on High Heels:" audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas; introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi; "From Spain with Love" featurette comprising newly-edited archive footage of director Luciano Ercoli and actress Nieves Navarro, interviewed at their home in Barcelona; "Master of Giallo": screenwriter Gastaldi on "Death Walks on High Heels" and how to write a successful giallo; "Death Walks to the Beat" career-spanning interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani; original Italian and English trailers; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx. Extras: "Death Walks at Midnight": audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas; introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi; extended TV version of the feature; "Crime Does Pay": screenwriter Gastaldi reflects on his career in the crime film-writing business, including a look at "Death Walks at Midnight"; "Desperately Seeking Susan" visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the distinctive giallo collaborations between director Luciano Ercoli and star Nieves Navarro; reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment).

    Dixieland (2015) Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, Faith Hill, Steve Earle. A young, recently-released and unpredictable ex-con with bad luck, and a sexy, listless girl-next-door with a troubled family, become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love, as they try to ditch their dead-end town for a better life. Formats: DVD. (IFC Films).

    East Side Sushi (2015) Diana Elizabeth Torres, Yutaka Takeuch. Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision and. after working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. Intrigued by the food, she learns to make a multitude of sushi on her own and eventually attempts to become a sushi chef ... but she's the "wrong" race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream. Formats: DVD, Digital. Extras: "Behind the Sushi" making-of featurette, "Behind the Music" featurette, two deleted scenes. (Samuel Goldwyn Films/Sony).

    photo for Episodes: The Fourth Season Episodes: The Fourth Season (2015) Two-disc set with nine episodes. Witty series follows husband and wife writing team of Sean and Beverly Lincoln as they attempt to reproduce their wildly successful British TV hit for an American network. Forced to cast Matt (Matt LeBlanc) as their lead, all of their worst fears come true as Hollywood lives up to its reputation for absurdity. Just when everybody thinks the ailing show "Pucks!" has been put out of its misery, the network un-cancels it. For Matt, the hits keep coming as an embezzlement scam drains his finances, forcing him to scramble for cash. Meanwhile, Pucks! creators Sean and Beverly are back on top with a hot new script, but Hollywood politics tear them right back down. Formats: DVD. (Showtime/CBS/Paramount).

    photo for The Expanse: Season One The Expanse: Season One (2015) Two-disc set with 10 episodes. Based on the New York Times bestselling book series by James S.A. Corey, this space drama combining great visuals and elements of sci-fi drama and detective noir is a thriller set 200 years in the future, after mankind has colonized the solar system. A hardened detective (Thomas Jane) and a rogue ship's captain (Steven Strait) come together for what starts as the case of a missing young woman and evolves into a race across the solar system to expose the greatest conspiracy in human history. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Deleted scenes. (Universal).

    The Great Hypnotist (2014 -- Hong Kong) Thriller about a nationally renowned therapist, Xu Ruining (Xu Zheng), incredibly skilled in hypnotherapy, who meets his match with a patient named Ren Xiaoyan (Karen Mok) who - despite her thin and weak appearance -- reacts photo for The Great Hypnotistviolently during their sessions and thrusts the doctor into a horrible trap. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Well Go USA).

    The Hoarder (2015) Mischa Barton, Robert Knepper, Andrew Buckley, Charlotte Salt, Emily Atack, John Sackville. When a young woman finds out that her fiance has a secret storage unit on the seedy outskirts of town, she enlists her best friend to sneak off and break in to the building. But deep in the lower levels of the warehouse, the two women -- as well as a half dozen other storage unit customers -- discover there's more than old furniture and memorabilia being locked away here: A relentless psychopath has started his own "collection," and is on a blood-soaked hoarding rampage. Formats: DVD. (RLJ Entertainment).

    photo for House of Lies: The Fourth Season House of Lies: The Fourth Season (2015) Two-disc set with 12 episodes. In season 4 of this viciously funny take on high-stakes business, failure is not an option. Fresh from a stint in prison, brilliantly manipulative management consultant Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) is driven to rebuild his faltering firm. Nothing's going to distract him, even if that means booting his extremely pregnant off-and-on partner Jeannie (co-star Kristen Bell). While spin-master Clyde initiates a start-up relationship with a hot computer nerd, and number-cruncher Doug copes with a marriage turned psycho, Marty remains laser-focused on out-stabbing the backstabbers in a corporate battle for survival. Formats: DVD. (Showtime/CBS/Paramount).

