New to DVD and On Demand Releases for January 25 - 31

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23 January 2015
By Jay Bobbin 

Releasing this week:

"Fury": Brad Pitt is back in a military milieu in this World War II drama from writer-director David Ayer, typically a maker of gritty police tales ("Training Day," "End of Watch"). He applies the same style to the story of a Sherman tank's crew, led by Pitt and challenged by bigger, better-armed forces behind enemy lines. Shia LaBeouf (doing some of his best work of recent times here), Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal ("The Walking Dead") also are in the cast. (R: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Judge"The Judge": Also a producer of the film along with his wife Susan, Robert Downey Jr. does an effective job in this drama as a cocky attorney who has a tense homecoming. After his mother's funeral, he ends up representing his estranged father (Robert Duvall), the title judge who is suspected in the hit-and-run death of a defendant he let off with a relatively light sentence ... and who then went on to kill a teenager. Vera Farmiga, Vincent D'Onofrio, Jeremy Strong, Dax Shepard, Billy Bob Thornton, Leighton Meester and Sarah Lancaster ("Chuck") also are in the impressive cast. DVD extras: two 'making-of' documentaries; audio commentary by director David Dobkin; deleted scenes. (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Before I Go To Sleep"Before I Go To Sleep": Nicole Kidman goes the thriller route again in this melodrama, playing a woman who goes the "Groundhog Day" route ... waking each day with no memory of her existence. Her husband (Colin Firth, with whom Kidman also worked recently in "The Railway Man") and her doctor (Mark Strong) try to help her reassemble her past. Eventually, she comes to suspect that someone will do anything to make sure she doesn't remember certain things. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; four 'making-of' documentaries. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
The Book of Life"The Book of Life": Diego Luna, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube, Zoe Saldana, Christina Applegate and Ron Perlman are in the voice cast of this animated tale -- with Guillermo del Toro ("Pan's Labyrinth") among its producers -- about two youngsters who become the sources of a bet during the Mexican festival known as the Day of the Dead. Others place odds on their romantic rivalry over the same girl, with the outcome determining the youths' respective destinies. DVD extras: two 'making-of' documentaries; audio commentary by director Jorge R. Gutierrez; art galleries. (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)

Also Releasing this week:
The Remaining"The Remaining": A wedding turns out to be anything but a joyous occasion for those in attendance in this thriller, which interrupts the nuptials with a stunning apocalypse. Several friends who escape the initial crisis grapple with questions of faith as they try to survive the ongoing calamity unfolding around them. Cast members include Alexa Vega ("Spy Kids"), Shaun Sipos ("The Vampire Diaries") and Italia Ricci ("Chasing Life"). DVD extras: 'making-of' documentary; deleted scene. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"The Story of Women and Art": While many of history's legendary artists have been men, female counterparts also have demonstrated they can be more than subjects for those painters, but painters in their own right. This documentary surveys works by such artists from history to the present day, with Professor Amanda Vickery -- of Queen Mary University of London -- covering four centuries of achievements. Joanna Koerten and Angelica Kauffman are among those whose creativity is showcased. (Not rated)

Upcoming Releases:

"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)
"The Best of Me" (Feb. 3): In the Nicholas Sparks story, a former high-school couple (James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan) is reunited years later. (PG-13: AS, P)
"John Wick" (Feb. 3): Keanu Reeves plays a former hired killer who uses the tricks of his trade again on a personal revenge mission. (R: AS, P, GV)
"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)

TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending Dec. 14, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "Tammy"
2)  "22 Jump Street"
3) "Guardians of the Galaxy"
4) "Maleficent"
5) "The Expendables 3)
6) "Let's Be Cops"
7) "The Giver"
8) "How to Train your Dragon 2"
9) "Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas"
10) "The Purge: Anarchy"

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