Hot Tips and Top Picks: DVDs and Blu-rays for December 27

New Releases:
Final Destination 5” (Warner) is yet another installment in the high-concept franchise that finds yet more new ways to dispatch its victims. This one begins with a bridge collapse and ends with a lot of corpses dispatched in creative fashion. In the words MSN film critic Kat Murphy, it “isn’t really a movie any more than a meat grinder is.” More on Videodrone here. On DVD and Blu-ray.

Brighton Rock” (MPI), the second screen version of Graham Greene’s novel about a pathological young hoodlum, stars Sam Riley as the coldly vicious young hood, John Hurt and Helen Mirren. On DVD only.

Apollo 18” (Anchor Bay) combines science-fiction, horror and the mock-documentary for a thriller that “exposes” the story of a secret mission to the moon funded by the Department of Defense. DVD and Blu-ray. Jason Sudeikis throws “A Good Old Fashioned Orgy” (Sony) and Lake Bell, Leslie Bibb, Tyler Labine, Will Forte and Lucy Punch join the party. DVD only.

On the foreign film front is “Tuesday, After Christmas” (Kino Lorber), a clear-eyed look at the human damage of an affair from Romania, and Alain Corneau’s psychological thriller “Love Crime” (IFC) starring Ludivine Sagnier and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Also new: the documentary “Jane’s Journey” (First Run) on Jane Goodall and Alexandre Rockwell’s “Pete Smalls is Dead” (Image) with Peter Dinklage and Tim Roth.

Browse the complete New Release Rack here

TV on DVD:
Created by Oscar-winner Neil Jordan, the Showtime original series “The Borgias: Season One” (Paramount) chronicles the rise of the real-life family dynasty that amassed tremendous power and wealth in Renaissance-era Italy through political intrigue, blackmail, bribery, murder and rampant corruption. The show’s tagline says it all: The original crime family. Jeremy Irons plays the family patriarch, pulling the strings of power from the Papal throne. On DVD and Blu-ray. Reviewed on Videodrone here.

Also from Showtime comes “Shameless: The Complete First Season” (Warner), an American incarnation of the British dramedy relocated from Manchester to South Chicago. William H. Macy stars as the perpetually drunk single father of six kids and Emmy Rossum is the eldest daughter, who juggles multiple jobs to raise the kids in his absence. On DVD and Blu-ray. Reviewed on Videodrone here.

David Cross created and stars in “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret: Series One” (MPI) as an office temp who tries to bluff his way through a promotion but… well, read the title. “Archer: The Complete Season Two” (Fox) continues the animated adventures of TV’s most reckless, hard-drinking, aimless secret agent.

Flip through the TV on DVD Channel Guide here

Cool, Classic and Cult:
Looney Tunes Super Stars: Pepe le Pew” (Warner) features 17 cartoons starring Pepe le Pew, the Maurice Chevalier of animated skunks who refuses to let a little body odor cool his romantic ardor. Features the Oscar-winning “For Scent-imental Reasons” and “Dog Pounded” with co-stars Tweety and Sylvester, along with 14 animated shorts making their home video debut.

The Complete Doctor Collection” (VCI) collects all seven films in the hit medical comedy series begun with “Doctor in the House” (1954), the film that solidified the matinee idol status of Dirk Bogarde (who went on to star in three of the sequels). (Reviewed on Videodrone here.) And there’s more of the British leading man in “The Dirk Bogarde Collection” (VCI), which features “Penny Princess” (1952), “Simba” (aka “Mark of Mau Mau”) (1955), “Campbell’s Kingdom” (1957) and the spy spoof “Agent 8 ¾” (1964). “The Rank British War Collection” (VCI) collects “The Way to the Stars” (1945), “The Malta Story” (1953), “Above Us the Waves” (1955) and “Sea of Sand” (aka “Desert Patrol”) (1958).

Plus the horror comedy “Chop” (Vivendi), the directorial debut of Trent Haaga, writer of the cult horror film “Deadgirl.”

All of the Cool, Classic and Cult here

Blu-ray Debuts:
The acclaimed “Buck” (IFC) profiles the real-life man who inspired “The Horse Whisperer.”

Santa Claus” (VCI) is the 1959 Mexican fantasy where Santa Claus takes on the devil and “The Moon in  the Gutter” (Cinema Libre) is Jean-Jacques Beineix’s follow-up to “Diva,” starring Gerard Depardieu and Nastassja Kinski.

Peruse all the new Blu-rays here

For calendar of upcoming releases, click here

Author: seanax

I write the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website (www.streamondemandathome.com). I'm a contributing writer for Turner Classic Movies Online, Keyframe, Independent Lens, and Cinephiled, and the editor of Parallax View (www.parallax-view.org).. I've written for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Seattle Weekly, GreenCine.com, Senses of Cinema, Asian Cult Cinema, and Psychotronic Video, among other publications, and I am a contributing editor to Parallax View. I currently live and work in Seattle, Washington, with my two cats, Hammet and Chandler.

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