New on DVD: February 14

This week on DVD, Johnny Depp once again channels Hunter S. Thompson in The Rum Diary

The Rum Diary

In what must be the cult-iest combination in film this year, director Bruce Robinson (who helmed the classic Withnail and I and hasn’t made a film since 1992) brings gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) novel to the screen with Johnny Depp in the lead role as an American newspaperman working in 1950s Puerto Rico. While trying to understand the politics and customs, he falls in with a wealthy U.S. businessman (Aaron Eckhart) and falls in love with the man’s beautiful girlfriend (Amber Heard). SPECIAL FEATURES include A Voice Made of Ink and Rage: Inside the Rum Diary and more. (eOne)

Take Shelter

Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire) stars as a relatively normal suburban father and husband who begins to have strange nightmares and hallucinations about the end of the world at the same time that a big storm is due to arrive. When he builds an elaborate shelter for his family, it tears away at the very structure of his relationship with them at the same time. 

The Dead

In one of the most original zombie movies in a long time, two men battle their way across the deserts of Africa fighting an army of the undead to try and reach safety. Although they have made two smaller films before, this is the first film from the Ford Brothers as a team and the one that will put them on the horror map. (Anchor Bay)

Mama I Want to Sing

Pop singer Ciara stars in this classic story of a talented singer from a religious background that wants to take her talent to the Big Time without offending or losing her religious beliefs. It’s the urban R&B version of The Jazz Singer.  (Fox)

The Human Centipede 2

Although the first film was far from the best horror film of the year, its shocking story and visuals made it a “must see” for fans of the genre. Even filmmaker Tom Six designed it to carry on (subtitling the first film The First Sequence). In this first sequel (yes, a third part of the trilogy is coming), a mentally disturbed night watchman (Laurence R. Harvey) is obsessed with the film The Human Centipede and the experiments performed by the fictional doctor in the film. As he becomes more and more consumed with the fantasies, he sets out to perfect the experiments by creating a 12-person human centipede.

Most Valuable Players

Glee fans should enjoy this uplifting documentary about a typical sports-obsessed town in Pennsylvania that for one night celebrates the talents and achievements of the kids who find pleasure in performing in musical theatre with an annual awards night. 

All Things Fall Apart

In this uplifting drama, rapper 50 Cent plays Deon, a young college student with the skills and dreams of playing professional football but who is struck down with cancer and forced to find another way to achieve success. (Image)

Nude Nuns with Big Guns

You can thank Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez for this film as they must have indirectly inspired it with their celebration of exploitation films Grindhouse. After taking her vows, Sister Sarah (Asun Ortega) falls in with a bad clergy where she is repeatedly drugged and abused. Finally, when she can stand it no longer, she arms herself and begins to violently take revenge on her abusers. Not to be outdone, the evil clergy send a deadly motorcycle gang to bring her down. (Image)

Screwball: The Ted Whifield Story

This low-budget comedy stars Ross Patterson (who also wrote the film) as Ted, a wiffleball player with a dream. During the 1994 baseball strike, sports-hungry fans turned their attention of the lesser game of wiffleball and Ted knew that this was his time to shine, if only he could beat his substance abuse problems. (Image) 

Little Angels Animals, Little Angels ABCs, Little Angels 1,2,3s

Roma Downey (of TV’s Touched by an Angel) produced this new animated series of DVDs that bring a strong Christian ethic to the problems facing preschoolers. Alex and Zoe are the two main characters here, who armed with a support team of eight angels to help them through the many challenges they face on a day-to-day basis like teaching them their ABCs. (Fox)


The Lorax

Available for the first time on DVD, this 1972 animated version of the Dr. Seuss book (not to be confused with the big-screen version due out later this year) tells the story of a fictional industrialist who clear-cuts the land of the Lorax and eventually runs of out trees. This collection also features the rare 1980 special Pontoffel Pock and His Magic Piano in which a poor pickle factory peon gets a magic musical instrument that allows him to travel anywhere at the touch of a button. (Warner)


Doctor Who: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

This DVD release of last year’s annual Doctor Who holiday special takes a bit of the Chronicles of Narnia and gives it a unique spin like only The Doctor can. Set in the English countryside where widow Madge Arwell (Claire Skinner) and her two children have been evacuated to during the Second World War, they meet the Doctor (Matt Smith) and discover a portal to a snowy world inhabited by wooden monsters (played by comedians Bill Bailey and Arabella Weir) for a Christmas they’ll never forget.

Storage Wars Vol. 2

This series in which a group of hopeful gamblers bid against each other to purchase the contents of abandoned storage units remains as fascinating as ever with this 2-DVD set. You never know what they will find (if anything) and what you can learn about what’s collectible and what’s junk as you’ll discover watching these first 14 episodes of Season Two of the series. (eOne)

Beavis & Butt-Head Vol. 4

This two-DVD (or single blu-ray) set features the highly-anticipated return of these two adolescent trouble makers with all 12 new episodes plus footage from the 2011 Comic Con panel hosted by Johnny Knoxville. (Paramount)

Murder She Wrote 4-Movie Collection

After this light-hearted mystery series ended its 12 season run, Angela Lansbury continued to bring the character of Jessica Fletcher, the novelist turned amateur sleuth to TV in a series of four movies from 1997 to 2003. Now, they are available on this DVD collection including one in which she travels to Ireland for the reading of a will and gets involved in a search for a missing treasure. (Universal)