DVD & Blu-ray New Releases: Week of 11-4-12

DVD & Blu-ray New Releases: Cut to the Chase The Charley Chase Collection

New DVD & Blu-ray releases include comedy, classics and DVD collections, this week’s assortment of new movie releases has it all. Take a look!

Cut to the Chase: The Charley Chase Collection

Early screen funnyman Charley Chase shines in a two-disc collection of silent Hal Roach shorts. As milquetoast Jimmy Jump, Charley needs courage to win his dream girl in “The Fraidy Cat” (1924) and to please his folks in “Bad Boy” (1925); Chase gets mixed up with a mobster in “The Caretaker’s Daughter” (1925); “The Uneasy Three” (1925) finds a trio of would-be crooks led by Charley plotting a jewel heist; Charley’s wife suspects him of cheating on her in “What Price Goofy?” (1925); law office clerk Chase is pressured to wed a wealthy client in “Be Your Age” (1926), guest starring Oliver Hardy; comical chaos erupts in “Charley My Boy” (1926); and Chase plays twin brothers in “Mama Behave” (1926). Also includes “Innocent Husbands,” “Isn’t Life Terrible?,” “April Fool,” “Bromo And Juliet,” “Dog Shy,” “Long Fliv The King,” “Mighty Like A Moose,” and “Mum’s The Word.”

The Girl from Jones Beach (1949)

Bob Randolph (Ronald Reagan) is a famous artist best known for his paintings of one particular gorgeous woman. But that woman doesn’t really exist. She’s actually an amalgamation of 12 different girls. When Bob sees beautiful schoolteacher Ruth Wilson (Virginia Mayo), he believes he’s met the gal who has all the qualities he’s looking for. The only problem is Ruth would rather be noticed for her smarts and not her sex appeal. Eddie Bracken, Dona Drake also star in this upbeat comedy.

The Incredible Mel Brooks: An Irresistible Collection of Unhinged Comedy

In tribute to over six decades of delivering irreverent comedy to audiences the world over, this set boasts a rib-tickling roster of great moments throughout the long career of the legendary writer/director/star. “I Thought I Was Taller: A Short History Of Mel Brooks” (1981) offers the BBC’s overview of his classic films prior to the release of “History of the World, Part I”; Dick Cavett conducts a hilarious new interview in “Brooks & Cavett: Together Again” (2011); the five-part “Mel And His Movies” (2012) gives an in-depth profile. Five-disc set also includes Brooks appearances on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” and “The Dick Cavett Show,” plus episodes of “Get Smart,” “When Things Were Rotten,” and “Mad About You,” as well as short films, rare clips, songs, and more. Includes a 52-page book.

The Amazing Spider-Man

Well-received reboot for the Marvel Comics screen franchise casts Andrew Garfield as gifted but troubled teenager Peter Parker, imbued with a spider’s abilities in the wake of a laboratory accident. Using his newfound powers to fight crime and probe the long-ago disappearance of his parents, he runs afoul of genetic researcher Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), whose self-experimentation leads to his becoming the monstrous Lizard. Emma Stone, Denis Leary, Sally Field, Martin Sheen also star.

A Carol Burnett Christmas

Here’s a collection of “Christmas Carols” to help you deck the halls with laughter! Four vintage holiday-themed specials from Carol Burnett’s late-’50s/early-’60s co-starring turns on “The Garry Moore Show” and “The Entertainers” feature the comedienne spreading Yuletide cheer with Julie Andrews, Art Buchwald, Bob Newhart, Gwen Verdon, Jonathan Winters, and others.

A Special Sesame Street Christmas

Nominated for an Emmy Award, this charming prime-time “Sesame Street” holiday special finds Oscar the Grouch assuming a Scrooge-like attitude as Christmas approaches. Special guest Leslie Uggams arranges to teach Oscar a Dickensian lesson with the help of “ghosts” Anne Murray, Imogene Coca, and Dick Smothers. Also includes appearances by Henry Fonda and Michael Jackson.

