“CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER,” starring Chris Evans and Hugo Weaving. While we look forward to a week in which we don’t have to write about a comic book movie in this column, it’s hard to hate on good ol’ “Captain America.” Cap hails from the early, earnest days of comic books, when superheroes stood for respectable ideals and didn’t spend so much time moping or being all conflicted and complex. Evans (“Fantastic Four”) brings the proper mix of nobility and gee-whiz wonderment to the patriotically attired “super soldier.” Rated PG-13. Running time: 2:04

Suggested retail price: DVD $29.99; Blu-ray $42.99

“WINNIE THE POOH,” animated with the voices of Jim Cummings and Craig Ferguson. Refreshingly straightforward return to Disney’s enduring version of Milne’s Hundred Acre Wood effectively introduces Pooh, Piglet and the rest to a new generation. The same gentle humor and distinct characterizations are intact, with nary a pop-culture reference to be found. Rated G. Running time: 1:03

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


“JURASSIC PARK: ULTIMATE TRILOGY,” starring Sam Neill and Laura Dern. A no-brainer purchase, especially for Blu-ray enthusiasts, this remastered collection of Steven Speilberg’s groundbreaking (and still impressive despite the strides made in CGI since) adaptation of Michael Crichton’s tale of a dinosaur resurrection gone horribly awry remains a stunner almost 20 years later. Rated PG-13. Running time: 5:48

Suggested retail price: DVD $49.98; Blu-ray $79.98

“LAUREL & HARDY: THE ESSENTIAL COLLECTION,” starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Exhaustive and long-overdue collection of shorts and “talkies” from the legendary comedy duo, still considered by many critics to be the funniest comic team in history. This handsome set offers most of their Hal Roach productions between 1929 and 1940. A must for serious comedy fans and nostalgia buffs alike. Running time: 32:21

Suggested retail price: $99.98


“THE CONVERSATION,” starring Gene Hackman and John Cazale. While it inevitably receives far less attention than director Francis Ford Coppola’s other landmark contributions to ’70s cinema, “The Conversation” is in many ways a more engaging and cohesive work than its showier brethren. Hackman turns in arguably the finest performance of his distinguished career as Harry, an intensely private surveillance expert who, against his better judgment, becomes far more invested in his current assignment than he’d like. Also notable for an early performance from Harrison Ford as a peculiarly single-minded henchman, this excellent 1974 thriller is a paranoid classic. Rated PG for language. Running time: 1:53

Suggested retail price: $24.99


“ATTACK THE BLOCK,” starring John Boyega and Jodie Whittaker. Down-and-dirty sci-fi comedy, in which a ragtag group of likable but wayward South London teens encounter an equally fierce gathering of extraterrestrials, who aren’t so much interested in phoning home as they are in ripping people’s faces off. That’s about it for plot, but what sets “Block” apart from the pack is its sheer pluck, with characters that make no effort to endear themselves to the audience (yet remain likable and relatable all the same) and aliens with no deeper goal than to attack and destroy. Throw together “The Goonies,” “Critters,” “Shaun of the Dead” and maybe even a little of “Kids” in there for good measure, and you might come out with something like this brattily thrilling treat. Rated R for creature violence, drug content and pervasive language. Running time: 1:28

Suggested retail price: DVD $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99

“RARE EXPORTS, A CHRISTMAS TALE,” starring Onni and Jorma Tommila. Step aside “Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Gremlins,” there’s a new dark holiday horror dropping in from arctic Finland to put the chill on all merriment! Approach with prior knowledge and caution. Despite the warnings of local legend, an American multi-national goes digging in the perma-frost unveiling the deadliest evil popsicle since “The Thing.” When local children and reindeer go missing, young Pietori (a ringer for “A Christmas Tale’s” Ralphie) realizes that Santa Claus is coming to town. This year, everyone WILL believe in Father Christmas! Includes two short subjects. Rated R for language, Kringle nudity and reindeer slaughter. Running time: 1:24

Suggested retail price: DVD $19.95; Blu-ray $19.95

– Courtesy of Videoport