New On DVD This Week: The Universe, Human Planet, Doc Martin Collection, South Park

by | April 30, 2011 at 6:03 PM | TV News

The Universe

Produced exactly one-half century after man undertook his premier forays into space, the History Channel documentary series ‘The Universe‘ rests on the premise that outer space only just began to reveal its secrets in the early years of the 21st century. The program thus explores this colossal subject with each episode devoted to one subtopic – from the moon to the Big Bang to Jupiter to Mars. Episodes reflect on the ways in which new technologies during the 1990s and 2000s began to dramatically alter mankind’s perception of itself and the universe around it. Each one employs a combination of space footage, CG graphics and intense, often speculative scientific discussion. Buy the complete series Blu-ray megaset right here.

Human Planet

Following in the footsteps of Planet Earth and Life, the epic eight-part blockbuster ‘Human Planet‘ is a breathtaking celebration of the amazing, complex, profound and sometimes challenging relationship between humankind and nature. Humans are the ultimate animals – the most successful species on the planet. From the frozen Arctic to steamy rainforests, from tiny islands in vast oceans to parched deserts, people have found remarkable ways to adapt and survive. We’ve done this by harnessing our immense courage and ingenuity; learning to live with and utilize the other creatures with which we share these wild places. Human Planet weaves together eighty inspiring stories, many never told before, set to a globally-influenced soundtrack by award-winning composer Nitin Sawhney. Each episode focuses on a particular habitat and reveals how its people have created astonishing solutions in the face of extreme adversity. Finally we visit the urban jungle, where most of us now live, and discover why the connection between humanity and nature. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Doc Martin Collection

The hit British comedic drama ‘Doc Marin Collection‘ is currently airing on PBS stations. Akin to House and Northern Exposure, BAFTA winner Martin Clunes (‘Men Behaving Badly’) stars as a surly, tactless, self-centered, and uptight doctor—but he’s the only doctor in town. Doc Martin is a huge hit in the U.K. with 9 million viewers and a fifth series commissioned, and is syndicated by American Public Television (APT) in the U.S. This value-priced 9-disc collection includes all 30 endearing and off-beat episodes from the first four series. Buy the Series 1-4 collection right here.

South Park

South Park‘ Season 14 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. In addition to all 14 episodes, the DVD and Blu-ray include mini-commentaries on all episodes by creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, never-before-seen footage and deleted scenes. The all-new episodes from this season are available in HD exclusively on xBox Live, iTunes, Sony Playstation Network, Amazon Video On Demand and are also available on SouthParkStudios.com. Launched in 1997, ‘South Park,’ beginning its 15th season, remains the highest-rated series on Comedy Central. Buy the Season 14 Blu-ray right here.

Growing Pains

Congratulations…you’re fired. Mike (Kirk Cameron) receives a car from his pleased parents after he’s named Employee of the Month in Season 2 of ‘Growing Pains.’ (So how’s he going to tell them he’s been canned?) Mike’s not the only one with secrets. Brainy Carol (Tracey Gold) wants everyone to think she has a romantic extracurricular life with a hunky football hero. And what’s up with 10-year-old Ben (Jeremy Miller) and those 67 calls to a sex line? (No, it’s not what you might think.) These events don’t all happen at the same time, but they do all happen at the same place: the Season 2 home-sweet-ho-ho-home of the Seavers – dad Jason (Alan Thicke), mom Maggie (Joanna Kerns), three on-the-grow kids. Jason works as a psychiatrist. You think maybe it’s time to add some family appointments to his calendar? Buy the Season 2 DVD right here.

Upstairs Downstairs

One of the most beloved television series of all time is brought back to life in a sumptuous new production with a fresh new cast in ‘Upstairs Downstairs’ It’s 1936 and six years since parlormaid Rose (Jean Marsh) left 165 Eaton Place. Fate brings her back as housekeeper to its new owners, Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard), his wife Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes), and his mother, Lady Maud Holland (Eileen Atkins). Rose soon finds she has her work cut out for her as she recruits a new “downstairs” family to help run the elegance and finery of the “upstairs” world. Both upstairs and downstairs, it soon becomes apparent there lies a labyrinth of secrets, lies and scandal. Set against the historical backdrop of a pre-World War II Britain with a new King on the throne, with Fascism on the rise on the continent, and with sexual, social and political tensions at 165 Eaton Place, this new series provides an evocative take on the master-servant relationship. Buy the DVD right here.

