September 26, 2013

DVD Releases

New on the shelf: 'Iron Man 3' / 'Redemption'


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Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man 3.”


"IRON MAN 3," starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow. One of Hollywood's most bankable franchises, the third installment of "Iron Man" finds billionaire hero Tony Stark (Downey, in the role he was seemingly born to play) facing off against global terrorist Mandarin (a diabolical Ben Kingsley), whose unthinkable power may have a reach greater than Stark can corral. Also severely impeding Tony's progress is rival businessman Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce, adding yet another sublimely slimy baddie to his resume), a former admirer turned competitor. Writer-director Shane Black ("Kiss Kiss Bang Bang") takes over the reins from Jon Favreau (who makes an appearance all the same as Tony's ill-fated friend Happy) with largely favorable results, putting his expert storytelling skills to good use. Rated PG-13. Running time: 2:10.

Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $44.99.

"REDEMPTION," starring Jason Statham, Agata Buzek. Considerably more thoughtful than your average Statham actioner (which is probably why it didn't make any money), "Redemption" casts everyone's favorite brutal bald curmudgeon as Joey, a former Royal Marine deeply scarred by his time in the Middle East who's putting his particular skills to use as an enforcer for the Chinese mafia to get his life together financially and working on his emotional issues with nun Cristina (Buzek, "Lena"), a counselor experiencing a crisis of faith who takes a liking to the broken man. The directorial debut of screenwriter Steven Knight ("Eastern Promises"), "Redemption" marks a turning point for Statham, who gets to exercise his acting chops far beyond what his typical fare allows, a largely successful endeavor that will hopefully lead to similar efforts in the near future. Rated R. Running time: 1:40. Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $24.99.


"DOCTOR WHO: THE COMPLETE SEVENTH SEASON," starring Matt Smith, Jenna-Louise Coleman. More time-traveling madness for the good doctor's many, many fans, season seven finds the eleventh doc Smith engaging in many and sundry activities such as rescuing a spaceship full of dinosaurs, chasing ghosts, becoming trapped on a Russian submarine and, just in time for the holidays, battling an army of evil snowmen. Special features include behind-the-scenes featurettes and interviews with Smith and Louise-Coleman. Not rated. Running time: 11:45. Suggested retail price: $79.98; Blu-ray $89.98.

"HANNIBAL: SEASON ONE," starring Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen. The early days of everyone's favorite cannibalistic serial killer (as embodied here by Mikkelsen of "Casino Royale," finding a new spin on a character previously thought inexorably linked to Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins) are brought to vivid life in this series. Dancy's ("King Arthur") understandably stressed out FBI profiler is working overtime to stay one step ahead of the diabolical Lecter, a task that proves less and less plausible with each grisly episode. Easily the best adaptation since "The Silence of the Lambs," "Hannibal" is well worth checking out, especially for fans who were understandably unimpressed with the last few theatrical sequels. Not rated. Running time: 9:21. Suggested retail price: $39.98; Blu-ray $39.97.

"MODERN FAMILY: THE COMPLETE FOURTH SEASON," starring Ed O'Neill, Julie Benz. Consistently one of the best reviewed comedies on TV and a three-time Emmy winner, "Modern Family" shows no signs of slowing down (or bickering less) in its fourth season, with the arrival of Jay (O'Neill) and Gloria's (Sofia Vergara) new baby bringing even more comedic chaos than usual to the Prichett/Dunphy clan. Not rated. Running time: 8:36.

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