NEW ON THE SHELF

“CLOUD ATLAS,” starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry. Nothing if not ambitious, this sprawling adaptation of David Mitchell’s universally acclaimed and self-proclaimed “unfilmable” novel is an enormous undertaking all too willingly accepted by filmmakers Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (“The Matrix”). Although unavoidably confusing at times, it’s astounding just how well the colossal narrative holds up in movie form, a true testament to the abilities of all concerned. Rated R. Running time: 2:52

Suggested retail price: $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99 

“TEXAS CHAINSAW,” starring Alexandra Daddario and Trey Songz. Not an especially necessary entry in the Leatherface franchise, this finds everybody’s favorite power-tool-wielding lunatic resurfacing once again to harass and carve up a new batch of brain-dead young people, with the added bonus of 3-D for viewers strong of stomach and fancy of television. Those in search of mindless gore will be duly rewarded; fans of the still-effective 1974 original will likely find their time better spent revisiting that. Rated R. Running time: 1:32

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

“DEXTER: THE SEVENTH SEASON,” starring Michael C. Hall and Jennifer Carpenter. TV’s cuddliest serial killer is still at it in season seven of the show that put Showtime back on the map, with Dexter’s (Hall) grisly secret out in the open once his sister Deb (Carpenter) witnesses him in the act of one of his ritualistic murders, understandably leading to a fair bit of familial strain. “Dexter” proves to still have a few surprises up his bloody sleeve. Not rated. Running time: 10:71

Suggested retail price: $54.99; Blu-ray $65.99 

“LIZ & DICK,” starring Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler. The notoriously tempestuous relationship between Hollywood legends Liz Taylor and Richard Burton is certainly ripe for cinematic exploration, but whether that exploration should have come in the form of a Lifetime TV movie starring Lindsay Lohan is up for debate. Nonetheless, approached purely as camp, “Liz & Dick” is certainly never boring, but hardly the final word on its subject. Not rated. Running time: 1:28

Suggested retail price: $19.98

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“ESCAPE,” starring Isabel Christine Andreasen and Kristian Espedal. Tense, beautifully shot survival thriller from Norwegian director Roar Uthaug (“Cold Prey”) follows young Signe (Andreasen) as she attempts to escape the clutches of a pack of ruthless killers who have massacred the rest of her family. Taking place 10 years after the Black Plague, “Escape” is near wall-to-wall misery, but Uthaug keeps the action and chase scenes coming fast enough to temper the unavoidably downbeat aura of the film. Not rated. Running time: 1:19.

Suggested retail price: $24.98 

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“BEWARE OF MR. BAKER,” documentary. You know you’ve got a compelling documentary on your hands when it begins with its subject nearly breaking the director’s nose with a crutch. That’s “Mr. Baker” for you, a warts and all tribute to legendary rock drummer Ginger Baker, best known for his stint with the ’60s rock supergroup Cream. Baker has a well-deserved reputation for not being the nicest or more dependable fellow, but interviews with family and fellow musicians Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Stewart Copeland and Mickey Hart help paint a broader picture of a complicated but essential artist. Not rated. Running time: 1:40

Suggested retail price: $14.93 

“IF I WERE YOU,” starring Marcia Gay Harden and Aidan Quinn. Despite having an Academy Award under her belt (well-deserved for 2001’s “Pollock”), actress Marcia Gay Harden has never exactly attained the household name status that her talents deserved. This crafty dramedy from writer-director Joan Carr-Wiggin gives her a rare front-and-center lead role as Madelyn, an unfulfilled housewife whose drab life surprisingly kicks into gear when she learns that her spouse (Joseph Kell) is cheating on her with a much younger woman (Leonor Watling). Unexpectedly becoming close friends with her husband’s mistress, Madelyn soon finds herself not only helping her get a role in a local production of “King Lear” but entertaining her own thoughts of infidelity. Rated R. Running time 1:54.

Suggested retail price: $29.95

– Courtesy of Videoport