The Lucy Show

The Lucy Show,’ starring TV’s favorite redhead, Lucille Ball, returns to DVD with more laugh-out loud adventures. In Season 4, scatterbrained Lucy Carmichael relocates to Southern California, only to discover that her banker nemesis, Mr. Mooney (Gale Gordon) has done the same. With her children off at school, Lucy discovers the life of a “single girl,” meeting new friends, going on dates, and trying to make ends meet with part-time jobs. Lucy’s zany antics bring her into contact with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Danny Thomas, Milton Berle, Mickey Rooney and more. The four disc set features all 26 episodes from the fourth season. Buy the Season 4 DVD right here.

Hold On!

The career of the British Invasion pop group Herman’s Hermits was in full, fan-shrieking, disc-selling orbit when their first top-billed movie came to theaters, so maybe it’s only natural to think NASA would want to name a rocket after them. Well, at least that’s what’s at stake in the 1966 romp ‘Hold On!’ that has the five lads on a U.S. tour, where they’re mobbed by various birds – and secretly monitored by a nerdy scientist to determine if they are rocket worthy. Yes, ‘Hold On!’ is not so much about making sense as it is about having fun. A double fistful of Hermits’ songs (including the Top-10 hits A Must to Avoid and Leaning on the Lamp Post) adds to the good times. Shelley Fabares, no stranger to the charts with 1962’s Johnny Angel, costars. Buy the DVD exclusively at WBShop.com.

The Avengers

When the forces of evil are so overwhelming that no single hero can save the world… the Avengers assemble! Featuring Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk, fans can now own the first 13 episodes of ‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!‘ in two must-have, collectible DVD volumes. ‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!’ Volume 1 includes episodes 1-7 plus an exclusive look at the evolving characters and storyline of Season 2, and ‘The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Volume 2′ includes episodes 8-13 plus another exclusive sneak peek at Season 2 that reveals what makes the Marvel Super Heroes and Villains so unique. Featuring your favorite animated Super Heroes – Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, and The Hulk – The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! sees planet Earth threatened by Super Villains, time traveling conquerors, alien invaders, mythical beasts and rampaging robots — all bent on the total destruction of humanity. Unfortunately against these impossible odds, no individual hero has the power to save the world and just when all appears to be hopeless, the most skilled champions in the Marvel universe join forces to form the mightiest Super Hero team in history. The Avengers come to the rescue when the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. Buy the Volume 1 and Volume 2 DVDs.

The President’s Book of Secrets

Journey inside White House history to unveil staggering information about secrets known only to the president, from top-secret intelligence and classified events to covert codes and future technologies in ‘The President’s Book of Secrets.’ Buy the DVD right here.

20th Century with Mike Wallace: America at War

Emmy and Peabody Award-winning newsman Mike Wallace (’60 Minutes’) presents a fascinating examination of modern warfare in ’20th Century with Mike Wallace: America at War,’ as seen on A&E and the History Channel. Featuring compelling archival footage, supplemented with expert analysis from journalists, military leaders, and historians, these 10 thought-provoking episodes show 20th-century conflicts as they happened—and unflinchingly explore the lessons learned in their aftermath. See on-the-spot dispatches from the front lines, as reported by legendary correspondents such as Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Morley Safer. Hear expert analysis from journalists, military leaders, and historians—including David Halberstam, Robert S. McNamara, and Sen. John McCain. Buy the DVD right here.

Chawz

When a wild, man-eating boar goes on a rampage in a small Korean village, all bets are off in the inventive black comedy horror romp ‘Chawz,’ now available on Blu-ray and DVD. From the acclaimed CGI specialists at Polygon Entertainment, who worked on such revered films as The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean and all six Star Wars films, Chawz pays homage to the classic monster movies of the past with sidesplitting hilarity. While at first the absolute carnage is a bit of a mystery, the porcine perpetrator’s attacks become more and more gruesome as he slowly reveals himself. Afraid for their lives, the town invites one of the world’s most famous hunters to capture the wild boar, heading into the deep dark mountains with a few of the villagers to confront the angry beast and put an end to the massacre once and for all. Buy the DVD right here.

Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman

Enjoying astonishing 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 series starred Jane Seymour as Michaela “Mike” Quinn, one of a handful of women doctors west of the Mississippi 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 Seasons 4, 5 and 6 DVDs.

