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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, March 24 -- Monday, March 30

All DVD Releases

  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

    photo for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies The third in a trilogy of films adapting the popular masterpiece "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to a conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo's frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance. Vitals: Director: Peter Jackson. Stars: Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, Stephen Fry, Jed Brophy, Christopher Lee, Orlando Bloom, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Graham McTavish, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, John Bell. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 144 min., Fantasy Action, Box office gross: $254.017, million, New Line. Extras: "Recruiting the Five Armies," "Completing Middle-earth," "The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes," "The Last Goodbye Music Video," "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 3." 3 stars


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  • Unbroken

    photo for Unbroken Follows the incredible life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini, who survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during World War II -- only to be caught by the Japanese navy and sent to a series of prisoner-of-war camps. Zamperini, a working class kid from Torrance, California, transformed himself from juvenile delinquent to a 1936 Olympian by channeling his defiant energy into a shocking talent for running. Zamperini's unfaltering determination and ferocious will then carried him through monumental tribulations during his military service and he became a true American hero. Adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Vitals: Director: Angelina Jolie. Stars: Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Miyavi, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, John Magaro, Ross Anderson. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 138 min., Drama, Box office gross: $115.105 million, Universal. Extras: "The Real Louis Zamperini" behind the scenes interviews with the late Louis Zamperini and the cast and crew. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, "Inside Unbroken" behind-the-scenes look at the film, cast and crew concert featuring Miyavi, "Prison Camp Theater: Cinderella" in which the Omori prisoners perform their version of Cinderella, "Louis' Path to Forgiveness" featurette on Zamperini's life after the war and his journey from recovery to forgiveness. 3 stars

  • Into the Woods

    photo for A modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales in a musical format that follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel -- all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them. Based on the 1987 Broadway musical with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine. Vitals: Director: Rob Marshall. Stars: Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 125 min., Musical, Box office gross: $125.891 million, Disney. Extras: "Deeper Into The Woods: Magic of the Woods" featurette. Blu-ray adds never-before-seen Sondheim original song: "She'll Be Back" performed by Meryl Streep; "There’s Something About The Woods" behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Cast As Good As Gold" featurette; "Deeper Into The Woods" 4 segment featurette: "From Stage to Screen," "Magic of the Woods," "Designing the Woods" and "The Costumes of the Woods"; commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca; "Music & Lyrics" direct access to the musical song segments, with optional sing-along lyrics; "5 Golden Eggs" (Easter Eggs). 2 stars



    Blu-ray Debuts

  • The Gates of Heaven/Vernon, Florida (Criterion)
  • The Sure Thing 30th Anniversary Edition (1985)
  • The Thin Blue Line (1988) (Criterion)

    Read more.



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All DVD Releases

The Beyond (1981) Catriona MacColl, David Warbeck, Cinzia Monreale. The seven dreaded gateways to hell are concealed in seven cursed places ... And on the day the gates of hell are opened, the dead will walk the earth. From legendary Italian horror master Lucio Fulci comes the ultimate classic of supernatural terror. A cursed hotel, built over one of the seven gateways to hell, becomes a photo for The Beyondmalevolent abyss that begins devouring both the bodies and the souls of all who enter in a graphic frenzy of gory crucifixions, brutal chain-whippings, eyeball impalements, sulphuric acid meltdowns, flesh-eating tarantulas, throat-shredding demon dogs and ravenous bloodthirsty zombies. Digital transfer of the original uncensored director's cut. Formats: Three-disc collector's edition: two Blu-rays + CD. Extras: Commentary by stars Catriona MacColl and genre superstar David Warbeck; optional Italian language soundtrack and original mono mix; new in-depth interviews with stars MacColl, Cinzia Monreale and Giovanni De Nava, U.S. production manager Larry Ray, make-up artists Giannetto DeRossi and Maurizio Trani, cinematographer Sergio Salvati, writer Dardano Sacchetti, producer Fabrizio De Angelis, composer Fabio Frizzi, original U.S. distributor Terry Levene, and Antonella Fulci; rare archival interviews with Fulci and Warbeck; lost German pre-credit sequence in Full color; extensive still galleries and theatrical trailers; liner notes by legendary horror journalist Chas. Balun and EuroHorror expert Martin Beine; the bonus CD features the original soundtrack album by Fabio Frizzi, newly remastered in stunning 96khz sound from the original studio master tapes; chilling glow-in-the-dark slip cover limited to the first 5000 copies. (Grindhouse Releasing).

