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This week on DVD, revisit the wondrous land of Middle Earth with The Hobbit
Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit
Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson makes his highly anticipated return to Middle Earth in this first film of a trilogy based on the classic book by J.R.R. Tolkien, in which a hobbit (Martin Freeman) named Bilbo joins a wizard named Galdalf (Ian McKellen) and a group of dwarves to retrieve their treasure from a dragon. There are over 2 1/2 hours of features, including a 10-part personal video diary from Jackson that takes you from the first day of principal photography all the way up the world premiere of the film in Wellington, New Zealand. (WNV)
Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) volunteers for another tour of duty with this fact-based film that follows the decade-long hunt by the American military for Osama Bin Laden, which ended with his assassination in 2011.
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) directs this adaptation of the stage musical based on the Victor Hugo novel about an ex-con (Hugh Jackman) who is persistently hunted down by a relentless police officer (Russell Crowe) for over 20 years. (Warner Home Video)
Rudd and Mann return as their characters from Knocked Up in this semi-spin-off honest dramedy about a married couple’s re-evaluation of their lives and marriage after his business hits some financial trouble. (Universal)
Matthias Scheonaerts stars in this uplifting French drama as a single father struggling to make a living as a nightclub bouncer whose chance meeting with a woman (Marion Cotillard) way out of his league leads to a relationship with demands and sacrifices beyond both of their imagination.
This romantic comedy-drama is a variation of films like Valentine’s Day or New Year’s Eve without the holiday title or the star power as it plays out a complicated series of relationships.
When a series of unexplained deaths of patients during the night began cropping up, an investigator (Alison Eastwood) and a late-night radio host (Dallas Roberts) who specializes in the supernatural begin to investigate. They soon discover a link to another group of deaths during the 1970s that were associated with patients involved in an experimental sleep group who claimed to see shadowy figures before dying of mysterious causes. (Anchor Bay)
TV ON DVD:
Just in time of Easter comes the latest box-set of MST3K, with Joel Hodgson, Mike Nelson and his robot pals riffing over four of the worst films ever made: Fugitive Alien and its sequel Star Force: Fugitive Alien II, The Sword and the Dragon and Sampson vs. the Vampire Women. (Shout Factory)
This British sitcom ran for three seasons in the mid-1980s and stars Simon Callow (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as Tom Chance, an unlucky fellow “plagued by coincidence” who meets Alison (Brenda Blethyn), a young woman who becomes his girlfriend and forever puts up with the wildly improbable situations in which Tom finds himself. This 3-disc set features all 18 episodes. (Acorn)
Penelope Keith, who made her name in other British comedies such as The Good Life and To The Manor Born, stars in this 1990- 1992 sitcom in which she plays a Labour MP newly elected to the House of Commons. It’s the now commonplace juggling of this new governmental position with her life at home as a wife and mother where the comedy is mined. This 3-disc set features all 18 episodes. (Acorn)
One of the things that makes this gritty Welsh crime drama series stand out is that it each scene was shot in both Welsh and English. This obsession with detail led this series to become a hit all over the world, and considering that there was only 21 episodes made between 1994 and 2002, that is quite the accomplishment.
Philip Madoc stars as DCI Noel Bain, a hard-working and honest widowed cop who longs for the days of old-fashioned police work and whose daughter Hannah (Ffion Wilkins) becomes a constable on his force which adds to his problems. While this may seem at first glance as one of those quaint British detective series, it is far from it as the blood-soaked cases that come up in the rural valleys of Wales owe more to CSI than to A Touch of Frost. Throughout the series various aspects of Welsh life are brought into focus, such as the mining and farming industries. Various familiar faces pop up in guest-star roles, such as Ioan Gruffudd (Fantastic Four), John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings) and Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife). Now you can get all five seasons – again only a total of 21 feature-length episodes – on DVD and blu-ray in one complete 11 disc set. (Acorn)
In this final season of the legendary reality series, the “guidos and guidettes” return to Seaside Heights, New Jersey where it all began to reminisce and look towards their distinctly different futures. This 4-disc set features all 13 UNCENSORED episodes plus tons of EXTRAS including the Gym, Tan, Look Back special, the Reunion special, deleted scenes and much more. (Paramount)