NEW ON DVD
By ANDY GRAY
“Iron Man 3” – The superhero franchise gets a new director, but it sticks to a proven formula. Robert Downey Jr. remains its most special effect. Downey makes “Iron Man” feel light even when it weighs in on some serious thematic issues, from the need to put a face on our enemies to exploiting the desire of soldiers wounded in combat to be made whole again. Director / co-writer Shane Black and co-writer Drew Pearce do a commentary track. Other extras include deleted / extended scenes, a gag reel, the featurettes “Iron Man 3: Unmasked” and “Deconstructing the Scene: Attack on Air Force One” and the Marvel One-Shot short film “Agent Carter.” (Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment, $29.99 DVD, $44.99 Blu-ray / DVD combo)
“The Kings of Summer” – This is a coming-of-age tale about three teenage boys who decide to flee what they see as misunderstanding and oppressive parents and build a house in the middle of the woods. Shot entirely in northeast Ohio, this is a likable, entertaining film that deserved a wider audience than it found in theaters. A commentary track features director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, screenwriter Chris Galletta and stars Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias. All versions also include an interview with co-stars Alison Brie and Eugene Cordero. The Blu-ray adds deleted / extended scenes and the featurettes “The Long Shot” and “Frankly Speaking with Frank Toy.” (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray)
“Room 237” – This documentary focuses on five of the more extreme interpretations of the true meaning behind Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining,” which range from claims that it’s really about the Holocaust to a belief that the movie is Kubrick’s confession that he helped fake the footage of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The movie also works as a celebration of Kubrick and as a look at the subjectivity of critical analysis. Director Kevin McLeod recorded a commentary track. Other extras include deleted scenes and a panel discussion from the first Stanley Film Festival. (MPI Home Video, $27.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray)
“V/H/S 2” – This horror anthology sequel follows a similar format as the original. Investigators looking into the disappearance of a student find a collection of VHS tapes in his home. The sequel features segments directed by Adam Wingard (“You’re Next”), Eduardo Sanchez (“The Blair Witch Project”) and Timo Tjahjanto. (Magnolia Home Entertainment, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray, $39.98 Blu-ray/DVD/VHS combo)
New on DVD
By ANDY GRAY
New this week on DVD and Blu-ray:
“World War Z” – This is a zombie film on a scale that’s never been attempted before, showing the tipping point as major cities go from blissfully unaware of the impending doom to dealing with the rapid-fire transformation of folks from human to … something else. Yeah, it has only some surface similarities with the novel by Max Brooks that is the source material, and there are elements of the story that don’t hold up to close scrutiny. But in the moment, I didn’t care about any of that. “World War Z” is frightening, riveting, edge-of-your seat entertainment.
The Blu-ray includes an extended, unrated cut of the film. Other extras include a four-part featurette on production of the film and the additional featurettes “Origins” and “Looking to Science.” It also includes a digital copy. (Paramount Home Entertainment, $29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $54.99 3D Blu-ray)
“The Bling Ring” – Sofia Coppola wrote and directed this film, based on the true story of a group of celebrity-obsessed teens who used the Internet to track celebrities’ moves and then robbed their homes while they were at galas and movie premieres. The cast features Emma Watson, Israel Broussard, Taissa Farmiga, Leslie Mann, Katie Chang, Gavin Rossdael and Paris Hilton.
Extras include the featurettes “Making the Bling Ring: On Set with Sofia, Cast and Crew,” “Behind the Real Bling Ring” and “Scene of the Crime with Paris Hilton.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray)
“Disconnect” – A series of interlocking stories (featuring an ensemble cast with Jason Bateman, Hope Davis, Frank Grillo, Paula Patton, Alexander Skarsgard and others) show has technology is separating people instead of bringing them together.
