When I write the new releases post each each, I often find myself mentioning how diverse the titles available are. This week, in which everything from a gripping biopic about a former Vice President to movie about a transforming robot that possesses a surprising amount of emotional depth, this feels more true than ever. So take a look at the wide array of DVDs and Blu-rays that have just been released. The only problem is that you’ll want to get them all!
A superb performance by Christian Bale as Dick Cheney drives writer/director Adam McKay’s seriocomic look at the life of the former U.S. Vice President. The film follows Cheney’s rise through the ranks of American politics, his relationship with wife Lynne (Amy Adams), and his two terms as George W. Bush’s (Sam Rockwell) V.P., a position that granted him an unusual amount of power over matters of national and international importance. With Steve Carell, Alison Pill, Lily Rabe.
The small but feisty fan-favorite Autobot takes center stage in this “Transformers” spinoff/prequel set in the late ‘80s, as a damaged Bumblebee (voiced by Dylan O’Brien) takes refuge in a Southern California junkyard…and finds a friend and protector in unhappy teen Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld). She may not be enough, between an implacable government agent (John Cena) and a faction of Decepticons weary of hiding. With Pamela Adlon and the voices of Angela Bassett, Justin Theroux.
After pampered wastrel Neil McGill (Robert Young) ditched his titled fiancée (Virginia Field) at the altar–twice–his humiliated mom (Billie Burke) dragged him to Switzerland for a sit-down with an eminent psychiatrist (Walter Connolly). However, the consultation proved very costly–as it resulted in the playboy’s falling hard for the doctor’s beautiful ward Luise (Annabella). Amiable romantic farce also stars Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Arthur Treacher, Felix Bressart.
A trio of British sibs (Jess Conrad, Lorraine Power, Denis Gilmore) thought it would be dull to accompany their inspector dad (Douglas Wilmore) for a police convention in Budapest. They’d be proven wrong, as they spotted two thieves (George Sanders, Buddy Hackett) making off with a solid gold bust of St. László from the Cathedral of Győr…and mounted their own calamitous cross-town pursuit! Scenic family-adventure comedy co-stars Robert Coote.
In 1987, world-weary old soldier Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott) remained understandably mum about how, as a young man (Aiden Turner), he penetrated Nazi Germany and covertly took out Der Fuhrer. His whispered legend remained on the radar of American and Canadian intelligence…and now they want him to track down and bag the Sasquatch in order to prevent a pandemic. Tongue-in-cheek adventure/character study also stars Caitlin FitzGerald, Ron Livingston, Larry Miller, Sean Bridgers.
In the Bowery of the early 20th century, washed-up pug and dive bouncer Roy “Slag” McGurk (Wallace Beery) is promised a piece of the business by his shady saloonkeep boss (Edward Arnold) if he can drive the Salvation Army out of a coveted property. Will the underhanded doings, however, cost him custody of the British orphan (Dean Stockwell) he took in from Ellis Island? Engaging Beery vehicle also stars Aline McMahon, Cameron Mitchell, Dorothy Patrick, Aubrey Mather.
Powerful prison drama stars Tom Selleck as Jimmie Rainwood, an aeronautics engineer framed by a pair of corrupt police officers (David Rasche, Richard Young) and sent to “the big house” on phony drug charges. Rainwood must endure three years of horrific brutality before he’s paroled and is finally able to confront the crooked cops and take them down once and for all. With F. Murray Abraham, Laila Robins, Badja Djola.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (Criterion Collection)
Director Wes Anderson employs stop-motion animation for this wonderful adaptation of Roald Dahl’s best-selling book. Reformed chicken thief Mr. Fox (voiced by George Clooney) reneges on the promise he made to his wife (Meryl Streep) to remain on the straight and narrow by planning one last caper against a trio of local farmers who are as wealthy as they are nasty. Also features the voices of Jason Schwartzman, Michael Gambon, Owen Wilson, and Bill Murray.
Inspired by writer Franz Lidz’s autobiographical book and directed by Diane Keaton, this poignant comedy-drama focuses on a 12-year-old son of a wacky inventor (John Turturro) and sickly mother (Andie MacDowell) who is sent to live with two uncles–Danny (Michael Richards), who sees conspiracies everywhere, and Arthur (Maury Chaykin), who collects junk obsessively. Co-stars Nathan Watt, Celia Weston.
On the stage, on the screen, and in his private life, he did it “his way.” The acclaimed TV miniseries, authorized by Frank Sinatra, traces the ups and downs of “the Chairman of the Board’s” record-setting career and his homelife. Featured Sinatra songs (performed by Frank himself) include “That Old Black Magic,” “Come Fly with Me,” “That’s Life,” and many more. Philip Casnoff, Marcia Gay Harden, Olympia Dukakis, and Rod Steiger star.
In the late ‘30s, 7-year-old Jim Tukker, Jr. (Jackie “Butch” Jenkins) knew a happy life on the military base with his battery captain dad (James Craig) and expectant-again mom (Frances Gifford). However, after a shattering domestic tragedy struck, the elder Jim turned to the bottle for solace…and his son turned to the family’s Chinese cook (Ching Wah Lee) towards maturity. Early feature for Fred Zinnemann, adapted from the Tommy Wadelton novel “Army Brat,” co-stars Spring Byington, Luanna Patten.
For a complete overview of all of this week’s new releases, click here.