“Fast Five” (Universal) takes the fast cars and speed-demon criminals to Rio, where they take on a drug lord and a cool $100 million. It’s a cast reunion featuring co-conspirators from all four previous installments and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who signs on as their new nemesis: a humorless American agent with a brawny presence that makes him a veritable double for Vin Diesel, minus the street-smart grin. Videodrone’s review is here.
“Scream 4” (Anchor Bay) reunites director Wes Craven and screenwriter Kevin Williamson for a revival of the self-aware horror franchise. Videodrone’s review is here. “Submarine” (Anchor Bay) is a British indie coming-of-age drama.
And a big week for non-fiction cinema: “African Cats” (Disney) is Disney’s natural history documentary, the acclaimed “Buck” (IFC) profiles the real-life man who inspired “The Horse Whisperer, and “Jig” (Screen Media), a look into the little known world of competitive Irish Dancing.
TV on DVD:
Just a day after concluding its three-night run on PBS, Ken Burns’ “Prohibition” (PBS/Paramount) arrives on DVD and Blu-ray. Though not one of the director’s epics, it explores a misunderstood period of American history and discovers remarkable parallels to contemporary politics. Videodrone’s review is here, and I interview Ken Burns here.
“Moby Dick” (Vivendi), the new made-for-cable mini-series, stars William Hurt, Donald Sutherland, Ethan Hawke and Gillian Anderson.
New deluxe editions are now out for “The Walking Dead: Special Edition” (Anchor Bay) and “Planet Earth: Six Disc Special Edition” (BBC), on both DVD and Blu-ray (reviewed here), and “The Honeymooners Lost Episodes: The Complete Restored Series” (MPI) in an exhaustive 15-discs DVD box set.
“In Treatment: The Complete Third Season” (HBO) brings the high-concept HBO drama serial to an end, and there are new collections of “Bored to Death: The Complete Second Season” (HBO), “Melissa & Joey: Season One, Part Two” (Shout! Factory) and, in anticipation of the revival of MTV’s signature animated series, “Beavis And Butt-Head: Mike Judge’s Most Wanted” (Paramount).
Cool, Classic and Cult:
“Amer” (Olive), a Belgian mindtrip from directors Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, pays tribute to the giallo, a deliriously stylish brand of Italian horror, with a subjective psychosexual trip that defies explanation but is a glorious experience nevertheless (or perhaps because of it). Videdrone’s review is here.
“Friday the 13th: The Ultimate Collection” (Paramount) boxes up the eight films of the original slasher series in a Limited Edition box with a replica of Jason’s hockey mask, and “Alfred Hitchcock: The Essentials Collection” (Universal) collects five Hitchcock masterpieces of the fifties and sixties in a digipack packed with supplements (all previously available in earlier releases).
“The Lion King / The Lion King 3D” (Disney) comes off a successful theatrical 3D revival and on to Blu-ray, in both the original theatrical version and the new 3D incarnation.
Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” (Lionsgate) and “Jackie Brown” (Lionsgate) debut on Blu-ray (reviewed here), as do Tim Burton’s “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” (Warner) and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Warner).
Videodrone talks with “Jackie Brown” stars Pam Grier and Robert Forster here.
For Coming Attractions and more reviews, visit Videodrone, MSN’s DVD, Blu-ray and home viewing column.