NEW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY:

“THE CRAZIES,” starring Timothy Olyphant and Radha Mitchell. Kinetic reworking of the 1973 George Romero cult fave might actually improve upon the original with director Breck Eisner (“Sahara”) amping up the tension to near-unbearable levels in this upsetting tale of a small town run amok with a toxin-based plague that causes insanity and death. A rare case of a worthwhile remake, and considering how many bad ones we’re forced to deal with these days, “The Crazies” is practically a gift. Rated R for bloody violence and language. Running time: 1:41.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.98; Blu-ray $39.98.

 

“HOT TUB TIME MACHINE,” starring John Cusack and Craig Robinson. Agreeable foolishness finds Cusack, Robinson (“The Office”), Rob Corddry (“The Daily Show”) and Clark Duke (“Sex Drive”) reliving their respective misspent youths when the unlikely mode of transportation heralded in the title whisks them all back to 1986. One-note comedy strains noticeably for the few yuks it manages to wring out of its threadbare script, but thankfully a number of well-placed cameos from such comic vets as Chevy Chase and Crispin Glover improve matters considerably. Rated R for strong, crude and sexual content, nudity, drug use and pervasive language. Running time: 1:39.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.98; Blu-ray $39.99.

 

“PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF,” starring Logan Lerman and Sean Bean. Based on the best-selling book by Rick Riordan, this clunkily titled fantasy adopts a kitchen-sink approach to the proceedings that actually ends up working in the film’s favor, given its chaotic and wildly imaginative source material. Young Percy (Lerman, “3:10 to Yuma”) discovers that he is a demigod, a product of a fling between his mom and the Greek god Poseidon. His mission: Track down a thunderbolt stolen from Zeus (Bean) and return it. Oh, and rescue his mom from the demons of the underworld, not to mention restore peace to Mount Olympus in general. Rated PG for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language. Running time: 1:58.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99.

 

“RUSH: BEYOND THE LIGHTED STAGE.” Documentary. Wonderfully exhaustive and thoroughly entertaining, this filmic ode to the beloved, unstoppable Canadian rock sensation Rush provides all the info anyone will ever need about the men behind such enduring classics as “Tom Sawyer” and “Working Man.” Contains a bonus disc full of never-before-seen live performances. Not rated, contains language. Running time: 1:46.

Suggested retail price: DVD $19.98; Blu-ray $24.98.

 

“THE WARLORDS,” starring Jet Li and Andy Lau. An unorthodox general (Li) bands together with two like-minded warriors and a gang of ragtag soldiers to take on the seemingly unstoppable Taiping rebels in 1860-era China. As is to be expected in a project involving Li, the battle sequences are impressive and the stunts are jaw-dropping. Rated R for sequences of strong violence. Running time: 1:53.

Suggested retail price: DVD $26.98; Blu-ray $29.98.

 

NEW ON DVD:

“THE CLOSER: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON,” starring Kyra Sedgwick and J.K. Simmons. Popular TNT series finds LAPD Deputy Police Chief Brenda Johnson (Sedgwick) taking on the care of her uncooperative niece (newcomer Sosie Bacon) in addition to her usual colorful caseload. Still a consistent ratings topper and an unfailingly entertaining hour of television, thanks mainly to its excellent cast. Special features include unaired scenes. Not rated, contains violence and language. Running time: 11:00.

Suggested retail price: $39.98.

 

NEW ON BLU-RAY:

“PREDATOR: ULTIMATE HUNTER EDITION,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers. Classic sci-fi action flick from 1987 finds the Governator tearing apart the South American jungle on the hunt for a vicious killer that turns out to be an alien creature. One of Arnie’s best, and it all holds up much better than the rest of its ilk. This special edition features deleted scenes and a commentary from director John McTiernan (“Die Hard”). Rated R for language, crude humor and bloody violence. Running time: 1:47.

Suggested retail price: $29.99.

 

“VERSUS,” starring Tak Sakaguchi and Hideo Sakaki. Gleefully over-the-top mishmash of “Highlander,” “Dawn of the Dead” and “Mortal Kombat” keeps the action and gore flying fast and furious, without stopping to take a breath or establish a plot, for that matter. Bloody fun that looks excellent in HD. Rated R for strong pervasive violence and gore, and language. Running time: 1:59.

Suggested retail price: $29.99.

 

VIDEOPORT PICKS:

“WHEN YOU’RE STRANGE: A FILM ABOUT THE DOORS.” Documentary. Few bands have more tell-all biographies floating around than The Doors, but indie director extraordinaire Tom Dicillo (“Delirious”) brings his always-welcome brand of minimalist quirk to this latest doc on Morrison and company, which brings a wealth of never-before-seen backstage footage to the table, including some home movie footage shot by Morrison himself. Add wry narration from Johnny Depp and plenty of concert footage, and you’ve got one of the best rock docs in recent memory. Rated R for some sexual content, nudity, drug material and language. Running time: 1:30.

Suggested retail price: DVD $19.98; Blu-ray $24.98.

 

“THE WHITE RIBBON,” starring Susanne Lothar and Ulrich Tukur. Few directors are able to conjure such palpable dread as the level of sick tension that filmmaker Michael Haneke is able to churn up. From the slow-burn hysteria of “Cache” to the fourth-wall-breaking brutality of “Funny Games,” the only thing one knows to expect is that they will be somehow simultaneously horrified and engaged. Haneke’s latest is a mind-bending stunner set in pre-World War I Germany, where a series of upsetting events involving the town’s children take place over the course of 144 grueling but somehow beautiful minutes. “Ribbon” remains in the viewer’s consciousness long after the final reels have played out. Rated R for some disturbing content involving violence and sexuality. Running time: 2:24.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.96; Blu-ray $38.99.

 

– Courtesy of Videoport