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams: Season One

All 13 episodes of the first season–including “Adam’s Cub,” “Howdy-Do, I’m Mad Jack,” “The Redemption of Ben,” “Home of the Hawk,” and “The Storm”–are featured in a four-disc set.

Bat Masterson: Complete Season One

All 37 episodes from the series’s debut season–including “Double Showdown,” “A Noose Fits Anybody,” “Sharpshooter,” the two-part “The Conspiracy,” and “Buffalo Kill”–are featured in a five-disc set.

Bat Masterson: Complete Season Two

All 37 episodes from the second season–including “To the Manor Born,” “Bat Plays a Dead Man’s Hand,” “Six Feet of Gold,” “Welcome to Paradise,” and “Barbary Castle”–are featured in a five-disc set.

Looney Tunes Super Stars: Porky & Friends

When it’s not wabbit season or duck season, fans of “Looney Tunes” can “pig out” with Porky! This compilation of 18 classic cartoons features some of Porky’s funniest outings, plus appearances by Elmer Fudd, Claude, and others. Includes “Wagon Heels,” “One Meat Brawl,” “Riff Raffy Daffy,” “Boobs In The Woods,” “Ant Pasted,” “Corn On The Cop,” and more.

Arthur Christmas

In this humorous computer-animated adventure, multiple generations of Santas figure in the hijinks surrounding the family’s job of delivering presents around the world. Can young Arthur Christmas (voiced by James McAvoy) rescue one child’s missing gift–overlooked by Steve (Hugh Laurie), the pushy new Claus in charge–by ditching their high-tech spaceship for an old-time sleigh and the help of his cantankerous grandpa (Bill Nighy)? Co-stars the voices of Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton.

George Washington

This epic look at the life of “The Father of His Country” follows Washington from his Virginia boyhood to his military heroics in the French and Indian Wars and his command of the colonial forces during the American Revolution. Barry Bostwick, Patty Duke Astin, Jaclyn Smith, Hal Holbrook, and Robert Stack star in the stirring TV mini-series.

Law & Order: The Eleventh Year

All 24 episodes from season 11–including “Endurance,” “Return,” “Teenage Wasteland,” “Ego,” and “Deep Vote”–are featured in a five-disc set.

Your Sister’s Sister

Still struggling with his brother’s death a year earlier, aimless thirtysomething Jack (Mark Duplass) takes up best friend Iris’ (Emily Blunt) offer of time alone at her family’s isolated cabin. Jack, however, is surprised to finds Iris’ sister Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), smarting from a break-up with her girlfriend, already there. The duo’s shared solace leads to a romantic encounter that is further complicated when Iris shows up, in writer/director Lynn Shelton’s raw and revealing seriocomedy.

The Voice of the Turtle

Based on John Van Druten’s stageplay, this sweet romantic comedy stars Ronald Reagan as a soldier on a weekend pass who gets stood up. His would-be date’s friend (Eleanor Parker), an aspiring actress, goes out with him instead and agrees to let him stay with her when he can’t wrangle a hotel room. Can they fight their growing attraction or will they give in to temptation? With Eve Arden, Wayne Morris, Kent Smith. AKA: “One For The Book.”

360

Loosely adapted from Arthur Schnitzler’s 1900 play “La Ronde,” director Fernando Meirelles’ (“City of God”) drama of disparate characters’ lives fatefully intersecting reveals humanity in all its fragility and desperation. As a married British couple (Jude Law, Rachel Weisz) struggle with infidelity, their actions impact others around the world, including an ex-convict (Ben Foster) and a father (Anthony Hopkins) searching for his daughter. With Lucia Siposova, Johannes Krisch.

Fire with Fire

A firefighter (Josh Duhamel) who witnesses a brutal convenience store murder is dispatched into a witness protection program when the killer he must testify against threatens his life. Even though FBI agents and federal marshals are on the job to protect him, his identity is uncovered and all around him are in danger-forcing Duhamel to learn new skills he’ll need to take lives rather than save them. Bruce Willis, Rosario Dawson co-star.

