New on DVD and Blu-ray:

“THE BLIND SIDE,” starring Sandra Bullock and Quinton Aaron. “Heartwarming” isn’t ordinarily a phrase that instills a lot of hope for a quality film in the jaded minds of we at Videoport, but “The Blind Side” is pretty difficult to resist. That’s thanks in large part to Oscar-winner Bullock, whose skillful and charming turn as a tough-as-nails Southern woman who takes in a homeless African-American teenager and NFL hopeful handily carries what could have been a saccharine film. Director John Lee Hancock (“The Rookie”) has a knack for delivering uplifting material sans sap, and relative newcomer Aaron is affecting as Michael Oher. One of those all-too-rare movies you can watch with your parents without anyone getting bored or uncomfortable. Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual content. Running time: 2:29.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99.

“BROTHERS,” starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Tobey Maguire. While both actors have each garnered more than their share of critical praise for past performances, Gyllenhaal and Maguire still tend to be dismissed as harmless pretty boys. All that is likely to change, thanks to director Jim Sheridan’s (“In America”) hard-hitting drama, which finds Maguire returning from the war in Afghanistan a shell of his former self after having been given up for dead by his family. In his absence, his ex-con brother (Gyllenhaal) has stepped in to fill the void by helping Maguire’s wife (Natalie Portman, also turning in one of her better performances) with the children. Delving deeply into both family dynamics and the psychological effects of war, “Brothers” is a mature and thoughtful drama that stays with you long after the final reel. Rated R for language and some disturbing violence. Running time: 1:44.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.95; Blu-ray $39.99.

“FANTASTIC MR. FOX,” animated with the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep. An unexpected but thoroughly welcome meeting of comic sensibilities comes together in “Fox,” which finds writer-director Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”) adapting a story by legendary children’s author Roald Dahl via retro-cool stop-motion animation. It all pays off beautifully, with Clooney exuding sly cool as Mr. Fox, a former chicken thief turned family man who decides to revert to his former devious ways to exact revenge on a trio of evil farmers. Also voicing fellow menagerie members are Bill Murray as a badger and Jason Schwartzman as the younger, less confident Fox. Akin to “Where the Wild Things Are” in tone, “Fox” will play well to audiences of most any age. Rated PG for action, smoking and slang humor. Running time: 1:27.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.98; Blu-ray $39.99.

“THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS,” starring George Clooney and Ewan McGregor. Supposedly fact-based farce introduces the lucky viewer to the New Earth Army, a raggedy but fiercely determined band of psychic warriors who portend to assist the armed forces in achieving peace through the use of telepathy, able as they are to stare down a goat until the unfortunate animal’s heart stops. Performances are go for broke with hit-or-miss results, but there’s certainly never a dull moment, and with a supporting cast that includes Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey and Stephen Root (“Office Space”), one can hardly go wrong. Rated R for language, some drug content and brief nudity. Running time: 1:34.

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.98; Blu-ray $39.98.

“THE AFRICAN QUEEN,” starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. One of the few great American film classics that hadn’t yet been released on DVD, director John Huston’s hugely fun 1951 adventure set the gold standard for all “man and woman who hate each other begrudgingly team up to overcome insurmountable odds” films to come. No one ever did that sort of thing any better than Bogie and Hepburn, who turn squabbling into an art form as a drunken riverboat captain and an uptight missionary, respectively, joining forces to attack an enemy warship in WWII-era Africa. Just a good, old-fashioned night at the movies. Not rated, contains scenes of peril. Running time: 1:45.

Suggested retail price: DVD $25.99; Blu-ray $39.99.

“MAD MEN: SEASON 3,” starring Jon Hamm and Elisabeth Moss. Still right up there with the best shows on TV at the moment (if not the best), the somber and none-too-ethical exploits of ad exec Don Draper (the commanding Hamm) and his engagingly sleazy cronies participate in one unpredictable scandal after another, often rattling off hilarious one-liners throughout. Whether one identifies with the characters or not, it’s impossible not to be impressed with the performances, not to mention the production design, which may go down in TV history as the best in the medium. Not rated, contains language and strong sexual content. Running time: 10:11.

