It's a big week for new releases, with both the top-grossing film of 2013 and a newly crowned Academy Award winner for Best Picture topping the list:
"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" "Catching Fire" is a better book than "The Hunger Games," and it also makes for a better movie. It's darker and more complex than the first film, providing more depth to the characters and expanding on the relationships among them. It also contains some surprising twists, at least for those who haven't read the Suzanne Collins' novels on which the films are based.
One year after being the first joint winners of the Hunger Games, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are thrust back into the battle to the death while revolution threatens the totalitarian government that stages the barbaric event.
All versions include a commentary track with director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobson as well as deleted scenes an a sneak preview of the film "Divergent." Blu-ray buyers get the nine-part feature-length documentary "Surviving the Game: Making Catching Fire." (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray)
"12 Years a Slave" This drama, based on the true story of a free black man who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1840s, won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong'o) and Best Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley). Chiwetel Ejiofor delivers a heart-wrenching performance as Solomon Northrup, and Steve McQueen tells his story in a brutal film that is easier to admire than to love.
Extras include the featurettes "A Historical Portrait," "The Team" and "The Score." (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, $29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray)
"Philomena" This Best Picture nominee went home empty-handed at Sunday's Academy Awards, but adults will find much to enjoy in this film starring Judi Dench as a woman trying to find out what happen to the son that was taken from her decades ago by the Catholic church. Steve Coogan, who cowrote the film, plays a journalist reluctantly helping her. The end result is a movie that's funnier than audiences might expect, considering the subject matter, while not shying away from the details of its true story. (Anchor Bay, $29.98 DVD, $34.99 Blu-ray)
"Oldboy" The Spike Lee-directed American remake of this Korean cult favorite was a box-office bust, barely earning $2 million in theaters. Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson and Elizabeth Olson star.
The disc comes with alternate / extended scenes and the featurettes "The Making of Oldboy," "Transformation" and "Talking Heads." (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray)
"Cold Comes the Night" Bryan Cranston plays a nearly blind criminal who, after his driver is killed, kidnaps a woman (Alice Eve) and her young daughter and forces the woman to be his driver. But she has her own problems and her own plans to exploit the situation in this thriller.
The disc includes deleted scenes. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $26.99 DVD, $30.99 Blu-ray)
"Hours" Paul Walker plays a father trying to keep his newborn child alive in the wake of Hurricane Katrina in a drama written and directed by Eric Heisser.
Extras include a music video for the song "All I Feel Is You" by Safran, and a public service announcement for Reach Out World Wide, a charity founded by Walker, who died last year in an automobile accident. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD)
"The Grandmaster" Wong Kar Wai directed this film about Ip Man, the kung fu master best known as Bruce Lee's mentor. Extras include the featurettes "The Grandmaster: From Ip Man to Bruce Lee," "A Conversation with Shannon Lee, Daughter of Bruce Lee" and "The Grandmaster According to RZA." (Anchor Bay, $24.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray)
"The Last Days On Mars" A team of astronauts think they may have discovered life on Mars, and that "life" may have reanimated one of their dead cohorts in a science fiction feature starring Liev Schreiber, Olivia Williams, Romola Garai and Elias Koteas. (Magnolia Home Entertainment, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray)
"Snowflake the White Gorilla" David Spade, Jennette McCurdy, Ariana Grande, Nathan Kress, Keith David, Christopher Lloyd and Dallas Lovato provide the voices for this animated feature about the world's only white gorilla, who dreams of looking just like everyone else.
Extras include a look at the voice recording sessions and award-winning shorts from Miniscule, the animation company that made the movie. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD)
"Girl Rising" This documentary looks at the power of education in changing the lives of nine girls from nine different countries. Narrators include Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett, Selena Gomez, Chloe Moretz, Freida Pinto, Salma Hayek, Meryl Streep, Alicia Keys and Kerry Washington. (Docurama, $29.95)