“BEAUTIFUL CREATURES,” starring Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert. More moony teenage romance in the realm of the supernatural, “Creatures” rides the “Twilight” wave with its tale of Ethan (Ehrenreich), your average wide-eyed high schooler, and Lena (Englert), your average teenage witch. Can these crazy kids stay together in the face of otherworldly magic and unseen forces from beyond? All snarkery aside, “Creatures” boasts a terrific cast (with the always excellent Viola Davis a particular standout as Ethan’s mom) and a lively script that keep it a cut above the usual “Twilight” knockoffs. Rated PG-13. Running time: 2:04

Suggested retail price: $28.98; Blu-ray $35.99 

“THE LAST STAND,” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Johnny Knoxville. Arnie is back in fine form in the fun throwback to mindless ’80s actioners as long-in-the-tooth lawman Ray Owens, a small-town Texas sheriff whose days of rescuing treed cats and town drunks come to an abrupt end upon discovering that one of the world’s most notorious drug kingpins has escaped from an FBI convoy and is heading right for Ray and his less-than-prepared deputies. If you miss the days of Arnie throwing grenades at people and then making a bad joke (and we know you do), “Stand” reclaims that goofy spirit nicely. Rated R. Running time: 1:47

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

“PARKER,” starring Jason Statham and Jennifer Lopez. One of prolific author Donald Westlake’s most popular characters, “Parker” has shown up on the big screen a time or two in the past, most notably in 1967’s seminal “Point Blank” with Lee Marvin and its loose 1999 remake, “Payback,” with Mel Gibson. Statham tries the no-nonsense, complicated criminal on for size, and unsurprisingly, it proves a good fit. It doesn’t get much more testosterone-soaked than watching Statham go mano-a-mano against double-crossing thug Michael Chikilis, and both actors clearly relish the opportunity to push each other around, with Lopez on hand to remind everyone that she’s still very attractive and likable. Rated R. Running time: 1:58

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

“SIDE EFFECTS,” starring Rooney Mara and Jude Law. Supposedly director Steven Soderbergh’s swan song (a claim we’re frankly reluctant to accept), “Side Effects” is a loopy, somewhat Hitchcockian thriller dependent on a series of plot twists that make spoiler-free synopsis a real challenge. Suffice it to say that Emily (Mara, “Prometheus”) is depressed, Dr. Banks (Law) is prescribing a potent mix of prescriptions, and husband Martin (Channing Tatum) is about to suffer the consequences, with Emily’s unforeseen reaction to the drugs setting a bewildering chain of disturbing events in motion. It’s Soderbergh lite — great crafty fun but perhaps not quite the grand exit befitting of such a creative and nonconformist filmmaker. We’re betting we haven’t seen the last of Soderbergh. Rated R. Running time: 1:47

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

“STAND UP GUYS,” starring Al Pacino and Christopher Walken. It’s impossible not to get one’s hopes up to a potentially unreasonable degree upon learning that Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin will be starring in a movie together about a trio of incorrigible ex-cons. So when that picture turns out to be more of a profane lark than the best movie ever made, it’s maybe a little disappointing. Once the tone is established, however, there’s obviously a lot of base fun to be had here. Essentially “Grumpy Old Men” with guns. Rated R. Running time: 1:35

Suggested retail price: $27.98; Blu-ray $39.99 

“OPEN ROAD,” starring Camilla Belle and Colin Egglesfield. Modest, quietly effective character study presents young artist Angie (Belle, “When a Stranger Calls”), a guarded woman meandering from town to town, working in diners and living in a tent in the woods here and there before moving on to similar surroundings elsewhere. It’s a transient life she begins to question once she finds herself actually connecting with people. A nicely observed drama that finds plum roles for Juliette Lewis and Andy Garcia to complement Belle’s fine performance. Not rated. Running time: 1:26

Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $26.98 

“RETURN TO NIM’S ISLAND,” starring Bindi Irwin and Toby Wallace. Slight but enjoyable sequel to the 2008 family favorite finds spunky Irwin (daughter of the late Steve “Crocodile Hunter” Irwin) taking over for Abigail Breslin in the title role as a now-teenaged Nim forced to face off against villainous land developers out to destroy the wildlife on her island home. Rated PG. Running time: 1:30

Suggested retail price: $20.99 

“TRUE BLOOD: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON,” starring Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer. HBO’s hugely popular vampire dramedy amps up the craziness in season five (but unfortunately cuts down on the Sookie due to star Paquin’s pregnancy), pitting the “Vampire Authority” against the “Vampire Fundamentalists” and adding the always entertaining Christopher Meloni (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”) to the cast as Vampire Guardian Roman. Addictive as ever, “True Blood” shows no signs of slowing down; if anything, quite the opposite. Not rated. Running time: 12:00

Suggested retail price: $59.99; Blu-ray $79.98 


“A COMMON MAN,” starring Ben Kingsley and Ben Cross. Ill-timed thriller finds Kingsley planting bombs in public places and then informing authorities that he’ll detonate them if they don’t comply with his demands to release four high-profile terrorists from prison. In light of recent events, a movie about bombing civilians is the very definition of a tough sell, and unfortunately, a typically excellent performance from Kingsley got lost in the shuffle. Time should reveal “Man” for what it is: A skillful, tense action-thriller with some fine performances. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:26

Suggested retail price: $24.99 

“MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO,” animated with the voices of Dakota Fanning and Elle Fanning. Master animator Hayao Miyazaki (“Ponyo”) first became known to many animation enthusiasts with this adorably brilliant 1988 family favorite, which follows siblings Satsuki and Mei as they move to a new house in the countryside with their archaeologist father and ailing mother. In the process, they not only encounter a new community of colorful characters, but a physically imposing yet gentle forest spirit named “Totoro.” Free of the usual enforced conflict and hero/villain motif, “Totoro” expertly melds the mundane with the fantastical. Rated G. Running time: 1:28

Suggested retail price: $39.99 


“NIGHTFALL,” starring Simon Yam and Nick Cheung. You can always count on Hong Kong to stretch the boundaries of a genre beyond their breaking point and then some, and director Chow Hin Yeung Roy’s latest police procedural treads into some dark terrain, even for a notoriously bleak genre. With the omnipresent and ever-captivating Simon Yam (“Ip Man”) headlining as Detective Lam, “Nightfall” looks like your average good guy vs. bad guy fare, but the central pursuit gradually reveals itself to be something far less clear and more devastating than suspected. Not rated. Running time: 1:48

Suggested retail price: $24.98; Blu-ray $29.98 

“PICTURE DAY,” starring Tatiana Maslany and Spencer Van Wyck. A refreshingly unsentimental tale of rocky adolescence from our Canadian neighbors, first-time writer-director Kate Miles Melville introduces us to Claire (Maslany), a headstrong teen forced to repeat her senior year of high school, a penance she endures by skipping classes to attend indie rock concerts and sleep with band members. In the midst of all this, Claire unexpectedly reconnects with Henry (Van Wyck), a previously homeschooled incoming freshman she used to babysit, who has harbored a longstanding crush on her. Taking the socially clueless Henry under her wing, Claire gives the boy a much-needed makeover and high school survival indoctrination. Rated R. Running time: 1:33

Suggested retail price: $22.99


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