New on DVD: February 21

On DVD Tuesday, February 21, Clint Eastwood's J. Edgar, Eddie Murphy's return to form in Tower Heist and the Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots

J. Edgar

Clint Eastwood directed this ambitious biopic about the life and long career of J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio), the determined and destructive founder and head of the FBI (for almost fifty years) who’s alleged private life was vastly different and heart-breakingly sad. Although DiCaprio shows impressive range in the lead role, the entire film lacks the bite that a director like Oliver Stone might’ve brought to it. SPECIAL FEATURES include two biographical features on Hoover himself. 

Tower Heist

Although this seems like the ultimate comedic casting coup of 1995, we are reminded that this is 2011 by the pair’s spotty recent film history. Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy are finally paired up in this action comedy about a group of employees at a high-end New York apartment building who band together to try rip off a billionaire (Alan Alda) who stole all of their life’s savings in a Ponzi scheme. (Universal)

Puss in Boots

The big-eyed sword-fighting cat from the Shrek films (voiced once again by Antonio Banderas) gets his own spin-off film, which tells us the fiesty cat’s backstory involving his run-ins with the villainous Jack and Jill (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris) and his work with the sexy Kitty Southpaws (Selma Hayek) before he ever joined up with the ogre and the donkey. (Dreamworks)

Martha Marcy May Marlene

Elizabeth Olsen (sister of twin child stars Mary Kate and Ashley) stars as the title character, a young woman struggling with the after-effects of her time spent in an abusive cult run by the charming Patrick (John Hawes of Winter’s Bone) in this disturbing drama from first time director Sean Durkin.

Honey 2

Katerina Graham stars as a young dancer who becomes the trainer of a group of street dancers in this “who asked for it?” sequel to the 2003 film that starred Jessica Alba. 

Age of Heroes

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) stars in this real-life action-packed story of the formation of Ian Fleming’s (the future creator of James Bond) top-secret commando unit during the Second World War. (eOne)

London Boulevard

When ex-con Mitchel (Colin Farrell) gets out of prison, he is immediately offered what appears to be an easy job: work as bodyguard for a famous, but reclusive actress (Keira Knightley). But, local gang boss Gant (Ray Winstone) wants Mitchel back on the wrong side of the law where he belongs and is willing to stop at nothing to get him there. (eOne)


Martin (Cillian Murphy) and his wife Kate (Thandie Newton) are vacationing alone in a remote cabin on a deserted island off of the coast of Scotland when they are visited one day by a young solider (Jamie Bell). He tells them of a fatal airborne virus that is spreading across the world and that they should help him close themselves up in the cabin until help can arrive. With no contact to the outside world for confirmation and the soldier’s increasingly unusual behaviour, the couple soon find themselves being held against their will and fearing for their lives. (Sony)

Son of No One

After becoming a cop and returning to his old neighbourhood Jonathan (Channing Tatum) is haunted by an incident in his youth that has come to light. His relationship with an older detective (Al Pacino), who helped bury the incident all those years before, is tested as loyalties are put up against justice. (Anchor Bay)

The Way

Emilio Estevez directs his father Martin Sheen in this uplifting drama about a group of strangers with different goals who come together when they go on a famous Catholic pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain. 

Track 29

In one of his more unusual performances, Gary Oldman stars in this quirky film from director Nicholas Roeg about a young man who comes to the home of an unhappy couple (Theresa Russell and Christopher Lloyd) claiming to be the son that the woman gave up for adoption years earlier. (Image

The Mighty Macs

Carla Guigino (Sin City) stars in this uplifting fact-based story of the creation of the Mighty Macs women’s basketball team of Immaculata College near Philadelphia and how they went on to make sports history. (Sony)

Unforgiven:  20th Anniversary (Blu Ray)

Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Oscar-winning Western gets the high-def re-release treatment this week. Eastwood and Morgan Freeman play former outlaws who take up a job as bounty hunters to track down the men who attacked a group of prostitutes. This release comes with a 54-page book, features as well as the 1959 episode of Maverick in which Eastwood guest starred. (Warner)

Fireflies in the Garden

Although this film was shot over three years ago, it’s finally getting its DVD release, which is never a good sign considering the star power in this. Julia Roberts, Ryan Reynolds and Willem Dafoe star in this multi-generational drama told mainly in flashbacks during a family funeral about the relationships between a father and his children throughout their lives.

I Ain’t Scared of You: A Tribute to Bernie Mac

Comedian and actor Bernie Mac, who passed away in 2008, is remembered by his peers and family in this tribute special that follows his life and career from his Chicago roots through to Hollywood stardom with clips from his films and TV series, rare early stand-up footage and interviews with people like Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Rock and others. (Image)

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.

