New On DVD This Week: Upstairs, Downstairs, The Civil War, Mad Men, Treme, Tangled

by | April 2, 2011 at 4:22 PM | TV News

Upstairs, Downstairs: The Complete Collection

The most popular and successful British drama series in television history, ‘Upstairs, Downstairs Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Edition‘ is now available on DVD from Acorn Media, featuring more than 25 hours of never-before-seen extras and collectible packaging with gold foil. Winner of seven Emmy Awards, two BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody, Upstairs, Downstairs tells the epic saga of life in Edwardian England. The series inspired the recent hit Downton Abbey and the highly-anticipated BBC revival starring Jean Marsh in her original role begins on PBS’ Masterpiece on April 10th. The beloved ITV drama series captivated viewers for five heart-tugging, humorous and satisfying seasons from 1971 to 1975 and has been seen by a billion people in 40 countries worldwide. The 21-disc collection contains all five series, in addition to a 5-part behind-the-scenes documentary, 24 episode commentaries, 25th anniversary retrospective, interviews with the stars and creators, subtitles, and much more. Buy the complete series right here.

The Civil War

2011 marks the 150th anniversary of the beginning of America’s most destructive conflict— the Civil War. Arguably the most significant event in the history of the United States, the war divided the country and ultimately created a nation. To mark the historic occasion, now available is a new 150th Anniversary Edition of celebrated filmmaker Ken Burns’s acclaimed epic documentary ‘The Civil War.’ The documentary won numerous awards including an Emmy, Peabody, People’s Choice and two Grammy Awards. The new six-disc set includes a bonus disc with never-before-seen interviews with Shelby Foote, and a new interview with Ken Burns himself, plus a companion collector’s booklet. With digitally enhanced images, here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one. Ken Burns’s nine-part series took nearly six years to complete — longer than the Civil War itself — and has been hailed as a masterpiece of historical storytelling. Buy the Commemorative Edition DVD right here.

Mad Men

Mad Men‘ Season 4 contains all 13 episodes of the season, which first aired in Summer 2010, and is packed with hours of special features including extensive commentaries and innovative featurettes. From AMC and creator Matthew Weiner, this ground-breaking series is about the ego-driven and glamorous “Golden Age” of advertising. On the heels of a game-changing Season 3 finale when Don Draper’s professional and personal lives unexpectedly imploded, Season 4 continues to focus on Jon Hamm and the rest of the breakout ensemble as they grapple with an uncertain new reality and new possibilities. Buy the Season 4 DVD right here.

Treme

From the creators of the acclaimed HBO series ‘The Wire’ comes ‘Treme,’ a riveting drama set in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the greatest natural disaster in American history. Interweaving stories of musicians and other city residents who are trying to rebuild their lives, the series speaks to the enduring power of music and cultural traditions that make its citizens, and the city itself, so unique. Bonus materials include engaging stories about the vibrant culture and music that makes New Orleans so distinctive among American cities. Get caught up now before the Season 2 premiere on HBO on April 24th. Buy the Season 1 Blu-ray right here.

Black Swan

‘Black Swan’ follows the story of Nina (Oscar winner Natalie Portman), a ballerina in the New York City Ballet trying to make it to the top. When artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) decides to replace prima ballerina Beth MacIntyre (Winona Ryder) for the opening production of their new season, Swan Lake, Nina is his first choice. But a new dancer, Lily (Mila Kunis), also impresses Leroy and becomes Nina’s competition. Nina fits the White Swan role perfectly with her innocence and grace, but Lily is the personification of the Black Swan with her fiery personality. As the two young dancers expand their rivalry into a twisted friendship, Nina begins to get more in touch with her dark side with a recklessness that threatens to destroy her. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Tangled

When the kingdom’s most wanted-and most charming-bandit, Flynn Rider, hides out in a mysterious tower, he’s taken hostage by Rapunzel, a beautiful and feisty tower-bound teen with 70 feet of magical, golden hair in the Disney smash ‘Tangled.’ Flynn’s curious captor, who’s looking for her ticket out of the tower where she’s been locked away for years, strikes a deal with the handsome thief, and the unlikely duo sets off on an escapade, complete with a super-cop horse, an over-protective chameleon and a gruff gang of pub thugs. Buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack right here.