    The Identicals (2015) Nick Blood, Lachlan Nieboer, Nora-Jane Noone, Michelle Asante, Tony Way. The organization Brand New-U identifies networks of Identicals -- people who walk like you, talk like you, but are walking through different, better lives -- and helps their customers make a photo for The Identicals life upgrade: eliminating the better-life person, and replacing them with their clients. When a young man's girlfriend is abducted by Brand New-U, and a corpse left in her place, he's forced to become an Identical himself, moving through a series of parallel lives as he becomes more and more obsessed with finding her. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. Extras: Two Featurettes: "Discussion With Writer/Director Simon Pummell" and "Visual Effects Breakdown." (Samuel Goldwyn Films/Sony).

    Mojave (2016) Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, Walton Goggins, Louise Bourgoin. A classic, cerebral thriller about a brilliant artist, Thomas (Hedlund), who attempts to escape his privileged existence by heading out to the desert, only to encounter homicidal, chameleon-like drifter Jack (Isaac). Their first encounter at a campfire sets up a nonstop, violent duel of photo for Mojavephysical and intellectual equals, a chase that moves from the spectacular vistas of the American desert to a noir Los Angeles, where Thomas's notoriety as an artist is revealed. Jack, for his part, continues to remake his own identity in relentless pursuit of his victim, culminating in a vortex of criminality and brutality as Thomas emerges as an equally dangerous opponent. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "A Doppelgänger and the Desert: Making Mojave" featurette, deleted scenes. (Lionsgate).

    Morgan Spurlock Presents Meet the Hitlers (2015) What's it like to have a name that makes people you meet do a double take? Or laugh? Or cringe? Those are some of the reactions recounted in this one-of-a-kind documentary. Most of us don't give names much thought, but some names can't be ignored. This is why 80-year-old Gene Hitler expects a double take whenever he presents his Medicare card, and why teenager Emily Hitler finds high school a struggle for acceptance. Director Matt Ogens' film examines the relationship between names and identity by exploring the lives of people from all walks of life who happen to be linked by the name Hitler. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Virgil Films).

    photo for Mutual Friends Mutual Friends (2013) Caitlin FitzGerald, Cheyenne Jackson, Peter Scanavino, Michael Stahl-David, Christina Cole, Jennifer Lafleu, Ross Partridge, Annika Peterson. Interlocking tales of 10 New Yorkers collide at a surprise party that goes spectacularly wrong. Ten friends, four couples, a stripper, Ms. Sexy Hot Boss and a ninja. A romantic comedy about intertwined New Yorkers trying to sort out their messed-up lives ... with each character written by a different writer. Formats: DVD. Extras: Behind-the-scenes featurettes with the filmmakers, deleted scenes, music video of all the couples in the cast singing "Harvest Moon" (song featured in film). (MVD Entertainment).

    NYPD Blue: Season Nine (2001-02) Five-disc set with all 23 episodes. The men and women of New York's 15th Precinct return in the ninth season of the Emmy and Peabody award-winning police drama from co-photo for NYPD Blue: Season Nine creators Steven Bochco and David Milch. Always a series that effortlessly adapted to change, Season Nine finds Andy Sipowicz (Dennis Franz) experiencing several dramatic developments in his life, including a long-overdue promotion, a surprising new romance with Detective Connie McDowell (Charlotte Ross), and a new partner in the form of John Clark (Mark-Paul Gosselaar). The 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City are also employed into the series, reflecting both the evolving emotions about our public safety as well as the steadfast strength and dedication of law enforcement officers in the wake of those real-life events. Formats: DVD. (Shout! Factory).

