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

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OnVideo's Weekly Guide to Home Video Releases

Tuesday, January 20 -- Monday, January 26

All DVD Releases

  • Lucy

    photo for Lucy From "La Femme Nikita" to "Leon: The Professional" to "The Fifth Element," writer-director Luc Besson has created some of the most memorable female action heroes in recent cinema. Now he's teamed with sexy diva Scarlett Johansson (who was devilishly scary in last year's "Under the Skin") to create another tough female protagonist, one who uses brain power to take on the bad guys and wreak havoc on the men who have done her wrong. Johansson stars as Lucy, a party girl living in Taipei, Taiwan, who is kidnapped by a South Korean drug cartel and forced to smuggle a dangerous drug in her abdomen; the experimental drug leaks into her body and alters her DNA so that she begins using more than the normal 10% of her brainpower. As she progresses to use more and more of her brain, she develops enhanced physical and mental powers, including the ability to control electromagnetic communication; she becomes telepathic and develops telekinetic power; soon she reaches the 100% mark, and evolves into a super-brilliant, otherworldly creature that merges with the universe. And Along the way she -- naturally -- gets even with the bad guys. Besson -- who wrote the screenplay -- directs with wit, humor and intelligence; he intersperses Lucy's travails with lectures by a noted brain scientist, played by Morgan Freeman, juxtaposing science fiction with science fact. Johansson's performance moves from soft and gentle to hard and murderous with ease; she's a pleasure to watch. "Lucy" is an entertaining and fun ride with fabulous visuals and special effects. There are some corny parts -- Besson plays around with animal images and the comparison of Johansson's Lucy with the oldest human in the fossil record, also named "Lucy" -- but heck, all's fair in love and filmmaking, especially if it works. And it does.Vitals: Director: Luc Besson. Stars: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-Sik, Amr Waked. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 90 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $125.480 million, Universal. Extras: "Cerebral Capacity The True Science of Lucy" featurette. Blu-ray adds "The Evolution of Lucy" featurette. 3 stars


  • The Boxtrolls

    photo for The Boxtrolls "The Boxtrolls" is a quirky stop motion animated fantasy-comedy film set at the beginning of the 19th century that revolves around a group of mischievous and good-hearted trolls who hide in boxes and come out at night to rummage through the trash of the small town of Cheesebridge. The Boxtrolls -- who build unique inventions with their nightly findings and have lovingly raised a human boy named Eggs -- are threatened by a nasty villain -- the evil Archibald Snatcher -- who has spread the rumor that the Boxtrolls kidnap and kill young children and, with the blessing of the town's elders, sets out to capture them one-by-one. Only Eggs -- and the feisty daughter of the town;s mayor -- can save the day. Though the visuals are stunning -- animated steam punk comes to mind as the best description -- the storyline is pretty conventional and predictable, and there's not a heck of a lot to keep you interested. It does stand, however, as a suitable surreal antidote to all the brainless animation of the "How to Raise Your Dragon," "Big Hero 6," "Penguins of Madagascar," "Rio 2" and "Planes: Fire & Rescue" ilk. Vitals: Director: Graham Annable, Anthony Stacchi. Stars: Voices of Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 96 min., Animated, Box office gross: $17.275 million, Universal. Extras: "Dare to Be Square: Behind the Scenes of The Boxtrolls" five-part documentary; five featurettes: "The Nature of Creation," "Trolls Right Off the Tongue," "Allergic to Easy," "Let's Dance" and "On the Shoulders of Giants"; commentary with directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable; preliminary animatic sequences. 2 stars

  • The Drop

    Crime drama follows lonely bartender Bob Saginowski (Tom Hardy) through a covert scheme of funneling cash to local gangsters -- money drops -- in the underworld of Brooklyn bars. Under the heavy hand of his employer and cousin Marv (James Gandolfini), Bob finds himself at the center of photo for The Drop a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood's past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living -- no matter the cost. Vitals: Director: Michael R. Roskam. Stars: Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 106 min., Drama, Box office gross: $9.641 million, Fox. Extras: Featurettes: "Keeping it Real," "Making of The Drop," "Making Brooklyn Your Own," "Rocco the Dog," "Character Profile: James Gandolfini"; deleted scenes; commentary by director Michael R. Roskam and screenwriter Dennis Lehane. 2 stars

