New to DVD and On Demand Releases for March 1 - 7
By Jay Bobbin
Releasing this week:
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1": In the beginning of the end of the screen versions of Suzanne Collins' best-sellers, heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is sought to unite the survivors of District 13 in an uprising against their society's leadership. Her concerns about the captured Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) weigh heavily on her decision, worrying the rebellion sponsors (Julianne Moore and, in his final movie role, Philip Seymour Hoffman) who want her participation. Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks and Donald Sutherland are among other returnees; "Mockingjay -- Part 2" will be in theaters in November. DVD extras: audio commentary by director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson; deleted scenes. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Foxcatcher": With five nominations in the most recent Academy Awards, director Bennett Miller's fact-inspired drama obviously was well-received, in no small part because of its performances ... two of which, by Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo, earned their own Oscar bids. Carell plays John du Pont, the wealthy patron of the 1988 U.S. wrestling team for the Olympics in Seoul ... one of whose members (Channing Tatum) is especially impressed by the sponsor. Ruffalo plays Tatum's brother, a gold medalist with his own take on the situation. Sienna Miller ("American Sniper''), Vanessa Redgrave and Anthony Michael Hall also appear; the script is by Dan Futterman, who also wrote "Capote'' for filmmaker Miller, and E. Max Frye. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Outlander: Season1, Volume 1": Diana Gabaldon's book series has yielded a hugely popular Starz romantic-adventure that resumes soon, and for those who want to catch up -- or to get initiated before subsequent episodes start in April -- here's an opportunity. Caitriona Balfe plays heroine Claire Randall, literally caught between two worlds when she finds herself taken from the era of World War II back to 18th-century Scotland, where she becomes the wife of warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Tobias Menzies has dual roles in the very scenic saga that also features Gary Lewis, Graham McTavish and Bill Paterson. DVD extras: two 'making-of' documentaries. (Not rated: AS, V)
"The Captive": Long regarded as one of the most challenging filmmakers working today, Atom Egoyan ("The Sweet Hereafter'') strikes again with this melodrama about a man (Ryan Reynolds) who spends years wondering what happened to his daughter, who vanished while in his care. His wife (Mireille Enos, "The Killing'') thinks he harmed the girl, but the work of two detectives (Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman) finally may lead to the resolution of the case. Bruce Greenwood and Alexia Fast ("Jack Reacher'') also star. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"Longmire: The Complete Third Season": Both mystery series and modern Western, the series will live on, since Netflix has ordered new episodes after A&E Network's cancellation of the show based on Craig Johnson's novels. In the meantime, this set of the most recent stories may help tide fans over as Wyoming lawman Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) faces many challenges after winning re-election as sheriff. One involves his friend Henry's (Lou Diamond Phillips) arrest on a murder charge, while another concerns the apparent reappearance of a long-missing man from a wealthy family. Katee Sackhoff, Cassidy Freeman and Bailey Chase also star. DVD extra: 'making-of' documentary. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Let's Kill Ward's Wife": Despite the title, this is a comedy, involving a wide cross-section of characters who have something in common ... none of them, including Ward (Donald Faison) himself, is a fan of his wife. An accident provides an immediate solution to that problem, but others are generated, including how to get rid of a corpse. Scott Foley ("Scandal''), Amy Acker ("Person of Interest''), Patrick Wilson, Nicollette Sheridan and Greg Grunberg ("Heroes'') also are in the ensemble cast. DVD extras: outtakes. (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)
"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)
"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)
"Fireball XL3: The Complete Series" (March 10): Col. Steve Zodiac and Venus are among the characters in a reissue of the classic, Gerry and Sylvia Anderson-produced "Supermarionation'' adventure. (Not rated: V)
"Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb" (March 10): In the series' third and last installment, Larry (Ben Stiller) goes to London in search of the tablet that brings exhibits to life. (PG: AS, P)
"Annie" (March 17): The musical about the famous orphan gets a revision starring Quvenzhane Wallis, Jamie Foxx and (as Miss Hannigan) Cameron Diaz. (PG: AS, P)
"Penguins of Madagascar" (March 17): The animated title characters are on a crusade to save the world; the voice cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich. (PG: AS)
"Interstellar" (March 31): A space explorer (Matthew McConaughey) seeks a future for mankind -- and, even closer to home, his family -- in the galaxy in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi drama. (PG-13: P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending Jan. 18, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "The Equalizer"
2) "No Good Deed"
3) "The Maze Runner"
4) "A Walk Among the Tombstones"
5) "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes"
6) "Guardians of the Galaxy"
7) "This is Where I Leave You"
10) "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.