New to DVD and On Demand Releases for January 18 - 24
Releasing this week:
"Lucy": Action-movie specialist Luc Besson ("Taken," "The Transporter") skillfully merges sci-fi and espionage in this clever story of a woman -- smartly played by Scarlett Johansson -- whose mental and physical skills increase dramatically after she ingests some of the dangerous drug she's forced to transport. She becomes a one-woman army, and those who are on her list for revenge can only be doomed. Morgan Freeman plays a professor who offers background on what causes the titanic change in our heroine. Analeigh Tipton ("Manhattan Love Story") has a supporting role. DVD extra: 'making-of' documentary. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Boxtrolls": An orphan tries to protect the trash collectors who raised him -- the title characters -- from an exterminator in this animated fantasy. An enemy with the decidedly villainous name Archibald Snatcher (voice of Ben Kingsley) doesn't make things easy for the young hero and his new accomplice in rescuing ... nor, obviously, for the Boxtrolls themselves. Tracy Morgan, Jared Harris ("Mad Men") and Nick Frost also are in the voice cast. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentaries; audio commentary by directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable. (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Zero Theorem": Big ideas collide with very human desires in one-of-a-kind director Terry Gilliam's story of the search for the reason mankind exists. Two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz plays a computer hacker who's on that hunt, but others who don't want him to complete it send a potential love interest (Melanie Thierry) to take his mind off his quest. Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton and David Thewlis also star. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentaries. (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Rudderless": Long acclaimed for his acting, William H. Macy ("Shameless") turns director with this drama about an advertising man (Billy Crudup) grieving over the loss of his son. The late musician's demo tapes are found by his dad, who decides to perform one of the tunes publicly -- then unites with another musician (Anton Yelchin, "Star Trek") to form an act that meets with surprising success. Felicity Huffman, Macy's wife, also appears. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentary; deleted scenes; music video. (R: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"Annabelle": Chucky of "Child's Play" fame isn't the only deadly doll to fuel a movie, it turns out, as proven by this reasonably effective horror tale. The film is a prequel of sorts to "The Conjuring," making a couple -- played by Ward Horton and the appropriately named Annabelle Wallis -- the victims of a home invasion by cult members. The attackers don't realize that the husband has given his wife the vintage doll named Annabelle ... but the supposedly inanimate object's power soon becomes lethally clear. Alfre Woodard and Tony Amendola ("Once Upon a Time") also are featured. DVD extra: 'making-of' documentary. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Drop": Unable to repay a loan from the underworld, two relatives find themselves enmeshed in a struggle for survival in this melodrama. Trying to get the money they need to let themselves off the hook with the Mob, a bartender and his boss (Tom Hardy and, in his final screen appearance, James Gandolfini) get involved in a robbery that goes bad ... sending matters for them from awful to even worse. Noomi Rapace also stars. DVD extras: 'making-of' documentaries; audio commentary by director Michael R. Roskam and writer Dennis Lehane; deleted scenes. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Before I Go To Sleep" (Jan. 27): Nicole Kidman plays a woman whose memory is blanked out daily, putting her in peril when she starts recalling things. (R: AS, P, V)
"The Book Of Life" (Jan. 27): Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana are in the voice cast of this animated tale about a young man facing down his fears. (PG: AS)
"Fury" (Jan. 27): Brad Pitt stars as the leader of a Sherman tank crew operating behind enemy lines during World War II. (R: AS, P, GV)
"The Judge" (Jan. 27): An attorney (Robert Downey Jr.) represents his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the title judge, against a murder charge. (R: AS, P)
"Dracula Untold" (Feb. 3): The roots of the vampire (Luke Evans) are traced as he tries to protect his family and kingdom. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"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)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending December 7, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "22 Jump Street"
4) "The Expendables 3"
5) "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas"
6) "The Giver"
7) "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
8) "The Purge: Anarchy"
9) "Sex Tape"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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