New releases on DVD, Blu-ray
Updated: August 14, 2012 6:48PM
NEW THIS WEEK
THE RAID: REDEMPTION
★ ★ ★1/2
Rated: R for strong, bloody violence, throughout, and for language
Stars: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy
Insane, hyper-kinetic, brutal and bloody, “The Raid: Redemption” trumps every other action film in recent memory for pure, non-stop, main-line cinematic mayhem. Writer/director Gareth Evans somehow manages to up the adrenaline ante floor-by-floor as new recruit Uwais fights his way up a 15-story Jakarta apartment building after his invading SWAT team has been wiped out, to capture drug-lord Sahetapy — his only means of escape. The fact that it also has a little bit of plot thrown in can be seen as a bonus or a bore, depending on your predilection.
THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS: BLU-RAY DEBUT
★ ★ ★1/2
Rated: R for some language, sexuality/nudity and drug content
Stars: Gene Hackman, Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson
Probably the most amusing painful-family-drama you’ll ever see. Former child prodigies — are you wincing yet? — Stiller, Paltrow (less recognizable here than in a fat suit in “Shallow Hal”) and Luke Wilson grudgingly reunite in their family home after years of disappointment and failure when their outrageous scoundrel of a dad (Gene Hackman in a wonderful role) announces he’s going to die at long last. The quirky, deadpan humor isn’t for everyone but this is still an impressive follow-up to writer/director Wes Anderson’s cult hit “Rushmore.” Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson and Danny Glover also are featured. Extras include commentary by Anderson behind-the-scenes footage, outtakes and deleted scenes and a making-of featurette by veteran documentarian Albert Maysles.
GROSSE POINTE BLANK: BLU-RAY DEBUT
★ ★ ★
Rated: R for strong violence, language and some drug content
Stars: John Cusack, Joan Cusack, Dan Aykroyd, Alan Arkin, Minnie Driver
A surprisingly light and charming black comedy (well, perhaps not so surprising considering the cast) about a former CIA agent turned assassin (Cusack) taking time-off from a hit to attend his 10th high-school reunion. Cusack (who co-wrote the script with old-friends and New Crime theater co-founders D.V. DeVincentis and Steve Pink) is perfect as the yuppie contract killer having an early mid-life crisis, while attempting to reconnect with his high-school sweetheart (Driver) and elude a competitor (Aykroyd) who wants him to join an assassin’s union. But Arkin steals the show as Cusack’s extremely nervous psychiatrist: “Why don’t you try not killing somebody for a few days? Just to see how it feels.”
★ ★ ★
Rated: PG for brief mild language
Stars: Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Betty White, Ed Helms
The “Despicable Me” team takes Dr. Seuss’s environmentalist fable “The Lorax” (tediously adapted for TV in 1972) and manages to turn a fairly heavy-handed moral lesson about greed, consumerism and runaway capitalism into thoroughly enjoyable entertainment. DeVito is ideal voicing the feisty guardian of a forest being systematically destroyed by the young, blinded-by-ambition Once-ler (Helms). Extras include a “Let it Grow” sing-along, a “Seuss it Up!” drawing tutorial and a deleted scene.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
ART IS. . .THE PERMANENT REVOLUTION
A documentary making a case for graphic art and printmaking being a catalyst for social and political change through the centuries, featuring work in progress by three contemporary artists and a master printer, along with historical works by the likes of Rembrandt, Goya, Daumier, Grosz and Picasso.
CHUGGINGTON: TRAINTASTIC ADVENTURES
Six episodes of the CGI-animated kids’ TV series featuring the humorous adventures of train engines Koko, Wilson and Brewster.
THE FORSYTE SAGA COLLECTION
The complete, unedited UK broadcast edition, including the 2002 and 2003 mini-series dramatizing the history of a bitterly divided family, based on John Galsworthy’s epic novels. Extras include a Galsworthy bio and booklist, photo galleries and a making-of featurette.
INVENTING OUR LIFE: THE KIBBUTZ EXPERIMENT
This documentary reveals the hope and heartbreak of Israel’s communal-living model during its 100-year history.
The 1996 breakthrough feature of Belgian filmmakers Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne (“Rosetta,” “L’enfant,” “Kid with a Bike”) about a teenager’s growing awareness that his father makes his living by exploiting illegal aliens, gets the Criterion Collection treatment. In addition to a new hi-def restoration, extras include a conversation with the Dardenne Brothers, interviews with featured actors, a trailer and an essay booklet.
MASTER QI AND THE MONKEY KING
A documentary on the life and work of Qi Shu Fang, a master of Chinese Opera living in the United States.
TONIGHT YOU’RE MINE
Two feuding rock stars (Luke Treadaway and Natalia Tena) are handcuffed together for 24 hours during a music festival. David Mackenzie (“Spread”) directed the romantic comedy. Rated R for language and some sexual material.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK:
Season one, volume one of the new “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” reboot comes on strong while Sacha Baron Cohen comes on strongly distasteful in “The Dictator Banned and Unrated” and “Adventures of Tintin” comes on cartoonish and courageous in the 1993 animated series.