Fritz Lang: The Early Works

Fans of the renowned German director Fritz Lang are sure to devour this three-disc collection of early silent works! First, Lang works a variation on the “Madame Butterfly” story with “Harakiri” (1919), in which a young woman (Lil Dagover) pursued by a Buddhist monk (Georg John) considers the violent form of suicide after learning of the consequences of her affair with a Danish officer (Niels Prien). With Meinhart Maur, Kaete Juster. Next, in the romantic melodrama “Wandering Shadow” (1920), a woman (Mia May) inheriting the estate of her late husband flees to the wilderness when her brother-in-law decides he deserves the money. Hans Marr, Rudolf Klein-Rogge co-star. AKA: “The Moving Image,” “The Wandering Image.” Then, a husband’s mix-up causes melodramatic chaos in “Four Around A Woman” (1921), after he suspects one man of having slept with his wife, unaware he has a twin brother. Anton Edthofer, Hermann Bottcher star.

Kung Fu Panda Holiday

As China’s kung fu masters prepare to gather at the Jade Palace for a winter feast, Po (voiced by Jack Black) is put in charge of hosting the event by Master Chifu (Dustin Hoffman). Po’s failed effort to get his father (James Hong) to cook for the event results in Po having to shoulder the culinary burden himself! Co-stars the voices of Angelina Jolie, Seth Rogen, and Jack McBrayer.

They Live

Not only do they live, but they also run our society, control our businesses, and keep ordinary working stiffs like you and me docile through subliminal messages. When a drifter (Roddy Piper) learns that aliens have become Earth’s ruling class and that only special sunglasses can reveal their true form, he becomes determined to put an end to their sinister plans. Offbeat sci-fi allegory from scaremeister John Carpenter co-stars Meg Foster, Keith David.

Holiday Family Film Collection

Musically inclined insect Chester the cricket, joined by his pals Tucker the mouse and Harry the cat, team up to give New York a Christmas gift of song in Chuck Jones’ charming animated tale “A Very Merry Cricket” (1973). When a sleepy St. Nick crashes his sled in the African desert on Christmas Eve, some local children help him get back in the skies, in “Santa’s Christmas Crash” (1994). And a bear’s selfish wish puts Santa to sleep–and the holidays in jeopardy–in “Santa’s Christmas Snooze” (1995). Two-disc set also includes “The Littlest Angel” (1997), “The Littlest Angel’s Easter,” “O’ Christmas Tree,” “The Tangerine Bear: Home In Time For Christmas!,” and “Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest For Pappy.”

In the Heat of the Night: The Complete First Season

All seven episodes from the debut season–including the two-part “Pilot,” “Road Kill,” “Fate,” “A Necessary Evil,” and “…And Then You Die”–are featured in a five-disc set. Standard; Soundtrack: English; bonus TV-movie “In The Heat Of The Night: A Matter Of Justice” (1994).

Universal 100th Anniversary Collection

Twenty-five disc set includes “All Quiet On The Western Front” (1930), “Dracula” (1931), “Buck Privates,” “Pillow Talk,” “Spartacus” (1960), “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “The Birds,” “American Graffiti,” “The Sting,” “Jaws,” “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Scarface” (1983), “The Breakfast Club,” “Back To The Future,” “Out Of Africa,” “Field Of Dreams,” “Do The Right Thing,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List,” “Apollo 13,” “The Fast And The Furious” (2001), “The Bourne Identity” (2002), “Mamma Mia!,” and “Despicable Me.”

Christmas Around the World with Perry Como

Who better to share Yuletide joys with than the one and only “Mr. Christmas,” Perry Como? In this delightful compilation of TV specials from the ’70s and ’80s, Como is your guide to enjoying holiday celebrations all over the world, with sprinklings of beloved hymns, carols, and Christmas standards along the way. Includes guest stars Richard Chamberlain, Toni Tennille, Debby Boone, Dorothy Hamill, and John Wayne.

Christmas with the Chipmunks

Me? I want this compilation of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore’s greatest holiday-themed specials and episodes, including “A Chipmunk Christmas” (1981), “It’s A Wonderful Life, Dave” (1989), “Alvin’s Christmas Carol” (1989), and “A Chipmunk Celebration” (1994). “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late),” “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” and other festive favorites are performed throughout.