Suggested retail price: DVD $49.98; Blu-ray $49.99.

New on DVD:

“THE T.A.M.I. SHOW COLLECTOR’S EDITION,” with the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys. No less than Quentin Tarantino has hailed 1964’s “The T.A.M.I. Show” as “in the top three of all rock movies,” and anyone with even a passing interest in ’60s rock can’t afford to miss this once-in-a-lifetime collection of performances, which also includes Chuck Berry, Marvin Gaye, the Barbarians and James Brown, just to name a select few. Special features include a new commentary from director Steve Binder (the man behind the infamous “Star Wars Holiday Special” – now there’s a commentary we’d like to hear!) and a commemorative booklet. Not rated, nothing objectionable. Running time: 2:03.

Suggested retail price: $19.93.

New on Blu-ray:

“DAYS OF HEAVEN,” starring Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. Boy, if ever there was a movie made for Blu-ray, this is it. The go-to movie for any film-buff conversation in which the topic of cinematography is broached, director Terrence Malick’s (“The New World”) 1978 masterpiece concerns a tragic love triangle among a fugitive (Gere, who has yet to top his performance here), his beautiful girlfriend (Adams, “Monk”), and a wealthy, supposedly ailing farmer (Sam Shepard). A visually stunning period piece that gets better with each viewing, and a must for the serious collector. Rated PG for mild language, violence and sexual content. Running time: 1:34.

Suggested retail price: $39.95.

“TOY STORY”/“TOY STORY 2,” animated with the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. Released in tandem with the upcoming sure-to-be-blockbuster third entry in the ever-popular series, the films that propelled Pixar to the juggernaut of family entertainment it is today are now available in eye-popping high definition. The adventures of plastic cowboy Woody and would-be superhero Buzz have never looked better. Special features include a look at “Toy Story 3” and several making-of featurettes. Rated G. Running time 1:20/1:35.

Suggested retail price: $39.99 (each).

Videoport picks:

“THE BLACK BALLOON,” starring Toni Collette and Luke Ford. First-time director Elissa Down has handily managed that rare feat: a disease-of-the-week movie completely free of mawkish sentimentality or over-the top, look-at-me performances. This Aussie import concerns the Mollison family, an otherwise normal family whose sanity and closeness are sorely tested by younger sibling Charlie (Ford of “McLeod’s Daughters,” in an impressive turn), whose autism embarrasses and enrages his brother, Thomas (Rhys Wakefield, “Home and Away”), whose high school experience is difficult enough as a result of his own social awkwardness. Holding everything together is mother Maggie (the ever-dependable Collette), whose resolute acceptance of Charlie’s condition allows the family to weather almost any situation they find themselves in. A quality production all around, and free of the cliches that often plague such films. Rated PG-13 for some sexual content, a scene of violence and brief strong language. Running time: 1:37.

Suggested retail price: $24.98.

“ZOMBIES OF MASS DESTRUCTION,” starring Janette Armand and Doug Fahl. Nothing encourages bipartisanship quite like a good old-fashioned zombie attack. In this intelligent, insanely gory, yet oddly good-natured independent horror-comedy, writer-director Kevin Hamedani delivers a debut feature both promising and memorable, which finds a conservative island community overrun by the walking dead. As it turns out, the only nearby individuals willing and able to come to their rescue are an Iranian woman suspected of being a terrorist (first-timer Armand) and a gay businessman (Fahl, “A Measure of Comfort”). Whether fighting amongst themselves or fighting re-animated corpses, the cast is clearly having a high old time, and the fun is, for lack of a better word, infectious. Hamedani has clearly boned up on his Romero, with results that actually eclipse the master’s more recent efforts. Rated R for strong, bloody zombie violence and gore, language, sexual references and brief drug use. Running time: 1:32.

Suggested retail price: $19.98.

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