“SOURCE CODE,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michelle Monaghan. Aptly described in critic circles as “Quantum Leap meets Groundhog Day,” this terrifically entertaining sophomore effort from director Duncan Moore (“Moon”) plants Gyllenhaal on a commuter train, having no idea how he got there or what he’s doing. Before he manages to figure it out, the train blows up, killing everyone on board, which is certainly one way to start a movie. From there, Gyllenhaal gradually discovers that he is unwittingly involved in an experiment/quest that allows him to live out the last eight minutes of one of the train’s passengers, hopefully allotting him enough time to locate the bomber and put a stop to his plan.

Difficult to encapsulate but not nearly as confusing as it sounds, “Source Code” lacks the minimalist class of “Moon” but moves at a breakneck clip while earning moments of genuine pathos and even a few laughs along the way. A fun, intelligent ride with a bit more going on upstairs than the usual summer movie fare. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:33

Suggested retail price: DVD $26.99; Blu-ray $30.49


“BURN NOTICE: THE FALL OF SAM AXE,” starring Bruce Campbell and Kiele Sanchez. Prequel/spinoff from the popular USA spy series focuses on Campbell’s wry sidekick, a former Navy Seal gone to pot whose earlier, less beer-soaked exploits are given a welcome spotlight. As always, Campbell is both an able comic and action hero, so there’s plenty of fun here for fans and first-timers alike. Not rated, contains language and violence. Running time: 1:48

Suggested retail price: DVD $19.98; Blu-ray $24.99 

“DYLAN DOG: DEAD OF NIGHT,” starring Brandon Routh and Anita Briem. Routh attempts to put “Superman Returns” behind him with this tongue-in-cheek action/horror mash-up, engagingly embodying the title character, a supernaturally gifted private eye trolling the Louisiana bayou for various and sundry ghouls and goblins. Based on an Italian comic book, “Dog” doesn’t have much of a budget or script going for it, but with a comic relief zombie sidekick (played by Sam Huntington, also of “Superman Returns”) and a typically over-the-top side role for Peter Stromare as the patriarch of a werewolf clan, the makings for a enjoyably brainless Friday movie night are all present and accounted for. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:47

Suggested retail price: DVD $22.98; Blu-ray $29.99 

“IRONCLAD,” starring Paul Giamatti and Jason Flemyng. Yet another medieval actioner, director Jonathan English’s would-be epic scores on the basis of its unparalleled brutality alone, with no method of crudely effective disembowelment left unexplored as knights Flemyng (“Snatch”), James Purefoy (“Resident Evil”) and Mackenzie Crook (best known as Gareth from the original UK “The Office”) defend Rochester Castle from the armies of the boo-hiss evil King John (Giamatti). Character development is in short supply, but cutting people in half with giant swords is not. Rated R. Running time: 2:01

Suggested retail price: DVD $24.99; Blu-ray $29.99 


“NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE” and “THE BLUES BROTHERS,” starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd. A pair of long-awaited comedy classics find their way to Blu-ray this week, both from former wunderkind director John Landis and both prominently featuring the late, great Belushi, who portrays the ultimate slob Bluto in the 1978 frat-house sendup “House” and the more vocal half of “Brothers.” In the latter, he’s joined by Aykroyd in a “mission from God” to raise money for the orphanage they grew up in, encountering such icons of soul as Ray Charles, James Brown and Aretha Franklin along the way. Both films retain their high replay value after all this time, and while neither are noted for their stunning visuals, it’s nice to have them both available in high definition all the same. Both films are rated R. Running time: 1:49/2:13

Suggested retail price: $26.98 

“HIGH AND LOW,” starring Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai. This typically masterful crime drama from unparalleled filmmaker Akira Kurosawa (“The Seven Samurai”) is essentially two films in one. The first involves a shoe factory exec (Mifune) and his negotiations over the phone with the man who has kidnapped the son of his chauffeur, thusly facing financial ruin if he agrees to pay the ransom and public scorn if he refuses. The latter half of the film becomes police procedural, with the cops hot on the trail of said kidnapper, and the former tension gives way to race-against-time action. The black-and-white cinematography is starkly beautiful in Blu-Ray, and overall this is a less-celebrated entry in Kurosawa’s canon that is well worth discovering. Special features on this Criterion release include a commentary from Kurosawa scholar Stephen Price, a making-of documentary and rare interview footage with Mifune. Not rated, contains violence. Running time: 2:23

Suggested retail price: $39.95 


“LIFE DURING WARTIME,” starring Shirley Henderson and Allison Janney. Having floundered somewhat over the past few years, writer-director Todd Solondz returns to the film that put him on the map in this sequel of sorts to 1998’s groundbreaking “Happiness,” an ironically titled paean to suburban ennui and the overall fragility and meanness of the human condition. In that movie, an obscene phone caller, a closet pedophile and three very different but equally miserable sisters crossed paths in various upsetting and darkly humorous ways.

For this follow-up, in an intriguing and as far as we know never-before-attempted twist, Solondz casts the same characters with entirely differently performers, swapping out Phillip Seymour Hoffman for Michael Kenneth Williams (“The Wire”), Dylan Baker for Ciaran Hinds (“There Will Be Blood”), Jane Adams for Shirley Henderson (“Trainspotting”) and, most interestingly, Jon Lovitz for none other than Paul “Pee-Wee Herman” Reubens, just to name a few.

This juxtaposition brings new depths to some already very fleshed-out characters, and while newcomers should find plenty to cringingly chuckle at here, it’s fans of “Happiness” that will probably benefit most from a viewing, given the opportunity to see where these relatable if thoroughly damaged characters have ended up. Love him or hate him, Solondz is a true original. He has a plan, however twisted, and he sticks to it. Rated R for strong sexual content, brief nudity and language including some disturbing dialogue. Running time: 1:38

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.95; Blu-ray $39.95 

“TRUST,” starring Clive Owen and Linana Liberato. An acclaimed and insightful drama from director and former “Friends” star David Schwimmer, of all people (last seen helming the subpar comedy “Run Fatboy Run”). This exemplary and refreshingly unsensationalistic film deals plainly but devastatingly with the consequences faced by 14-year-old Annie (superb newcomer Liberato of “The Last Sin Eater”) when her meet-up with the supposed high school boy she’s been chatting with online goes predictably and tragically awry.

When her ordeal becomes known to her family and peers, the world she once knew is all but destroyed, and while it’s not easy to experience the almost unrelenting onscreen misery, Schwimmer and the top-notch cast sell every moment without once resorting to melodrama or preachiness. Troubling but essential viewing. Rated R for disturbing material involving the rape of a teen, language, sexual content and some violence. Running time: 1:44

Suggested retail price: $28.99; Blu-ray $29.99 

— Courtesy of Videoport