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New on DVD and Blu-ray Week of May 27-June 2

View Harley Lond's Profile

By Harley Lond - 05/27/14 at 02:03 AM CT

THIS WEEK'S THEATRICAL RELEASES

"Endless Love": The story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart. Lifeless and bland remake of Franco Zeffirelli's 1981 film of same name, which itself was pretty trite and mindless (unlike the Scott Spencer novel it was based on). Stars Alex Pettyfer, Gabriella Wilde, Bruce Greenwood, Joely Richardson, Robert Patrick and Rhys Wakefield. Extras include "The Making of Endless Love," an extended ending, deleted/extended/alternate scenes. From Universal.

THIS WEEK'S HIGHLIGHTS:


Now that director Wes Anderson has had a critical and box office success with "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (which is due to arrive on DVD and Blu-ray on June 17), pundits have been reevaluating the auteur's output and are casting gleeful eyes at many of his overlooked gems, taking closer looks at "The Royal Tenenbaums," (2001) "Rushmore" (1998) and "Bottle Rocket" (1996). The folks over at The Criterion Collection are one step ahead of the curve, and have re-released one of Criterion Collection Blu-Ray Cover for the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Anderson's most overlooked films, "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou" (2004) in a new Blu-ray edition. Once again Anderson has created a unique world of his own, populated with oddball and over-the-edge characters reveling in oddball and over-the-edge adventures. Internationally famous and eccentric oceanographer Steve Zissou (Bill Murray) and his crew -- Team Zissou -- set sail on an expedition to hunt down the mysterious, elusive, possibly nonexistent Jaguar Shark that killed Zissou's partner during the documentary filming of their latest adventure. They are joined on their voyage by a young airline co-pilot (Owen Wilson); a pregnant journalist (Cate Blanchett); and Zissou's estranged wife, Eleanor (Anjelica Huston). Anderson assembled an all-star cast that also included Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Noah Taylor, Seu Jorge, and Bud Cort for this wildly original adventure comedy. And don't forget the pirates. In a new, restored digital transfer, approved by Anderson, with DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. Also this week from Criterion are restored versions of Howard Hawks' classic Western "Red River" (1948), a rowdy and whip-smart film that stars John Wayne as an embittered, tyrannical Texas rancher whose tensions with his independent-minded adopted son, played by Montgomery Clift in a breakout performance, reach epic proportions during a cattle drive to Missouri, which is based on a real-life late 19th century expedition. Hawks is less interested in historical accuracy than in tweaking the codes of masculinity that propel the myths of the American West. The film is in two versions: a new 4K digital restoration of the rarely presented original theatrical release version, the preferred cut of Hawks, with monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray; and a 2K restoration of the longer version of "Red River." In a Blu-ray/DVD Dual Format Edition.

There's plenty of great TV coming to DVD this week: "The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Series" (1972-78) Nineteen-disc set with all 142 episodes of the sitcom classic that stars the incomparable Bob Newhart as Dr. Robert Hartley, a Chicago psychologist who finds himself surrounded by some unusual and neurotic characters on the job, as well as at home. Stars Suzanne Box Art for The Bob Newhart Show: The Complete Series Pleshette as his quick-witted and understanding wife and Bill Daily as his off-kilter neighbor. David Davis and Lorenzo Music, the writers and producers behind "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," created the series specifically with Bob Newhart in mind. According to Vince Waldron in his essay printed in the set's accompanying 40-page booklet, like "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," the series was populated by witty, sincere people who daily faced the irrational realities of ordinary life. The show's undercurrent of preposterous logic was actually an outgrowth of Newhart's own clearly defined comic persona. The performer, whose nightclub act routinely featured one-sided conversations with Abraham Lincoln, Sir Walter Raleigh, and King Kong, was certainly no stranger to surrealism. "Comedy," Newhart once said, "is my way of bringing logic to an illogical situation." There's also little doubt that Pleshette's unapologetic sensuality gave the show a distinctive, sophisticated edge. Extras include the original unaired pilot; "Group Therapy" (2014), in which Newhart sits down with Peter Bonerz, Jack Riley, Bill Daily and Michael Zinberg; "The Bob Newhart Show 19th Anniversary" (1991), in which the entire cast assembles for a one-hour clip show that finds the show's characters in the present day; commentaries with Newhart, Marcia Wallace, David Davis, Peter Bonerz, Fred Willard, Jim Burrows, Suzanne Pleshette, Tom Poston and Jack Riley; gag reel; 40 page collectable booklet with an essay by Emmy-winning writer Vince Waldron. $129.99 from Shout! Factory.

