NEW ON THE SHELF:

“Begin Again,” Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo. Returning to the ragtag fusion of romance and the music business that made 2007’s “Once” such a hit with critics and audiences alike, writer/director John Carney strikes low-key date movie gold with “Begin Again,” this time teaming charmingly shambling (and functionally alcoholic) producer Ruffalo with uncertain but talented songstress Knightley, with the former attempting to resuscitate his career by giving the latter some exposure. It doesn’t take a film scholar to figure out where this is going, but Knightley and Ruffalo have chemistry to burn, and Carney easily recaptures the good-natured, well-earned sentimentality that put him on the map to begin with. Rated R. Running time: 1:44. Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.99.

“Deliver Us from Evil,” Eric Bana, Edgar Ramirez. Purportedly based on actual events, this occasionally disturbing but largely ridiculous (albeit rather entertaining) fright flick pits NYPD detective Ralph (Bana) against a demonic presence supposedly unearthed by nefarious Marines during the Iraq War. Director Scott Derrickson (“The Exorcism of Emily Rose”) can jump an audience out of their shoes with the best of them, which goes a long way towards overshadowing the fairly silly storyline and the numerous ill-advised choices displayed by our unfortunate protagonist. Special features include a commentary from Derrickson. Rated R. Running time: 1:59. Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $40.99.

“Wish I Was Here,” Zach Braff, Kate Hudson. Famously – and somewhat controversially – funded via a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, Braff’s delayed follow-up to 2004’s surprise hit “Garden State” is another whimsical study of rudderless youth. Braff’s unemployed actor attempts to home-school his kids while his wife (Hudson) endures sexual harassment at work and his father (Mandy Patinkin) undergoes cancer treatment. As before, cinematography and soundtrack are the real stars here, but it’s hard not to root for Braff. Rated R. Running time: 1:48. Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98.

NEW TO DVD:

“Good People,” James Franco, Kate Hudson. A financially destitute couple find a temporary solution to their woes upon discovering a considerable sum of money. Wouldn’t you know it, said money belongs to a group of particularly nasty heroin dealers, and when they come looking to collect, the couple must pool their limited resources to retain their fortune without getting themselves killed in the process. A rushed effort that nonetheless packs a good amount of B-movie thrills into its lean running time. Rated R. Running time: 1:31. Suggested retail price: $28.99; Blu-ray $29.99.

“The Prince,” Jason Patric, Bruce Willis. With big budget comic book movies and family friendly animation reigning in the local cineplex, it’s becoming more and more difficult for your garden variety action flicks to make a go of it, even with A-listers in this cast, and this “Taken” knockoff – starring Patric as a mechanic attempting to track down his missing daughter – ended up direct to DVD despite a roster that also include Willis and John Cusack. Rated R. Running time: 1:31. Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $24.99.

VIDEOPORT PICKS:

“Child of God,” Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson. Jack-of-all-trades James Franco tries his hand at adapting the great Cormac McCarthy (“No Country for Old Men”) with the disturbing, at times downright disgusting, but ultimately rewarding “Child of God,” the sad and proudly visceral tale of one Lester Ballard (an astounding performance from the relatively unknown Haze). Abandoned by his parent at a young age, the now-35 Lester roams the Tennessee countryside, scrounging for food, securing and making friends with dolls and stuffed animals, and eventually committing one violent, atrocious act after another. It’s a testament to the abilities of all concerned that Lester manages to come across as somewhat sympathetic, even as his behavior becomes erratic and violent to the point where he resembles more animal than man. Rated R. Running time: 1:44. Suggested retail price: $24.98; Blu-ray $29.98.

“Life of Crime,” Jennifer Aniston, John Hawkes. Celebrated crime novelist Elmore Leonard has inspired a number of big screen adaptations over the years, ranging from sublime (“Jackie Brown,” “Get Shorty”) to ponderous (“Touch,” “The Big Bounce”). Happily, director Daniel Schechter’s (“Supporting Characters”) contribution to the sub-genre falls squarely on the sublime side, engagingly and enthrallingly relating the darkly funny tale of put-upon housewife/socialite Mickey (Aniston), kidnapped by ne’er-do-wells (Mos Def and Hawkes) with designs on extorting her unscrupulous husband (Tim Robbins) for a princely sum. Unfortunately for Mickey, her husband isn’t particularly eager to have her back. Rated R. Running time: 1:34. Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $24.99.

– Courtesy of Videoport