The Ten Commandments

For sheer pageantry and spectacle, few motion pictures can claim to equal the splendor of renowned director Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 epic ‘The Ten Commandments.’ To commemorate the 55th anniversary of this beloved masterpiece, a fully restored version in high definition for the first time ever in an extravagant six-disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo gift set, as well as in a two-disc Blu-ray and two-disc DVD, is now available. DeMille’s last motion picture made Charlton Heston a superstar and remains a cinematic triumph and perennial fan-favorite. Filmed in Egypt and the Sinai with one of the biggest sets ever constructed for a motion picture, ‘The Ten Commandments’ tells the story of the life of Moses (Heston). Once favored in the Pharaoh’s (Yul Brynner) household, Moses turned his back on a privileged life to lead his people to freedom. With a rare on-screen introduction by Cecil B. DeMille, this unforgettable movie experience is sure to be enjoyed and treasured by the entire family for years to come. The Blu-ray/DVD Combo gift set comes packaged in a stunning limited edition box featuring an image of the Red Sea that parts when the box is opened to reveal two tablets, which encase all six discs in the set. The set also includes a commemorative photo and archive book, a new 75-minute, in-depth documentary about the film and its impact, original costume sketches, the 1923 silent film The Ten Commandments (also available for the first time on Blu-ray), international premiere photos, production notes from Cecil B. DeMille. Buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo gift set right here.

All Good Things

The wealthy heir to a prominent real-estate magnate becomes caught up in a high-profile murder investigation in ‘All Good Things,’ a thriller inspired by the real-life case of Robert Durst, who was suspected of murdering his wife, Kathie, after she vanished without a trace in 1982. Warned by his father (Frank Langella) that the common girl (Kirsten Dunst) he loves will never be accepted into high society, the young scion (Ryan Gosling) throws caution to the wind and marries her regardless. Buy the DVD right here.

Vega$

The action-packed detective drama ‘Vega$,’ set in Sin City, is back with the Season 2, Volume 2 DVD. The 3-disc DVD set includes the second season’s last 11 action-packed and cool episodes starring Robert Urich as the charismatic and handsome detective Dan Tanna as he drives around Vegas in his vintage Thunderbird solving private cases with the help of his loyal staff. Buy the Season 2, Volume 2 DVD right here.

Anything Goes

From 1950 to 1955, every Sunday night The Colgate Comedy Hour presented live musical variety television featuring the top names in vaudeville, theater, radio and film. On February 28, 1954, the famed show broke from its usual variety show format to broadcast a specially staged production of the Cole Porter musical comedy ‘Anything Goes.’ This one-time-only live performance featured Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman making their television acting debuts, accompanied by Bert Lahr and Sheree North. Entertainment One presents this historic production on a special edition DVD, digitally re-mastered from Ethel Merman’s personal kinescope print – now available. The release also features a newly recorded interview with musical director Buddy Bregman and a 20-page booklet with written contributions from musical theatre writer Stephen Cole. Buy the DVD here.

Valley of the Dinosaurs

During a rafting excursion of an uncharted river canyon, Professor John Butler, wife Kim, kids Katie and Greg and family dog Digger get caught up in a mysterious whirlpool and resurface in a world of prehistoric creatures in the unforgettable classic cartoon ‘Valley of the Dinosaurs.’ Now everyday is an exercise in survival for the adventurous Butler family. They befriend a helpful cave-dwelling family and together must contend with an angry brontosaurus and a dangerous sabertooth tiger – and don’t forget the earthquakes and volcanoes! Any time the family can spare is spent building a boat or radio in hopes of finding their way back to the modern era in this 2-Disc, 16-Episode Collection of the exciting animated series Valley of the Dinosaurs. Buy the complete series exclusively at WBshop.com.

Apocalypse: World War II

The filmed record of The Last Great War is vast, but more than 65 years following World war II, most of the documentaries and images have been seen – until now. ‘Apocalypse: World War II’ is a landmark documentary series which provides an in-depth and uncensored examination of the Second World War through the eyes of those who lived through it. It was drawn from over 600 hours of footage including home movies from soldiers and civilians. Using this archival footage – most of it previously unseen and now colorized – the 5+ hour series takes a very human look at the enormity of the conflict through the eyes of the people that experienced it. Buy the DVD right here.