    The Odd Couple: Season One (2015) Two-disc set with 12 episodes. Stars Matthew Perry as endearing slob Oscar Madison and Thomas Lennon as uptight neat freak Felix Unger, two former college buddies who become photo for The Odd Couple: Season One unlikely roommates after the demise of their marriages. It's not long after Oscar lets Felix move in that Oscar fears he's made a monumental mistake. Despite how exasperated they make each other, in the end, these mismatched friends agree they can help each other move on from their divorces and somehow make this crazy living arrangement work. A remake of the 1970s series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, itself a remake of the 1968 Gene Saks movie version of the 1965 Neil Simon play. Formats: DVD. Extras: Deleted scenes, gag reel, "Season in Review: New Odd Couple, New Laughs," "Reviving the Odd Couple." (Showtime/CBS/Paramount).

    Payback (2013) Francis Ng, Siu-Wong Fan. When mafia fall guy Zhang Jin finally gets released from prison, he's nearly assassinated and, in an effort to survive, he becomes entangled in a conspiracy, linking his fate with unlikely allies -- including a taxi driver -- and turning friends into enemies. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). (Lionsgate).

    photo for Riot Riot (2016) Matthew Reese, Dolph Lundgren, Danielle Chuchran, Chuck Liddell. Copper Jack Stone purposefully orchestrates a bank robbery in order to be thrown into prison with the notorious Russian kingpin, Balam, who's more than just a mob criminal -- he's a very cunning and dangerous lord who controls the police force from behind bars. He lives in prison -- in a cell that is a lavish private room built specifically for him, inaccessible to most in the depths of the prison structure -- as a cover for his real power, which is King of the city. Even surrounded by his loyal henchmen and guards in his sectioned off fortress, Balam doesn't know Jack is coming for him to avenge his family, whom Balam murdered in cold blood. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). (Universal).

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Director: J.J. Abrams. Stars: Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Secrets of The Force Awakens: A Cinematic Journey" behind-the-scenes documentary; "The Story Awakens: The Table Read"; "Building BB-8"; "Crafting Creatures"; "Blueprint of a Battle: The Snow Fight"; "John Williams: The Seventh Symphony"; "ILM: The Visual Magic of The Force"; "Force For Change": Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. See how the "Star Wars: Force for Change" initiative has united Star Wars fans all over the globe to help others; deleted scenes. (Disney). Order "Star Wars" here.

    Stealing Cars (2015) Emory Cohen, William H. Macy, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, Heather Lind, Mike Epps. Billy Wyatt (Emory Cohen) is a young man with tremendous promise, but a troubled past leads him to the Burnsville Camp for Boys. Billy must navigate his way through dangerous inmates and a cruel and punishing staff, but during it all, he learns to inspire others and find out the truth about himself in the process. Formats: DVD. (Sony).

    Tumbledown (2015) Rebecca Hall, Jason Sudeikis, Joe Manganiello, Dianna Agron, Blythe Danner, Griffin Dunne, Richard Masu. Years after the accidental death of her folk-singer husband, Hannah (Hall) has yet to fully accept her small-town life without him. When she's approached by a charming New York writer (Jason Sudeikis), intent on penning a biography of her late husband's life, she finds herself opening up again. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Entertainment One).

    photo for Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York Twinkle Toes Lights Up New York (2016) Second feature-length animated adventure inspired by the Sketchers Girls' footwear collection and its advertising character, 14-year-old Twinkle Toes; follow up to "Twinkle Toes: The Movie." It all starts on the last day of school when Twinkle Toes's dad gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to direct a Broadway musical -- sweeping Twinkle Toes from her small-pond suburban life into the hustle and bustle of New York City for the summer. Dove Foundation "family approved." Formats: DVD, Digital. (Cinedigm).

    Veteran (2015 -- South Korea) Hwang Jung-min, Ah In Yoo. An irascible detective with a good heart seeks revenge and tries to take down the twisted but untouchable scion of a mega-corporation. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (CJ Entertainment).

    The von Trapp Family: A Life of Music (2015) Matthew Macfadyen, Eliza Bennett, Yvonne Catterfeld, Cornelius Obonya. Based on the autobiography "Memories Before and After the Sound of Music" by Agathe von Trapp, this biopic follows the von Trapp family's incredible journey from the perspective of Agathe, the eldest daughter. As war encroached upon her family and friends, Agathe embarked on an adventure filled with remarkable twists and turns, joys and disappointments, but always with the saving grace of music. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Lionsgate).

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