“THE HUNGER GAMES,” starring Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. The latest unavoidable adaptation of the latest unavoidable young-adult fiction craze, this stylish sci-fi action-drama from director Gary Ross (“Seabiscuit”) and based on the books by Suzanne Collins has invited undue comparisons to the “Twilight” series for its demographic alone.

However, it’s actually a fairly sophisticated and thrilling film that borrows elements from sources as diverse as George Orwell, Greek mythology and Stephen King with its daunting tale of a not-too-distant future where underprivileged teenagers are handpicked to fight to the death in a televised competition.

The ever-commanding Lawrence makes for an ideal Katniss, Hutcherson serves as a likable love interest, and familiar faces such as Elizabeth Banks and Woody Harrelson round out the cast nicely. A big hit with audiences and critics alike, and with good reason. Rated PG-13. Running time: 2:22

Suggested retail price: $30.98; Blu-ray $39.99

“DEXTER: THE SIXTH SEASON,” starring Michael C. Hall and Edward James Olmos. Everybody’s favorite killer-killing killer is back for another round of good, old-fashioned, limb-hacking entertainment. Newly single and free to pursue his baser hobbies, this time around Dexter faces off against the wily and efficient Doomsday Killer. Long one of Showtime’s more consistent offerings, “Dexter” continues to thrive thanks to Hall’s fascinating and oddly ingratiating work in a difficult lead role. Special features include interviews with cast and crew. Not rated; contains graphic violence, language and sexual content. Running time: 10:18

Suggested retail price: $54.99; Blu-ray $65.99


“COMMUNITY: THE COMPLETE THIRD SEASON,” starring Joel McHale and Danny Pudi. Beloved by a rabid fanbase but consistently ignored in the ratings, this boldly surreal, unabashedly silly and tirelessly clever sitcom follows the least productive but certainly most entertaining study group in the business, with Pudi and Donald Glover consistently stealing the show as the pop-culture obsessed duo Abed and Troy. Special features include commentaries from cast and crew and outtakes. Not rated; contains mild language and crude humor. Running time: 7:48

Suggested retail price: $45.99

“HAPPY ENDINGS: SEASONS 1 & 2,” starring Elisha Cuthbert and Max Pally. Wrongly dismissed as a “Friends” knockoff in its initial stages, this consistently hilarious sitcom shares the three guys/three gals setup. But that’s where the similarities end, as “Endings” isn’t particularly interested in maintaining a lot of realism, willing to go to very strange, admirable lengths for its laughs. Not rated; contains language and crude humor. Running time: 7:30

Suggested retail price: $45.99


“JAWS,” starring Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw. Spielberg’s shark tale remains one of his best and most beloved films, and this remastered release is the best it’s ever looked. A must for collectors and an ideal introduction for newcomers, this set includes a feature-length making-of documentary, deleted scenes and interviews with cast and crew. Rated PG for violence and language. Running time: 2:04

Suggested retail price: $29.98

“SHAFT,” starring Richard Roundtree and Moses Gunn. Who’s the digitally remastered private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks? For the unfortunate few who don’t know the answer to that particular query, we present the long-awaited Blu-ray release of this 1971 blaxploitation classic, with Roundtree flat-out embodying cool in the title role. Pure entertainment from start to finish. Rated R. Running time: 1:40

Suggested retail price: $19.98


“PARADISE LOST 3: PURGATORY,” documentary. The third and likely final chapter in one of the most essential and important documentary series since Michael Apted’s “Up” saga, “Purgatory” represents the end of an 18-year endeavor to prove the innocence of the West Memphis 3, a trio of teenagers convicted of brutally murdering three 8-year-old boys in the early ’90s.

Filmmakers Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky reveal the trial as a seemingly severe miscarriage of justice, and, in shades of Errol Morris’ 1988 doc “A Thin Blue Line,” the footage and evidence presented in their films helped lead to the trio’s long overdue release.

A cathartic chapter in a frustrating and unbearably tragic tale, “Purgatory” represents textbook documentary making, and while viewers who missed the two predecessors would do well to check them out for the full experience, the third presents the facts of the case thoroughly enough that it’s possible to start here. Rough going, but worth the stress. Not rated; contains language and disturbing images. Running time: 2:01

Suggested retail price: $29.95

“THE RAID: REDEMPTION,” starring Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim. The oft-employed review phrase “wall-to-wall action” has perhaps never been more accurate than in describing this proudly insane Indonesian actioner from writer-director Gareth Evans (“Merantau”). This movie drops idealistic and deadly SWAT team member Rama (Uwais) in the midst of a tenement overrun with a wide, colorful variety of criminals, then sits back and watches them beat the living crap out of each other. Rated R for strong brutal bloody violence throughout and language. Running time: 1:41

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

– Courtesy of Videoport

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