“Olympus Has Fallen” (Sony) was the first of two 2013 action spectacles about the capitol under siege and a brave Secret Service agent saving the President. This one stars Gerard Butler as the heroic agent, Aaron Eckhart as the President, Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Ashley Judd, Melissa Leo, and a North Korean terrorists as the guest villains. Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, VOD, and digital download. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
“The Big Wedding” (Lionsgate) stars Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, and Susan Sarandon as the parents who complicate the nuptials of Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace. Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, VOD, and digital download.
Robert Redford directs and stars in “The Company You Keep” (Sony) and brings an impressive cast along for the drama, including Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Chris Cooper, Nick Nolte, Terrence Howard, and Stanley Tucci. Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, VOD, and digital download.
Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgard star in “What Maisie Knew” (Millennium, Blu-ray, DVD, On Demand, VOD, and digital download), an updating of the Henry James novel to modern New York, and Tommy Lee Jones is General Douglas MacArthur in “Emperor” (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD, and digital download) with Matthew Fox.
Other foreign releases this week include Matteo Garrone’s reality TV satire “Reality” (Oscilloscope, Blu-ray and DVD) from Italy and Luc Besson comic book adventure “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” (Shout Factory, Blu-ray and DVD) from France.
Most releases are also available as digital download and VOD via iTunes, Amazon, and other web retailers and video services.
Cool and Classic:
John Frankenheimer’s “Seconds” (Criterion) and Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Devil’s Backbone” (Criterion), two Criterion debuts that don’t seem to have much in common on the surface, both delve into cinema of the fantastic with dark designs and striking, startling imagery. Videodrone’s reviews are here.
René Clément’s World War II submarine thriller “The Damned” (Cohen), a dark look at the collision of Nazi leaders, opportunists, and collaborators trapped on a doomed submarine mission in the final days of the war in Europe, makes its stateside home video debut on Blu-ray and DVD. Reviewed on Videodrone here.
Reviews of Walter Hill’s sleek “The Driver” (Twilight Time), which was released in July, and Brian De Palma’s notorious “Body Double” (Twilight Time), will follow this weekend. Both are Blu-ray debuts limited to 3000 copies and both are fine discs of stand-out films, but as of this writing “Body Double” is sold out (keep checking back at Screen Archives for possible returns) and “The Driver” is down to only a few copies available through Screen Archives and the TCM Shop.
You’ll believe a frog can sing in “The Muppet Movie” (Disney), the original classic that gets a “Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition” on Blu-ray and DVD, with a collection of supplements. “Shane” (Warner) arrive on Blu-ray (but I haven’t seen it), and the Oscar-winning classic “Cavalcade” (Fox) comes in a Blu-ray+DVD Combo.
TV on Disc:
“The Mindy Project: Season One” (Universal), created by and starring “The Office” alumnus Mindy Kailing, is a sitcom about an OB/GYN and thirtysomething New York single who hasn’t given up on the dream of living out one of the romantic comedies she grew up on. It’s a workplace comedy and a relationship comedy that turns anxieties about dating and commitment and what women want (or, more accurately, what this one woman wants) into telling satire while still delivering sharp, funny dialogue and some very funny comic situations. 24 episodes on DVD. Videodrone’s review is here.
“Once Upon a Time: The Complete Second Season” (ABC) continues the fantasy drama of fairy tale characters trapped in the real world with new complications, more magic, and all new storybook characters (including Peter Pan and friends). 22 episodes on Blu-ray and DVD.
Meanwhile “Girls: The Complete Second Season” (HBO), the anti-“Sex and the City” created by and starring Lena Dunham, offers a far less romanticized series of women navigating the space between idealism and reality. 10 episodes on Blu-ray and DVD.
“Perry Mason: The Ninth and Final Season, Vol. 2” (Paramount) brings the definitive courtroom drama to a close with the final 15 episodes of the series, including the show’s only color episode, on DVD.
Other final seasons this week include: “Enlightened: The Complete Second Season” (HBO), the HBO original comedy created by Mike White and star Laura Dern (10 episodes on DVD); “Southland: The Complete Fifth and Final Season” (Warner, 10 episodes on DVD); “Family Ties: The Seventh and Final Season” (Paramount, 24 episodes on DVD); and “The Office: Season Nine” (Universal).
Streams and Channels:
Not much new this week, but you can see previous streaming recommendations here.
New On Demand:
“Olympus Has Fallen,” the terrorists-take-the-White-House action film with Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart, arrives same day as disc. So do the romantic comedy “The Big Wedding” with Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton, Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep,” and “What Maisie Knew“ with Julianne Moore and Alexander Skarsgård.
“And While We Were Here,” a drama Kate Bosworth and Iddo Goldberg, arrives in advance of theaters.