New on DVD: March 27

This week's DVD releases feature an eclectic mix of genres, as well as noted academy award nominees and winners, such as Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Casablanca

Credit: Amazon

Celebrate Michael Curtiz’s masterpiece with this 70th Anniversary Collection edition


Casablanca: 70th Anniversary Collection

A kiss is still a kiss, but this Anniversary Collection is far from a regular Special Edition. For the uninitiated, this 1942 drama follows the adventures of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a nightclub owner in the North African city, whose shady reputation is put to the test when an old flame (Ingrid Bergman) and her husband (Paul Henreid) – a resistance leader – enter back into his life needing help to get out of the country before they are found by the Nazis. This a brand-new blu-ray high-def transfer of the film offering the best video and audio available with EXTRAS that include two audio commentaries – one with critic Roger Ebert and the other with film historian Rudy Behlmer; an hour-long Warner Brothers Night at the Movies; a feature-length special entitled Great Performances: Bacall on Bogart; You Must Remember This: The Warner Bros. Story – a five-hour history of the studio that brought you this film and many others; a feature-length documentary on The Brothers Warner; radio versions, TV versions and Looney Tunes parodies of the film; a 62-page hardcover commemorative book; collectible coasters; mini-posters and much more. There is no doubt at all – you will remember this. (Warner)


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Set just after the World Trade Center attacks, a young boy (Thomas Horn) searches the city for the lock that matches a key that his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the disaster, left behind in this emotional drama from director Stephen Daldry (who brought us The Reader and Billy Elliot). (Warner)

A Dangerous Method

David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises) directed this sexually-charged historical drama about Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), a troubled young woman who becomes a pivotal patient and more to renowned psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and his protégée Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender). (eOne)

Alvin & the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

After rough-housing aboard a cruise ship, Alvin and his brothers find themselves thrown overboard and stranded on a not-so-deserted island in this latest family-friendly addition to the popular franchise. (Fox)

In the Land of Blood and Honey

Angelina Jolie wrote and directed this ambitious Bosnian-language drama about a soldier that is now in charge of guarding a camp of prisoners, some of which are being used as sex slaves for the Serbian soldiers and one of whom he was once involved with before the war.

Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel

For years Roger Corman’s name was synonymous with low budget filmmaking. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, his films littered the movie theatres and drive-ins of the day with fare like Attack of the Crab Monsters and Teenage Cave Man. Even today he continues to produce the same sort of schlock he became famous for, now just for the small screen with films like Dinoshark and Sharktopus. This film is a heart-warming tribute to this man from some of the people’s whose careers were started with him including directors like Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard and actors like Robert De Niro and Jack Nicholson (who gets quite emotional at one point). (Anchor Bay)

Assault on a Queen

This 1966 caper flick (with a screenplay by Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling) stars Frank Sinatra and Virna Lisi as part of a team of adventurers who, after scavenging a lost WWII submarine from the ocean floor, decide to get it running again in order to rob the Queen Mary during a transatlantic voyage.

Camel Spiders

Writer/director Jim Wynorski, the man behind such cult classics as Chopping Mall and The Bare Wench Project (and produced by the above-mentioned Roger Corman), brings us this low-budget horror film about an invasion of deadly spiders that begin killing people in deserts of the southwestern U.S. and the hearty team of people (including former Brat Packer C. Thomas Howell) who try to stop them. (Anchor Bay)

Monster Brawl

If you like classic monsters and you love wrestling, then look no further than this wacky flick in which Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy and their female equivalents go to battle in a wrestling tournament set in a cemetery. If you have 90 minutes to spend on something like this, go clean your garage. (Anchor Bay)


Chow Yun Fat stars in this epic biopic of the legendary Chinese philosopher following his life from his days as a wise commoner through to his forced exile later in life. (eOne)

Betty White: Champion for Animals

Betty White hosts this documentary which highlights some of the world’s most amazing animals including the canine corps of the military and the hard-working volunteers of the Humane Society plus viewers will learn all about White’s own personal pets. (eOne)


Phil Collins Live at Montreux 2004

This DVD (and Blu-ray) not only offers up Collins’ 2004 appearance at the legendary festival (where his 25-song set includes such classics as “Against All Odds” and “In the Air Tonight”) but also includes a 13-song bonus concert from 1996 (which covers much of the same musical ground but includes a duet with Tony Bennett on “There’ll Be Some Changes Made”) which has this release clocking in at over 3 hours. (Eagle Rock)


Jane By Design: Vol. 1

In this comedy-drama from April Blair (Monte Carlo), Erica Dasher plays Jane, a high school girl who mistakenly ends up with a job as an assistant at a high-end fashion house. Now, she must juggle both school and her new job as well as her home life where her older brother Ben (David Clayton Rogers) is her legal guardian since their father’s death. This 2-DVD set contains all 10 episodes.

I, Claudius: The Complete Series

This 1976 BBC mini-series took both Britain and North America by storm with its graphic accounting of the lives of several generations of Roman leaders. When the series begins, Augustus (Brian Blessed) is considering who will become his heir with his scheming wife Livia (Sian Phillips) jockeying her son Tiberious (George Baker) for position. Derek Jacobi, Patrick Stewart and John Hurt co-star in this epic 10-episode set which is available on DVD and Blu-ray. (Acorn/eOne)

Murder Investigation Team: Series Two

In this second (and final) season of this British crime procedural (which fashions itself after the American shows like CSI), stars Steven Pacey and Meera Syal as members of an elite squad of investigators. Unlike the first season, this one is made up of four feature-length episodes all of which are available here on 2 DVDs. (Acorn)

Mystery Science Theatre 3000: XXIII

As the gang at MST3K continues to release these packages of four films, it’s good to note that they are only about half-way through their back catalogue. This set includes their comic riffs on Code Name: Diamond Head and Castle of Fu Manchu as well as two other films and some great EXTRAS including a half-hour documentary on exploitation filmmaker Robert L. Lippert, vintage TV promos and more. (Shout Factory)

Singlehanded: Set 2

Owen McDonnell stars as Sgt. Jack Driscoll in this gritty Irish police drama set in a small village which gets its fair share of big city-style crime as these three feature-length stories will attest as Driscoll finds himself trying to solve the murder of an elderly recluse, an arson set to hide a killing and more. (Acorn)

South Park: Season 15

This four-disc set contains all 14 uncensored episodes from this long-running animated series including the popular HumancentiPad and You’re Getting Old as well as commentaries from creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the insightful documentary 6 Days to Air: The Making of South Park and more.