New on DVD: May 21

This week on DVD, Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to his action roots with the entertaining The Last Stand

The Last Stand

Arnold Schwarzenegger returns in his first starring role since leaving politics and he doesn’t stray far out of his comfort zone with this by-the-books entertaining action flick. Here he plays the no-nonsense sheriff of a small border town that becomes the target of an escaped gang leader and his men who are fleeing the U.S. towards Mexico.

Beautiful Creatures

In yet another attempt to cash in on the Harry Potter franchise and adapt a YA book series to film, this supernatural film tells the tale of young love between a bored teenager Ethan (Alden Ehrenreich) and the mysterious new girl (Alice Englert) who arrives in his small town harbouring dark secrets about her past. (Warner)


Jason Statham follows in the footsteps of Lee Marvin (Point Blank) and Mel Gibson (Payback) as he takes on the legendary Richard Stark pulp fiction character of Parker, a hard-boiled thief out to seek revenge on the ones who robbed him and left him for dead. (eOne)

Side Effects

In what he has announced will be his last film as a director, Steven Soderbergh helms this artsy thriller about a couple (Rooney Mara and Channing Tatum) whose life comes apart after a doctor (Jude Law) prescribes her an anti-anxiety drug with unusual side effects. (eOne)

Stand Up Guys

If this comedy can live up to its cast – Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin as con men attempting one last heist – this could be one of the surprise highlights of the year. (eOne)

A Common Man

Ben Kingsley stars in this thriller as an unidentified man who plants five bombs in public places around the city of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He then calls the police informing their chief (Ben Cross of Banshee) that he will begin detonating the bombs unless four prisoners are released. (Anchor Bay)

Open Road

Camilla Belle stars in this drama as a young Brazilian artist who travels to the U.S. in search of adventure and the different people (including Andy Garcia and Juliette Lewis) she meets along the way. (Universal)


The Burning

At the height of the 1980s “slasher film” craze, up-and-coming filmmakers Bob and Harvey Weinstein (who would later create Miramax Films) wrote this gory rip-off of Friday the 13th and cast future stars Jason Alexander (Seinfeld) and Holly Hunter in small roles. Set in a summer camp called Camp Blackfoot, several campers pull a prank on the caretaker Cropsy that goes terribly wrong disfiguring the man. He later returns and seeks out his revenge in violent and graphic ways (courtesy of FX make-up genius Tom Savini). Long unavailable on DVD or Blu-ray, Shout Factory has finally restored it and released it along with several great features including two audio commentaries from a couple of the stars and one from director Tony Maylam; an interview with Savini about his process and much more. (Shout Factory)

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Long unavailable on home video, this “true story” of a hooded serial killer terrorizing Texarkana and the Texas Ranger (Ben Johnson) who hunts him down still packs a horrific punch in certain scenes even though other parts of the film (the comic relief, for instance) reveals it’s age. This collection also contains The Evictors, a later film from the same director and studio as well as audio commentary and much more. (Shout Factory)

National Lampoon’s Vacation

Back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Chevy Chase was one of the few go-to comic actors working. His work in this film as well as Fletch, Caddyshack and Foul Play made this SNL-alum a solid guarantee for laughs. For the uninitiated, here Chase plays the doofus father Clark Griswold who along with his wife and kids, decides to take a family road trip across the country to the Disneyland-type park Wally World. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this film , Warner has re-released the film on blu-ray.

