“GNOMEO AND JULIET.” Animated with the voices of James McAvoy and Emily Blunt. The age-old Shakespearean tale of doomed young love may be one of the most adapted works of literature in existence, but not until now have the main roles been filled by lawn ornaments, and we have director Kelly Asbury (“Shrek 2”) and executive producer Elton John (who also, naturally, provides the soundtrack) to thank. A rather clever and lively Disney spin on an old favorite, “Gnomeo” should entertain both the small fry and Bard enthusiasts alike, and the star-studded voice cast (which runs the gamut from Maggie Smith to Hulk Hogan) is uniformly great. Rated G. Running time: 1:24.

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

“I AM NUMBER FOUR,” starring Alex Pettyfer and Timothy Olyphant. Based on the popular young adult novel by Pittacus Lore, this angst-ridden supernatural teen drama courts the finally waning “Twilight” crowds with relative success. Pettyfer stars as John, an alien from another planet masquerading as a teenager while hiding out from the evil Mogadorians with his guardian Henri (Olyphant) and lusting after fellow student Sarah (Dianna Agron). “Four” plays much better on the small screen apart from all the hype. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:49.

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


“THE BIG BANG,” starring Antonio Banderas and Sam Elliott. Gumshoe Banderas is hired to find a Russian boxer’s missing girlfriend. Along the way, he runs into James Van Der Beek as an action star with a secret, Snoop Dogg as a particularly hands-on porn producer, and Elliott as a multimillionaire bent on re-creating the titular event in the middle of the New Mexico desert with the help of his own personal physicist. It almost collapses under its own loopiness, but “Bang” is too audacious to pass up. Rated R for some strong sexual content, nudity, violence and language. Running time: 1:41.

Suggested retail price: DVD $26.97; Blu-ray $34.98.

“THE KIDS IN THE HALL: DEATH COMES TO TOWN,” starring Dave Foley and Bruce McCullough. Rightfully considered by many to be the best ensemble in the history of sketch comedy, the cross-dressing funnymen from the Great White North come back in a big way with this eight-part comic miniseries, in which the entire town of Shuckton is implicated in the murder of its mayor. With the Kids playing the majority of the town’s citizens, the bizarre one-liners and surreal gags are pretty well nonstop. Not rated, contains language, crude humor, comic violence and sexual content. Running time: 8:20.

Suggested retail price: $24.95.

“LEMONADE MOUTH,” starring Bridgit Mendler and Adam Hicks. Likable and typically squeaky-clean offering from the Disney channel follows a quintet of talented tweens as they endeavor to form a pop band (and a pretty darn catchy one at that) in spite of their cartoonishly evil principal’s attempts to quash their spirit. An inevitable franchise, but thankfully it’s a story worth continuing. Special features include a “rock-along” setting. Not rated, nothing objectionable. Running time: 1:47.

Suggested retail price: $26.99.


“THE GREAT DICTATOR,” starring Charlie Chaplin and Jack Oakie. One of Chaplin’s most controversial and argued-about comedies, this hilarious and ultimately touching satire sets about mercilessly skewering Hitler and the Nazi regime — one year before the U.S. entered World War II. As is to be expected, slapstick and pathos abound in equal measure, with a stirring final speech that ranks among cinema’s most memorable scenes. Rated G. Running time: 2:05.

Suggested retail price: $39.95.

“PLATOON,” starring Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger. Before he became the drug-addled, nonsense-spewing crackpot we all know and love today, Charlie Sheen once legitimately impressed critics and audiences alike in this 1986 Best Picture Oscar winner from director and fellow controversy-courter Oliver Stone. Among the best of the then-rampant Vietnam War dramatizations. Rated R. Running time: 2:00.

Suggested retail price: $29.99.  


“BURNING PALMS,” starring Adrianna Barraza and Lake Bell. While never a genre noted for its consistency, it’s always intriguing when a new anthology film comes out. Reasonably touted as “Five Stories That Will Mess You Up for Life,” “Palms” is a jet-black comedy from writer-director Christopher B. Landon. The movie is more than willing to go where few films dare to tread in search of a nasty laugh by mining taboo sex acts, rape, gay culture and more to serve its skewed and shockingly funny purposes. Rated R for strong sexuality, violence including a rape, language and drug use. Running time: 1:52.

Suggested retail price: DVD $27.97; Blu-ray $29.97.

“A SMALL ACT,” documentary. On the exact opposite end of the emotional spectrum from “Burning Palms” is this beautifully touching documentary from filmmaker Jennifer Arnold in which we are introduced to Chris Mburu, a young Kenyan man, and Hilde Back, an elderly Swedish woman. Growing up in a mud hut, Mburu eventually had his education funded by Back, via a monthly donation of $15, without having ever made her acquaintance. Thanks in huge part to said education, Chris is now a human rights commissioner with the United Nations, having gone on to study at Harvard, and viewers are fortunate enough to be privy to the moment when Chris and Hilde finally meet. Not rated, nothing objectionable. Running time: 1:28.

Suggested retail price: $29.95.