NEW ON THE SHELF

“AMERICAN REUNION,” starring Jason Biggs and Alyson Hannigan. It’s hard to believe it’s been long enough since the first “American Pie” came out that there’s an entire generation who looks back on its release with nostalgia. Perhaps wisely, no attempt is made to reinvent the wheel for this sequel, subjecting Jim (Biggs), Stifler (Seann William Scott) and the rest of the gang to various sexual humiliations and scatological pranks. As always, Eugene Levy is on hand to provide dependable laughs as Jim’s well-meaning dad. Rated R. Running time: 1:53

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

“THE FLOWERS OF WAR,” starring Christian Bale and Ni Ni. From master director Zhang Yimou (“Raise the Red Lantern”), this sweeping and brutal historical dramatization focuses on the Nanking Massacre of 1937, wherein Japanese soldiers invaded China’s capital city and wantonly raped and murdered its citizens. In the midst of the madness is John (Bale), an American mortician who soon finds himself posing as a priest to help protect a group of women taking refuge in a local church. Rated R. Running time: 2:26

Suggested retail price: $27.98; Blu-ray $29.99

NEW TO DVD

“ADVENTURE TIME: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON,” animated with the voices of Jeremy Shada and John Di Maggio. One of Cartoon Network’s most beloved and acclaimed offerings these days is this whimsical, hugely imaginative animated tale of a boy and his magical dog and their endless quest for excitement in the Land of Ooo. With hilarious dialogue and a very singular animation style, “Adventure Time” succeeds in entertaining parents as much as the wee ones, a feat moms and dads weary of Elmo and Dora will no doubt appreciate. Not rated; contains mild rude humor. Running time: 4:46

Suggested retail price: $26.95

“WAREHOUSE 13: SEASON THREE,” starring Simon Reynolds and Saul Rubinek. Well-written, frequently tongue-in-cheek series concerns a building in remote South Dakota that supposedly houses a wide array of notorious supernatural artifacts and the agents employed to see that they don’t fall into the wrong hands — which of course they do, otherwise we’d have no show here. Special features include deleted scenes and a gag reel. Not rated; contains language and violence. Running time: 9:22

Suggested retail price: $49.98

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“ALTERED STATES,” starring William Hurt and Blair Brown. Cult fave from 1980 is one of director Ken Russell’s more lucrative forays into heady, hallucinogenic weirdness. Hurt turns it up to 11 as Professor Jessup, a scientist who acts as his own guinea pig when he ingests a particularly potent genus of mushroom and plops himself into an immersion tank. As you might imagine, things get pretty strange from that point on, and Russell’s flair for the flamboyantly odd produces some scenes and effects that have yet to be matched for their sheer audacious bizarreness. Rated R. Running time: 1:42

Suggested retail price: $19.98

“OUTLAND,” starring Sean Connery and Peter Boyle. “High Noon” is great and all, but wouldn’t it be even more awesome if it was set in space? That’s apparently the exact thought writer-director Peter Hyams (“2010”) had when he conceived of this 1982 sci-fi/Western hybrid, and it all comes together rather entertainingly, thanks in no small part to the invaluable gravitas of Connery as the intergalactic sheriff in question. Rated R. Running time: 1:52

Suggested retail price: $19.98

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“BEING FLYNN,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. It’s no surprise to anyone that De Niro can deliver a great performance, but over the past decade or so, it’s safe to say he’s been coasting a bit. So it’s always a pleasure when a smaller film like “Being Flynn” affords De Niro the opportunity to set aside his bag of tricks and come through with a full-fledged character. Here, he brings to life a downtrodden would-be writer whose decisions and addictions have led to homelessness, a circumstance that ends up reconnecting him with his estranged son (Dano), a fellow would-be writer who appears to be falling into some of the same trappings as his old man. Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content, drug use and brief nudity. Running time: 1:42

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

“MARGARET,” starring Anna Paquin and Matt Damon. Writer-director Kenneth Lonergan impressed critics and audiences alike with 2000’s “You Can Count On Me,” a wonderfully touching and funny look at a pair of troubled siblings. Lonergan’s long-awaited follow-up (it was originally filmed back in 2005) met with a great deal of postproduction conflict, and in the end, “Margaret” was surrendered to the production company for final edit, leaving Lonergan’s vision unrealized. That being said, what remains is fascinating, searing stuff. Paquin tears up the screen as the titular teen, whose already dismal existence is not improved when she unwittingly causes a bus accident, innocently catching the driver’s (Ruffalo) attention and causing him to hit and kill a pedestrian (Allison Janney). Reaching out in her own standoffish way with varying degrees of success to the driver, her vain mother (J. Smith-Cameron), her callous boyfriend (Kieran Culkin), and a well-meaning teacher (Damon), her interactions tend to lead to more mental chaos rather than clarity or reassurance of any kind, so viewers hoping for a comforting resolution will instead receive cold, hard reality. Running time: 2:30

Suggested retail price: $39.99

– Courtesy of Videoport