NEW ON DVD AND BLU-RAY

“BLACK SWAN,” starring Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. Almost a companion piece to his acclaimed 2008 hit “The Wrestler,” director Darren Aronofsky turns his unforgiving eye toward the world of ballet in this delirious, unflinching account of Nina (Oscar winner Portman), who lands the lead role in “Swan Lake” courtesy of her brilliant but lecherous instructor (Vincent Cassel), only to find herself cracking under the pressure. Dazzling one minute and cliched the next, the film isn’t without its frustrating moments, but between Aronofsky’s formidable technical skills and Portman’s career-high performance, “Swan” proves itself a must-see when all is said and done. Rated R. Running time: 1:48.

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

 

“FAIR GAME,” starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn. Taut political thriller from director Doug Liman (“The Bourne Identity”) recalls such sterling examples of the now-dwindling genre as “All the President’s Men” and “The Parallax View,” with its fact-based tale of CIA operative Valerie Plame (Watts), who finds that her identity may have been leaked by her government as payback for a Bush-bashing piece written by her husband, Joe Wilson (Penn). “Game” is appropriately shocking and angering, with Liman’s trademark jitter-cam livening up what could have become a lifeless Washington gabfest in the wrong hands. Features include a commentary from the real Plame and Wilson. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:48.

Suggested retail price: DVD $22.99; Blu-ray $30.49.

 

“TANGLED,” animated with the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi. Disney-fied update of the “Rapunzel” tale melds the joke-a-minute “Hercules” approach with the stunning CGI of a Pixar film, resulting in a satisfying family comedy that breaks no new ground but certainly entertains. The excellent supporting cast includes Jeffrey Tambor (“Arrested Development”), Brad Garrett (“Everybody Loves Raymond”), Paul F. Tompkins (“Mr. Show”) and old Bond heavy Richard “Jaws” Kiel. Rated PG. Running time: 1:40.

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

 

NEW ON DVD

“ALL GOOD THINGS,” starring Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. This fact-based thriller tells the lurid story of Robert Durst (renamed David Marks, for obvious reasons, and well played by Gosling), a wealthy young man who marries a girl below his status (Dunst) and flees to Vermont to get away from his real-estate mogul father (Frank Langella) — only to come crawling back to Dad after falling on hard financial times, whereupon his already unsteady psychological condition begins to go seriously off the rails. What follows constitutes a true crime mystery that remains unsolved, but director Andrew Jarecki clearly has a theory or two, and presents them intriguingly with the help of his terrific cast. Rated R. Running time: 1:41.

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

 

“EVANGELION: 2.22 YOU CAN (NOT) ADVANCE,” animated. Feature film installment of the highly influential anime series finds a quartet of high-schoolers controlling Transformer-esque machines in a battle against a marauding band of evil angels busily decimating Tokyo. Will likely be all but incomprehensible to those unfamiliar with the series, but some of the sequences are stunning nonetheless. Not rated, contains violence and brief nudity. Running time: 1:52.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98.

 

“MAD MEN: SEASON FOUR,” starring Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss. Still arguably the best show on TV, the boys from Sterling Cooper Draper Price are as half-crocked and short-tempered as ever, with the formidable Don Draper (Hamm) struggling to contend with the monumental changes in his family and career that the end of Season 3 notoriously brought about. New opportunities and challenges also spring up for tenacious pitchwoman Peggy (Moss, who gets better with each season), womanizer Roger (the hilarious John Slattery), and Don’s rapidly maturing daughter Sally (Kiernan Shipka, who comes into her own this season). Just about as good as television gets. Not rated, contains language and sexual content. Running time: 10:11.

Suggested retail price: DVD $49.98; Blu-ray $49.97.

 

NEW ON BLU-RAY

“SCREAM,” starring Neve Campbell and David Arquette. Director Wes Craven’s popular horror franchise brought a winking self-awareness to the grisly onscreen proceedings that proved irresistible to ’90s audiences, and still holds up well today as both a spoof of sorts and a genuinely unsettling slasher. Rated R. Running time: 1:51.

Suggested retail price: $19.99.

 

“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS,” starring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. Love him or hate him, legendary director Cecil B. DeMille always put on a memorable show, and 1956’s “Commandments” brings the Old Testament to the big screen as only he could. Heston’s Moses lords over the biblical proceedings with his usual flair, doing well to keep a straight face in the midst of sublimely hammy performances from Edward G. Robinson, Anne Baxter and even Vincent Price. Just in time for Easter, “Commandments” looks better than ever on Blu-Ray, where the VistaVision and Technicolor can really pop. The Red Sea was never redder. Rated G. Running time: 3:51.

Suggested retail price: $39.99.

 

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“MADE IN DAGENHAM,” starring Sally Hawkins and Bob Hoskins. A film we flat-out defy you to dislike, “Dagenham” recounts the fact-based story of the Ford Dagenham car plant, once one of the largest private employers in the United Kingdom, whose daily routine was thrown fully out of whack one fateful day in 1968, when Rita O’Grady and her fellow female upholsterers found out just how little money they were making in comparison to their male counterparts. The ensuing strike is appropriately rousing, but where director Nigel Cole (“Calendar Girls”) and writer William Ivory (“The Closer You Get”) really succeed is in focusing on the different dynamics of the many human relationships that comprise this historical scenario, thus putting the emotional stakes through the roof. Rated R for language and brief sexuality. Running time: 1:53.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.95; Blu-ray $34.95.

 

“TREME: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON,” starring Wendell Pierce and Khandi Alexander. From the fertile mind behind “The Wire” comes this equally uncompromising series from creator David Simon, which takes a look at life after Hurricane Katrina through the eyes of several New Orleans families. “Treme” challenges the viewer to keep up with its vast cast of characters and varied running side plots, but the breadth of storytelling scope and the commitment to realism make this addictive, if often downbeat, viewing. Not rated, contains language and sexual content. Running time: 10:32.

Suggested retail price: DVD $59.99; Blu-ray $79.98.

— Courtesy of Videoport