The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
Modern illusionists like Criss Angel and David Blaine get parodied in this comedy about an old-fashioned magician (Steve Carell) who searches for the spark that got him interested in the first place after a new-age street magician (Jim Carrey) steals away his audience.
21 and Over
From the writers of The Hangover comes this equally raunchy and hilarious comedy about a medical student celebrating his 21st birthday by partying all night with his wild and wacky friends with should’ve been titled Hangover Babies. (eOne)
Jack the Giant Slayer
X-Men director Bryan Singer puts away his comic books for this action-packed adaptation of the children's fairy tale about the young farmhand (Nicholas Hoult) who opens up a pathway between two worlds and ends up in the middle of a war while trying to protect a beautiful princess. (Warner)
The Last Exorcism Part II
Technically, the first Last Exorcism should've been called The Second-to-Last Exorcism, but who knew that it would be so popular as to warrant a sequel. In this chapter, young Nell (Ashley Bell), the girl from the first film, attempts to get her life in order, but discovers that the demon that possessed her has returned.
In this chilling English-language debut from Korean director Chan-wook Park (Oldboy), a young woman (Mia Wasikowska) becomes obsessed with her mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) who comes to live with her and her mother (Nicole Kidman) after the death of her father.
Take a dozen directors, a handful of screenwriters and some of the biggest names in Hollywood (including Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry and more) and throw them together and you get one strange and mind-numbing comedy that defies logical description. (eOne)
Dustin Hoffman makes his directorial debut with this adaptation of the Ronald Harwood play about a celebration at a home for retired opera singers (including Michael Gambon and Billy Connolly) that is upended by the arrival of the ex-wife (Maggie Smith) of one of the residents (Tom Courtenay). (eOne)
Rick Roberts (This is Wonderland) stars as NDP leader Jack Layton in this biopic about the politician’s career and personal life including his romance with his wife Olivia Chow (Sook-Yin Lee) through four decades of their lives together. (eOne)
With Alien co-screenwriter Don O’Bannon and Texas Chainsaw Massacre director Tobe Hooper creating a film about space vampires attacking London, you’d think this 1985 film would be much better known. Helter Skelter’s Steve Railsback stars as an American Colonel who is in charge of investigating the unearthing of three human-looking aliens discovered in deep space and brought back to earth.
When the gorgeous (and often naked) female vamp (Mathilda May) escapes, kills a few people and disappears, the Colonel leads the hunt to find her before she turns anyone else (including Patrick Stewart as a doctor) into a vampire. EXTRAS include both the director’s cut of the film and the original theatrical release; interviews with stars Railsback and May as well as director Hooper; a vintage “making of” feature; separate audio commentaries from Hooper and make-up effects designer Nick Malay and more. (Shout Factory)
In 1981, screenwriter John Sayles and director Joe Dante teamed up once again to deconstruct the “werewolf” genre of horror films. They had done the same thing with Piranha in 1978, so they were certainly the right people for the job. The result - The Howling - became a cult hit and went on to spawn several sequels even as recent as 2011. But of all of them, this one is still the best of the breed.
While investigating a series of bloody murders, a TV reporter (Dee Wallace) is attacked and almost killed. When she is sent to a remote private commune called The Colony (run by The Avengers’ Patrick Macnee) she begins to see that the mysterious killings are far from over.
Not only does this film boast some great transformation scenes, occasional gratuitous nudity and just the right amount of gore, it also hosts some great supporting work from character actors like Slim Pickens, John Carradine and Kevin McCarthy as well as cameo appearances from producer Roger Corman, screenwriter Sayles and Famous Monsters of Filmland publisher Forrest J. Ackerman. EXTRAS include tons of “making of” and background features, deleted scenes and twp audio commentaries: from director Dante and several stars of the film and from Gary Brandner, the author of the novel on which this film is based. (Shout Factory)
Ninja III: The Domination
If you haven’t seen Enter the Ninja (1981) and Revenge of the Ninja (1983), don’t worry. You can still enjoy this 1984 martial-arts action flick without knowing anything about the other films. The only real link between the films is Sho Kosugi as a ninja. This film really concerns Christie (Lucinda Dickey), a telephone line worker (and part-time aerobics instructor) who becomes possessed with the spirit of a dead ninja and goes a vengeful killing spree. Yup, you heard me. And that’s what makes this such a weird and wacky delight to watch. EXTRAS include an audio commentary from director Sam Firstenberg and stunt coordinator Steve Lambert. (Shout Factory)
TV ON DVD:
Springhill: Series One
This British soap opera (which only lasted two seasons) focuses on the family and friends of Liz and Jack Freeman (Gilly Coman and Jonathan Barlow) after the arrival of a mysterious woman named Eva Morrigan (Katherine Rogers) whose appearance unearths many family secrets. Created by Paul Abbot (Shameless) and Frank Cottrell Boyce, who had also both worked on Coronation Street, and with scripts by Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who) they had hoped that this series - with its mix of the supernatural and relationship drama - would attract some of the same audience that had previously enjoyed shows like Twin Peaks. This 4-disc set features all 26 episodes of the first season. (Acorn)
Body of Proof: Season Three
Dana Delany’s crime procedural is back for a third (and final) season with the addition of a new cast member - Mark Valley of Harry’s Law - as Detective Tommy Sullivan, a former NYPD cop who comes to Philadelphia and is instantly assigned the case of a serial killer who targets young war veterans. Things get personal when Megan discovers that the killer has abducted her own daughter. This 3-dsic set features all 13 episodes.
Understanding Art: Hidden Lives of Masterpieces
If the idea of looking at some of the greatest works of art - including paintings by Rembrandt, Watteau and others - with a group of renowned art historians from around the world, than this documentary series is right up your alley. This 2-disc set features all 5 episodes. (Acorn)
The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli - The Complete Collection
Not to be confused with the Walt Disney version, this adaptation of the Rudyard Kipling book is a Japanese-made anime version which chronicles the adventures of young Mowgli and his animal friends and ran for 52 episodes, all of which are now available on DVD in a 6-disc set. If you’re looking for just a little taste of this series, you can also get The Jungle Book: Adventures of Mowgli - The Beginning, which is also released on DVD this week. (Shout Factory)
Moonshiners: Season One
For over 200 years, moonshiners have been creating their own brand of illegal hooch in the Appalachian mountains of the southern U.S. which means that for almost as long, the government has been sending Alcohol Beverage Control Agents after them. This documentary series follows members of both professions as they go about trying to get their business done. In June of each year, it’s time to harvest the corn (the chief ingredient in illegal liquor and the perfect hiding spot to hide out in) and moonshiner Tim and his partner “Tickle” are doing everything they can to avoid determined ABC Agent Jesse Tate which includes booby traps and hungry hounds. This 2-disc set features all 7 of the first season’s episodes. (eOne)