Blind Woman's Curse (1970 -- Japan) A bizarre Yakuza film featuring eye-popping visuals, sensational fight sequences and the gorgeous Meiko Kaji ("Lady Snowblood," "Stray Cat Rock"), in her first major role. Akemi (Kaji) is a dragon tattooed leader of the Tachibana Yakuza clan. In a duel with a rival gang Akemi slashes the eyes of an opponent and a black cat appears, to lap the blood from the gushing wound. The cat along with the eye-victim go on to pursue Akemi's gang in revenge, leaving a trail of dead Yakuza girls, their dragon tattoos skinned from their bodies. Formats: DVD/Blu-ray Combo. (Arrow Video/MVD Entertainment Group).

Bukow and Konig: Sets 1 & 2 (1971 -- Germany) Alexander Bukow is a veteran cop who doesn't mind working at the edge of the law to get results. Katrin Konig has a sterling reputation as an analyst and profiler and is esteemed by all who know her for her assessments and concentrated professionalism. Bukow knows the town where they work, Rostock, like his own backyard and he should; it's where he grew up. He has contacts on every corner and can be charming enough to wrap friends and enemies around his finger, but never reveals much about himself. He's also got a life outside the job and is married with two small children. For Konig, the job is her life, which is how she became such an accomplished criminal profiler. She's a strait-laced control freak and all too aware of her photo for Confessions of a Prodigal Son partner's seedy past and questionable allegiances. Despite, or perhaps because of their differences, they make a successful crime-fighting team -- when they're not fighting each other. Each three-disc set contains five episodes; $39.95 each. Formats: DVD, VOD. (MHz Home Entertainment).

Confessions of a Prodigal Son (2015) Kevin Sorbo, Nathan Clarkson, Rachael Lee, Azel James, Tanya Chisholm, Michael Christopher Bolten, Darwin Harris. A modern retelling of the Prodigal Son story. A rebel leaves his home and family to reflect on self-discovery, suddenly finding himself questioning everything he once learned. He encounters a professor who challenges his thoughts and emotions, helping him realize that life is a story full of unexpected events, but no matter what happens, everyone has a second chance. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital. (Cinedigm).

Diamond Heist (aka Magic Boys) (2012) Michael Madsen, Vinnie Jones. After witnessing a murder, a hapless pair of misfits escape their own near death experience by posing as male strippers -- only to find themselves neck deep photo for Diamond Heist in even bigger trouble. Formats: DVD, Digital. (Random Media).

Don Matteo: Sets 9 & 10 (2005-06 -- Italy) Terence Hill stars as Don Matteo, a thoroughly ordinary Catholic priest with an extraordinary ability to read people and solve crimes. He's a parish priest who never met an unjustly accused person he didn't want to help. In fact, he never met anyone marginalized he didn't want to help: the elderly, the homeless, the immigrant, the unemployed. He sees them all as he bicycles along the streets and through the countryside of his parish. His friend and chess partner is policeman Marshal Cecchini, who slips him information about new cases much to the chagrin of the police chief who isn't at all thrilled about the collaboration. But he's in agreement with Don Matteo about one thing: the importance of justice being served. Each three-disc set contains 11 episodes; $39.95 each. Formats: DVD, VOD. (MHz Home Entertainment).



The Gates of Heaven/Vernon, Florida With his trademark mixture of empathy and scrutiny, Errol Morris ("The Thin Blue Line") has changed the face of documentary filmmaking in the United States, and his career began with two remarkable tales of American eccentricity: "Gates of Heaven" (1978) and "Vernon, Florida" (1981). The first uses two Southern California pet cemeteries as the bases for a profound and funny rumination on love, loss, and industry; the second travels to a languorous southern backwater and meets a handful of fascinating folks -- a determined turkey hunter, a curious minister, a laconic policeman -- engaged in individualistic, sometimes absurd pursuits. Morris consistently creates humane portraits of true candor, and these early works remain two of his greatest and most provocative films. New 2K digital restorations of both films, supervised by director Errol Morris, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks on the Blu-rays. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New interviews with Morris; "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe" (1980), a 20-minute film by Les Blank featuring Herzog fulfilling a bet intended to inspire Morris to complete his first feature; footage of Herzog professing his admiration for "Gates of Heaven" at the 1980 Telluride Film Festival; an essay by critic Eric Hynes. (The Criterion Collection).

