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Holiday season is already here, and it kicks off with the animated movie Arthur Christmas, on DVD this week
PICK OF THE WEEK:
When the present for a little girl is missed being taken on Christmas Eve, Santa’s clumsy young son Arthur (James McAvoy) sees this a mission to prove himself to his father and sets about delivering it with the help of Grandsanta (Bill Nighy) and Byrony the elf (Ashley Jensen of Extras) in this animated British film from the makers of Wallace & Gromit.
Director Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) and writer Peter Morgan (The Queen) team up with an all-star cast (including Rachel Weisz, Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Ben Foster) for this thriller which combines the stories of a group of strangers from around the world.
In writer-director Lynn Shelton’s (Humpday) latest comedy, Iris (Emily Blunt) invites her friend Jack (Mark Duplass) to spend some time with her at her family’s cabin after they suffer a terrible mutual loss. Once he arrives he finds himself awkwardly becoming involved with Iris’s sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt).
Finally, the team up straight-to-DVD fans have been waiting for: Steven Seagal and Steve Austin. In this new shot-in-Vancouver action flick, Seagal plays a former (naturally) black ops soldier named Tom Steele (seriously?) who teams up with another ex-commando (Austin) in order to protect two female prisoners awaiting transfer inside a prison.
This holiday season Spongebob Squarepants and his pals get an old-fashioned stop-motion animated special in the tradition of Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. In order to ruin Christmas and get Mr. Krab’s secret recipe, Plankton turns everyone in Bikini Bottom into jerks and only Spongebob can save them.
This Spanish drama about the true life incident where the Bolivian government made collecting rainwater illegal after they had sold the water rights to a giant corporation stars Gael Garcia Bernel and Luis Tosar. (eOne)
Steve Martin and John Candy star in this modern comedy classic about two men with vastly different personalities who are forced to make a complicated journey back to their homes in time for the holidays. This new re-release features some interesting EXTRAS including two documentaries: Getting There is Half the Fun, a “making of” doc which features footage of director John Hughes along with Martin and Candy during a press junket among other things; and John Hughes: Life Moves Pretty Fast, which features new interviews with many stars of his films as well as archival interviews with the man himself. (Paramount)
Billy Wilder’s film noir classic about a fading movie star (Gloria Swanson) and the desperate writer (William Holden) she hires to help her make a comeback, gets a meticulous restoration for this new re-release including all of the EXTRAS from both the 2002 and 2008 releases including audio commentary and features on just about everything connected with the film, it’s makers and Hollywood in that era. (Paramount)
In Brian Henson’s Muppet adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, Michael Caine stars as Scrooge with a felt-covered bevy of familiar co-stars including Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. This new edition features audio commentaries from Henson as well as one from the Muppets themselves; Muppet sing-along; bloopers; behind-the-scenes footage and the documentary Gonzo: Portrait of the Artist as a Young Weirdo. (Disney)
MUSIC ON DVD:
This rare 1965 documentary chronicling a “typical” tour of the Rolling Stones follows them as they take on a small two-day tour of Ireland. Not only do you get some great concert footage of the band (performing songs like “Heart of Stone,” “Play with Fire” and “The Last Time”), but more importantly you get great rehearsal footage and personal time with the band members. Recently, more footage was found including Mick Jagger and Keith Richards writing some songs in their hotel room and additional on-stage footage and all of it has been pristinely restored making this a great find for Rolling Stones fans. If just getting the documentary isn’t enough for you, Universal has also released a deluxe box set which also includes 2 CDs, a vinyl album, a book and a reprint of a vintage concert poster. (Universal)
TV ON DVD:
Set in 1950s England, this British drama follows the career of newly qualified midwife Jenny (Jessica Raine) as she arrives at a nursing convent in a poor section of East London. This series also features comic actor Miranda Hart in a rare dramatic role as Chummy, an eager, but clumsy new nurse who may turn out to be more trouble than she’s worth. This two-disc set features all 6 episodes.
In 1974, Dan Haggerty portrayed a soft-hearted, but brave mountain man nicknamed Grizzly Adams in a low-budget indie film that was a sleeper hit for all concerned. Finally in 1977, Haggerty returned to the role in TV series of the same name where he, his bear Ben, an old trapper called Mad Jack (Denver Pyle) and a Native American named Nakoma (Don Shanks) fought together to protect nature and the animals that live in it. This 4-disc set features the first season’s 13 episodes, but unfortunately not the film that launched it all. (Shout Factory)
This gritty British crime series (based on the novels of Ann Cleeves) stars Brenda Blethyn as DCI Vera Stanhope, a hard-drinking, brutally honest Northumbrian cop who, along with her young beleaguered Sergeant Joe Ashworth (David Leon) tackles grim cases usually involving murder and the like. (Acorn)
This 8–part British TV series – hosted by actress Caroline Quentin – gives viewers an in-depth insight into all of the wonders (and the wonderful people) that make the coastal area of Cornwall such a dreamland. (Acorn)
This four-disc set gives you all 13 episodes of this thrilling British documentary series about rarely heard-of events that took place during the Second World War including the Doolittle Raid in Tokyo, Lucky Laycock’s Escape from Crete and much more all produced with a exciting combination of archival footage and dramatic re-enactments. (Acorn)