October 10, 2013

DVD Releases

New on the shelf: ‘After Earth’ / 'The Hangover Part III' / 'Much Ado About Nothing' / 'The Purge'

(Continued from page 1)

Jaden Smith and Will Smith in “After Earth.”

Columbia Pictures

NEW TO DVD

“BONES: THE COMPLETE EIGHTH SEASON,” Emily Deschanel, David Boreanaz. As if becoming a new mother with her longtime co-worker (Boreanaz) weren’t stressful enough, Bones (Deschanel) finds herself framed for murder, and that’s only the beginning of this typically eventful season of the long-running forensics favorite. Special features include a “Bones Answers Your Questions!” featurette. Not rated. Running time: 17:21. Suggested retail price: $59.98; Blu-ray $69.99. 

“WHITE COLLAR: THE COMPLETE SEASON FOUR,” Matt Bomer, Tim DeKay. The ever-fascinating partnership between con man Neal (Bomer, “In Time”) and FBI Agent Peter (DeKay, “Big Eden”) is entertainingly put to the test with Neal ditching his tracking anklet and heading for the hills following an extremely lucrative art heist, a development that gives the normally indulgent Peter considerable pause about continuing to work alongside him. Top notch writing and a perfect cast continue to make “White Collar” one of the most purely entertaining hours on television. Not rated. Running time: 11:00. Suggested retail price: $39.98.

NEW TO BLU-RAY

“THE EXORCIST: 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION,” Max Von Sydow, Linda Blair. Still arguably the scariest movie ever made after all this time, master director William Friedkin’s (“Killer Joe”) 1973 horror classic easily retains the power the shock and terrify, and this set commemorating its fortieth anniversary (we’ll give you a moment to let that sink in) is appropriately loaded up with special features, including commentaries from both Friedkin and author William Peter Blatty, and an all new documentary: “Beyond Comprehension: William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist”. Rated R. Running time: 2:12. Suggested retail price: $49.99.

“STAR WARS: EPISODES I-VI,” Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford. In yet another hi-def release of arguably the most influential series of movies of the 20th century, George Lucas’ beloved saga is gussied up once again for a new generation of fans gearing up for the upcoming J.J. Abrams revamp. Special features include commentaries spliced together from archival interviews on all six movies. Rated PG/PG-13. Running time: 13:22. Suggested retail price (each set): $59.99.

VIDEOPORT PICKS

“AIN’T IN IT FOR MY HEALTH,” documentary. The world of music lends itself to characters that can be charitably referred to as larger than life, so much so that to stand out, sometimes all you have to do is just be a regular guy or gal, and that’s more or less what the subject of this powerful and adoring doc, Levon Helm, appears to have been. One of the pioneering members of The Band, Helm was the rare drummer that also doubled as a vocalist, and his memorable performances on such classics as “Up on Cripple Creek” have deservedly gone down in rock history. Helm passed away in 2012, and the brunt of “Health” was filmed in 2007 and 2008, after he won an unexpected Grammy for his excellent solo album, “Dirt Farmer,” and he toured relentlessly in spite of flagging health, rejuvenated by a reconnection with fans and the music. Talking heads include relatives and close friends, but it’s the time spent with Helm that provides the most telling portrait of the man, an amazingly talented musician disguised as an average joe. Not rated. Running time: 1:23. Suggested retail price: $26.95; Blu-ray $29.95.

“EUROPA REPORT,” Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist. The science fiction genre is often associated with overblown budgets and dazzling effects, but sometimes the fantastic and impossible can be conveyed even more effectively with a less is more approach, as in such recent standout efforts as “Moon,” “Trollhunter,” and this exemplary effort from director Sebastian Cordero (“Rage”) and writer Philip Gelatt (“The Bleeding House”). It concerns an international crew of astronauts and their extremely ambitious, privately funded mission to locate life on one of Jupiter’s moons, “Europa” shows the everyday procedures of space exploration and the behaviors that arise from being cooped up with the same people for extended periods, presenting well-developed characters throughout. When things start going wrong, it’s fast and furious, and the escalating tension is all the more unbearable having been so well introduced to the people involved. A prime example of high-tech ideas delivered low-tech style. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:30. Suggested retail price: $26.98; Blu-ray $29.98.

– Courtesy of Videoport

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