New on DVD: December 12th

Groundbreaking CGI adds to the brilliance of 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Pick of the Week

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

In this pseudo-remake of Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, James Franco plays a scientist, whose work on the genetic engineering of apes leads to creating an advanced species who don’t like being treated as guinea pigs and rebel against the humans in an all out war led by Caesar (in a brilliant motion-capture portrayal by Andy Sirkus). SPECIAL FEATURES include audio commentary from director Rupert Wyatt; deleted scenes; many “making of” featurettes and much more. (Fox)

Fright Night

When horror movie loving teen Charlie (Anton Yelchin) begins connecting the disappearances of several local girls to his mysterious new neighbour (Colin Farrell), it isn’t long before he’s gathered together his strange best friend Evil Ed (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a full-time magician and part-time vampire hunter to help him find out the deadly truth. (Disney)

Kung Fu Panda 2

Po and the Furious Five head off to Thailand for a night of drunken…no wait, that was Hangover 2. This time out, Po, now the Dragon Master, and his fleet-fisted friends discover that an evil villain has plans to use a new weapon to destroy China, so they head there to stop him and hopefully search out Po’s (Jack Black) secret origin along the way. (Paramount)

Tanner Hall

Rooney Mara (who plays the female lead in the new version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) stars in this multi-layered drama about four girls attending a New England boarding school.


Eric Elmosnino stars in this French biopic of entertainer Serge Gainsbourg from his childhood during the Second World War through to his success as an artist and songwriter as well as his troubled personal life. (eOne) Little Deaths This is a British-made collection of short films that examine the relationship between sex and death in often disturbingly graphic detail. (eOne)

Nick Di Paolo — Raw Nerve

Howard Stern regular and stand-up comic Nick Di Paolo gets a chance to showcase his venomous comic rants about political torture, health care and the New York Mets in his first full-length concert DVD. (eOne)

Heavenly Creatures: Uncut (Blu-ray)

Before director Peter Jackson made the Lord of the Rings films, he told this true story of two teenagers – Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliet Hulme (Kate Winlset) – in 1950s New Zealand who become close friends and whose mutual interest in a violent fantasy world (played out with mind-blowing special effects courtesy of WETA) leads them to commit one of the most sensational murders of the time.

Meet Me in St. Louis (Blu-ray)

In 1944, at the height of her career, Judy Garland starred in this turn-of-the-century musical about a St. Louis family with four daughters (including Garland as Esther). When a new boy (John Drake) moves in next door, Esther is smitten and then heart-broken when she finds out her family is moving away. This film is probably most famous for launching the songs Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and The Trolley Song and has remained a favourite of fans of classic MGM musicals. SPECIAL FEATURES include an informative audio commentary; a half-hour “making-of” feature; the 1972 documentary Hollywood: the Dream Factory; a TCM special on Garland’s career; a 1966 unaired TV pilot based on the film; rare short films and much more. (Warner)

Stars and Stripes Forever (Blu-ray)

Clifton Webb stars in this musical biopic of “march king” John Philip Sousa, who was famous for such songs as the title track, Semper Fidelis and The High School Cadets March and others. The story follows the life and career of the composer and his relationship with his wife (Ruth Hussey), who helped guide his hand towards the genre that would make him famous. (Warner)

The Rocketeer: 20th Anniversary Blu-ray

Before he helmed Captain America, director Joe Johnston tried to get this other Second World-War-era superhero off of the ground with varying results. Based on the comic book created by Dave Stevens, this film follows idealistic young stunt pilot Cliff (Billy Campbell) who finds a stolen rocket pack and with the help of a crusty old mechanic (Alan Arkin) becomes the Rocketeer, a masked flying crime fighter intent on bringing everyone from gangsters to Nazis to justice. (Disney) TV ON DVD

Family Guy: Volume 9

This latest collection from Seth McFarlane’s vulgar and hilarious Griffin family contains 14 episodes including the landmark 150th episode Brian and Stewie; an extended version of the And Then There Were Fewer mystery episode; and much more including audio commentaries and other unique bonus features. (Fox)

Spin City: Complete Sixth Season

Before Charlie Sheen became a national joke, he starred in the last couple of seasons of this reliable sitcom about the running of the New York City’s mayor’s office alongside Heather Locklear and Barry Bostwick. In this final season, Michael J. Fox returned for a guest appearance as did Farrah Fawcett, Queen Latifah, Denise Richards and Martin Sheen. All 22 episodes are here on 4 DVDs. (Shout Factory)

Gunsmoke: The Fifth Season , Volume 2

This 3-DVD set contains the final half of the fifth season of this long-running Western starring James Arness as Matt Dillon. This collection contains episodes guest starring actors such as Lee Van Cleef, Richard Chamberlain and Jack Elam. (Paramount)

Switched at Birth: Volume 1

This drama, from the US cable network ABC Family, is the story of two teenage girls – Bay Kennish, who grew up with wealthy loving parents and a resentful streak a mile wide and Daphne Vasquez, a hard-working athlete who struggles to succeed despite being deaf and coming from a single-parent family. When they find out that they were switched at birth, it causes all sorts of problems arise including understanding who they really are inside. This two-disc set contains the first 10 episodes of the series. (Disney)

Swamp People: Season 2

It may seem like the plot of a movie, but this is all real! “Master gator hunters” Troy Landry and Junior Edwards are back for more as they search the bayous and swamps of Louisiana for more good eats that are just grab away. This series also provides an insight into the rich traditions that surround the Cajun people in their food, their music and their old-fashioned way of living. This 4-disc set contains all 16 episodes plus bonus unaired footage. (eOne)