NEW ON THE SHELF
“ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES,” Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd. American’s least intelligent news team is back for another round of brilliantly immature one-liners and surrealistic slapstick in this well-received sequel that finds Ferrell and cohorts Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner reuniting to take over the then-fledgling realm of 24-hour cable news in the ’80s. Director and frequent Ferrell collaborator Adam Mckay doesn’t stray far from the formula that made the 2004 original a cult hit, and it won’t be long before your friends and co-workers are quoting this one to death too, a small price to pay for comedy of this caliber. Rated PG-13; also unrated or super-sized R-rated versions. Running time: 1:58. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99.
“47 RONIN,” Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada. The phrase “Keanu Reeves: samurai warrior” is enough to give any moviegoer pause, yet first-time director Carl Rinsch just about pulls it off in this notoriously over-budget production, wherein “half-breed” outcast and surly forest dweller Reeves is called upon to assist fellow samurai Oishi (Sanada, “The Twilight Samurai”) to prevent their beloved kingdom from being taken over by evil Lord Kira (Tadanobu Asano, “Ichi the Killer”) and local witch Mizuki (Rinko Kikichi, “Pacific Rim”). It all sounds a bit more fun than it actually is, though the serious tone is admirable if not always effective. But what should ultimately draw viewers is the sheer spectacle on-screen, with sets and costumes that manage to sell every minute of the story. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:59. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $34.99.
NEW TO DVD
“BROADCHURCH: SEASON ONE,” David Tennant, Olivia Colman. Thoroughly entertaining UK thriller is no less hard-hitting for its small-town setting. The eccentricities inherent to tight-knit communities definitely lend the proceedings a somewhat cozier feel, if one can use that term when dealing with a plot that involves the murder of an 11-year-boy, a disturbing and confounding case that DI Hardy (Tennant, “Doctor Who”) and local Officer Miller (the ever-charming and scrappy Colman of “Peep Show”) reluctantly team up to crack. Not rated. Running time: 6:30. Suggested retail price: $39.99.
“THE PIRATE FAIRY,” animated, with the voices of Christina Hendricks, Mae Whitman. The various exploits of Tinker Bell, Peter Pan’s adorable and diminutive fairy sidekick, have become quite a cash cow for Disney over the past decade or so, and this latest direct-to-DVD installment should certainly please its youthful audience, without giving the adults anything particularly exciting or irritating enough to distract them from their phones; it would thusly appear that everybody wins where Tinker Bell is concerned. Rated G. Running time: 1:30. Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $36.99.
“PSYCH: THE COMPLETE SEASON EIGHT,” James Roday, Dule Hill. Would-be psychic Shawn (Roday) and his long-suffering partner Gus (Hill, “The West Wing”) enjoy their eighth (and, sadly, final) season traversing the greater Santa Barbara area, solving crimes while irritating and concerning as many victims, suspects and law enforcement officers as possible. Clever, engrossing and always funny, “Psych” is commendably consistent entertainment. Not rated. Running time: 8:03. Suggested retail price: $59.99.
NEW TO BLU-RAY
“TWO MULES FOR SISTER SARA,” Clint Eastwood, Shirley Maclaine. Romantic chemistry is a difficult thing to predict, and few would have expected it of Eastwood and Maclaine, but oddly enough the coupling starts to make perfect sense a few reels into this comfortable comedy-Western from 1970. Not as efficiently hard-bitten as the majority of the collaborations between Eastwood and director Don Siegel (“Dirty Harry,” “Escape from Alcatraz”), but Maclaine’s daffy, none-too-pious nun makes a terrific foil for Eastwood’s ornery gunfighter. Rated PG. Running time: 1:53. Suggested retail price: $19.99.
“AT MIDDLETON,” Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga. One of the most purely enjoyable “meet-cute” rom-coms in quite some time, the success of co-writer/director Adam Rogers’ film rests squarely and comfortably on the shoulders of its leads, Garcia and Farmiga, neither of whom generally has to stretch much to win over an audience, and that’s certainly the case here. Having both arrived at the titular college to tour the campus with their respective children, the parents unexpectedly make a surprisingly intense connection while suffering through and eventually ditching the uninteresting and inept tour, struggling to make sense of their new attraction while being mindful of their spouses at home. Exceedingly pleasant, but not afraid to go for the emotional gut-punch when necessary, “At Middleton” is as charming and inviting as a lovely spring day. Rated R. Running time: 1:40. Suggested retail price: $24.99; Blu-ray $29.99.
“KNIGHTS OF BAD***DOM,” Ryan Kwanten, Steve Zahn. The world of LARPing – or live action role-playing, for the uninitiated – is perennially a comedy that writes itself, but “Knights” director Joe Lynch (“Wrong Turn 2: Dead End”) refreshingly has real affection for the pastime, while still poking merciless fun when the occasion requires (which is, admittedly, often). Taking a page or two from such films as “Galaxy Quest,” “Three Amigos!” and “A Bug’s Life,” “Knights” pits harmless LARPers against very real threats when amateur wizard Eric (Zahn) unknowingly unleashes succubus and demons on the general populace. This is a genial and often genuinely exciting fantasy-comedy, with a terrifically game and highly geek-friendly supporting cast that includes Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Danny Pudi (“Community”) and Summer Glau (“Firefly”). Rated R. Running time: 1:26. Suggested retail price: $19.99; Blu-ray $24.99
– Courtesy of Videoport