"The Bridge - Season One"DVD Cover for The Bridge Season One (2011 - Denmark/Sweden) Four-disc set with 10 episodes. The series begins when a woman is found murdered in the middle of the Oresund Bridge, right on the border between Sweden and Denmark. Police from both countries are called to the scene and what looks like one murder, turns out to be two. It's a spectacular double murder: the bodies have been brutally cut in half at the waist and put together to form a single corpse. It's also just the beginning of a wave of violence the likes of which no one has ever seen before. Both police forces find themselves in a race against the clock in a deadly showdown with a superior enemy, and no one will be the same when it's over. Inspired the FX remake that aired in the U.S. in 2013. In Swedish and Danish with English Subtitles. $49.95 from MHz Home Entertainment.

"Cimarron Strip: The Complete Series" (1967-68) Eight-disc set with all 23 feature-length episodes, $79.98. Airing on CBS from September 1967 to March of 1968, the series was produced by the creators of "Gunsmoke," and was one of only three 90-minute DVD Cover for Cimarron Strip: The Complete Series weekly Western series that aired during the 1960s (the others are "The Virginian" and, for one season, "Wagon Train") and the only 90-minute series of any kind to be centered primarily around one lead character. Set in 1888 as the frontier was closing, U.S. Marshall Jim Crown (Stuart Whitman) was assigned to protect Cimarron (the border region between the Kansas Territory and Indian Territory) and surrounding areas, following a stint cleaning up Abilene. Arriving to find that the local sheriff had resigned, it falls upon Crown to keep law and order in a lawless land. Guest stars included Beau Bridges, David Carradine, Seymour Cassel, Joseph Cotton, Robert Duvall, Victor French, Mariette Hartley, Darren McGavin, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Oates, Slim Pickens, Suzanne Pleshette, Denver Pyle, Telly Savalas, John Saxon, Tom Skerrit, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Voight, Tuesday Weld and many more. From Entertainment One.

"Wallander (Season 3)" (2013 - Sweden) Krister Henriksson returns as Detective Kurt Wallander from the best-selling crime series by Swedish author Henning Mankell. Wallander is Ystad's veteran detective who's DVD Cover for Wallander Season 3 finally learned to find respite from the job in the moments of grace that came from living on the beach with his dog, Jussi, or spending time with his granddaughter. He's still on the outs at work, however: offbeat methods make him an irritant for management and his colleague, Martinsson, is angling for his position. But no one in the department has the uncanny sense of the criminal mind that he does. Whether it's Cold War spies, pedophiles, human traffickers or kidnappers, Wallander knows when he's being lied to and when the story hasn't been fully told. Wallander is also trying to get a few things right with his daughter and fellow cop, Linda. He's arrived at his life's twilight clinging to the one thing he knows, which is how to do police work. In that, Wallander is a man at the top of his game. He's also a man at the end of his game. In Swedish with English Subtitles. Four-disc set with five episodes, $69.95 from MHz Home Entertainment.

There's a pair of horror outings making their Blu-ray debuts this week:
"Sleepaway Camp Collector's Edition" (1983), starring Felissa Rose, Jonathan Tiersten, Paul DeAngelo, Karen Fields, Desiree Gould, Frank Saladino in a new 2K scan of the original Sleepaway Camp Blu-Ray Cover camera negative, available in a Blu-ray/DVD combo from Scream factory/Shout! Factory: Welcome to Camp Arawak, where teenagers learn to experience the joys of nature, as well as each other. But when these happy campers begin to die in a series of horrible "accidents," they discover that someone -- or something -- has turned their summer of fun into a vacation to dismember ... and "Dan Curtis' Dracula" (1974 -- TV), starring Jack Palance, Fiona Lewis, Simon Ward and Nigel Davenport. Adapted for the small screen by sci-fi/horror master Richard Matheson ("The Twilight Zone," "I Am Legend," "Duel") and produced by the legendary Dan Curtis ("Dark Shadows," "Trilogy of Terror," "The Winds of War"). Palance stars as Count Dracula, whose centuries-old existence is threatened after he attacks the lovely Lucy Westenra and her fiance calls in famed vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing to investigate. Transferred and restored in 2K High Definition from the original 35mm camera negative. From MPI Home Video.

