New to DVD and On Demand Releases for February 1 - 7
Releasing this week:
"John Wick": If it seemed Keanu Reeves merely had been marking time with many of his movies in recent years, he came back with a vengeance -- in every sense -- with this gripping, stunningly staged melodrama made by two stunt men, Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Reeves' title character is a recent widower and former hitman who becomes a target of Russian gang members. Big mistake, guys: Wick uses the tricks of his trade again on a personal revenge mission, though one of his new enemies (Alfie Allen) is the son of Wick's ex-boss (Michael Nyqvist). The noteworthy cast also includes Bridget Moynahan ("Blue Bloods''), Dean Winters ("Oz''), Adrianne Palicki, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe. (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Dracula Untold": The roots of the vampire are traced as Luke Evans plays the young Vlad, who ensures a bloodthirsty future for himself by pacting with an otherworldly being to sell his soul. What benefits his family and country becomes an eternal curse for the Count Dracula-to-be. Dominic Cooper ("Marvel's Agent Carter'') and Charles Dance ("Game of Thrones'') also are featured. DVD extras: audio commentary by director Gary Shore and production designer Francois Audouy; two 'making-of' documentaries. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby": The Showtime series "The Affair" may have gotten there first for some viewers, but writer-director Ned Benson's drama takes a similar approach of "Him" and "Her" takes on the same relationship story. Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy play spouses struggling to salvage their marriage, though it may be too late. The disc offers the "Them'' theatrical release that merges both perspectives, but it also includes the two separate versions originally made to specify the view of each of the central characters. Viola Davis ("How to Get Away With Murder''), Bill Hader, Jess Weixler ("The Good Wife'') and William Hurt also appear. (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Best of Me": Best-selling author Nicholas Sparks' knack for romances between people with troubled pasts continued with this tale, with a properly sincere James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan as former high school classmates who were romantically connected in their teens. A funeral brings them back together and renews their relationship. The home-video edition offers an option to revise the plot, thanks to a new "Tears of Joy'' story and an alternate ending. Co-stars include Luke Bracey ("The November Man''), and the music score features Lady Antebellum. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentary; audio commentary by director Michael Hoffman; music video. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"Ouija": The Hasbro toy company's biggest movie tie-ins clearly have been the "Transformers'' and "G.I. Joe'' series, but the firm's hand also is in this average horror story inspired by the title board game. A woman (Olivia Cooke) and her friends play it to determine whether it had anything to do with her sister's apparent suicide. Daren Kagasoff ("Red Band Society''), Matthew Settle ("Gossip Girl'') and genre staple Lin Shaye also star. DVD extra: 'making-of' documentary. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Coffee Town": Three friends (Glenn Howerton, Steve Little, Ben Schwartz) try to prevent their favorite coffee shop from being converted into an upscale bistro in writer-director Brad Copeland's enjoyable comedy, the first feature to stem from the online site CollegeHumor. The pals decide to stage a heist, hoping to create the impression that the shop is located in an undesirable area ... and to prompt the development plans to be scuttled. Adrianne Palicki and music star Josh Groban also are featured. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" (Feb. 10): As he turns 12, Alexander makes a wish that causes trouble (Ed Oxenbould) for his whole family; Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner also star. (PG: AS, P)
"Nightcrawler" (Feb. 10): Jake Gyllenhaal plays a videographer who provides graphic crime footage to an eager TV-news producer (Rene Russo). (R: AS, P, GV)
"Dumb and Dumber To" (Feb. 17): Lloyd and Harry (Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels) reunite to find the daughter Harry didn't know he had. (PG-13: AS, N, P)
"The Homesman" (Feb. 17): A drifter (Tommy Lee Jones, also the director here) is recruited by a frontierswoman (Hilary Swank) to help transport several troubled people. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Life Itself" (Feb. 17): The life of movie critic Roger Ebert is recalled, in his own words and those of others including filmmakers Martin Scorsese and Werner Herzog. (R: AS, P)
"Sons of Anarchy: Season Seven" (Feb. 24): The saga concludes as Jax (Charlie Hunnam) realizes how close to home the source of a personal tragedy is -- and weighs his need for vengeance. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending Dec. 28, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
2) "Guardians of the Galaxy"
4) "Into the Storm"
5) "Let's Be Cops"
6) "22 Jump Street"
8) "If I Stay"
9) "The November Man"
10) "The Expendables 3"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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