“FORKS OVER KNIVES,” documentary. Controversial, persuasive and probably life-saving, “Forks Over Knives” is loaded with heavily researched information about our health as regards our collective eating habits that the majority of us are probably not going to want to hear. Structured around a reverse “Super Size Me” situation, filmmaker Lee Fulkerson abandons his meat- and processed food-based diet in favor of a veggie-heavy, whole-grain menu, with results that are too illuminating to ignore. While the fact that vegetables are healthier than cheeseburgers isn’t exactly news, the case for total diet reform has never been so plainly and entertainingly presented as it has in this essential doc, which both explains our current obesity epidemic and offers a way out — if only we’ll listen. Rated PG. Running time: 1:30

Suggested retail price: DVD $24.99; Blu-ray $29.99 

“MADEA’S BIG HAPPY FAMILY,” starring Tyler Perry and Loretta Devine. The unstoppable franchise that is Tyler Perry churns out another melodramatic celebration of slapstick humor and simple values, with his hulking, occasionally gun-toting title character reigning over the usual array of troubled relationships and alternately foul-mouthed and pious characters. Likely neither to win over any converts nor disappoint those already taken with the comedic chaos on display, “Family” does benefit from a looser, more improvisational feel than much of Perry’s previous output, a style he would do well to explore. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:46

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


“HOUSE, M.D.: SEASON SEVEN,” starring Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard. The crotchety doctor whose diagnostic capabilities are inversely proportional to his bedside manner is back for another season of dead-eyed stares and insultingly delivered medical opinions. The seventh season finds House and Cuddy taking their will-they-won’t-they relationship to the next step, with the expected rocky results — rendered even stormier thanks to the presence of Cuddy’s mom, an ailing but formidable woman played by the great Candice Bergen. Entertaining as ever, with writing and cast interplay a well-oiled machine at this point. Not rated; contains language and sexual content. Running time: 16:36

Suggested retail price: DVD $59.98; Blu-ray $74.98 

“SONS OF ANARCHY: SEASON THREE,” starring Charlie Hunnam and Ron Perlman. One of the Emmys’ many grievous errors this year is the failure to recognize this almost impossibly addictive biker-gang series from the ever-button-pushing crew at FX. Season three ratchets up both the tension and the crassness to impressive degrees, with Jax (Hunnam) tirelessly pursuing the man who kidnapped his infant son, and Gemma (the phenomenal Katey Sagal, a far cry from her role in “Futurama”) on the run from the ATF after being framed for murder. Gritty, funny and thrilling television. Not rated; contains language, sexual content, drug content and bloody violence. Running time: 9:45

Suggested retail price: DVD $59.98; Blu-ray $69.99 

“THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON,” starring Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley. Stylishly guilty pleasure from the CW network returns for more angsty bloodsucking, tempered with enough sly wit and gore to potentially entice the many put off by the navel-gazing nubile Nosferatus of the “Twilight” series. A “Dark Shadows” for a new generation, these “Diaries” succeed in breathing new life into a rapidly tiring genre. Special features include unaired scenes. Not rated; contains violence, sexual content and language. Running time: 15:35

Suggested retail price: DVD $59.98; Blu-ray $69.97 


“COEN BROTHERS COLLECTION,” starring Frances McDormand and William H. Macy. Four early classics from the now universally acclaimed filmmakers are gathered in this lovingly remastered set, which includes their 1984 debut “Blood Simple,” the 1987 surreal slapstick “Raising Arizona,” 1990’s acclaimed mob drama “Miller’s Crossing” and perhaps their masterpiece, 1996’s darkly comic crime drama, “Fargo.” A must-have for fans of the offbeat. Rated R and PG-13. Running time: “Blood Simple” 1:39; “Raising Arizona” 1:34; “Miller’s Crossing” 1:55; “Fargo” 1:38

Suggested retail price: $69.98 

“TOP GUN,” starring Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards. Notoriously machismo-drenched action-romance from 1986 is prime Cruise, with his devil-may-care fighter pilot (named, what else, “Maverick”) romancing Kelly McGillis, facing off against rival Val Kilmer, and goofing around with doomed pal Anthony “Goose” Edwards with the same level of intensity and cocky likability — when not taking a moment to drunkenly serenade people with Righteous Brothers hits. Glitzy, over-the-top fun that at this point practically functions as a parody of itself, yet somehow remains as thrilling as it ever was. Rated PG. Running time: 1:50

Suggested retail price: $24.99 


“IN A BETTER WORLD,” starring Mikael Persbrant and Trine Dyrholm. While it may not qualify as breezy late-summer viewing, director Susanne Bier’s blistering family drama (and Oscar winner for Best Foreign Film) is a near-horror film for parents, with its morally murky what-would-you-do tale of a pair of Danish families alternately brought together and torn apart on the basis of the newly formed friendship of their young sons: intense Christian (William Johnk Nielsen) and gullible Elias (Markus Rygaard).

When a showdown with a bully leads to Christian taking some seriously violent action, all parties involved are forced to make a variety of wrenching decisions, and the many desperate discussions that entail are vividly, brilliantly brought to life by Bier and her across-the-board excellent cast.

Again, “World” by design brings to the fore theoretical circumstances that most families would probably rather not think about, but for realistic and challenging drama, Bier’s film is tough to beat. Rated R for violent and disturbing content involving preteens, and for language. Running time: 1:59

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.99; Blu-ray $45.99 

“THE PERFECT HOST,” starring David Hyde Pierce and Clayne Crawford. Sometimes an actor is so good in a particular role that it becomes difficult if not impossible for him to operate independently of the characterization with which he’s most identified. Such a situation has threatened to be the case with David Hyde Pierce, so fondly remembered as Niles, the somehow even pricklier brother of Frasier Crane in the long-running, now classic sitcom.

Thankfully, this twisty, slightly sick and thoroughly entertaining thriller should catapult Pierce back into the public eye as Warwick, an impeccably dressed socialite who takes dinner parties a bit more seriously than most. Crashing one of said parties is John (Crawford), a career criminal and very recent bank robber forced to pose as a friend of a friend in order to escape the authorities. From here it’s classic cat and mouse, with Crawford forced to improvise as though his life depended on it, and Pierce tasked with not only getting to the bottom of his uninvited guest, but pulling off the dinner party to end all dinner parties.

Staged like a classic play and perfectly performed, “Host” combines high class and cheap thrills like few before it, but is best viewed as a long-overdue showcase for Pierce’s non-“Frasier” abilities. Rated R for language, some violent content and brief sexual material. Running time: 1:33

Suggested retail price: DVD $26.98; Blu-ray $29.98

– Courtesy of Videoport