NEW ON THE SHELF:

“The Forger,” John Travolta, Christopher Plummer. What might on the surface appear to be your average, run-of-the-mill heist flick is actually a rather moving tale of redemption, with ex-con Raymond (Travolta) desperate to spend time with his estranged son (Tye Sheridan, “Mud”), who’s been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Forced to turn to crime boss Keegan (Anson Mount) for assistance, Raymond finds himself unavoidably drawn back into the world of art forgery, tasked with recreating a priceless Monet and stealing the original from a museum. Raymond finds a way to incorporate this unfortunate task into his attempted reunion with his son, and director Phillip Martin (“Wallander”) and writer Richard D’Ovidio (“The Call”) give their characters plenty of room to breathe, allowing for memorable conversations and moments that serve to heighten the suspense of the more action-based scenes. An under-the-radar gem and some of Travolta’s best recent work. Rated R. Running time: 1:37. Suggested retail price: $19.98; Blu-ray $19.99

“Survivor,” Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan. A normally deskbound London-based Foreign Service Officer (Jovovich) sees her workday become a tad more hectic when she’s accused of crime she didn’t commit after stumbling upon what would appear to be a planned terrorist attack on New York. Attempting to silence her for good is The Watchmaker (Brosnan), a notorious assassin. Uneven, but the appealing leads manage to ably carry the film, and strong support from the likes of Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster and Angela Bassett don’t hurt. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:37. Suggested retail price: $19.99; Blu-ray $24.99

VIDEOPORT PICKS:

“If You Build It,” documentary. The many challenges of an effective education – particularly when the attention of young students is more compromised than even before thanks to the tiny computers in their pockets – are stirringly presented and even partly vanquished in this excellent doc from Patrick Creadon (“Wordplay”). The focus is on instructors Emily Pilloton and Matthew Miller, “designer activists” who bring their juiced-up take on shop class (dubbed “Studio H”) to Bertie County, a particularly impoverished area of North Carolina, in the hopes of inspiring at-risk teenagers to work together to build something. There’s a lot here to digest, to cheer and to rail against, and the viewer is led through the entire experience of getting something like this off the ground in the face of meager funds and disinterested committees. A frustrating and rewarding ride well worth coming along for. Not rated. Running time: 1:25. Suggested retail price: $29.95

“Timbuktu,” Abel Jafri, Fatoumata Diawara. From director Abderrahmane Sissako (“Bamako”) comes this blistering, universally acclaimed drama, wherein the titular city is overtaken by Jihadists desperate to enforce their will, no matter how cruelly and arbitrarily, over the mild-mannered Muslims residing therein. Banning music, sports and fraternizing between the sexes of any sort, their actions go from strange and confusing to downright abusive and evil in short order. The misplaced sense of piety finally leads the put-upon citizens to protest via the only methods they have: peaceful resistance and common sense. In the face of such hateful chaos, it’s difficult to imagine one reacting in a similar fashion, but “Timbuktu” makes it beautifully clear that in the end it’s the only way to truly triumph. One of the best films you’ll see this year. Rated PG-13. Running time: 1:37. Suggested retail price: $24.98; Blu-ray $34.98

NEW TO DVD:

“Marfa Girl,” Adam Mediano, Mercedes Maxwell. It’s the very definition of “not for all tastes,” with director Larry Clark (“Kids”) applying his striking knack for seamy visuals to another tale of aimless, disaffected, sex-hungry youth. In the small border town of Marfa, Texas, young Adam (newcomer Mediano) spends his days doing drugs with his pals when not actively avoiding Tom (Jeremy St. James), a seemingly psychotic border patrolman who has it in for him. No wheel reinvention happening here, just Clark doing what he does best, so if you’ve liked/disliked that sort of thing in the past, it’s safe to say your opinion of “Marfa Girl” is likely to continue in that direction. Not rated. Running time: 1:46. Suggested retail price: $21.99

NEW TO BLU-RAY:

“The Fisher King,” Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges. The Criterion Collection takes this beloved 1991 dramedy from director Terry Gilliam, featuring one of the late Robin Williams’ finest performances as Parry, an evidently deranged homeless man who strikes up an odd friendship with cynical, suicidal DJ Jack. They embark on a search for the Holy Grail, which Parry believes to hidden somewhere in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Hilarious one minute and disturbing the next, there’s nothing quite like “The Fisher King.” Rated R. Running time: 2:18. Suggested retail price: $39.95

“Stone Cold,” Brian Bosworth, Lance Henriksen. Arguably the pinnacle of early ’90s B-actioners, this sublimely ridiculous 1991 cult fave gives former footballer Bosworth his lone big-screen lead to date as loose cannon cop Joe Huff. He finds himself tasked with bringing down a particularly uncooperative biker gang, memorably led by the always entertaining Henriksen, who gets most of the best lines as the gleefully vile Chains Cooper. “Stone Cold” is a boneheaded classic. Rated R. Running time: 1:23. Suggested retail price: $29.95

– Courtesy of Videoport