Vitaphone Comedy Collection, Vol. One: 1932-1934

This set of 19 two-reel comedies from the Warner vaults starts off with the half-dozen comeback-bid efforts headlined by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle before his untimely passing, with the balance featuring once-and-future third Stooge Shemp Howard. “In the Dough” (1932), “Hey, Pop!” (1932), “How’ve You Bean?” (1933), and “Close Relations” (1933) are amongst the titles collected on two discs.

Vitaphone Varities, Vol. Two

This set of 19 two-reel comedies from the Warner vaults starts off with the half-dozen comeback-bid efforts headlined by Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle before his untimely passing, with the balance featuring once-and-future third Stooge Shemp Howard. “In the Dough” (1932), “Hey, Pop!” (1932), “How’ve You Bean?” (1933), and “Close Relations” (1933) are amongst the titles collected on two discs.

Prep & Landing/Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice

The Emmy-winning holiday special “Prep & Landing” concerns a high-tech team of elves from Santa Claus’ prestigious Prep and Landing unit. After being passed over for a promotion, veteran elf Wayne is partnered with idealistic rookie Lanny. Tasked with prepping homes across the globe for Santa’s visit, the unlikely pals discover that it’s up to them to save Christmas. Then, in “Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice,” lovable elves Wayne and Lanny race to recover a piece of North Pole technology that has fallen into the hands of a kid who has landed on Santa’s naughty list. Will the offbeat pair be able to stop the computer-hacking tyke in order to save Christmas? Fun-filled adventure features the voices of Dave Foley, Sarah Chalke, Derek Richardson.

Sesame Street: Old School, Vol. 3: 1979 – 1984

“Sesame Street” magic from 1979-84 is on display with this third collection of marvelous moments from the renowned children’s program. The two-disc compilation features classic segments such as Maria’s birthday in Puerto Rico; Gordon and Mr. Snuffleupagus teaming up to run the New York City marathon; and more. Come and play, everything’s A-OK!

That Hagen Girl

Shirley Temple stars in this adaptation of Edith Kneipple Roberts’ novel as Mary Hagen, an adopted girl from a small Ohio town who has long been the subject of gossip regarding the identity of her real parents. When attorney Tom Bates (Ronald Reagan) returns to town after many years, the rumor mill kicks into high gear as everyone starts to believe he’s Mary’s father. Drama co-stars Rory Calhoun, Lois Maxwell, Conrad Janis.

Entourage: The Complete Series

Eighteen-disc set includes the complete seasons 1-8 of “Entourage.”

Narrow Escapes of World War II

Experience Allied raids on the Japanese Home Islands and the Amiens prison, as well as the Siege of Kohima and other turning points of World War II with this bold, 13-part British documentary series produced for the Military Channel. Combining detailed maps with dramatic re-creations and insights from military experts, the series depicts some of the most hair-raising Allied and Axis missions during the war.

Dick Tracy: Complete Serial Collection

Eight-disc set includes “Dick Tracy” (1937), “Dick Tracy Returns,” “Dick Tracy’s G-Men,” and “Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc.”

Mary Pickford: Rags & Riches Collection

In the first of her “child roles,” a 24-year-old Mary Pickford is “The Poor Little Rich Girl” (1917), a lonely 11-year-old neglected by her wealthy parents until a health scare unites the family. Maurice Tourneur’s effective melodrama, highlighted by a surreal nightmare sequence, co-stars Madeline Traverse, Charles Wellesley. Next, to be near her sociologist dad, a spoiled Mary leaves her grandfather’s Fifth Avenue mansion and moves to a crime-plagued East Side tenement in “The Hoodlum” (1919), with Ralph Lewis and Kenneth Harlan. Three-disc set also includes “Sparrows.” 4 1/4 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: music score; audio commentary; outtakes; interview; bonus short “Ramona” (1910); more.

For details and availability of more of this week’s new releases, click here.

Here’s a look at last week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases.