“Silver Linings Playbook” (Anchor Bay), directed by David O. Russell, earned eight Academy Award nominations and won an Oscar for Jennifer Lawrence as a young widow who is only slightly less crazy that Bradley Cooper’s bi-polar schoolteacher. Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver co-star in this offbeat comic drama of an oddly functional family of dysfunctional individuals. Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and at Redbox. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
“Not Fade Away” (Paramount), the autobiographical feature debut by David Chase, got lost in the awards-season releases at the end of the year. Ostensibly the story of a band, it’s really the story of growing up in the sixties and it is as interesting and unexpected as you would hope for from the creator of “The Sopranos.” Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand and at Redbox. Videodrone’s review is here.
“Broken City” (Fox) is a drama of compromised cops and corrupt politicians with Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones. MSN has a drawing for a free Blu-ray and a poster signed by Wahlberg and director Allen Hughes. Blu-ray, DVD, and On Demand.
Also new this week: the road movie comedy “The Guilt Trip” (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, and at Redbox) with Barbra Streisand and Seth Rogen and the black comedy “The Details” (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray and DVD) with Toby Maguire and Elizabeth Banks.
“Thale” (XLrator, Blu-ray+DVD Combo), a dark fairy tale from Norway, leads off the foreign films and the documentaries of the week are toplined by “Happy People: A Year in Taiga” (Music Box, DVD), a Russian documentary reedited by Werner Herzog, and “Walk Away Renee” (IFC, DVD) from Jonathan Caouette.
Most releases are also available as digital download and VOD via iTunes, Amazon, and other web retailers and video services.
TV on Disc:
“China Beach: The Complete Collection” (Time Life) is not the first American TV series to tackles the war in Vietnam in a dramatic format, but it was the first successful such show, running for four seasons and winning Emmy awards of Dana Delaney (she won for Lead Actress twice) and Marg Helgenberger. 62 episodes on 21 discs in a DVD box set. Videodrone’s review is here.
“Star Trek: The Next Generation – Season Three” (Paramount) and “Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Best of Both Worlds” (Paramount), the epic two-part Season Three finale edited into a feature-length presentation (it played theaters in a special-event screening earlier this year), debut on Blu-ray.
Plus: the 2010 TV mini-series “Ben Hur” (Sony, DVD), the five-part British drama “The Syndicate: Series 1” (Acorn, DVD), and the box set “The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Complete Collection” (Acorn).
The MOD disc coverage this week rounds up recent TV offerings via manufacture on demand, including “Dr. Kildare: The Complete First Season” (Warner Archive), which made a star of Richard Chamberlain. The complete round-up here.
Cool and Classic:
“The Notebook: Ultimate Collector’s Edition” (New Line) delivers a Blu-ray+DVD Combo special edition of the tear-jerker romance that made a star of Ryan Gosling. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, it stars Rachel McAdams, James Garner, and Gena Rowlands, and the new edition comes with keepsakes. MSN’s drawing for a free copy is over but the details are on the contest page here.
“Major Dundee” (Twilight Time), the epic western that Sam Peckinpah called his “lost masterpiece,” debuts on Blu-ray with both the original theatrical and extended version of the film. Videodrone’s review is here.
“The Vampire Lovers” (Shout Factory), the first of Hammer Films’ trilogy of erotic horror based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s “Carmilla,” stars her culty-ness Ingrid Pitt and debuts on Blu-ray. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
“French Masterworks: Russian Émigrés in Paris 1923-1928” (Flicker Alley) presents of the DVD debut of five silent classics from Film Albatros, a French studio founded by Russian artists: “The Burning Crucible,” “Kean,” “The Late Mathias Pascal,” and two director by Jacques Feyder, “Gribiche” and ‘The New Gentlemen.”
Plus “Message From Space” (Shout Factory, DVD), a Japanese “Star Wars” knock-off from director Kinji Fukasaku with Vic Morrow and Sonny Chiba, and a new edition of the Australian time-travel drama “The Navigator” (Hens Tooth, DVD).
Streams and Channels:
New on Netflix this week: “The Paperboy” (2012), Lee Daniels’ overheated crime thriller follow-up to “Precious,” is an aggressively sordid swamp noir starring Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, and Matthew McConaughey.
Plus: “A Royal Affair” (2012), one of the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Feature at this year’s Academy Awards, is an historical costume drama with Mad Mikkelson, currently starring as Hannibal Lector on American TV. “Girl in Progress” (2012) stars Eva Mendes as a single mom with a rebellious daughter (Cierra Ramirez) who is wise beyond her years, or at least she thinks so and “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” (2012) is not actually recommended by anyone, but it is a new comedy with a big, bright cast. So there’s that.
New On Demand:
“Silver Linings Playbook,” the offbeat romantic comic drama Bradley Cooper, Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro, is Videodrone’s pick of the week, but there’s plenty more to choose from: the cop thriller “Broken City” with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, the comedy “The Guilt Trip” with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, and “Not Fade Away” from “The Sopranos” creator David Chase.
“The Reluctant Fundamentalist,” which debuted in theaters last week, is now also available On Demand. And arriving before its theatrical debut is the comedy “Syrup” with Kellan Lutz, Amber Heard, and Brittany Snow. It premieres on May 2.
Available from Redbox this week:
Arriving day and date with video stores is “Silver Linings Playbook” (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray and DVD) with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert DeNiro; “The Guilt Trip” (Paramount, Blu-ray and DVD) with Seth Rogen and Barbra Streisand, and “Not Fade Away” (Paramount, Blu-ray and DVD), plus the 2010 TV mini-series “Ben Hur” (Sony, DVD).