Director Henry-Alex Rubin recorded a commentary track and the disc also includes the featurette “Making the Connections: Behind the Scenes of Disconnect.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray)
“The East” – Brit Marling plays an investigator assigned to infiltrate an ecoterrorist group who starts to sympathize with the cause in a thriller costarring Alexander Skarsgard and Ellen Page. (Fox Searchlight, $22.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray)
“Breakout” – Brandon Fraser stars as a father who breaks out of prison in order to protect his children, who are targeted by criminals (Dominic Purcell, Ethan Suplee) after witnessing a murder. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $26.99 DVD)
“Drift” – Xavier Samuel and Myles Pollard play brothers who turn their passion for surfing into a thriving business, battling corruption and adversity along the way. Sam Worthington costars. The only extras are cast-and-crew interviews. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.99 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray)
“Greetings from Tim Buckley” – This movie tells the dual stories of singer Jeff Buckley (Penn Badgley) and his folk star father Tim Buckley (Ben Rosenfield) as the aspiring singer is invited to perform at a tribute concert for his late father, a show that helped launch his career. (New Video Group, $26.95 DVD)
“Scenic Route” – Two old friends (Josh Duhamel, Dan Fogler) turn on each other after they are stranded in the desert when their car breaks down. They spend the time waiting to be rescued by picking apart each other. (Vertical Entertainment, $20.99 DVD, $24.99 Blu-ray)
“And Now a Word From Our Sponsor” – Bruce Greenwood plays an ad executive who is found unconscious. When he awakes, he only can communicate in advertising slogans in a film costarring Parker Posey. (Virgil Films and Entertainment, $19.99 DVD)
“Gimme the Loot” – This low-budget film tells the story of two graffiti artists who set out to tag the apple that rises from the outfield at Shea Stadium every time one of the New York Mets hits a home run. (IFC, $24.98 DVD)
New on DVD
New this week on DVD and Blu-ray:
“Star Trek Into Darkness” – The second film by J.J. Abrams in this reboot of the “Star Trek” franchise has Captain Kirk the crew of the Enterprise chasing after a threat – a familiar threat to fans of the series – to the Federation and the universe.
Extras include six featurettes on such topics as “Creating the Red Planet,” “The Klingon Home World” and “Attack on Starfleet.” (Paramount Home Entertainment, $29.99 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy combo, 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray/DVD/digital copy)
“Phil Spector” – Made for HBO, this is a fascinating drama about famed music producer Phil Spector’s murder trial in connection with the shooting death of Lana Clarkson. Writer-director David Mamet leans toward Spector’s innocence while at the same time creating a damning portrait of the meglomaniacal musical genius. Spector’s personality is well-suited to Pacino’s larger-than-life approach, and the always great Helen Mirren is a worthy foil as his defense attorney. (HBO Films, $19.98 DVD)
“Peeples” – Long-time supporting player/ensemble cast actor Craig Robinson (“The Office”) gets a starring role in this comedy about a working class guy who decides to surprise his girlfriend (Kerry Washington) with a proposal while she’s at a reunion with her upper-crust family. David Alan Grier, Diahann Carroll, S. Epatha Merkerson, Melvin Van Peebles and Tyler James Williams costar.
Director Tina Gordon Chism is joined by Robinson, Washington and several other actors for a commentary track. The disc also comes with a gag reel and the featurette “Meet the Peeples, Jam with the Fam.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray)
“Love Is All You Need” – Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm star in this romantic comedy about a widower and a woman recently jilted by her husband for a younger woman. They meet in Italy, where his son and her daughter are about to wed.
Brosnan joined director Susanne Bier (whose film “In a Better World” won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film) for a commentary track. The disc also includes a behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews with the cast. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $30.99 DVD, $35.99 Blu-ray)
“Wish You Were Here”- A vacation in Cambodia goes bad when one of four travellers disappears. And one or more of the other three may know more than they let on in this mystery starring Joel Edgerton, Teresa Palmer and Felicity Price.
