RushEnough SaidRiddickShort Term 12The Spectacular NowLee Daniels' The ButlerCarrieFruitvale Station
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New on Blu-ray & DVD: January 14, 2014
Chris Hemsworth has a need for speed in Rush; the late James Gandolfini charms in Enough Said; Vin Diesel is back as Riddick; Brie Larson impresses in Short Term 12 and The Spectacular Now; Oprah steals Lee Daniels' The Butler, Carrie, Fruitvale Station and more in this week's new releases.
God of Thunder Chris Hemsworth feels a whole new electricity in this intense Formula 1 biopic from Oscar-winning director/producer duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Set against the sexy, glamorous and spectacular golden age of Formula 1 racing, Rush recreates the merciless 1970s rivalry between Grand Prix racers James Hunt (Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl), a charismatic English playboy and a methodical Austrian perfectionist, respectively, whose clashes on the racetrack epitomized the contrast between their extraordinary personalities and pushed them to the physical and psychological breaking point. Olivia Wilde and Alexandra Maria Lara also star.
20th Century Fox
The late James Gandolfini is charming and lovable in this romantic comedy about empty nests and moving on in life. Starring opposite Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said casts the former The Sopranos star as Albert, who starts dating Julia's massage therapist, Eva, a single and divorced parent whose daughter is headed to college. Eva also unwittingly befriends Albert's ex-wife, Marianne (Catherine Keener), and slowly begins to learn all of his vices -- prompting her to doubt their relationship. Can Albert and Eva possibly make it work without having the past spoil the present? Also starring Toni Collette, Ben Falcone, Eve Hewson, Tavi Gevinson and Tracey Fairaway.
Fast & Furious star Vin Diesel returns for a third time to his Riddick character for a new, action-packed sci-fi adventure. Following 2000's Pitch Black and 2004's The Chronicles of Riddick, our favorite anti-hero now finds himself stranded on an alien planet and up against an alien race of predators. Activating an emergency beacon, he catches the attention of two passing ships – one carrying a new breed of mercenary, and the other captained by a man from Riddick's past. Also co-produced by Diesel, the Riddick cast includes Karl Urban, Katee Sackhoff, Bokeem Woodbine, Dave Bautista, Jordi Molla and Matt Nable.
Lee Daniels' The Butler
This incredible period film charts the life and observations of Cecil Gaines, a butler (played by Forest Whitaker) serving under eight American Presidents over the course of three decades, and features an all-star cast that includes Oprah Winfrey as Cecil's wife, Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, John Cusack as Richard Nixon, Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, James Marsden as JFK, Minka Kelly as Jackie Kennedy, Liev Shreiber as Lyndon Johnson, plus Lenny Kravitz, Alex Pettyfer, Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Mariah Carey. The film is inspired by the real-life story of White House butler Eugene Allen.
The Spectacular Now
Based on Tim Tharp's wonderful novel, this charming and intelligent coming-of-age story stars Miles Teller as Sutter Keely, a charismatic teen who hides some secret pain as he parties through the end of high school with no goals beyond enjoying The Spectacular Now. But his girlfriend (played by Brie Larson) has loftier goals and leaves him behind, opening him up to have some unlikely fun with brainy, optimistic Aimee (played by Shailene Woodley) in her first true relationship. Are they good for each other, or will Sutter ruin everything that he touches? Delivering some of the most relatable and authentic performances of the year, The Spectacular Now DVD and Blu-ray offers more deleted scenes, audio commentary with director James Ponsoldt, and a four-part making-of featurette.
Parks and Recreation stars Adam Scott and Amy Poehler join an all-star roster in this hilarious divorce comedy -- A.C.O.D. stands for Adult Children of Divorce – that follows Scott's character, Carter, a successful and well-adjusted adult as he attempts to reunite his bitterly divorced parents (Richard Jenkins and Catherine O'Hara) for the sake of his younger brother's (Clark Duke) somewhat abrupt wedding plans. Despite having a solid relationship with his supportive girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), Carter finds distraction in another woman (Jessica Alba) and the chaos of the whole situation threatens to derail his sanity. Poehler plays the young wife of Carter's father who is pretty much the same age as him, and Jane Lynch adds additional comic relief as a therapist who uses Carter's case as fodder for her books.
