New on DVD: January 24

New to DVD and Blu Ray this week of January 24, Hugh Jackman stars in the rock 'em sock 'em robot action film Real Steel, and Rachel Weisz headlines The Whistleblower, whose character Kathryn Bolkovac uncovers corruption in the Bosnian government.


Hugh Jackman stars in the rock ’em sock ’em robot action film Real Steel.

Pick of the Week

Real Steel

This futuristic sci-fi film is like a cross between Rocky and Transformers (or for anyone old enough to remember, a film version of the toy Rock’em Sock’em Robots). Hugh Jackman plays Charlie Kenton, an ex-fighter who is now a promoter of robot boxing who gets a chance to prove himself to his estranged young son (Dakota Goyo). SPECIAL FEATURES include the usual “making of”, bloopers and deleted and extended scenes as well as the new Second Screen feature. This feature, entitled Ringside with director Shawn Levy, an interactive feature which allows the viewer to watch it on his ipad (or other device) while still watching the film on their TV. (Disney)

The Whistleblower

Based on a true story, Rachel Weisz stars as Kathryn Bolkovac, an American police officer working in war-torn Bosnia who uncovers a dark trail of corruption and conspiracy amid the government and the private contractors sent in to rebuild the area. (Fox/MGM)

Paranormal Actitivy 3

For this prequel to the popular hand-held horror franchise, viewers are given a trip back in time to 1988 when sisters Katie and Kristi were children and their imaginary friend turns out to neither imaginary nor friendly.

French Immersion

Directed by Kevin Tierney (producer of Bon Cop, Bad Cop), this bilingual farce follows several Anglophone Canadians and one American as they attempt to learn French by entering a two-week total-immersion program in a remote Quebec town where nobody speaks English. As you’d expect, cultures clash. While French Immersion has its moments, it never quite gells as well as one would hope. Still, any film that attempts to bridge the gap between Francophone and Anglophone culture, and features characters speaking both French and English, should be lauded for its ambitiousness. Another bonus: a first-rate cast including Olunike Adelii, Martha Burns (Slings and Arrows), Karine Vanasse (Pan Am), Emmanuelle Vaugier (CSI: NY), Fred Ewanbuick (Corner Gas), Gavin Crawford (22 Minutes) and Colm Feore (The Borgias).


When twentysomething writer Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds out that he has a rare form of terminal cancer, he tries to come to terms with it with the help of his supportive friend (Seth Rogen), his girlfriend (Bryce Dallas Howard), his mother (Anjelica Huston) and a young therapist at the clinic (Anna Kendrick) in this shot-in-Vancouver comedy/drama. (eOne)

The Confession

This 10-part web-series (which previously was only available on the American-based and then here on is now coming to DVD in its entirety. Kiefer Sutherland (24) plays a troubled unnamed hit man who confesses his sins (seen in flashbacks) to a priest (John Hurt of the Hellboy films) with his own share of past secrets.


This is a filmed version of the Broadway musical (which won a Tony award for Best Musical in 2010) chronicling the career of radio DJ Dewey Phillips, who has been credited with being one of the first white disc jockeys to play black music on the radio. With music and lyrics by David Bryan and book and lyrics by Joe Di Pietro, this musical will keep you happy as it reminds you of how music can change minds and stir souls.

The Year Dolly Parton Was My Mom (Osiris)

When 11-year-old Elizabeth (Julia Sarah Stone) finds out that she was adopted, she takes the news badly and heads out alone to find her “real” mother while her adopted mother Marion (Macha Grenon) struggles to bring her back safely.

Roger Corman’s Lethal Ladies Collection Vol. 2

I don’t know where Shout Factory keeps digging up these obscure exploitation classics, but I hope there’s plenty more to come! This collection is made up of three films each with their own highlights.