  • Annabelle

    photo for Annabelle Prequel to "The Conjuring," about Annabelle, the doll capable of unspeakable evil that exists locked up in an occult museum in Connecticut -- visited only by a priest who blesses her twice a month. John Form has found the perfect gift for his expectant wife, Mia -- a beautiful, rare vintage doll in a pure white wedding dress. But Mia's delight with Annabelle doesn't last long. On one horrific night, their home is invaded by members of a satanic cult, who violently attack the couple. Spilled blood and terror are not all they leave behind. The cultists have conjured an entity so malevolent that nothing they did will compare to the sinister conduit to the damned that is now ... Annabelle. Vitals: Director:. Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard. Extras: "The Curse of Annabelle." Blu-ray adds "Bloody Tears of Possession," "Dolls of the Demon," "A Demonic Process," deleted scenes. 2014, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Horror, Box office gross: $37.134 million, Warner. 2 stars

    Blu-ray Debuts

  • My Winnipeg (2007) (Criterion)
  • On Golden Pond Collector's Edition (1980)
  • The Palm Beach Story (1942) (Criterion)

    Read more.

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All DVD Releases

Annabelle (2014) Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: (Warner).

The Atticus Institute (2015) Ryan Kihlstedt, William Mapother, Harry Groener, Rob Kerkovich, John Rubinstein, and Sharon Maughan. In the fall of 1976, a small psychology lab doing experiments in ESP in Pennsylvania became the unwitting home to the only government-confirmed case of possession. The U.S. military assumed control of the lab under orders of national security and, soon after, implemented measures aimed at weaponizing the entity. The details of the inexplicable events that occurred are being made public after remaining classified for nearly 40 years. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (Anchor Bay).

photo for A Bet's a Bet (aka The Opposite Sex) (2014) Kristin Chenoweth, Jennifer Finnigan, Mena Suvari, Geoff Stults, Josh Hopkins. Everything in life is a competition and losing is unacceptable to Vince (Stults), a successful divorce attorney who considers dating just another conquest. He meets his match in intensely competitive Jane (Suvari), and they soon partake in a series of bets where the loser's fate is at the mercy of the winner. Formats: DVD. (Cinedigm).

The Boxtrolls (2014) Voices of Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade, Tracy Morgan, Simon Pegg. Formats: DVD, 3D Blu-ray Disc/Blu-ray/DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Dare to Be Square: Behind the Scenes of The Boxtrolls" five-part documentary; five featurettes: "The Nature of Creation," "Trolls Right Off the Tongue," "Allergic to Easy," "Let's Dance" and "On the Shoulders of Giants"; commentary with directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable; preliminary animatic sequences. (Universal).

photo for Coherence Coherence (2013) Emily Baldoni, Maury Sterling, Nicholas Brendon, Lorene Scafaria. Strange things begin to happen when a group of friends gather for a dinner party on an evening when a comet is passing overhead. Formats: DVD. (Oscilloscope Laboratories).

The Drop (2014) Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Featurettes: "Keeping it Real," "Making of The Drop," "Making Brooklyn Your Own," "Rocco the Dog," "Character Profile: James Gandolfini"; deleted scenes; commentary by director Michael R. Roskam and screenwriter Dennis Lehane. (Fox).

Gnome Alone (2014) Verne Troyer, Kerry Knuppe. When timid college student Zoe witnesses a hit-and-run, the dying victim gives her a strange amulet. Suddenly, all those who have offended Zoe in her life begin dying horrible deaths at the hands of a malicious gnome. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Behind-the-scenes with cast and crew interviews. (Lionsgate).

photo for Life's a Breeze (2013) Kelly Thornton, Fionnula Flanagan, Pat Shortt, Eva Birthistle. An Irish family is turned upside down when Nan's (Fionnula Flanagan) unemployed slacker son Colm (Pat Shortt) and his niece Emma (Kelly Thornton) make a well-intended attempt to clean out her house and accidentally trash the mattress where she's been stashing her life savings. Now they must overcome their many differences to lead their family in a race against time to find a lost fortune. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

A Little Game (2014) Ralph Macchio, Janeane Garofalo, F. Murray Abraham, Rachel Dratch, Olympia Dukakis. Ostracized at her posh new uptown school and shaken by the death of her beloved grandmother, a 10-year-old downtown girl finds an unlikely mentor in the form of an irascible chess-master, who uses the game to teach lessons in resilience, perseverance, and how to embrace inevitable change. Formats: DVD. (ARC Entertainment).

photo for Little House on the Prairie - Season Four Deluxe Remastered Edition (1977-78) Five-disc set with 22 newly restored and remastered uncut broadcast-length episodes. The adventure and drama continues for the beloved Ingalls family: Life on the frontier brings trials and triumphs that includes a disappointing trip to Chicago, a devastating drowning followed by Laura's kidnapping, crime and outlaws in Walnut Grove, love and marriage for Nellie, a surprise family inheritance, Caroline's pregnancy, Mary's tragic blindness and more. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Fourth installment of the all-new 40th anniversary-themed documentary, "The Little House Phenomenon Part Four: A Day in the Life of Little House." (Lionsgate).