Short Term 12
Brie Larson stuns in an award-winning role as Grace, a twentysomething supervisor at a group home for troubled teens. Passionate about her job and in love with her long-term boyfriend and co-worker (John Gallagher Jr.), she nonetheless toes the line between the objective and subjective with the arrival of a new girl at the facility whose own problems stir deep-rooted issues in Grace. Can Grace come to terms with her own issues and let in the ones that love her? Or will her complications drive her to the brink?
Based on the real-life, tragic tale of the death of Oscar Grant at the hand of a Bay Area policeman on New Year's Eve, Fruitvale Station follows the events of Grant's (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) day leading up to the shocking incident, and how his efforts to start turning his way of life around were derailed permanently. Grant was fatally shot in the back by a BART officer at the Fruitvale Station platform in the wake of a scuffle on New Year's Eve, 2008. Written and directed by Ryan Coogler, Fruitvale Station also stars Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz and Ariana Neal.
Thief on Criterion Blu-ray
Director Michael Mann's stylish, first theatrical feature gets the Criterion treatment! James Caan delivers one of his most riveting performances as an ex-con safecracker with plans to ditch the criminal world after one final diamond heist. Of course, escape is never so simple. Michael Mann's neon rain-slick streets and neon look tease his unique style in later hits such as Miami Vice, Manhunter and Heat. The newly restored, director-approved dual format Thief Blu-ray & DVD includes audio commentary with Mann and Caan; new interviews with Mann, Caan, and Johannes Schmoelling of the soundtrack artists Tangerine Dream; a booklet featuring an essay by critic Nick James and more.
Kate Bosworth is directed by new hubby Michael Polish in this unique study of famed Beat author Jack Kerouac. Attempting to grapple with the pressures of sudden fame and too much alcohol, Kerouac escapes to an isolated cabin in the Big Sur woods, only to be derailed by his own inner demons, setting off on a visceral collision course of paranoia, sex, delirium tremens, misery and madness. Jean-Marc Barr, Josh Lucas, Stana Katic, Anthony Edwards and Radha Mitchell co-star.
Chloe Grace Moretz busts out her telekinetic best as Carrie in this new take on the Stephen King classic. Carrie follows the events that occur when a timid teen -- shunned by her peers and sheltered by her overprotective, deeply religious mother (played by Julianne Moore) -- discovers that she has telekinetic powers and unleashes terror on her small town after being pushed too far at the senior prom. The film is directed by Kimberly Pierce.
20 Feet from Stardom
The unsung voices of rock, pop and R&B finally get their due in this director Morgan Neville's award-winning documentary, which shines the spotlight on the untold stories of such legendary background singers as Lisa Fischer, Darlene Love and Judith Hill as well as Merry Clayton, Claudia Lennear and more, who have backed up the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder and Bette Midler. The rousing 20 Feet from Stardom also includes archival footage of music legends Michael Jackson, Ray Charles and Luther Vandross, and bonus features included on the Blu-ray and DVD include deleted scenes, a Q&A with Darlene, Merry, Lisa and the director, plus feature-length commentary and the short film The Buddy System.
Pride & Prejudice: Keepsake Edition
The Pride and Prejudice: Keepsake Edition is here! The adaptation of Jane Austen's most popular novel, written 200 years ago, transports viewers to Georgian England, where affairs of the heart are an exquisite game for high society members and marriage is the ultimate prize. The free-spirited Elizabeth Bennet (played by Ehle) is determined to play by her own rules and marry for love, not wealth or privilege -- but will sparring with the arrogant Mr. Darcy (played by Firth) prove to yield misfortune, or true love? The Pride and Prejudice: Keepsake Edition on Blu-ray and DVD includes never-before-released bonus material including a featurette celebrating the bi-centennial of the classic Austen novel.