BUZZIN' THE 'B'S:


In order to be reinstated to the bar and regain custody of her daughter, hotshot lawyer Cate McCall (Kate Beckinsale) -- sober, in recovery and on probation -- reluctantly takes on the appeal of a woman who claims she was wrongfully convicted of murder ... and uncovers a web of deceit and corruption that extends to the most powerful echelons of the police department in "The Trials of Cate McCall" (2013), co-starring Nick Nolte, James Cromwell, Clancy Brown and Taye Diggs. From Vertical Entertainment ... "Journey to the West" (2013 -- China) is the latest action-comedy from Stephen Chow, centered on Tang Sanzang, a Buddhist trying to protect a village from three demons, his emerging feelings for Miss Duan, the demon hunter who helps him, and Sanzang's transformative encounter with the Monkey King. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Magnolia Home Entertainment ... "Gambit" (2013), starring Colin Firth, Cameron Diaz, Alan Rickman, Stanley Tucci and Cloris Leachman, is a caper comedy about an art curator who decides to seek revenge on his abusive boss by conning him into buying a fake Monet ... but his plan requires the help of an eccentric and unpredictable Texas rodeo queen. This remake of the 1966 caper comedy was directed by Michael Hoffman from a screenplay by Joel and Ethan Coen. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Sony ... Boasting a large cult following overseas and a film festivals favorite, DVD Cover for House in the Alley the gripping haunted house thriller "House in the Alley" (2012 -- Vietnam), starring Thanh Van Ngo, Son Bao Tran and Van Hai Bui, is about a couple who slowly lose their sanity haunted by the traumatic death of their son and the paranormal disturbances in their house from an unspeakable past. From Scream Factory/Shout! Factory ... "Independence Daysaster" (2013), starring Ryan Merriman, Andrea Brooks, Emily Holmes and Tom Everett Scott, is a Syfy Original Movie that puts a small town firefighter, a rag-tag team of nerds and do-gooders, a rogue scientist, and the stranded president of the United States up against some very evil space invaders that make the Transformers look like kids toys. From Anchor Bay ... "An Adventure in Space and Time" (2013), starring David Bradley, Jessica Raine, Sacha Dhawan and Brian Cox, is a BBC drama that travels back in time over 50 years to witness the creation of an icon -- the birth of Doctor Who. From BBC Home Entertainment ... When a young model is found brutally murdered, a fetish photographer and homicide detective are brought together at the crime scene through a shared if sadistic interest and, before long, an unlikely friendship develops between the two, as each tries to involve themselves in the other's professional life -- leading to horrific consequences in "24 Exposures" (2013), starring Adam Wingard, Simon Barrett, Helen Rogers and Caroline White. From IFC Films ... In "Eastern Bandits" (2012 -- China), starring Huang Xiaoming, Zhang Yi, Zhang Xinyi and Ni Jingyang, an anti-Japanese resistance fighter during World War II infiltrates a gang of bandits to enlist their help in assassinating a Japanese prince. When the plan goes awry, they're ambushed and must escape to save their lives. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Well Go USA ... DVD Cover for Claire In "Claire" (2013), starring Aiden Bristow, Cory Driscoll, Avital Ash, Jennifer Baute, Landon Ashworth and Tybee Diskin, a high school football hero obsesses on the death of Claire, a girl he didn't know and who was killed by a drunk driver; in the course of his investigation of her life he alienates his social group friends, who had wronged her in the past, and his own life spirals out of control when he confronts the question: Did he unknowingly play a role in Claire's death? From Monarch Home Entertainment ... "Cheap Thrills" (2013), starring Pat Healy, Ethan Embry, Sara Paxton, David Koechner and Amanda Fuller, is a black comedy/thriller about a scheming couple who put a struggling family man and his old friend through a series of increasingly twisted dares during the course of an evening at a local bar. On DVD, Blu-ray Disc from Drafthouse Films ... "Tapped Out" (2013) follows a former Karate prodigy who decides to compete in an MMA tournament to avenge his family's death. Stars MMA champion Krzysztof Soszynski, MMA champion Anderson Silva, MMA champion Lyoto Machida, Jess Brown, Daniel Faraldo and Martin Kove. From Lionsgate ... In "Buttwhistle" (2014), Ogden Confer, a community college student who, while dealing with the recent loss of his best pal, Rose, foils the suicide effort of a mysterious young lady, Beth, discovers that the young woman wants to make him pay for not minding his own business. Star Trevor Morgan, Elizabeth Rice, Analeigh Tipton and Thomas Jane. From Breaking Glass Pictures ... The new fitness club in town has everything a health nut could ever want: a variety of workout machines, classes taught by friendly (and frisky) instructors, and a state-of-the-art computer control system for maximum client comfort. Unfortunately, it's also possessed by the evil spirit of the owner's dead wife, and before long every dumbbell, leg press and rowing machine becomes a deadly weapon for her to enact bloody vengeance on the club's beautiful members in "Death Spa" (1989), starring William Bumille, Brenda Bakke, Ken Foree and Rosalind Cash. From Gorgon Video/MPI).