The Restaurateur

The intimate documentary ‘The Restaurateur’ follows Danny Meyer, one of America’s preeminent restaurant owners, over a 12 year span as he struggles to open not one but two ambitious restaurants next to New York’s Madison Square Park. Tabla and Eleven Madison Park, if successful, will join Union Square Café and Gramercy Tavern as the jewels in Meyer’s crown. We follow the restaurateur and his team as they experience gut-wrenching construction delays, missed deadlines, and the firing of a chef. We visit Tabla’s chef Floyd Cardoz in his tiny home kitchen where he creates his now classic watermelon curry. We’re there as chef Kerry Heffernan takes over Eleven Madison Park just weeks before opening, and then later, after a countrywide search, when Daniel Humm is hired, leading to a coveted four star review from the New York Times, one of only six restaurants to be so honored. Danny Meyer bares all in this portrait. Watching him and his inner circle, we witness first-hand how difficult it is to create a world-class restaurant. Buy the DVD right here.

King Of Kings

Jeffrey Hunter, Rita Gam, Harry Guardino, Rip Torn and Robert Ryan star in ‘King of Kings,’ which is widely regarded as one of the finest cinematic retellings of the life of Jesus Christ and is now brought to life as never before on Blu-ray. The film was directed by Nicholas Ray (‘Rebel Without a Cause’) and produced by Samuel Bronston and tells the life of Jesus Christ, from the Nativity to the Resurrection, and His sacrifice for humanity. The criminal figure of Barabbas is featured prominently. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Beneath The Dark

A dark road, a sleepy driver, a motel looming out of the night. ‘Beneath the Dark‘ takes those classic thriller elements and weaves a disturbing and compelling tale of love and the nightmare grip of ghosts from our past. Starring Jamie-Lynn Sigler of ‘The Sopranos,’ this creepy mystery is now available on DVD. In the impressive writing-directing debut of Chad Feehan, Sigler and co-star Josh Stewart deliver intense performances as young couple Adrienne and Paul, who, while driving from Texas to a Los Angeles wedding, barely avert a serious accident and take refuge in a roadside motel in the desolate Mojave Desert. Immediately upon checking in at the strangely stylish Roy’s Motel and Cafe, the couple senses something odd about the mysterious desk clerk and his sultry blonde wife. In fact, the handful of people holed up at this inn in the middle of nowhere all seem a bit weird, especially that stranger who somehow knows Adrienne and Paul’s most closely guarded secrets. Buy the DVD right here.

The Resident

Juliet (Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank), a beautiful doctor, has found the perfect New York apartment to start a new life after separating from her husband. It’s got spacious rooms, a spectacular view, and a handy, handsome landlord. But there are secrets behind every wall and terror in every room as Juliet gets the unnerving feeling that she is not alone. She is being watched. She is being stalked. And no one is safe when she discovers the relentless horror on her doorstep. But how do you stop an evil that you can’t see…until it’s too late? Jeffrey Dean Morgan and screen legend Christopher Lee costar in this pulse-pounding shocker from famed horror studio Hammer Films (Let Me In). Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Charlton Heston Presents: The Bible

The stories were told through the generations, stories of what had happened and what was to come. Academy Award winner Heston (Best Actor for 1959′s ‘Ben-Hur’) takes viewers to authentic Holy Land locales, drawing on the King James text and his remarkable storytelling skills to narrate these inspiring tales rooted in faith in ‘Charlton Heston Presents: The Bible.’ Genesis: In the beginning. Revisit the wonder of creation, the story of Adam and Eve, the time of Noah, the Great Flood and more. The Story of Moses: I have been a stranger in a strange land. The clashes with Pharaoh, the Exodus and Red Sea’s parting, the 10 Commandments – all part of the tale of the leader and lawgiver. Jesus of Nazareth: For unto you is born this day. Explore His ministry, miracles and message against backdrops that include the Jordan River, the Mount of the Beatitudes and more. The Passion: Peace be unto you. The Garden of Gethsemane, the Via Dolorosa and other sites provide settings for a powerful exploration of Jesus’s trial, crucifixion and resurrection. Buy the DVD right here.

The Owls

Ten years ago, The Screech was the hottest lesbian band around. But the mighty musicians have fallen into obscurity and unanticipated turmoil. Iris dreams of a comeback and drinks too much. MJ is her ex, but neither of them can quite let go. Former bandmate Lily and her partner Carol aren’t getting along – so, naturally, they’re trying to have a child together in ‘The Owls.’ When a pool party goes horribly wrong, a shocking event knocks these longtime friends and lovers even further out of orbit. Generations collide with dangerous results for these Older, Wiser Lesbians or “OWLs.” Buy the DVD right here.

