We’ve got fun and games in this week’s lineup of DVD and Blu-ray new releases — featuring recent theatrical hits, an artistic masterpiece given the Criterion Collection and so much more. Welcome to the jungle baby, here’s what to watch this week!
While serving detention, four teens discover a 16-bit video game called Jumanji in their school’s basement. Transported inside the game’s jungle world, the kids are each assigned an avatar–a muscle-bound explorer (Dwayne Johnson), a pudgy cartographer (Jack Black), a diminutive zoologist (Kevin Hart), and a beautiful martial artist (Karen Gillan)–and must survive a series of dangerous adventures in order to get back to the real world. Exciting follow-up to the 1995 hit also stars Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale.
In the third outing in the hilarious and song-filled comedy series, most of the Barden Bellas have graduated college and gone their separate ways. But Beca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and the rest of the girls will take the stage once more when they’re invited to join a USO competition tour where they find their signature a capella stylings may be no match for bands that (gasp!) play instruments. With Hailee Steinfeld, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Elizabeth Banks, and John Michael Higgins.
All three of the Pitch Perfect films are included in this three-disc set.
Thanks to a scientific breakthrough, consumers can mitigate their impact on the planet–and ensure their savings last a lifetime–courtesy of an irreversible process that shrinks humans to four inches tall. Office drone Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) agree to buy in…but Paul’s fateful assimilation into the miniaturized community shows his problems have only grown larger. Alexander Payne’s sly sci-fi satire also stars Christoph Waltz, Jason Sudeikis, Udo Kier, and Hong Chau.
Suburban dad Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) and his barbecue buddies from the block make like the Hardy Boys sleuth-wise when the weirdness of their night-roaming, trash bag-burying new neighbors reaches Munsteresque proportions. Safe-as-lawn-darts neighborhood farce from director Joe Dante co-stars Carrie Fisher, Bruce Dern, Rick Ducommun, Brother Theodore.
Gritty, darkly comic crime thriller focuses on Mike Kendall (John Hawkes), an alcoholic ex-cop who happens upon a badly beaten prostitute on the side of the road. After the girl dies from her injuries, Kendall becomes determined to find the killer, throwing himself headlong into the case. But his investigation leads him down a dangerous path that could put those closest to him in jeopardy. With Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Anthony Anderson, Clifton Collins, Jr.
Over the decade after he first found literary success, young novelist Sidney Hall (Logan Lerman) inexplicably drifted towards society’s margins…and then dropped completely from sight. As a hired PI (Kyle Chandler) attempts to track him down, flashbacks from three phases in Sidney’s life–as precocious teen scribe, emerging enfant terrible, and broken recluse–point to the stunning reasons behind his decline. Effective mystery-drama co-stars Elle Fanning, Michele Monaghan, Nathan Lane, Blake Jenner. AKA: “Sidney Hall.”
The citizens of the isolated desert town of Canyonland are transformed into murderous zombie-like monsters when their water supply is contaminated thanks to a government experiment that has also cuts off all communication with the outside world. Now, three people who were just passing through must team up with the local sheriff in order to survive the bloody frenzy. Wings Hauser, Bo Hopkins, George Kennedy, Bo Hopkins, Kimberly Beck, Brion James star. AKA: “Death Street USA.”
Between juggling night school and shifts at the KFC to help her struggling family, Taipei teenager Lin Yang (Lin Hsiao-yang) still had the fantasies provided by her favorite manga to retreat into. Unfortunately, as her big brother (Jack Yao) and his best friend (Fan Yang)–whom she’s crushing on–get involved in increasingly sketchy activities, cruel realities might soon set in. Hou Hsiao-hsien’s compelling contemporary urban study also stars Li Tian-lu, Fu Sheng Tsui.
Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer was commissioned by producers in France to create a film portrait of a French historical figure, and the result was this masterpiece of world cinema. Renée Falconetti, in her only film role, is impeccable as the 15th-century war heroine whose leadership of French forces against England ends in her capture and trial on charges of heresy and sorcery. Based on the actual 1431 trial transcripts, the film co-stars Eugène Silvain, André Berley.
This inventive musical adventure tale concerns an opera singer in 1800s Australia whose career is given a boost when she encounters a Robin Hood-esque bandit/songwriter known as Stingaree (Richard Dix). When their unexpected partnership results in fame, the chanteuse falls madly in love with the mystery man. Irene Dunne, Mary Boland co-star; directed by William Wellman. Songs include “Stingaree Ballad,” “Tonight Is Mine,” “I Wish I Were a Fisherman.”
When seismic tremors cause the birth of a new volcano in Mexico, a team of geologists heads to investigate. They soon discover to their shock that the quake has rent a path to the surface world for a swarm of giant–and hungry–prehistoric scorpions. Creepy-crawly creature feature offers monsters by stop-motion maestro Willis O’Brien (“King Kong”); Richard Denning, Mara Corday, Carlos Rivas star.