New to DVD and On Demand Releases for December 28 - January

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28 December 2014
By Jay Bobbin 

Releasing this week:

The Equalizer"The Equalizer": The name is the same, but Denzel Washington gives a major update to Robert McCall -- the ex-CIA man played by Edward Woodward in a 1980s CBS series -- in this effective action tale that reunites Washington with Antoine Fuqua, the director who guided him to an Oscar in "Training Day." McCall puts the tricks of his old trade back in play as he avenges the mistreatment of a young friend (Chloe Grace Moretz) by Russian mobsters who forced her into prostitution. The fact that McCall now works in a hardware store increases the weapons he has on hand; Bull Pullman, Melissa Leo and David Harbour ("State of Affairs") also appear. DVD extras: two 'making-of' documentaries. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Stephen King's A Good Marriage "Stephen King's A Good Marriage": With author King's name attached, you just know the title's allegedly "good" marriage is destined not to stay that way. King adapts his own short story as Joan Allen and Anthony LaPaglia play the partners in a long, presumably strong union ... but the relationship goes south, quickly and dangerously, when the wife discovers the secret her mate has long kept. Stephen Lang, Kristen Connolly ("House of Cards") and Mike O'Malley ("Glee") also star. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on On Demand)
Banxhee: Second Season"Banshee: The Complete Second Season": Matters are still unsettled, and unsettling, in the title Pennsylvania town in this round of the often violent Cinemax drama series. Reformed thief Carrie Hopewell (Ivana Milicevic) has to decide where to place her loyalty -- with her now-estranged family or with her former colleague and ex-beau, Lucas Hood (Antony Starr) -- as the battle for power in Banshee continues. Ulrich Thomsen, Frankie Faison and Odette Annable also are featured. DVD extras: audio commentaries with cast and crew members; deleted scenes; episode recaps; cast and crew Twitter commentary. (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

Since new releases are on the light side this holiday week, here's a look at several of the past year's top home-video hits:
"Gravity": One of 2013's true blockbusters -- and rightfully so -- director and co-writer Alfonso Cuaron's nail-biter strands astronauts, played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, in space after debris from a satellite strikes their shuttle. As technically excellent as the film is, Bullock's emotional, affecting performance is equally key to the picture's success. Cuaron won an Oscar for his directing here. DVD extras: three 'making-of' documentaries; "Collision Point: The Race to Clean Up Space" documentary; short film "Aningaaq." (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Frozen": The Disney studio added another animated smash to its inventory, plus Oscar wins for best animated feature and best song ("Let It Go"), with this hugely successful fantasy adapted from Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" and sparked by a woman (voice of Idina Menzel) with the gift -- and curse -- of turning anything, or anyone, to ice. She runs away to stop herself from hurting those she loves, but her sister (voice of Kristen Bell) goes in pursuit. Jonathan Groff is heard as the seeker's partner in adventure, with Josh Gad hilarious as an offbeat snowman named Olaf. A ''Sing-Along Edition'' also is available. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; music videos; "Get a Horse" short subject. (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Dalllas Buyers Club": Matthew McConaughey earned wide praise -- and an Oscar -- not only for his acting, but also for his physical transformation in this fact-inspired drama about a self-styled modern cowboy who typically approaches the situation his own way when he's diagnosed as HIV-positive. He goes to various, often risky lengths to find a cure on his own, ultimately getting a partner in his quest (played by fellow Oscar winner Jared Leto). Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Denis O'Hare ("American Horror Story") and Griffin Dunne also appear. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentary; deleted scenes. (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

Upcoming Releases:

"Get On Up" (Jan. 6): Chadwick Boseman plays James Brown, the music icon who channeled his energy and ambition to become known as ``the hardest working man in show business.'' (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"No Good Deed" (Jan. 6): A family woman (Taraji P. Henson) comes to regret giving assistance to a stranger (Idris Elba) who turns out to be an escaped convict. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Men, Women & Children" (Jan. 13): Teens and their parents deal with the Internet in director Jason Reitman's comedy-drama; Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner star. (R: AS, P)
"A Walk Among Tombstones" (Jan. 13): A former cop turned private detective (Liam Neeson) becomes involved in a drug dealer's (Dan Stevens) plight. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Annabelle" (Jan. 20): The spirit within a vintage doll makes things tough for the cultists who invade its new owners' (Annabelle Wallis, John Gordon) home. (R: AS, P, V)
"The Box Trolls" (Jan. 20): An orphan tries to protect the trash collectors who raised him from an exterminator in this animated fantasy; Ben Kingsley is in the voice cast. (PG: AS)
"Lucy" (Jan. 20): A innocent (Scarlett Johansson) is transformed into a furious warrior by an untested drug in writer-director Luc Besson's sci-fi-adventure; Morgan Freeman also stars. (R: AS, P, V)


FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.

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