Dennis the Menace

Jay North stars as the well meaning youngster Dennis Mitchell, who loves his dog Ruff and neighbor’s dog Freemont, can’t seem to avoid trouble in the classic ‘Dennis the Menace.’ Whenever Dennis tries to help anyone, he always makes a mess of things. Based on the long-running, popular comic strip by Hank Ketcham, the beloved classic television series Dennis the Menace chronicles the humorous misadventures of Dennis, as his youthful curiosity always managed to get him into heap of trouble, especially with his grumpy neighbor Mr. Wilson. Dennis’ parents Henry and Alice Mitchell were always on hand with love and patience but not necessarily the required supervision. Starring Jay North, Herbert Anderson, Gloria Henry, Joseph Kerns and Sylvia Field, Dennis the Menace celebrates the innocence and simple joy of suburban childhood from the 50s and 60s. In addition to the Mitchells – Dennis, Henry and Alice – this iconic classic TV series featured an unforgettable supporting cast including Dennis’ pal and classmate Tommy Anderson (Billy Booth) and Margaret Wade (Jeannie Russell), a neighborhood girl with a crush on Dennis. Buy the Season 1 DVD right here.

The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It

Millions of people from Allied countries fought to liberate Europe from Hitler’s grip during World War II . Yet 40,000 Americans refused to shoulder weapons in “the good war.” Narrated by Ed Asner, ‘The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It‘ tells the story of a previously ignored chapter of WWII – the American conscientious objectors who refused to fight. It is a story of personal courage, idealism and nonconformity based on both ethical and religious beliefs – about men whose love of country could not extend to killing their fellow man. Many were Quakers or others whose religious beliefs interpreted the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” to include war; others were passionate pacifists who felt morally incapable of cooperating with a violent conflict, no matter how worthy the cause. All lived with the scorn of a nation, and often family and friends as well. While it has been more than half a century since WWII , this particular war story has been almost entirely lost to history until now. Buy the DVD right here.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

Enjoying astonishing (and well-deserved) popularity at a time in TV history when dramatic programs trafficking in “family values” were few and far between, ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman‘ was also one of the last of that hardy breed known as the TV Western. Set in Colorado Springs, CO, in the years just following the Civil War, the weekly, 60-minute series starred Jane Seymour as Michaela “Mike” Quinn, one of a handful of women doctors west of the Mississippi (or anywhere else!) during the second half of the 19th century. After the death of her father and medical partner, Dr. Mike left her hometown of Boston to set up practice in the hardscrabble village of Colorado Springs. Buy the Season 1, 2 and 3 DVDs.

Fair Game

From the director of ‘The Bourne Identity’ comes ‘Fair Game,’ the riveting thriller inspired by the experiences of real-life CIA officer Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts). When Plame’s retired ambassador husband Joe Wilson (Sean Penn) writes a newspaper article challenging the basis for the U.S. war on Iraq, the White House leaks Plame’s undercover status—leaving her international contacts vulnerable, her career in shambles and her life in danger. Crackling with sharp dialogue, gripping intrigue and heart-pounding suspense, Fair Game is the adventure that’s so unbelievable, it can only be real. Buy the DVD right here.

The Genius of Design

Fun, fast-paced and always informative, ‘The Genius of Design’ is now available on DVD and explores the personalities and technology that shape our modern life. From the creators of the award-winning series The Genius of Photography and broadcast on the Smithsonian Channel in fall 2010, this in-depth BBC documentary series celebrates the discipline that shapes the world’s environment, economy, and culture and traces the history of design from the Industrial Revolution to the present. With spotlights on industrial design giants, such as Braun electronics, Ford, and Apple, this fascinating five-part documentary examines the art and science of design and the stuff it shapes –- from computer chips to cityscapes and everything in between. Buy the DVD right here.

Heaven Ain’t Hard to Find

Find out if prayer can deliver a soul in ‘Heaven Ain’t Hard to Find,’ a star-studded, new gospel-themed comedy, now available on DVD. When a troubled young man on the run from the law (Andre Pitre) stumbles upon a beautiful young woman (Kym Whitley) and three eccentric sanctified spirits trying to save the First Greater Saint New Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church from a land developer, anything can and does happen in this soulful new urban drama. Buy the DVD right here.