With The Arena (1974), you get the combination of sexy Pam Grier (Jackie Brown) and Margaret Markov (Black Mama, White Mama) as Roman-era slaves forced to fight to the death in Gladiator-like battle sequences. The second film is Fly Me (1973), which stars Lenore Kasdorf as one of a trio of martial-arts trained stewardesses bent on saving their plane from white slavers. And the final film is Cover Girl Models (1975), where a model (Tara Strohmeier of The Great Texas Dynamite Chase) is unknowingly the target of deadly spies when a roll of microfilm is sewn into one of her gowns. SPECIAL FEATURES include director’s commentary and “making of” featurettes on The Arena. (Shout! Factory)

Annie Hall (Blu Ray)

Woody Allen’s 1977 classic gets the high-def makeover with this reasonably-priced release. For the uninitiated, this romantic comedy stars Allen as Alvy Singer, a stand-up comedian and TV writer who search for love leads him to the flighty but fascinating Annie Hall (Diane Keaton), a struggling nightclub singer with a style all her own. (MGM)

Manhattan (Blu Ray)

Woody Allen followed up his phenomenally successful film Annie Hall with the dramatic Interiors in 1978, but quickly returned to slightly lighter fare with this 1979 comedy about a middle-aged TV writer (Allen again naturally) who struggles with personal and professional issues including his relationship with a teenage girl (Mariel Hemingway). Shot in black-and-white with a score of Gershwin classics, this film is more of a love story between Allen and New York City as it is between his characters. (MGM)

Wings (Blu Ray)

This black-and-white silent film from 1927 is most famous for winning the very first Best Picture Academy Award. Best friends Jack (Charles Rogers) and David (Richard Arlen), who both love the same girl (Jobyna Ralston) back home, are sent off to fight in the First World War as aviators. While the plot and the performances may seem old-fashioned and over-the-top now, it’s the flying sequences that still make this a worthy addition to any DVD collection. SPECIAL FEATURES include almost an hours worth of features on the making of the film and the restoration of it for this Blu-ray release. (Paramount)


The Doors: Mr. Mojo Risin’: The Story of L.A. Woman

This 40-year-anniversary celebration of The Doors’ 1971 album L.A. Woman not only covers the 10-day recording session of what would be Jim Morrison’s last album with the band, but also contains a newly discovered rough and rollicking blues track from those sessions entitled “She Smells So Nice”.  (Eagle Rock)

Queen: Days of Our Lives

This documentary tells the story of four university students who in 1971 formed a band called Queen that would soon win over the world with perfect harmonies, sweeping orchestrations and powerful songs. Led by the charismatic front man Freddie Mercury, Queen’s meteoric career (26 albums; 300 million records sold worldwide) from their early struggles through their massive successes and depressing failures through to their triumphant return in 1985 with Live Aid where they rocked the world is covered here. Featuring tons of never-before-seen archival footage of the band and intimate interviews, this film is easily the definitive film record of Queen. (Eagle Rock)


Mannix: The Sixth Season

Rough and tumble private eye Joe Mannix (Mike Connors) returns for his sixth season (1972-1973) with this new DVD release. On this 6-disc set you get all 24 action-packed episodes which are full of familaiar faces as guest stars including Martin Sheen, William Shatner, Adam West, Tina Louise (Gilligan’s Island) and Abe Vigoda. (Paramount)

Kojak: The Complete Movie Collection

This three-DVD set contains not only the gritty 1973 TV movie The Marcus-Nelson Murders, which was a sort of pilot for the TV series which ran from 1973 until 1978 and starred Telly Savalas as Theo Kojak, a New York City police detective, but it also has the 8 other TV movies he did as the character from 1978 until 1990. (Shout Factory)

Coronation Street: The Stars of the Street

This 3-DVD set chronicles the Top 50 most beloved (and hated) characters who have ever ventured this famous British soap opera’s streets during the past 50 years. Hosted by Denise Welch, who played Natalie Horrocks on the show, this retrospective also includes the first episode of the series, The First Colour Episode, The 40th Anniversary Live Episode as well as Corrie Controversies. (eOne)