“ADMISSION,” Tina Fey, Paul Rudd. Slight but pleasant dramedy finds Fey attempting to leave Liz Lemon behind for more serious matters as Portia, an admissions officer at Princeton tasked with deciding who gets in and who doesn’t, a repetitive and oft dispiriting job that takes a intriguing turn upon meeting John (Rudd), whose desire to lure her to a lesser-known rural school for gifted students masks an ulterior motive: to introduce her to the son (Nat Wolff, “The Naked Brothers Band”) she gave up for adoption 17 years ago. A bit light on laughs, but Fey and Rudd are their usual charming selves, and the tearjerker elements are surprisingly effective. Special features include interviews with cast and crew. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:47. Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98.

“DEAD MAN DOWN,” Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace. An emotionally guarded heavy (Farrell) for a crime boss (Terrence Howard) strikes up an uneasy relationship with a neighbor (Rapace, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”), who upon learning of his occupation comes to him with an alarming request: to kill the man who disfigured her in a drunk driving accident. A violent, angry thriller that makes up in brute force and strong performances what it lacks in subtlety and smarts. Rated R. Running time: 1:58. Suggested retail price; $26.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

“THE HOST,” Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel. Based on the popular novel by Stephanie “Twilight” Meyer, “Host” finds the author applying her flair for teen dramatics to the sci-fi genre, fashioning a compelling tale of alien takeover as Earth falls prey to “Souls,” extraterrestrial beings that inhabit humans and work toward creating a utopian society free of poverty, illness and emotions in general. This being Meyer, a world without emotions simply won’t stand, and it’s up to young Melanie (Ronan, “Atonement”) to stand up to the Souls. Rated PG-13. Running time: 2:06. Suggested retail price: $29.98; Blu-ray $34.98.


“PORTLANDIA: SEASON THREE,” Fred Armisen, Carrie Brownstein. Somewhere between valentine and indictment lies “Portlandia,” a hilarious, strange and frequently brilliant send-up of the ultra-liberal, ’90s-obsessed Oregonians inhabiting the titular city. As ever, Armisen and Brownstein make a beguilingly odd comic team, and guest spots from such dependably offbeat personalities as Jeff Goldblum add to the sly fun. Not rated. Running time: 4:02. Suggested retail price: $19.95; Blu-ray $24.95.

“TYLER PERRY’S TEMPTATION: CONFESSIONS OF A MARRIAGE COUNSELOR,” Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Robbie Jones. Shamefully entertaining melodrama from the tireless Perry casts Smollett-Bell (“Friday Night Lights”) as Judith, a married career woman whose affair with ultra-confident businessman Harley (Jones, “Hellcats”) leads to a wide variety of entertainingly overwrought scenes of passion and turmoil. Sadly, Perry somehow couldn’t find a way to work Madea into the erotic thriller format, but he did give Kim Kardashian a part, so that’s something. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:51. Suggested retail price: $29.95; Blu-ray $39.99.


“THE JERK,” Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters. The first – and arguably still his best – foray into cinema by the “wild and crazy guy,” this proudly ridiculous 1979 farce traces the sweetly surreal rags to riches rise of Navin Johnson (Martin), who was “born a poor black child” and goes on to not only join a traveling circus but turns the world of optometry on his head with a new invention that makes him incredibly wealthy. Of course, many various hilariously bizarre occurrences transpire in between these events, resulting in a uniquely Martinesque experience that he has yet to replicate since. Rated R. Running time: 1:34. Suggested retail price: $19.98.

“STREET TRASH: SPECIAL MELTDOWN EDITION,” James Lorinz, Mike Lackey. A grisly dark-comedy classic of the VHS era, this 1987 oddity leaves no taboo unbroken, using its already unsavory tale of a new alcoholic beverage that causes homeless people to explode in vile torrents of colorful viscera to assault the unwary viewer with sights they cannot unsee. But “Trash” is also clever, making the most of its miniscule budget and seedy NYC locales and always looking for the most creative methods of dispatching its unfortunate cast. Not rated. Running time: 1:42. Suggested retail price: $24.95.


“THE GATEKEEPERS,” documentary. This eye-opening, barely believable doc couldn’t be showing up on DVD at a more appropriate time, what with the security of our information and the notion that Big Brother is watching us constantly discussed in the news. Inspired in part by Erroll Morris’ acclaimed documentary “The Fog of War,” filmmaker Dror Moreh (“Sharon”) sits down with five former and (at the time of shooting) one current head of Shin Bet, the organization that protects Israel from foreign and domestic attack. Seeing all, and empowered/burdened with the ability to have anyone suspicious-looking assassinated on their command, the men provide detail on some of the many unthinkably complex and morally questionable decisions they’ve had to make over the years in the name of national security. Nominated for an Academy Award, “The Gatekeepers” puts the grave responsibilities of our world’s leaders in a new, and often unsettling, light. Not rated. Running time: 1:38. Suggested retail price: $30.99; Blu-ray $35.99.

“SPRING BREAKERS,” James Franco, Selena Gomez. Long a champion of outsider cinema, controversial filmmaker Harmony Korine (“Gummo”) made a rare and largely successful foray into the local cineplex with this gonzo, genre (and Disney) defying, proudly trashy art-house thrill ride, which lets normally squeaky clean actresses Gomez (“Wizards of Waverly Place”), Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”) and Ashley Benson (“Pretty Little Liars”) indulge their unexpected dark sides as young women out to experience spring break in as unhibited a fashion as possible, knocking off a diner and teaming up with outrageous would-be gangster Alien (Franco, knocking it out of the park). Lewd, crude and frequently nude, “Spring Breakers” lets it all hang out, giving Korine a mini-universe of debauchery to capture with his distinctive camerawork and garnering him easily the best reviews of his career. Clearly not for all audiences, but a singular and rewarding viewing experience for those willing to submit to Korine’s bold vision and Franco’s go-for-broke craziness. Special features include a commentary by Korine, and 3 Vice featurettes: “The ATL Twins Zone,” “The Redneck Riviera” and “Dirtona Beach.” Plus deleted scenes and outtakes. Rated R. Running time: 1:34. Suggested retail price: $21.98; Blu-ray $27.99.

– Courtesy of Videoport


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