Gone With the Pope (1981) Duke Mitchell, Lorenzo Dardado, Peter Milo, Jim LoBianco. Lost for over 30 years, "Gone With the Pope" stars famed nightclub performer Duke Mitchell as Paul, a paroled gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the Pope and charge a dollar from every Catholic in the world as the ransom. Shot in 1975, the film was unfinished at the time of Mitchell's death in 1981. Sage Stallone and Bob Murawski of Grindhouse Releasing rediscovered the film in 1995 and vowed to save it from obscurity. Academy Award-winning film editor Murawski ("The Hurt Locker," "Army of Darkness") spent 15 years completing "Gone With the Pope" from the surviving film elements. Formats: Blu-ray/DVD Combo. Extras: In-depth interviews with stars Jim LoBianco and John Murgia, cinematographer Peter Santoro, editors Bob Leighton and Robert Florio, and legendary exploitation producer-director Matt Cimber; footage from the 2010 Hollywood World Premiere; deleted scenes and bloopers; liner notes by horror novelist John Skipp; extensive still galleries and theatrical trailer. (Grindhouse Releasing).

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) Dir.: Peter Jackson; Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, Stephen Fry, Jed Brophy, Christopher Lee, Orlando Bloom, Billy Connolly, James Nesbitt, Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, Benedict Cumberbatch, Graham McTavish, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, John Bell. Formats: Blu-ray 3D Combo Pack, Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack, two-disc DVD Special Edition, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Recruiting the Five Armies," "Completing Middle-earth," "The Last Goodbye: Behind the Scenes," "The Last Goodbye Music Video," "New Zealand: Home of Middle-earth, Part 3." (New Line).

Hobbit, The: Motion Picture DVD Trilogy: $49.99

Hobbit, The: Motion Picture Blu-Ray Trilogy: $57.98

Hobbit, The: Motion Picture 3D Blu-Ray Trilogy: $129.95

Into the Woods (2014) Dir.: Rob Marshall; Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lilla Crawford, Daniel Huttlestone, MacKenzie Mauzy. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, Disney Anywhere (cloud). Extras: "Deeper Into The Woods: Magic of the Woods" featurette. Blu-ray adds never-before-seen Sondheim original song: "She'll Be Back" performed by Meryl Streep; "There’s Something About The Woods" behind-the-scenes featurette; "The Cast As Good As Gold" featurette; photo for LA Apocalypse "Deeper Into The Woods" 4 segment featurette: "From Stage to Screen," "Magic of the Woods," "Designing the Woods" and "The Costumes of the Woods"; commentary with director Rob Marshall and producer John DeLuca; "Music & Lyrics" direct access to the musical song segments, with optional sing-along lyrics; "5 Golden Eggs" (Easter Eggs). (Disney).

LA Apocalypse (2014) David Cade, Gina Holden, Christopher Judge, Eric Allan Kramer. Volcanic activity at the Earth's core turns L.A. into a living nightmare, ripping the city apart. After a mass evacuation, Calvin Crawford is one of few left, desperately searching for his fiancee, Ashley Pace, who unbeknownst to him, has been kidnapped and is being held hostage. With L.A. becoming more unstable by the minute, Calvin must find a way to save Ashley and get them both to safety before the city is completely annihilated. Formats: DVD. (Anchor Bay).

Lonesome Dove Church (2014) Tom Berenger, Alex Zahara, Alex Zahara. The true story of the formation of the Lonesome Dove Church in Texas. A preacher delivers frontier justice on the journey to find and save his outlaw son. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "The photo for Making of Lonesome Dove Church" featurette. (Lionsgate).

Memory Lane (2012) Michael Guy Allen, Meg Braden, Julian Curi, Zac Snyder. When PTSD-plagued war vet Nick returns home and finds that his finance Kayla has committed suicide, he decides to take his own life, but what he sees in flashbacks moments before he is resuscitated leads him to believe Kayla was murdered. Now Nick must travel back and fourth between our world and the afterlife in a search for her killer -- but to do it, he has to die over and over again. Formats: DVD. Extras: Director' commentary, deleted scenes, short films, promotional videos, screen tests trailers. (MVD Entertainment).


photo for Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean: 25th Anniversary Collection Mr. Bean: The Whole Bean: 25th Anniversary Collection (1990-95) Four-disc set with all 14 episodes of the British series, $24.97. He captured the hearts of millions of viewers worldwide and has been called the most embarrassing man on earth. He is the character who everyone wants to help out of his sticky situations, but nobody would invite for tea. Behold the man who is a bean, Mr. Bean. Starring award-winning British comedy genius Rowan Atkinson, the internationally acclaimed TV series continues to enthrall audiences worldwide. This set brings together all 14 uncut British episodes of "Mr. Bean." Formats: DVD. Extras: Missing scenes from three episodes, "The Best Bits of Mr. Bean," "The Story of Mr. Bean" documentary, never before seen-on-TV Sketches "Bus Stop" and "Library," "Mr. Bean: The Animated Series" trailer. (Shout! Factory).

