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This week on DVD, right in time for the US presidential election, Will Ferrel and Zach Galifianakis star in the ridiculously funny The Campaign
Jay Roach, who helmed the Austin Powers and Fockers films, directs this vulgar, yet hilarious comedy about two rival politicians – one experienced (Will Ferrell) and one a naïve newcomer (Zach Galifianakis) – who are both vying for a congressional seat in their North Carolina constituency. (Warner)
When a magazine writer (Jake Johnson of New Girl) and two interns head to rural Washington to investigate who placed an unusual classified ad about looking for a time travel companion, one of them (Parks and Recreation’s Aubrey Plaza) finds herself intrigued by the strange and fascinating would-be traveller (Mark Duplass). (Alliance)
The filmmakers who brought you Little Miss Sunshine reunite with Paul Dano for this unusual romantic comedy about a lonely writer who creates the woman of his dreams (Zoe Kazan, who also wrote the screenplay) – literally.
Director Joe Dante, who thrilled audiences in the ’80s with films like Gremlins and Explorers, knows how to make an exciting film for kids that won’t bore adults. In this new film, brothers Dane and Lucas are bored in their big old house having moved to the small town of Bensonville from New York City. When they decide to go exploring the old building, they discover a trapdoor in the basement floor and a dark secret beneath it that was better left hidden. (Alliance)
In this made-for-TV (shot in Vancouver) sequel to the hit 1983 comedy, young Ralphie (now played by Braeden Lemasters because the original kid – Peter Billingsley – is now in his 40s) is a teenager and hopes to get a car for Christmas (or at least earn enough to buy one). Daniel Stern (Home Alone) takes on the role of his grumpy father.
Esteemed filmmakers Ridley and Tony Scott have adapted the best-selling novel (and subsequent 1978 film) for this thrilling miniseries. When a series of patients in the hospital begin lapsing into unexplained comas, a young doctor (Lauren Ambrose of Six Feet Under) suspects something which leads to a terrifying conspiracy. Geena Davis, James Woods and Richard Dreyfuss co-star. (Sony)
This sports drama takes on the largely-overlooked sport of lacrosse as it follows a ragtag team of Aboriginal boys who discover the historical aspects of lacrosse from their coach (Brandon Routh) while training hard to beat a preppie high school team. (Alliance)
TV ON DVD:
In this gritty drama set in 1860s New York City, Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones of Spooks) is a tough Irish cop whose beat is the violent section of the city known as Five Points (also the location of the Martin Scorsese film The Gangs of New York). Haunted by personal tragedy and driven by fierce conviction, Corcoran struggles to uphold justice and keep hidden a secret he shares with two old friends from their days fighting together during the Civil War. This 2-disc set features all 10 episodes.
In this 1970s crime-drama’s fifth and final season, veteran detective Mike Stone (Karl Malden) was given a new partner Dan Robbins (Richard Hatch, who would later star in Battlestar Galactica). Michael Douglas, who had portrayed Stone’s partner for the series’ first four seasons, had just won an Oscar for producing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and was ready to make the big leap to a full-time film career and leave TV behind (although he appears in this season’s first two episodes). This 6-disc collection (available in two 3-disc sets) features all 24 episodes including the 1977 one in which a young Arnold Schwarzenegger guest stars as – what else? – a bodybuilder. (Paramount)
At the height of it’s popularity in 1970, producers of the gothic daytime soap opera Dark Shadows decided to produce a theatrical feature-length film with it’s TV cast. In this bloodier and more frightening tale entitled House of Dark Shadows, vampire Barnabas Collins (Jonathan Frid) searches for a cure for his “affliction” in order to marry Maggie Evans (Kathryn Leigh Scott), a woman who is the spitting image of his late fiancée Josette. This film was so successful that the following year in 1971, they made another film Night of Dark Shadows, this time following another member of the Collins family – Quentin Collins (David Selby) – who after moving into the Collinwood estate with his new wife (Kate Jackson) begins to have strange and horrific visions about his evil ancestors. After being out of print for almost 15 years, Warner is finally releasing them for the first time on DVD. (Warner)
The (practically) unbeatable defense attorney Perry Mason (Raymond Burr) is back in this 4-disc collection of the final 15 episodes of the long-running series’ seventh season – which originally aired in the 1963-1964 season. Among the guest stars in these episodes are Ryan O’Neal, David McCallum, Peter Breck and Jerry Van Dyke. (Paramount)