“THE MECHANIC,” starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Action drama pairing veteran assassin Statham with eager pupil Foster lacks the moody cool of its source material (a 1972 Charles Bronson vehicle that proved to be one of Chuck’s most enjoyable efforts). But the action never stops, the New Orleans locales provide an intriguing backdrop, and the leads demonstrate an agreeably gruff rapport. It’s a solid reimagining that will hopefully inspire viewers to seek out the original. Rated R. Running time: 1:33.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.95; Blu-ray $34.95.

“THE RITE,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Colin O’Donoghue. Take the plot of the aforementioned “Mechanic,” switch the hitmen out for exorcists, and some might say you’ve pretty well described the plot of “The Rite.” Longtime demon caster-outer Hopkins bequeathing the tricks and tools of the trade to young O’Donoghue (“The Clinic”), an education that comes in very handy when the newly trained priest finds himself confronted with a severely possessed pregnant woman. Director Mikael Hafstrom (“1408”) creates a truly unnerving aura of dread and otherworldly threat throughout. An overlooked but very well-done fright flick. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:54.

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

“THE ROOMMATE,” starring Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly. It’s “Single White Female” redux, with college student Kelly (“Friday Night Lights”) forced to contend with an obsessive and possibly dangerous roomie (Meester, “Gossip Girl”). Unabashed trash, but not as fun as it should be. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:31.

Suggested retail price: DVD $28.95; Blu-ray $34.95.


“COVERT AFFAIRS: SEASON ONE,” starring Piper Perabo and Christopher Gorham. The creative minds behind the ever-popular Bourne trilogy hatched this breezy, slick spy action-drama, with the ever-stunning and likable Perabo (“Coyote Ugly”) starring as Annie, a CIA agent fresh off the “farm,” mysteriously pulled from training early to work on a top-secret mission. Assigned to assist her is Auggie (Gorham, “The Other Side of Heaven”), a tech-savvy ex-soldier who also happens to be blind. Inevitably compared to “Alias,” the similarities begin and end with the female spy angle. Otherwise, “Affairs” is more interested in establishing relationships and revealing CIA methodology than in crazy stunts and outrageous costumes. Not rated, contains language and violence. Running time: 8:14.

Suggested retail price: $59.98.

“TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW GREAT JOB: SEASON 5,” starring Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Notoriously dark and demented season (even for these guys) of the cult favorite franchise provides another dose of Monty Python via public access sketch comedy, including the infamously censored “Lucky” episode, pulled by the network for a particularly upsetting dream sequence. As freshly surreal as ever, here’s hoping there’s no truth to the rumors that “Season Cinco” is to be the boys’ last. Special features include deleted scenes and extended takes. Not rated, contains crude humor and comic violence. Running time: 1:50.

Suggested retail price: $19.98.

“THOR: TALES OF ASGARD,” animated with the voices of Jay Brazeau and Chris Britton. Released in tandem with the “Thor” movie currently packing theaters with fanboys nationwide, this feature-length animated tale of the early years of the hammer-happy Norse god of thunder is an enjoyable trifle for comics fans, serving mostly to whet ones appetite for the big-screen version but not without its charms. Not rated, contains cartoon violence. Running time: 1:17.

Suggested retail price: DVD $19.98; Blu-ray $29.99.


“THE HUSTLER,” starring Paul Newman and Piper Laurie. A downbeat classic, this 1961 character study mainly focuses on “Fast” Eddie Felson (an electrifying Newman), a cocksure poolroom hustler wowing onlookers with his billiards prowess but scraping by on oft-meager winnings in reality. Alternately helping and hindering his success are rival Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason, dialing it down and netting an Oscar nomination for his troubles), unscrupulous promoter Bert Gordon (George C. Scott, also nominated) and girlfriend-of-sorts Sarah (the always compelling Piper Laurie, also nominated). With its beautifully somber (and Oscar-winning) cinematography courtesy of Eugen Schufftan and an unbeatable cast, “The Hustler” is a timeless treasure that looks gorgeous in high definition. Special features include several making-of docs and commentary from Newman. Not rated, contains violence. Running time: 2:14.

Suggested retail price: $34.98.


“BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO,” documentary. Once they’ve gotten over their disappointment that the film’s enticing title does not herald a sci-fi tale about a giant female arthropod attacking Japan a la Godzilla, lucky viewers will find themselves privy to a thoughtful and fascinating documentary about the particular fondness the Japanese have for the insect kingdom — to the point where many of them obsessively collect bugs and keep them as pets, and where one can actually purchase them from vending machines. Parallels both historical and modern are engagingly drawn in director Jessica Oreck’s (“An Anatomy of Memory”) affectionate study, and what initially comes off as a bizarre (and some might say disgusting) hobby eventually begins to make all the sense in the world. Not rated, nothing objectionable. Running time: 1:36.

Suggested retail price: $24.95.

“THE OTHER WOMAN,” starring Natalie Portman and Scott Cohen. Writer-director Don Roos positively thrives on conflict. Where most would likely flee a roomful of angry, outspoken characters, Roos seems content to set up camp among them, and this sprawling adaptation of an Ayelet Waldman novel has no shortage of stress. Portman falls in love with married co-worker Jack (Cohen, “Love and Other Drugs”) and thenceforth is forced to deal with not only his incredibly hostile ex-wife (played to the hilt by Lisa Kudrow) and troublesome son William (Charlie Tahan), but the loss of the infant daughter she had with Jack. There’s plenty of conflict to go around in that situation, and the cast runs with it, ably expressing a wealth of difficult emotions. While lacking in Roos’ usual dark humor, Portman, Kudrow and company deliver a tough but ultimately quite rewarding drama. Rated R for sexual content and language. Running time: 1:59.

Suggested retail price: DVD $24.98; Blu-ray $29.98.

– Courtesy of Videoport