NEW ON THE SHELF

“42,” Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford. The world can always use another reminder that Jackie Robinson was one of the most amazing and important figures in sports history, and while director Brian Helgeland (“A Knight’s Tale”) is ultimately more interested in melodrama than baseball, “42” proves an ideal showcase for relative newcomer Boseman (“Draft Day”), embodying Robinson with style and pathos. And Ford steps outside his comfort zone a bit with a goofily irascible performance as Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, who sees greatness in Robinson where others simply see another black man. An unfailingly uplifting story that mostly succeeds thanks to Boseman’s strong performance. Rated PG-13. Running time: 2:08. Suggested retail price: $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99.

“BULLET TO THE HEAD,” Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang. While Sly has been cementing his cinematic comeback successfully for several years now, “Bullet” heralds an equally important return to form for hardcore action fans: that of director Walter Hill, the veteran filmmaker who over the years has brought us such genre classics as “48 Hrs,” “Southern Comfort” and “The Warriors,” to name a few. While his latest offering can’t quite compete with any of those, it’s a lean and mean throwback that finds both Hill and Stallone doing what they do best: providing stylishly dumb action and over-the-top machismo in spades. And honestly, how can you knock a movie that climaxes with two guys fighting with antique fire axes Rated R. Running time: 1:32. Suggested retail price: $35.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

“EVIL DEAD,” Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas. Longtime horror fans collectively winced upon learning of the inevitable arrival of the remake of Sam Raimi’s seminal 1981 masterpiece, a low-budget wonder that singlehandedly reinvigorated a genre that seemed to be spinning its wheels. While we can’t say we’re fans of remakes as a rule, credit newbie director Fede Alvarez for actually getting it right. Throwing some troubled teens in a dilapidated backwoods cabin and throwing all manner of supernatural misfortune and disgustingness at them, Alvarez stretches the R rating to new levels of elasticity, and most impressive of all, manages to bring these gory marvels to the screen with a minimum of CGI, utilizing long-neglected make-up techniques that ground the proceedings and respect its source material. Rated R. Running time: 1:31. Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99. 

NEW TO DVD

“DAMAGES: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON,” Glenn Close, Rose Byrne. The fifth season of the acclaimed series finds notoriously ruthless attorney Patty Hewes (Close, ever the force of nature) being hauled in for questioning by the police, and her protege-turned-rival Ellen Parsons (Byrne, matching Close glare for glare) mysteriously nowhere to be found. The underhanded tactics and flagrant backstabbing that led to this dire situation are, as ever, slowly and expertly revealed with the nasty aplomb “Damages” is known and praised for. Not rated. Running time: 8:49. Suggested retail price: $45.99.

“HELL ON WHEELS: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON,” Anson Mount, Common. Thoroughly entertaining Western by way of soap opera, “Wheels” continues the oft disreputable adventures of former Confederate officer Cullen Bohannon (Mount, “Safe”) as he toils for the titular traveling settlement that’s responsible for the construction of the first transcontinental railroad. Not rated. Running time: 7:10. Suggested retail price: $39.98; Blu-ray $49.98.

“ERASED,” Aaron Eckhart, Olga Kurylenko. An ex-CIA agent (Eckhart, “Olympus Has Fallen”) working at a Belgian security company must summon up his former abilities when he shows up at work one day to find both his company and his very identity gone without a trace, forcing him to drag his teenage daughter (Liana Liberato, “Trust”) along for the ride. It’s essentially “Taken” meets “The Bourne Identity,” with all the lack of originality such a setup would seem to imply. But Eckhart makes the most of a rare starring role, displaying an easy aptitude for action heroics that should lead to further such opportunities down the line. Rated R. Running time: 1:44. Suggested retail price: $22.98; Blu-ray $26.99.

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“BLACK SABBATH,” Boris Karloff. In one of director Mario Bava’s most celebrated works, Karloff both introduces and stars in this terrifying 1963 triptych, with its unsettling tales of a woman terrorized by phone calls from a former lover and recent prison escapee, a family set upon by a vampire, and a nurse threatened by unseen forces after she steals a ring from a dead medium. A truly frightening classic with a dazzling color scheme that really pops in high-definition. Not rated. Running time: 1:26. Suggested retail price: $24.95.

“LORD OF THE FLIES,” James Aubrey, Tom Chapin. Still a mainstay in high school English lit classes, William Golding’s classic novel practically invented the now ubiquitous YA genre, and while it’s been adapted for the screen several times, director Peter Brook’s (“King Lear”) is still far and away the gold standard, perfectly capturing the innocence and savagery so eloquently detailed in Golding’s prose. This being a Criterion release, the special features are numerous and choice, and they include a commentary from Brook, a recording of Golding reading excerpts from his novel, and a deleted scene, among much else. Not rated. Running time: 1:30. Suggested retail price: $39.95.

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“THE FRUIT HUNTERS,” documentary. Though most grocery stores limit their fruit selection to apples, oranges, bananas, some berries and maybe a little perfunctory kiosk with fruits no more exotic than mangos, that could all change if “The Fruit Hunters” have anything to say about it. Dedicated to the idea that mankind is being denied an entire universe of intriguing, diverse-tasting and generally very healthy fruit, the “Hunters” (who include actor Bill Pullman, shown tending to an exotic fruit garden in his backyard) work tirelessly to rescue unknown fruits from extinction, and filmmaker Yung Chang (“Up the Yangtze”) engagingly captures these quirky crusaders and their noble efforts. Not rated. Running time: 1:32. Suggested retail price: $29.95.

“MISFITS: SEASON THREE,” Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Joseph Gilgun. “Mystery Men” meets “Spaced” meets Kevin Smith is a glib description that barely scrapes the surface of this often brilliant yet overlooked superhero comedy. Originally shown in the U.K. but also broadcast on the Logo channel in the States, “Misfits” relays the hilariously sordid tale of what happens when a group of young ne’er-do-wells in the midst of community service are struck by lightning and magically given super powers, very few of which are used for the greater good. As clever as it is crude, “Misfits” is high-spirited, nasty fun whether you’re a comic book geek or not. Not rated. Running time: 4:36. Suggested retail price: $24.98.

— Courtesy of Videoport