“SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN,” starring Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth. This gorgeous-looking update and slight tweaking of the beloved fairy tale is all about the peripheral players, with Charlize Theron handily stealing every scene as the wicked queen with a performance that in hindsight probably should have been the central focus. As it stands, we’re stuck with the ever-pouty Stewart (“Twilight”) and the dashing enough but otherwise less than distinctive Hemsworth (“Thor”) as the titular heroine and rescuer, respectively. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, and brief sensuality. Running time: 2:07

Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98

“WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING,” starring Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Lopez. While certainly not the first book that springs to mind when considering ideal candidates for film adaptation, the go-to book for expectant mothers and terrified fathers everywhere provides the loose framework for this likable, star-studded comedy. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:50

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

“THE BIG BANG THEORY: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON,” starring Jim Parsons and Johnny Galecki. Sheldon, Leonard and the rest of the geeky gang continue their spirited pursuit of scientific innovation and far less assured pursuit of the opposite sex in this consistently hilarious and incredibly popular sitcom. Special features include a gag reel and a retrospective featurette. Not rated; contains mild language and crude humor. Running time: 9:12

Suggested retail price: $44.98; Blu-ray $54.97

“SPARTACUS — VENGEANCE: THE COMPLETE SECOND SEASON,” starring Liam McIntyre and Katrina Law. The second season of this acclaimed blood ‘n’ guts, ‘n’ sex gladiator series applies the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach in all areas save one unavoidable aspect: The replacement of the late and lamented Andy Whitfield with relative newcomer McIntyre (“The Pacific”), who finds his footing in short order and proves a more than worthy successor in the lead role. Not rated; contains graphic violence, strong sexual content and nudity. Running time: 9:16

Suggested retail price: $49.98; Blu-ray $59.99


“KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE,” starring Grant Cramer and John Vernon. This singular fusion of silly slapstick and genuine terror is a cult fave from 1988 that effectively preys on the widespread fear of clowns, somehow managing to garner both low-rent laughs and real scares. Containing some of the most innovative make-up effects of the 1980s, “Klowns” remains a terrific throwback to the creature-feature drive-in flicks of the 1950s, and furthermore can boast easily the catchiest theme song of its decade courtesy of The Dickies. Rated PG-13 for language and some seriously frightening clowns. Running time: 1:28

Suggested retail price: $16.99

“PRODUCED BY GEORGE MARTIN,” documentary. An intimated and well-populated ode to the life and vast work of celebrated British record producer Martin, whose initial forays into orchestral and children’s music eventually led to arguably the most important and essential artist/producer collaboration in the history of popular music when he made the acquaintance of a little band called The Beatles. Special features include more than 50 minutes of additional interviews. Not rated; nothing objectionable. Running time: 2:28

Suggested retail price: $19.98


“ELLES,” starring Juliette Binoche and Anais Demoustier. Unflinching, often unpleasant and always compelling, this no-holds-barred Parisian import from writer-director Malgorzata Szumowska concerns Anne (Binoche), an unfulfilled wife, harried mother and respected journalist who finds herself drawn more intensely than she’d expected into the lives of her current interview subjects: A pair of young prostitutes (Joanna Kulig and Anais Demoustier) whose matter-of-fact attitude towards their occupation of choice both intrigues and disturbs Anne.

Unflattering parallels between the lives in question are soon raised, and while this may irk more than a few viewers, irking appears to be at least one of Szumowska’s intentions with this uncompromising film. Ultimately, the best reason to give “Elles” a spin is Binoche herself, a fearless performer who throws herself into the role with everything she’s got, going places most actors wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole. Rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content. Running time: 1:39

Suggested retail price: $29.95; Blu-ray $34.95

“WHERE DO WE GO NOW?” starring Claude Baz Moussawbaa and Leyla Hakim. There would be an obvious challenge inherent in the act of fashioning a light comedy out of the bloody conflict between Christian and Muslims in the Middle East, but writer-director Nadine Labaki and her collaborator Thomas Bidegain appear to have done just that. “Where Do We Go Now?” gently posits the notion that if more women were in charge, there might be fewer wars and conflict in general.

Finally pushed to the breaking point after years of conflict in their village and fatal disputes over often petty arguments, a group of women go to extreme and often hilarious lengths to distract their hot-headed spouses from clashing, resorting to such schemes as sneaking hashish into their food to inspire giggly camaraderie and even bussing in a troupe of exotic dancers from the Ukraine to very successfully take their mind off of their differences. Rated PG-13 for thematic drug material, some sensuality and violent images. Running time: 1:50

Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $45.99

— Courtesy of Videoport

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