“CONAN THE BARBARIAN,” starring Jason Momoa and Ron Perlman. Relative newcomer Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) makes for a charismatic Conan, lopping off heads and looking good doing it, while Rose McGowan vamps it up as a metal-fingernailed villain and Perlman does that thing he does so well. Director Marcus Nispel (“Pathfinder”) throws (quite literally, as “Conan” was originally shot for 3D) as many brutal slaughters at the screen as possible, making sure to punctuate every decapitation with a speaker-imploding “thunk.” Rated R. Running time: 1:53

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

“SPY KIDS 4: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD,” starring Jessica Alba and Joel McHale. Writer-director Robert Rodriguez resurrects his popular, proudly low-budget kiddie espionage series with this belated fourth installment, which finds hot mom Alba dividing her time between changing diapers and thwarting the nefarious time-bending antics of the evil Tick Tock (played with typical lack of restraint by the ever-dependable Jeremy Piven of “Entourage”). While the original is still far and away the high point of the series, part four is a perfectly delightful entry in its own right. And kids, as always, will love the gadgets and toilet humor on display. Rated PG. Running time: 1:29

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

“SUPER 8,” starring Joel Courtney and Elle Fanning. Part sci-fi/drama and part cinematic valentine to a generation raised on Steven Speilberg (who serves as producer), director J.J. Abrams (“Lost”) manages to squeeze in just about every possible element from Speilberg’s beloved ’70s and ’80s output. A ragtag group of mouthy kids, straight out of “The Goonies” and living in a suburb not unlike the one in “E.T.,” witness a train wreck. From it a mysterious and potentially dangerous cargo emerges. With the master’s help, Abrams proves a worthy heir to the throne, although his excellent cast of newcomers should share equal credit for the film’s resounding success. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:52

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

“BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: THE ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS,” animated with the voices of Robby Benson and Paige O’Hara. Made-for-DVD follow-ups to theatrical releases can be an iffy affair, but Disney has become an old pro at it by now. As such, this holiday sequel of sorts serves as a perfectly pleasant revisit to some old animated friends, with the original voice cast reunited to boot. Special features include a sing-along mode. Rated G. Running time: 1:12

Suggested retail price: $29.99; Blu-ray $39.99

“SARAH’S KEY,” starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Niels Arestrup. Skillful adaptation of the wrenching novel by Titiana de Rosnay follows journalist Thomas (“Nowhere Boy”) as she gradually uncovers the devastating history behind the young girl (Melusine Mayance) who once lived in her flat in 1942-era Paris, when French officials rounded up Jewish citizens and forced them into concentration camps. Extremely affecting and well-acted, particularly by Thomas, who just gets better. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:51

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


“THREE AMIGOS,” starring Steve Martin, Chevy Chase and Martin Short. Cult favorite from 1986 hilariously melds old and new comic stylings, plopping hapless actors Martin, Chase and Short in a beleaguered Mexican village. The movie they mistakenly believe they’re filming turns out to be an actual attack by bandits, led by the formidable El Guapo (character actor Alfonso Arau of “The Wild Bunch”). A family-friendly perennial from director John Landis (“Animal House”) that has aged remarkably well. Special features include an interview with Martin, Chase and Short, and deleted scenes. Rated PG. Running time: 1:48

Suggested retail price: $14.98

“12 ANGRY MEN,” starring Henry Fonda and Lee J. Cobb. Acclaimed director Sidney Lumet’s directorial debut is this tense, blistering adaptation of the play by Reginald Rose, concerning a seemingly open-and-shut court case and the one juror (Fonda) willing to delve deeper into the situation to avoid wrongfully convicting a young man. Taking place entirely within the confines of a stuffy room, “Men” proves that no bells and whistles are necessary when you pair the right performers with the right director. Not rated; contains thematic material. Running time: 1:36

Suggested retail price: $39.95


“THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE,” starring Dominic Cooper and Ludevine Sagnier. “Over the top” barely scrapes the surface for this entertainingly lurid fact-based action-drama, which gives professional scene-stealer Cooper an overdue shot at a lead role. Cooper plays army lieutenant Latif Yahia, a young man with an unfortunate resemblance to Uday Hussein, who in 1987 decided he needed a body double for safety and saddled Yahia with the task. Forced to assume the persona of a sadistic, despised, sex-crazed, drug-addled ruler, Yahia must either become accustomed to a life of privileged depravity or make his escape. Rated R for brutal bloody violence and torture, sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive language. Running time: 1:49 Suggested retail price: $29.95; Blu-ray $39.99

“MAKING THE BOYS,” documentary. Before or since its release in 1968, few plays have courted as much controversy as Mart Crowley’s “The Boys in the Band.” Touted as “America’s first gay play,” or at any rate the first to reach a mainstream audience, the simple tale of several homosexual friends spending a tumultuous afternoon in an apartment has been alternately praised and condemned. Whatever one’s opinion, its effect on both the entertainment industry and gay culture cannot be overstated. This slick doc from filmmaker Crayton Robey (“When Ocean Meets Sky”) compiles archival footage and interviews from the likes of playwright Edward Albee and director William Friedkin (who directed the film version) to provide an overview of an American classic. Not rated; contains language and sexual content. Running time: 1:30

Suggested retail price: $27.95

– Courtesy of Videoport


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