The Cosmos: A Beginner Guide

The captivating BBC documentary series ‘The Cosmos: A Beginner’s Guide’ reveals revolutionary discoveries about the universe’s composition, history and origin. Affable presenter Adam Hart-Davis explores how technology is shaping our understanding of the universe, while making these findings accessible and fun with compelling presenters and superb 3-D recreations. Seen on the BBC in 2007 and available to U.S. audiences for the first time with its DVD release, this eye-opening, six-part series shows how leading scientists are using ingenious tools to achieve breakthroughs in understanding the stars, planets, and our place among them. Buy the DVD right here.

The Capture of the Green River Killer

Told through the eyes of a young runaway, the Lifetime Movie Network miniseries ‘The Capture of the Green River Killer‘ details how fate, bad luck and unwise choices led to Helen “Hel” Remus’ (Amy Davidson) encounter with the notorious serial killer. Leading the hunt for the murderer is Sheriff David Reichert (Tom Cavanaugh), who becomes so entangled in the case that he’s willing to risk his family and career to find justice for the slain girls. Buy the DVD right here.

Husk

Based on the acclaimed Sundance Film Festival short, terror reigns amidst the cornfields in ‘Husk,’ a supernatural game of cat and mouse. when crows collide with the windshield of their car, a young group of friends are left stranded next to a desolate cornfield. The friends seek out help from the single-standing farmhouse they see, but quickly figure out that the only solace they have are each other when the house they have stumbled upon is actually the center of the supernatural. Buy the DVD right here.

Highway to Heaven

Highway to Heaven‘ starred Michael Landon and was a huge success for both the star and NBC. Landon, who also functioned as executive producer and (sometimes) writer/director, was cast as Jonathan Smith, a “probational” angel. In life, Smith had been a lawyer named Arthur Morton, who, at the time of his death at age 38 in 1948, was an aloof and unfulfilled human being. As an angel, Smith was sent to earth to bring love, harmony, and understanding to people undergoing severe problems — and in so doing, our hero learned a lot about his own potential for goodness and compassion. Buy the Season 1 DVD right here.

Imax: Hubble

In May 2009, the crew of the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched a mission to make vital repairs and upgrades to the Hubble Space Telescope, the world’s first space-based optical telescope. Check it out in ‘Imax: Hubble.’ An IMAXÒ camera captured stunning footage of the five intricate spacewalks required, as well as close-up images of the effort to grasp the orbiting telescope with the shuttle’s mechanical arm at 17,000 MPH – and an unexpected problem that could sabotage the entire mission. Hubble combines this breathtaking material with images taken during the 20 years it has been our window into space. Through advanced computer visualization, Hubble’s detailed data becomes a series of scientifically realistic flights that unfold on screen like a guided tour of the universe, through time and space. Buy the DVD right here.

Teenage Paparazzo

Actor Adrian Grenier of ‘Entourage’ fame explores his relationship with a 14-year old paparazzo who took his picture and interviews other celebrities about the culture of fame in ‘Teenage Paparazzo.’ Buy the DVD right here.

One Week

Joshua Jackson gives a charming performance as Ben, an aimless young elementary schoolteacher who learns he has cancer a few weeks before his marriage to Samantha in ‘One Week.’ He’s told he has “maybe two years, maybe one week” to live and decides to pursue the cross-country adventure he has always dreamed of. The fortuitous intervention of a used motorcycle and a Tim Horton’s coffee cup advising him “Go west, young man,” inspires him to set off across Canada, from Toronto to British Columbia, in search of – well, Ben isn’t sure. Buy the DVD right here.

Prowl

What’s intended to be a brief escape from their small town turns deadly for a group of friends in ‘Prowl.’ While en route to the city to apartment hunt, their car breaks down and leaves the friends stranded on the side of the road. They are able to hitch a ride in the back of a cargo truck but when the driver later refuses to stop, the friends realize they are stowed away with hundreds of cartons of blood. Buy the DVD right here.

The Alan Bennett Collection

One of Britain’s most popular and prolific playwrights and a national treasure, the BBC brings together Alan Bennett’s works with ‘The Alan Bennett Collection featuring An Englishman Abroad.’ Best known for “The History Boys” and “The Madness of King George,” Bennett began writing for the stage following his runaway success with “Beyond the Fringe” in the ’60s, but soon found that his work transferred effectively to the small screen. The 4-disc collection, spanning more than 20 years from 1972 to 1994, showcases Bennett’s observant eye for the absurdities of modern life and his sharp ear for dialogue, with more than 10 hours of programming. Buy the DVD right here.