Lost Legion (2015) Tom McKay, Michelle Lukes, Brian Caspe, Jim High. Following the fall of the Roman Empire, a Roman woman plots to make her son the new Emperor and to fulfill the former glory of the city. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). (Lionsgate).

Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon (1998) Derek Jacobi, Daniel Craig, Tilda Swinton. John Maybury's searing portrait of the English painter Francis Bacon (Derek Jacobi) at the height of his fame in the 1960s is one of the nastiest and most truthful portraits of the artist-as-monster ever filmed. It's the story of the colossally self-absorbed painter and his self-destructive younger lover, George Dyer, a former small time crook. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary with director John Maybury and Derek Jacobi, original theatrical trailer. (Strand Releasing).

Lucy (2014) Dir.: Luc Besson; Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Choi Min-Sik, Amr Waked. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Cerebral Capacity The True Science of Lucy" featurette. Blu-ray adds "The Evolution of Lucy" featurette. (Universal).

The Magic School Bus: Season One (1994) Two-disc set with 13 episodes, $19.97. Available for the first time on DVD as a complete season. Formats: DVD. (Scholastic/Cinedigm).

photo for May in the Summer (2013 -- Jordan) Cherien Dabis, Alexander Siddig, Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman. A young woman who has it all - intelligence, beauty, rave reviews for her new book returns to her hometown of Amman, Jordan, for her wedding to a distinguished New York scholar. But the cracks in her seemingly perfect life begin to show: Her born-again Christian mother disapproves of her fiance's Muslim faith, her sisters revert to behaving like rebellious teens as their estranged father awkwardly attempts to make amends. Confronted with the wounds of her parents' broken relationship and the clash of old-world and modern values, she begins to question the direction of her life. Extras: Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. (Cohen Media Group).

The Mule (2014) Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson, Jaime Browne. In 1983, a naive man with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach is detained by Australian Federal Police. Alone and afraid, "the Mule" makes a desperate choice: to defy his bodily functions and withhold the evidence ... literally, becoming a "human time- bomb" and dragging cops, criminals, lawyers and his mother into his impossible escapade. Inspired by true events. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray. (XLrator Media).

My Winnipeg (2007) The geographical dead center of North America and the beloved birthplace of Guy Maddin, Winnipeg is the frosty and mysterious star of Maddin's "docu-fantasia." A work of memory and imagination, Maddin's film burrows into what the filmmaker calls "the heart of the heart" of the continent, conjuring a city as delightful as it is fearsome, populated by sleepwalkers and hockey aficionados. Take part in Winnipeg's annual epic scavenger hunt! Pay your respects to the race horses forever frozen in the river! Help judge the yearly homoerotic Golden Boy pageant! What is real and what is fantasy is left up to the viewer to sort out in Maddin's hypnotic, expertly conceived paean to that wonderful and terrifying place known as My Hometown. New high-definition digital restoration, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Conversation between Maddin and art critic Robert Enright; "My Winnipeg Live in Toronto," a 2008 featurette; various cine-essays by Maddin on Winnipegiana; three Maddin shorts, with introductions by the director: "Spanky: To the Pier and Back" (2008), "Sinclair" (2010), and "Only Dream Things" (2012); deleted scene; trailer; an essay by critic Wayne Koestenbaum. (The Criterion Collection).

On Golden Pond Collector's Edition BLU-RAY DEBUT (1980) Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, Jane Fonda, Dabney Coleman, Doug McKeon. Nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, "On Golden Pond" earned legendary actor Henry Fonda his first Oscar after a lifetime of outstanding performances, and solidified Katharine Hepburn as one of film's greatest actresses when she received her unprecedented fourth Best Actress Oscar. Ernest Thompson won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Extras: Commentary with director Mark Rydell, "Reflections on Golden Pond" featurette, "A Woman of Substance: Katharine Hepburn Remembered" featurette, trailer. (Shout! Factory).

