NEW ON THE SHELF

“THE POSSESSION,” starring Natasha Calis and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. A simple yard sale purchase leads to unthinkable horror in this effectively creepy flick from director Ole Bornedal (“Nightwatch”), wherein a “dybbuk box” containing an evil spirit is selected on a whim by young Em (an impressive performance by Calis of TV’s “The Firm”), who begins exhibiting violent and frightening behavior not long after acquiring the box. Based on Jewish folklore, “The Possession” is hampered a bit by its PG-13 rating, but absolutely succeeds in creating some truly eerie atmosphere and decent scares. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:32

Suggested retail price: $29.95; Blu-ray $39.99

“TAKEN 2,” starring Liam Neeson and Famke Janssen. One of these days, all these bad guys are gonna learn to stop pestering Neeson. Until then, here’s the inevitable sequel, in which Neeson himself is “Taken,” along with his ex-wife (Janssen), leaving it up to his daughter to help rescue them from the clutches of a deadly enemy. While a step down from the brutal efficiency of the original, “Taken 2″ offers plenty of swiftly snapped limbs and menacing glowers to satisfy action and Neeson fans. Special features include an alternative ending. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:32

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

“TO ROME WITH LOVE,” starring Woody Allen and Alec Baldwin. Likable comic anthology from the ever-prolific Allen spends some agreeable time in the titular series, eavesdropping on an opera director (Allen) attempting to make a star out of one of his in-laws, and a young architect (Jesse Eisenberg) who is struggling with his feelings for his significant other’s visiting friend (Ellen Page). The Woodman largely fails to recapture that recent “Midnight in Paris” magic, but Allen lite is still Allen. Even at 76, the man’s got the best comic timing in town. Rated R. Running time: 1:52

Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99

“WON’T BACK DOWN,” starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal. A young mother (Gyllenhaal), fed up with her local elementary school and their disregard for her dyslexic daughter’s needs, teams up with a like-minded third-grade teacher (Davis) to try and bring about some much-needed change to their school system. It’s certainly not the least preachy film you’ll watch this year, but Davis and Gyllenhaal are easy to root for, and the intent is certainly a noble one. Rated PG. Running time: 2:01

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

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH,” starring Peter Lorre and Leslie Banks. Although the remake with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day (also directed by Hitchcock) tends to get more attention, this 1934 comedy-thriller is every bit as entertaining and less fluffy besides. This one includes an iconic performance by the great Lorre as a seemingly benign German tourist who proves to be one of screendom’s more memorable psychotic villains, kidnapping the daughter of a vacationing couple after they unwittingly gain possession of the details of an assassination plot. The idea of relatively ordinary people being thrust into extraordinary circumstances is a well Hitch would return to more than once, and his glee in cramming as many genres into one film as possible is apparent even that early on. Special features include an extensive 1972 interview with Hitchcock. Not rated; contains some violence. Running time: 1:15.

Suggested retail price: $39.95

“THE TIN DRUM,” starring David Bennent and Mario Adorf. One of the most controversial and frequently banned films in history, director Volker Schlondorff’s 1979 adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Gunter Grass is one of those films any serious movie buff needs to have under the belt at some point. A WWII-era tale of a little boy (Bennent) who successfully wills himself to stop growing after deciding that the grown-up world isn’t worth becoming part of, “Drum” is heavy with symbolism but still manages to maintain an extremely compelling narrative — though sensitive viewers should be aware that the film’s reputation for disturbing imagery is well founded. Rated R. Running time: 2:43

Suggested retail price: $39.95

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“DETROPIA,” documentary. The eternally put-upon city of Detroit has long been little more than an unkind punchline whenever anyone needs a worst-case scenario for places one could live. But filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady attempt to go beyond the usual dismissive comments to get to the heart of what happened to this once-bustling city, and why it never seems to be able to escape its unenviable rut. Speaking with longtime residents, businessmen and average Joes and Janes alike — and finding beauty where few would think to look — Ewing and Grady certainly don’t shy away from Detroit’s ongoing plight. But they also cast a respectful and hopeful light on a city that for all its problems is considered home by millions. Not rated; contains language. Running time: 1:31

Suggested retail price: $29.95

“ABOUT CHERRY,” starring Ashley Hinshaw, Lili Taylor, Dev Patel, James Franco and Heather Graham. The film debut of author Stephen Elliott is a visual love letter to San Francisco as it tells the story of high school student Angelica (Hinshaw), whose choices lead her from a depressing home life and dead-end job in Los Angeles to the fetish-filled Bay Area adult film world. A stepfather with dark motives lurks in the background as Angelica watches over her younger sister and questions her options. A gritty and defiantly voyeuristic look at the life of a youth who never loses her innocence even as she gyrates for the camera, “Cherry” urges us to consider the delicate tension between body and self by focusing on society’s most sought-after objects of desire. Rated R for sexual content including nudity, language and drugs. Running time: 1:42

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

- Courtesy of Videoport