Captain America: Collector’s Edition

Not to be confused with the more recent big-screen adaptation of the Marvel Comics character, this 1990 straight-to-video version stars Matt Salinger as Steve Rogers, a super soldier who fights crime as Captain America. Like in the 2011 version, Cap is still taking on Red Skull after being thawed out of the ice where his plane went down in the 1940s and although this film lacks the budget to have astounding FX and stunts, it’s still an entertaining diversion for comic book fans. BONUS features include a look back at the film with director Albert Pyun and Salinger. (Shout Factory)


Mel Brooks: Make a Noise

As he approaches his 87th birthday, Mel Brooks shows no signs of slowing down and resting on his considerable laurels as this biographical special shows. Professionally he first gained notice as a writer on Sid Caesar’s Your Show of Shows in the 1950s, but gained his own notoriety alongside pal Carl Reiner with their 2000 Year Old Man interviews. He continued balancing performing occasionally with writing and directing on a series of films including The Producers (which he later successfully took to Broadway as a musical), Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. This special covers all that as well as his private life in which he was married to Anne Bancroft for over four decades until her death in 2005. (Shout Factory)

True Blood: Season Five

Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) and the other supernatural residents of Bon Temps, Louisiana are back with their fangs bared for the fifth season of this sexy and bloody series. Christopher Meloni of Law & Order: SVU joins the cast this season as Roman, the 500-year-old leader of the Vampire Authority who runs afoul of local blood-suckers Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Eric (Alexander Skarsgard). This 5-disc set features all 12 episodes.

Perception: Season One

Like a cross between House and Lie to Me’s Cal Lightman, college professor Daniel Pierce (Eric McCormack) is routinely asked to assist on FBI cases (by Rachel Leigh Cook as agent Kate Moretti) because of his unique ability to read people’s mannerisms. Unfortunately, this skill is accompanied by a myriad of other personality “quirks” that make working with him quite fascinating as this mystery series proves. This 2-disc set features all 10 episodes from the first season.

Gaiking: The Movie Collection

As part of Mattel’s Shogun Warriors toy line, this Japanese import ran as a TV series for one season in 1976. The crew of the spaceship Kargosaur and Gaiking, a giant super robot piloted by an ex-baseball player, take on the Dark Horror Army to protect the earth. In 2009, producers re-edited episodes from this series and created three feature-length films from them which make up this set. (Shout Factory)

The Aquabats Super Show: Season One

This retro-styled children’s show (sure, that’s who it was aimed at) from the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba! features a team of masked crime-fighters who also perform as a band (with a great ska-surf-power punk vibe) sets out for cult status and really succeeds. This 2-disc set features all 13 episodes from the first season which featured guests like Weird Al Yankovic, Jon Heder and Lou Diamond Phillips as well as tons of BONUS features. (Shout Factory)

Pound Puppies: Mission Adoption

This disc features a sampling of five episodes from this animated series about a group of orphaned pets looking for permanent homes and featuring the voices of Eric McCormack, Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) and veteran character actor M. Emmet Walsh. (Shout Factory)

Saving Hope: Season One

After Chief of Staff Charlie Harris (Michael Shanks of Stargate Atlantis) ends up in a coma, his fiancée – surgeon Alex Reid (Erica Durance of Smallville) – and other doctors struggle to save his life while taking on other medical emergencies. Meanwhile, Harris has acquired the ability to wander the hospital in spirit form unseen from the others. All 13 episodes are available on this 4-disc set. (eOne)

Monsuno: Power

In this Japanese animated series, a group of teenagers and their Monsuno – a genetically-modified monster – search out the professor responsible for creating it while trying to save it from S.T.O.R.M., a military group trying to stop them. This disc contains the following episodes Breakthrough; R.S.V.P.; Appleseeds; Eye and Deceit. (Shout Factory)

Laverne & Shirley: Season Six

To shake up this long-running sitcom and hopefully breathe some new life into it, Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams) leave Milwaukee and head west to Hollywood for new adventures. Following them, of course, are the rest of the cast including Lenny and Squiggy and Carmine – who takes a job delivering singing telegrams, but this fresh start offered the addition of new cast members Ed Marinaro and Leslie Easterbrook as well as loads of new comedic opportunities and guest stars including Troy Donahue, Fred Dryer and Vicki Lawrence. This 6-disc set features all 22 episodes. (Paramount)