photo for The Palm Beach Story (1942) This wild tale of wacky wedlock from Preston Sturges takes off like a rocket and never lets up. Joel McCrea and Claudette Colbert play Tom and Gerry, a married New York couple on the skids, financially and romantically. With Tom hot on her trail, Gerry takes off for Florida on a mission to solve the pair's money troubles, which she accomplishes in a highly unorthodox manner. A mix of the witty and the utterly absurd, "The Palm Beach Story" is a high watermark of Sturges's brand of physical comedy and verbal repartee, featuring sparkling performances from its leads as well as hilarious supporting turns from Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor as a brother and a sister ensnared in Tom and Gerry's high jinks. New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: New interview with writer and film historian James Harvey about Sturges; new interview with actor and comedian Bill Hader about Sturges; "Safeguarding Military Information," a 1942 World War II propaganda short written by Sturges; Screen Guild Theater radio adaptation of the film from March 1943; an essay by critic Stephanie Zacharek. (The Criterion Collection).

photo for The Pirates (2014 -- South Korea) Kim Nam-Gil, Son Ye-Jin, Yoo Hai-Jin, Lee Kyoung-Young, Kim Tae-Woo, Park Chul-Min. On the eve of the founding of the Joseon Dynasty in 1388, an unprecedented robbery shocks the nation-in-waiting: a whale has swallowed the Emperor's Royal Seal and a bounty placed on its retrieval. Now, every infamous gang of thieves, thugs, pirates and government agents take to the seas, battling the elements, creatures of the deep, and each other to possess reward. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). (Well Go USA).

Rudderless (2014) Dir.: William H. Macy; Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Felicity Huffman, Jamie Chung, Selena Gomez, Laurence Fishburne. The story of Sam, a father (Crudup) whose life is torn apart by the sudden death of his son. When Sam discovers a box filled with his son's demo tapes and lyrics, his own child's musical talent is a revelation for him. Sam learns each song and eventually musters the will to perform one at a local bar. When Quentin (Yelchin), a young musician in the audience, is captivated by the song, the unlikely duo forms a rock band that becomes surprisingly popular and revitalizes both of their lives. Formats: DVD. Extras: "Hear This Song" featurette, music video for the song "Hold On" featuring Selena Gomez and Ben Kweller, deleted scenes. (Paramount).

Swamp People: Season 5 (2014) Five-disc set with 22 episodes, $24.98. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Blu-ray/DVD Combo, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: Never-before-seen-on-TV bonus footage. (Lionsgate).

Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love (2014) Tyler Perry's first animated film has Madea sentenced to community service after a hilarious run-in with the law. Determined to do good for the 'hood, Madea enlists Aunt Bam and Uncle Joe to try and save the Moms Mabley Youth Center from being shut down. With her irresistible sass and wisdom, Madea rallies the local kids to make a stand -- and proves that behind her tough exterior is a whole lot of love. Formats: DVD, VOD, Digital, UltraViolet (cloud). Extras: "Madea Gets Animated" behind-the-scenes featurette, "Madea's Storyboard Comparison" featurette. (Lionsgate).

White Bird in a Blizzard (2014) Shailene Woodley, Eva Green, Christopher Meloni, Shiloh Fernandez, Gabourey Sidibe, Thomas Jane. Kat Connors' perfect homemaker mother, Eve, a beautiful, enigmatic, and haunted woman, disappears -- just as Kat is discovering and relishing her newfound sexuality. Having lived for so long in a stifled, emotionally repressed household, she barely registers her mother's absence and certainly doesn't blame her doormat of a father, Brock, for the loss. In fact, it's almost a relief. But as time passes, Kat begins to come to grips with how deeply Eve's disappearance has affected her. Returning home on a break from college, she finds herself confronted with the truth about her mother's departure, and her own denial about the events surrounding it. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: Commentary with director Gregg Araki and actress Shailene Woodley; deleted and extended scenes; interview with Araki; interview with Woodley; AXS TV: A Look at White Bird In A Blizzard; theatrical trailer. (Magnolia Home Entertainment).

photo for The Zero Theorem (2014) Dir.: Terry Gilliam; Christoph Waltz, Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton, David Thewlis, Melanie Thierry. Sci-fi adventure in which a computer hacker whose goal is to discover the reason for human existence continually finds his work interrupted when Management sends a teenager and lusty love interest to distract him. Formats: DVD, Blu-ray Disc. Extras: "Behind the Scenes' featurette, featurettes on "The Visual Effects," "The Costumes" and "The Sets." Well Go USA).

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January 18, 2015
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