Extras include a making-of featurette and cast and crew interviews. (Entertainment One, $24.98 DVD)
“Blood” – Two brothers (Paul Bettany and Stephen Graham) who are detectives trying to find a killer in their small town while dealing with the expectations that come from being the sons of a revered former police chief (Brian Cox). (Image Entertainment, $27.97 DVD, $29.97 Blu-ray)
“Chasing Ice” – Environmental photographer James Balog sets out to document the effects of global warming by using time-lapse cameras stationed across the Arctic to show the changes in glaciers over several years. Jeff Orlowski’s film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and won that honor at several film festivals. (New Video Group, $29.95 DVD, $39.95 Blu-ray)
“We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks” – Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) looks at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange as well as Pfc. Bradley Manning, who leaked classified documents to the site. (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD)
“War Witch” – Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film, this drama tells the story of an African girl abducted by guerrilla fighters at age 12 and made to fight for them. (New Video Group, $26.95 DVD)
New on DVD
By ANDY GRAY
New this week on DVD and Blu-ray:
“Now You See Me” – While many big-budget films failed to live up to box-office expectations over the summer, this film proved magical, earning $116 million. A team of illusionists (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco) pulls off an impressive feat – robbing a bank in Paris while on stage in Las Vegas – and fleeces a white collar criminal in the process. Mark Ruffalo plays an FBI agent determined to prove how they did it. Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine and Melanie Laurent costar.
The DVD includes a commentary track with director Louis Leterrier and producer Bobby Cohen along with the featurette “Now You See Me Revealed.” The Blu-ray edition adds an extended cut that is 16 minutes longer than the original release, deleted scenes and an additional featurette, “A Brief History of Magic.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray)
“Sharknado” Forget about those blockbusters opening in 4,000 theaters. One of the most talked about films of the summer was this no-budget Syfy Channel original that had Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and the rest of Southern California battling deadly great white sharks that were falling from the sky. (The Asylum, $14.98 DVD, $19.93 Blu-ray)
“The Iceman” Michael Shannon stars in a film based on the life of Richard Kuklinski, who portrayed himself as a simple family man but was really a gun for hire who killed more than 100 men. Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, Winona Ryder, James Franco, David Schwimmer and Robert Davi costar. (Millennium, $28.99 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray)
“Arthur Newman” Colin Firth plays a man bored with life who buys a convertible and embarks on a cross-country trip while pretending to be a golf pro. Along the way he meets a woman (Emily Blunt) with her own set of secrets in this dramedy. (New Video Group, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray)
- “Empire State” Chris Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson, Emma Roberts, Nikki Reed and Michael Angarano star in a crime drama about two buddies who rob an armored truck company and try to elude the New York police detective who’s tracking them.
Director Dito Montiel recorded a commentary track. Other extras include deleted scenes and the featurettes “Creating an Empire” and “Anatomy of a Heist: Interview with Chris Potamitis The Mastermind Behind the Robbery.” (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.985 DVD, $24.98 Blu-ray)
- “Stories We Tell” Sarah Polley directed this documentary that explores the fluid nature of truth, interviewing her family of storytellers and discovering that truth is different, depending upon who is telling the story. (Lionsgate Home Entertainment, $19.98 DVD)
- “The Lords of Salem” Rob Zombie directed this arty horror tale about a DJ in Salem, Mass., who plays a mysterious slab of vinyl and brings back that city’s witchy past. (Anchor Bay, $26.98 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray)
- “The English Teacher” Julianne Moore plays the title character, who tries to help a former student by staging his play at his alma mater. Nathan Lane, Greg Kinnear and Michael Angarano costar. (Cinedigm, $24.95 DVD, $29.95 Blu-ray)
- “From Up On Poppy Hill” Teens try to save a clubhouse from being destroyed as Tokyo prepares to host the 1964 Olympics in this animated film directed by Goro Miyazaki, son of famed animator Hayao Miyazaki. (Cinedigm, $29.95 DVD, $34.95 Blu-ray)
- “The Stranger Within” A couple (Billy Baldwin and Estella Warren) goes on vacation to a house on a remote Mediterranean island. Their first night there they are greeted on their doorstep by a screaming young woman with blood on her hands. The vacation goes downhill from there in this psychological thriller. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, $22.99 DVD)
- “Evocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie” This documentary looks at the career of Morton Downey Jr., who became a star in the late ’80s with his confrontational talk show. (Magnolia Home Entertainment, $26.98 DVD, $29.98 Blu-ray)