NEW ON THE SHELF

“ALL IS LOST,” Robert Redford. A common thread involving the alternately beautiful and horrific unpredictability of nature seems to run through a fair amount of the body of Robert Redford’s work, an obsession that comes to a fascinating head in writer-director J.C. Chandor’s (“Margin Call”) deceptively simple and hypnotic one-man-show, which drops Redford (known only as “Our Man” here) in a small yacht in the middle of the Indian Ocean and slams an off-course shipping container into him, waterlogging the craft and putting Our Man in some serious danger. Carrying the entire production on his shoulders, Redford delivers one of his finest performances in years, using little else but facial expressions to convey a world of hurt. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:46. Suggested retail price: $26.99; Blu-ray $29.99.

“THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY,” Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs. Belated follow-up to 1999’s “The Best Man” reunites the cast for a “where are they now” meet-up with the characters, who come together for Christmas. Melodrama and slapstick coexist a bit awkwardly here, but fans of the original should enjoy this unexpected opportunity to spend a couple more hours with these largely likable characters. Special features include a gag reel and a commentary from writer/director/producer Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man”). Rated R. Running time: 2:04. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $34.99.

“ENDER’S GAME,” Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford. Skillful adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic 1985 sci-fi novel transitions fairly smoothly to the big screen courtesy of writer-director Gavin Hood (“Rendition”), with Butterfield (“Hugo”) appropriately wide-eyed as Earth’s only chance for survival, and Ford a gruff delight as his mentor. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:54. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99.

NEW TO DVD

“THE AMERICANS: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON,” Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys. Clever, addictive ’80s-set drama asks viewers to side with Russian spies, represented here by Russell (“Austenland”) and Rhys (“Brothers & Sisters”), undercover KGB agents posing as an all-American, everyday married American couple. Attention to detail (and the enjoyable ridiculous fashions of the time) is the main key to the program’s success, but Russell and Rhys share a palpable if somewhat dark chemistry. Not rated. Running time: 9:32. Suggested retail price: $49.99; Blu-ray $59.99.

“AUSTENLAND,” Keri Russell, J.J. Feild. Uneven but charming adaptation of the novel by Shannon Hale accompanies single thirtysomething Russell to the titular destination spot, a theme park of sorts that allows its visitors to visit rural 1800s England in search of their own Mr. Darcys. A working knowledge of the works of Jane Austen will certainly enhance the experience, but Russell’s terrific performance and a fine supporting cast ensures that even the uninitiated (read: men) should find plenty here to entertain them. Special features include a Q&A with the cast and crew. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:37. Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

“SHERLOCK: SEASON THREE,” Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman. The dramatic reappearance of the ever-caustic Holmes (indelibly played by Cumberbatch) makes for some compelling and frequently hilarious viewing in the BBC reimagining’s third season, with Freeman as always matching Cumberbatch quip for quip as the long-suffering Watson. Special features include several making-of featurettes. Not rated. Running time: 4:30. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99.

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“CHICAGO: DIAMOND EDITION,” Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones. Director Rob Marshall’s (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides”) hugely successful screen adaptation of the Bob Fosse musical won the 2003 Best Picture Oscar and showcased the heretofore rarely witnessed musical talents of its stars, including high-stepping, pipes-testing supporting performances from Richard Gere and John C. Reilly in addition to the acclaimed turns from Zellweger and Zeta-Jones. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:53. Suggested retail price: $14.99.

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“THE COUNSELOR,” Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem. Audiences enticed by an all-star cast and a dependable hit maker were left scratching their heads by this talky, bizarre crime drama, but readers familiar with the works of Cormac McCarthy (“No Country for Old Men”) will be right at home with the existential exchanges and shocking displays of sex and violence in “The Counselor.” The story follows a lawyer (Fassbender, “Inglourious Basterds”) through his ill-advised, completely disastrous drug trafficking stint. Memorably odd performances from Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz and Cameron Diaz further the insanity, and director Ridley Scott (“Prometheus”) wisely indulges McCarthy’s every whim. Viewers duly prepared for a nutty ride will likely get the most out of this singular viewing experience. Rated R. Running time: 1:57. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99.

“WADJDA,” Waad Mohammed, Abdullrahman Al Gohani. This lovely Saudi Arabian import from director Haifaa al-Mansour (“Women Without Shadows”) is the simple but hugely affecting tale of “Wadjda” (remarkable young newcomer Mohammed), a young girl whose refusal to fully adhere to her society’s unyielding rules sets her apart as a rebel. All she wants is to be able to purchase and ride a bicycle, so she can beat her equally competitive friend Abdullah (Al Gohani) in a race, as well as get around town more efficiently and speedily. The ever-present rules don’t allow this, a detail that doesn’t stop Wadjda from squirreling away enough to buy the coveted bicycle. How this all shakes out is by turns angering, exciting, tense and ultimately inspiring, never stooping to saccharine in an attempt to garner unearned sympathy. It’s even a bit reminiscent of “Cool Hand Luke” in its depiction of a hard-headed individual met with nonstop adversity and restriction. Highly recommended. Rated PG. Running time: 1:37. Suggested retail price: $40.99; Blu-ray $40.99.

– Courtesy of Videoport