New to DVD and On Demand Releases for February 22 - 28

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22 February 2015
By Jay Bobbin 

Releasing this week:

Whiplash"Whiplash": Now up for Oscars for best picture and supporting actor (J.K. Simmons, recently a Golden Globe Award winner), writer-director Damien Chazelle's superbly intense drama examines the relationship between a music student (Miles Teller) and a relentlessly demanding professor (Simmons). Despite the oppressive circumstances, the young drummer takes what he learns to heart, to the degree that the teacher may end up standing in his way. Paul Reiser and Melissa Benoist ("Glee") also appear, but the picture's biggest triumph is in providing veteran character actor Simmons with an unforgettable role that's immediately among his career hallmarks. (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Big Hero 6"Big Hero 6": An Oscar nominee for best animated feature, this Disney treat works in the theme of modern technology to a big degree. When danger invades their atmosphere, an inflatable robot and a young genius (voices of Scott Adsit and Ryan Potter) combine their abilities, with some other youths given special traits to help fight the threat. Damon Wayans Jr., James Cromwell, Maya Rudolph and Katie Lowes ("Scandal") also are heard. (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Horrible Bosses 2"Horrible Bosses 2": Buddies Nick, Dale and Kurt (Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jason Sudeikis) have a new reason to get mad -- and vengeful -- in this comedy sequel, as their idea for an innovative shower device is stolen by a purported investor (Christoph Waltz). The trio then decides to kidnap the thief's son (Chris Pine), intending to use the ransom to bail themselves out of their financial woes. The main stars' camaraderie still goes a long way here. Jennifer Aniston, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx and Lindsay Sloane also reprise their roles from the first film. (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Beyond the Lights"Beyond the Lights": A new music sensation -- played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who became something of a sensation in her own right for this performance -- gets a respite from the demands of sudden fame from the policeman (Nate Parker, "Red Tails'') assigned to watch over her in this romantic drama. Her mother and his father (Minnie Driver, Danny Glover) have concerns about the relationship, but the new couple is determined to get past any and all hurdles. The film's Diane Warren-written song "Grateful'' is an Oscar nominee. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentary; theatrical trailer; deleted scenes. (PG-13: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

Also Releasing this week:
Force Majeure"Force Majeure": Writer-director Ruben Ostlund's much-praised and seriocomic -- and Cannes Film Festival prize-winning, and Golden Globe-nominated -- tale gives a Swedish marriage the same uncertain conditions generated by an avalanche while the couple in question (Johannes Bah Kunke, Lisa Loven Kongsli) is on a skiing outing in the French Alps with their children. What transpires rattles the family emotionally as well as physically. DVD extra: 'making-of' documentary. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
Sons of Anarchy"Sons of Anarchy: Season Seven": For anyone familiar with creator and executive producer Kurt Sutter's series, it should be no surprise that a sense of dread hangs over the final episodes of this series about a motorcycle club frequently caught up in violence. The death of his true love leaves Jax (Charlie Hunnam) bent on vengeance, not realizing how close to home his target is -- and setting up an expectedly tragic showdown. Katey Sagal (Sutter's wife), Jimmy Smits, Kim Coates and Drea de Matteo are among others wrapping up their roles. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)

Upcoming Releases:
"The Captive" (March 3): Eight years after a young girl vanished, new clues surface in director Atom Egoyan's melodrama; Ryan Reynolds, Scott Speedman and Rosario Dawson star. (R: AS, P)
"Foxcatcher" (March 3): An Olympic wrestler (Channing Tatum) joins a wealthy benefactor's (Academy Award nominee Steve Carell) team; Mark Ruffalo, Oscar-nominated as well, also stars. (R: AS, P, V)
"The Breakfast Club: 30th Anniversary" (March 10): Cast members Anthony Michael Hall and Judd Nelson provide a commentary track for this Blu-ray marking the film's three-decade milestone. (R: AS, P)
"Outlander: Season 1, Volume 1" (March 3): Based on Diana Gabaldon's books, the Starz romantic-adventure series features Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe. (Not rated: AS, V)
"The Red Tent" (March 10): Shown recently on Lifetime, the biblical drama stars Minnie Driver, Morena Baccarin, Rebecca Ferguson and Debra Winger. (Not rated: AS, V)
"The Sound of Music: 50th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition" (March 10): The half-century movie milestone of the beloved Rodgers & Hammerstein musical is marked; Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer star. (G)

TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending Jan. 11, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "The Equalizer"
2) "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
3) "No Good Deed"
4) "Guardians of the Galaxy"
5) "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
6) "Tammy"
7) "Let's Be Cops"
8) "22 Jump Street"
9) "Left Behind"
10) "Into the Storm"

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