WWE 2012: The Rock

This “epic journey” of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson looks at this former pro wrestler turned actor’s career from his beginnings training with his father through his bouts with every big wrestler in the past 15 years. As well as a comprehensive 2-hour documentary, you get two-discs of fights including his first fight in 1996 (as Rocky Miavia) as well as many more plus countless rare bonus features. (eOne)

Music on DVD

Santana Live at Montreux 2011

This “greatest hits” concert package (filmed live in Switzerland last year) contains everything a fan of this spectacular guitarist could want. As well as getting all the hits (“Black Magic Woman”, “Evil Ways”), Carlos Santana covers other artist’s hits (“Back in Black”, “Sunshine of Your Love”) and gives them his own particular style. This also contains interviews with the band and exclusive behind the scenes footage. (Eagle Rock)


Nurse Jackie: Season 3

Edie Falco is back in her Emmy-winning role as ER nurse Jackie Peyton. Season three picks up right where last season left off, with Jackie facing an unwanted intervention organized by her husband Kevin (Dominic Fumusa) and her best friend Dr. Eleanor O’Hara (Eve Best) after they discovered Jackie’s drug problem. This 3-disc set features all 12 episodes plus bonus features. (Lionsgate)

The Fades: Season One

According to this new British supernatural series, when a person dies and is not welcomed into heaven they remain on earth where they are known as Fades and are invisible to everyone. Everyone that is, except for the chosen few known as Angelics to whom the Fades can become physically violent towards. Young Paul (Iain de Casestecker) is an Angelic, but is just learning about what that means and what responsibilities it holds to be one as he and his fellow Angelics try and keep the Fades from destroying mankind. All six episodes are here on 2 discs.

Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century: the Complete Series

This 1999 animated series takes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous literary detective and transports him into the future where Inspector Beth Lestrade (now a sexy girl) resurrects Holmes’ corpse and with the help of her robot sidekick (nicknamed Watson, naturally) goes about solving mysteries and catching criminals. This DVD set contains all 26 episodes of the series.

That Show with Joan

Although today she is often thought of as the potty-mouthed plastic-surgery train wreck, Joan Rivers must not be overlooked as a pioneer for women in comedy. In the late 1960s, Rivers was a still a struggling comedian whose on-stage persona was still being perfected (thanks to numerous appearances on The Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show) and with her husband Edgar as producer, created this New York-based talk show so Joan could work and still take care of their infant daughter Melissa, who was born at the beginning of 1968.

This new 3-disc DVD set features 18 complete episodes from this short-lived syndicated daytime talk show called That Show with Joan Rivers, which ran between 1968 and 1969. Each episode would have a specific subject, like Nudism, Teenagers Today, Cosmetic Surgery (probably worth buying the whole set for this one) or Do You Need a Maid?, in which Joan would have guests that included an expert on the subject and a celebrity guest (like Johnny Carson, Jerry Lewis, Florence Henderson, Dick Cavett and many others) who would usually have differing opinions and would engage in an open discussion for the half-hour. Since then, these shows (which have been carefully re-mastered from the original source materials) have never been seen on TV and offer a unique time-capsule to the thoughts and ideals of a different generation as well as the on-going development of a true comic genius. 

Underdog: the Complete Series

Never fear! Underdog is here . . . finally! After many years, this classic 1960s cartoon series, about a mild-mannered shoeshine boy (voiced by Wally Cox) who turns into Underdog when he is needed to battle villains, is available on DVD. This 9-disc set contains all three seasons of the show which not only includes all of the Underdog cartoons, but also the Go Go Gophers, Klondike Kat and Commander McBragg cartoons as well. Once again, Shout Factory has gone out of their way to bring together tons of bonus material as well as a new documentary and audio commentaries from creator W. Watts Biggars and others, a collectible book, bonus cartoons and much more. (Shout Factory)

Weeds: Season 7

When we last left suburban mom/drug dealer Nancy Botwin (Golden Globe winner Mary Louise Parker) she was being arrested for the murder of Pilar Zuazo and being carted off to jail. As the seventh season begins, it picks up three-years later with Nancy being released from prison and living in a strictly monitored halfway-house in New York, with her family – Andy (Justin Kirk), Silas (Hunter Parrish), Shane (Alexander Gould) and Doug (Kevin Nealon) – coming back from spending their time in Copenhagen. This season features several prominent guest stars in multiple-episode storylines including Martin Short as an unusual attorney and Aidan Quinn as the charismatic CEO of an investment firm. This 3-DVD set contains all 13 episodes.

Durham County: Season 3

As the new season begins, life couldn’t be better for Mike Sweeney (Hugh Dillon). He’s been promoted to police superintendent, his wife is expecting a baby and his daughter is about to graduate from the police academy. Of course, being Durham County, that doesn’t mean that things aren’t still a little dark and creepy as the murders of two young drug dealers may have closer ties to his life then he’d prefer. All six episodes are here on this two-disc set. If you aren’t familiar with this gripping Canadian series, you can still pick up the first two seasons on DVD as well. (Anchor Bay)

Underbelly: Season 1

Like a Down Under Sopranos, this violent and controversial Australian series follows the slightly fictionalized but true story of some of Melbourne’s deadliest gangsters. This dramatization of the gangland war between crime families that lasted from 1995 to 2004 followed the facts so closely that certain episodes were banned from being aired in Australia due to ongoing criminal trials. Finally, all 13 episodes of this mini-series can be are included in this 2-disc set and the blood is free to flow. (eOne)

Matlock: Season 7

Andy Griffith’s homespun attorney returns for his seventh season (which aired between 1992 and 1993) in this 3-disc set containing all 18 episodes including ones with guest stars including country singer Randy Travis. (Paramount)