ON THE INDIE FRONT:


After her husband suffers a debilitating stroke, spirited Irish housewife Vanetia Casey struggles to keep her family together in the wake of tragedy in "Run and Jump" (2013), starring Maxine Peake and Will Forte. Help comes in the form of American doctor Ted Fielding, whose research grant for documenting the family's recovery process takes care of DVD Cover for Saving Grace B Jones finances but also requires that the straight-laced doctor live with the chaotic Casey family for two months. From IFC Films ... "Could This Be Love" (2014), starring Drew Sidora, Tommy Ford and Romeo Miller, is an urban rom-com about a small town country girl who returns home after college to take over the family business, her father's beloved bed and breakfast. Facing an unfaithful husband and dysfunctional relationship with her mother, she finds herself at a difficult crossroads ... until a young, handsome lawyer checks in and opens her eyes to an entirely different life. From Entertainment One ... In a 1950s-era Missouri town the life of a couple is thrown into chaos when the husband's sister is released from the local asylum and comes to live with the family in "Saving Grace B. Jones" (2009), directed by Connie Stevens and starring Michael Biehn, Tatum O'Neal, Penelope Ann Miller, Piper Laurie and Scott Wilson. From ARC Entertainment.

FOR THE FAMILY:


In "Dora and Boots - Best Friends Forever" (2013), the inseparable Nickelodeon duo explore a magical rainforest amusement park, celebrate Best Friends Day, rescue Boots' beloved shiny red boots, recover Boot's lost cuddly dinosaur, and more. Eight episodes, $14.99 from Nickelodeon/Paramount ... "Dreamworks Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 2" (2013) is the second part of the award-winning TV series based on the animated movie "How to Train Your Dragon." From Fox.

SPECIAL INTEREST:


"The People vs. Paul Crump" (1962): William Friedkin's first feature film, newly restored from an archival 16mm print. Before directing "The French Connection" and "The Exorcist," William Friedkin made one of the most powerful documentaries you've never seen. Paul Crump, 22, was caught up in a failed robbery with DVD Cover for The People vs. Paul Crump four other black men and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. Friedkin so believed in Crump's innocence that he made "The People vs. Paul Crump" in order to save his life. On March 20, 1953, five men robbed a meatpacking plant in Chicago's Union Stock Yards. Their getaway went awry, and a security guard was killed. Four of the men received jail sentences and were eventually paroled. The fifth, Paul Crump, confessed under questionable interrogation tactics, then retracted, only to be convicted and sentenced to the chair. After 14 stays of execution, local TV director William Friedkin and his cinematographer Bill Butler took to the streets with lightweight cameras to appeal for Crump's return to society. The resulting film contributed to the commutation of Crump's sentence and launched Friedkin's Hollywood career. Produced for Chicago's WBKB (ABC) with a budget of only $14,000, the film was never aired due to its controversial subject matter. Besides the occasional retrospective, opportunities to see this formative Friedkin film are rare. From Facets Releasing ... "The Kennedys: Triumph and Tragedy" (2014) is a box set that features the two-part documentary "The Kennedys," the bonus program "Oswald's Ghost," as well as a booklet and 24 pieces of memorabilia related to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. DVD, $29.99, from PBS Distribution ... the documentary DVD Cover for Hitler and the Nazis "Hitler and the Nazis" (2014) offers an absorbing look at Adolf Hitler's brutal rise to power and features archived footage and interviews. Tracing his rise, first through politics and then through force, to become Germany's most powerful leader, the film captures the ruthless dictator as he marches Germany into another war in a delusional quest for global domination. Three-disc DVD, $29.98 from Cinedigm ... Chief Petty Officer Lance Vacarro, a highly-decorated Navy SEAL, gave his life for his country in 2008. Two years later, to honor his sacrifice, four Navy SEAL riders and a support team launched The Lance Vacarro Memorial Ride that covered the continental United States -- from Virginia to Alaska and back -- in his honor and memory. "Ride for Lance" (2014) documents the event. $24.98 from Anchor Bay.

FROM TV TO DVD:


"Covert Affairs: Season Four" (2013) is a four-disc set with 16 episodes, $39.98 from Universal ... In "Jack Irish, Set 2" (2014), Guy Pearce returns as down-on-his-luck private detective Jack Irish in this cinematic Australian noir series. The feature-length mystery finds jack grappling with more personal and professional drama as he continues to investigate crimes in Melbourne's seedy underbelly. When a man he's been tasked to find turns up DVD Cover for Jack Irish Set 2 dead from a drug overdose, Jack thinks his job is done. But his client compels him to continue working on the case, revealing a personal stake that Jack can't ignore. As he digs deeper, Jack uncovers a conspiracy involving smuggling, police corruption, and blackmail that could compromise someone close to his heart. On Blu-ray/DVD Combo from Acorn Media ... "Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Series 2" (2014) includes all 13 episodes of the second series. Miss Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) is back with more intriguing mysteries and exquisite fashion. A private detective in 1920s Melbourne, Phryne has a knack for being in the right place at the right time -- and she's usually armed with the right weapon. Aided by her maid, Dorothy "Dot" Williams (Ashleigh Cummings), Phryne ventures from the city's mansions to its brothels, gaining admirers and enemies along the way. Often assisting their investigations are Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page) and Constable Hugh Collins (Hugo Johnstone-Burt). Jack finds Phryne's eager interest in his cases DVD Cover Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Set 2 exasperating, but he comes to rely on her crime-solving instincts -- and is increasingly captivated by her other charms. In a four-disc DVD, three-disc Blu-ray from Acorn Media ... In "Pioneers of Television: Season 4" (2013), Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Ray Romano, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen, Bob Newhart, Dick Van Dyke and dozens more A-list TV stars tell behind-the-scenes tales of America's most popular shows in the fourth season of the PBS series: "Standup to Sitcom," "Doctors and Nurses," "Acting Funny" and "Breaking Barriers." $24.99 from PBS Distribution ... "Suits: Season Three" (2013-14) is a four-disc set with 12 episodes, $44.98 from Universal ... How were ancient builders, including those at Stonehenge, able to create structures around the world with one consistent unit of measurement -- the "megalithic yard" -- despite being oceans apart? "The Universe: Season 7 - Ancient Mysteries Solved" (2014) uses experts and CGI from "The Universe" to reveal the answer and demonstrate how our past is connected to the history of the universe. DVD: $19.98, Blu-ray Disc: $19.99 from Lionsgate.

Check out other May 27-June 2 DVD releases and reviews at OnVideo.

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