Take ‘Taken 2’ home on DVD
New this week on DVD and Blu-ray:
“Taken 2” – Critics weren’t as taken with Liam Neeson’s second revenge thriller, but it didn’t seem to bother audiences much. It still grossed nearly $140 million in theaters. This time Neeson’s retired CIA operative Bryan Mills and his wife are kidnapped by the father of one of the men Mills killed in the first movie.
The disc includes an unrated, extended version of the film. (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, $29.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray)
“The Possession” – A girl purchases a mysterious box at a yard sale that unleashes a demonic spirit that will devour its human host. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick and Natasha Calis star in a film produced by Sam Raimi.
The disc includes two commentary tracks, one by director Ole Bornedal and a second with screenwriters Juliet Snowden and Stiles White. Also included is the featurette “The Real History of the Dibbuk Box.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray)
“To Rome with Love” – Woody Allen’s latest ensemble comedy weaves together several stories that take place in Italy. The cast includes Alec Baldwin, Roberto Benigni, Penelope Cruz, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Ellen Page and Allen.
The only extra is the featurette “Con Amore: A Passion for Rome.” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray)
“Won’t Back Down” – Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis star in a movie that uses a proven Hollywood formula – the underdog who battles social injustice against a monolithic bureaucracy – to deliver its message that teachers’ unions are a major impediment to improving metropolitan schools. How much viewers enjoy the movie will depend heavily on how much they agree with the message, but it’s well-acted and does a better job than most polemical films of presenting the other side of the argument.
Director Daniel Barnz provides a feature-length commentary track and also does optional commentary on the deleted scenes. Also included are the featurettes “A Tribute to Teachers” and “The Importance of Education.” (20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, $22.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray)
“The Paperboy” -Based on novel by Pete Dexter and directed by Lee Daniels (“Precious”), this southern crime tale focuses on a reporter (Matthew McConaughey) who goes back home to interview a death row inmate (John Cusack). Then there’s the reporter’s younger brother (Zac Efron), who gets involved with an older femme fatale (Nicole Kidman). The movie received some savage reviews in mostly limited release, but it also generated a little awards buzz for Kidman, who was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. (Millennium, $28.99 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray)
“Branded” – Ed Stoppard, Leelee Sobieski, Jeffrey Tambor and Max Von Sydow star in a futuristic tale where corporations rule the world and a conspiracy is afoot to control the minds of the population. One man is determined to stop it. Directors Jamie Bradshaw and Alexander Doulerain provide a commentary track. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $27.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray)
“17 Girls” – This French film tells the story of a group of teenaged girls in a working class town who all decide to get pregnant and raise their babies together. (Strand Releases, $27.99 DVD)
“5 Broken Cameras” – Nominated last week for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, this film is assembled primarily from footage shot by a Palestinian farmer living in a West Bank village where Israeli settlements are expanding. (Kino Lorber, $29.95 DVD)
“The Other Dream Team” – This documentary chronicles the 1992 Olympic basketball team from Lithuania, whose members became symbols of that country’s independence movement to escape Soviet control. Director/co-writer Marius A. Markevicius and co-writer Jon Weinbach are featured on a commentary track and a Q&A featurette. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $24.98 DVD)