Sebastian Bergman: Dark Secrets (2010 -- Sweden) Every criminal has his own handwriting, but only Sebastian Bergman can read it. Bergman is Sweden's most famous criminal profiler, having written a definitive, best-selling book about workings of the criminal mind. Bergman is strong-headed, politically incorrect, intuitive, abrasive -— and grief-stricken. He's struggling to come to terms with the loss of his wife and young daughter from the 2004 tsunami in Thailand, an event that caused his life to careen out of control. Returning to work, Bergman had one more surprise waiting for him -- an adult daughter he never knew he had, now working alongside him as a fellow investigator in the Stockholm police department. At the same time, he discovers a personal connection in the case of three girls who were found dead in a small-town mine. It could have been a triple suicide or murder. More dark secrets emerge as the corpse of a notorious serial killer is found buried in a field. Clues lead to a nearby convent, where the body of a young girl is also unearthed. He has to figure out who killed the girl and who killed the killer. Bergman is played by Swedish actor Rolf Lassgard, famous for his performance as the original Wallander, based on Henning Mankell's wildly popular crime novels. Two-disc set, $29.95. Formats: DVD, VOD. (MHz Home Entertainment).

photo for The Sins of Dracula The Sins of Dracula (2014) Michael Thurber, Jamie Dufault, Sarah Nicklin, Samantha Acampora, Steven O'Broin. The young star of a local church choir goes against the wishes of his pastor and follows his girlfriend into the world of secular entertainment, joining a local community theatre troupe where he's introduced to a whole new world of drugs, sexual perversion, and table-top game-play. But nothing could prepare him for the darkest truth of them all: The theatre group is actually a front for a Satanic cult intent on raising Dracula from the grave. Tongue-in-cheek satire of the Christian scare films of the 70s and 80s. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Commentary with director Richard Griffin and writer Michael Varrati, commentary with stars Sarah Nicklin and Jamie Dufault, short film "They Stole the Pope's Blood," Easter Egg. (MVD Entertainment).

Song One (2014) Anne Hathaway, Johnny Flynn, Mary Steenburgen, Ben Rosenfield. Estranged from her family, Franny (Anne Hathaway) returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his photo for Song One life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester (Johnny Flynn) and, against the backdrop of Brooklyn's music scene, they develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes recording of the soundtrack. (Cinedigm).

The Sure Thing 30th Anniversary Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT (1985) Dir.: Rob Reiner; John Cusack, Daphne Zuniga, Viveca Lindfors, Nicollette Sheridan. Extras: Commentary with director Rob Reiner, "Road to The Sure Thing," "Casting The Sure Thing," "Reading The Sure Thing," "Dressing The Sure Thing," theatrical trailer. (Shout! Factory).

The Thin Blue Line (1988) Among the most important documentaries ever made, "The Thin Blue Line," by Errol Morris, erases the border between art and activism. A work of meticulous journalism and gripping drama, it recounts the disturbing tale of Randall Adams, a drifter who was charged with the murder of a Dallas police officer and sent to death row, despite overwhelming evidence that he did not commit the crime. Incorporating stylized reenactments, penetrating interviews, and haunting original music by Philip Glass, Morris uses cinema to build a case forensically while effortlessly entertaining his viewers. "The Thin Blue Line" effected real-world change, proving film's power beyond the shadow of a doubt. New high-definition digital restoration, supervised by director Errol Morris and producer Mark Lipson, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New interview with Morris, new interview with filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer ("The Act of Killing"), NBC report from 1989 covering Randall Adams's release from prison, an essay by film scholar Charles Musser. (The Criterion Collection).

photo for Unbroken Unbroken (2014) Dir.: Angelina Jolie; Jack O'Connell, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Miyavi, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, John Magaro, Ross Anderson. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "The Real Louis Zamperini" behind the scenes interviews with the late Louis Zamperini and the cast and crew. Blu-ray adds deleted scenes, "Inside Unbroken" behind-the-scenes look at the film, cast and crew concert featuring Miyavi, "Prison Camp Theater: Cinderella" in which the Omori prisoners perform their version of Cinderella, "Louis' Path to Forgiveness" featurette on Zamperini's life after the war and his journey from recovery to forgiveness. (Universal).


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