Sex and the Single Mom

Jess Gradwell (Gail O’Grady) is a divorced mother with a high-stress job and teenage daughter in ‘Sex & the Single Mom.’ A hard-working paralegal who strives to be a lawyer one day, Jess juggles the pressures of her parenting and professional lives with grace and agility. Meanwhile, her 15-year-old daughter, Sara (Danielle Panabaker), is dealing with the pressure of being sexually inexperienced in a world of sexually active teenagers. Jess tries to convince her daughter to abstain from sex until she is in love, but Sara has her heart set on dating the high school bad boy and changing her goody-two-shoes image. So when Mom, who has been vigilantly preaching the importance of responsible sex, ends up pregnant after a brief encounter with a handsome pediatric surgeon, the mother-daughter dynamic shifts dramatically, causing a chain of events that will either break the bond Jess and Sara once shared, or bring them closer together than ever before. Grant Show also co-stars in this scandalous story that will have every Mom on the edge of her seat! Buy the DVD right here.

Demob

Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) leads a talented ensemble cast in ‘Demob,’ a light-hearted WWII-era comedy drama seen on public television. After spending four years entertaining the troops with raunchy stage routines, a pair of soldiers take their act back home—to sometimes disastrous, but always hilarious results. Broadcast on ITV in 1993 and seen on public television in the U.S., Demob paints a nostalgic portrait of post-war Britain with realistic period details, costumes, and comic appeal. The series co-stars Amanda Redman (New Tricks), Simon Williams (Upstairs, Downstairs), James Faulkner (The Bank Job), and comic great Les Dawson in his final role. Buy the DVD right here.

Marlowe

Five-hundred bucks doesn’t come easily for private eye Philip ‘Marlowe‘ (James Garner). But when it comes by way of a bribe, it might as well be five cents. He rejects Winslow Wong (Bruce Lee) and his offer of cash…and Wong promptly karates the detective’s office into a junkpile. In a colorful whodunit based on Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister, Garner’s easygoing style contrasts agreeably with the grim task of sleuthing a case of missing persons, blackmail and ice-pick murders. Carroll O’Connor, Rita Moreno, William Daniels, Sharon Farrell and Jackie Coogan are among the cast of characters living in a sprawling ’60s L.A. so hard-boiled somebody’s got to crack. And when that happens, it’s Marlowe’s job to put the pieces together. Buy the DVD exclusively at WBShop.com.

Blood Out

Sometime the law is personal. Packed with full-throttle action and vengeance, ‘Blood Out‘ is now available on DVD and Blu-ray. The good cop/bad cop action-drama features an all-star cast including Val Kilmer, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Vinnie Jones and Luke Goss. In the vain of ‘Training Day’ and ‘Street Kings,’ ‘Blood Out’ stars Luke Goss as Michael Savion, a small town cop who loses his brother in a gang-related murder. City police quickly abandon the case, so Michael takes matters into his own hands and goes undercover to avenge his brother’s death. Buy the DVD right here.

Jolene

In director Dan Ireland’s acclaimed and award-winning drama about life on the road, ‘Jolene‘ — in a career-making turn by Jessica Chastain — is a red-haired wanderer who isn’t content to call one place home for any expended stretch of time. Setting off to explore the outside world, the free-spirited teen embarks on a decade-long cross-country adventure which finds her crossing the paths of everyone from a firebrand Texan (Dermont Mulroney) who steals her heart and destroys her marriage to his wealthy fundamentalist nephew (Michael Vartan), to an ex-mobster (Chazz Palminteri) attempting to make good in Las Vegas. Denise Richards, Rupert Friend, and Theresa Russell join the celebrated ensemble in this unique coming-of-age story, an Official Selection at both the Phoenix and Palm Springs International Film Festivals, and winner of the “Best Actress” Award (Chastain) at the Seattle International Film Festival. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Lickerish Quartet

Master of sophisticated sexploitation Radley Metzger directed the elegant and thoughtful erotic drama ‘The Lickerish Quartet.’ A wealthy and jaded couple living in a palatial Italian villa (Erika Remberg and Frank Wolff) spend an evening watching pornographic films with their adult son (Paolo Turco). Looking for a change of scenery, the family visits a carnival where they see a stuntwoman performing tricks on a motorcycle. When she removes her helmet, they’re surprised to discover that the stunt rider appears to be one of the “stars” of the film they watched earlier, except that her blonde hair has turned dark. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

More Sex and the Single Mom

In the dramatic continuation of ‘Sex and the Single Mom,’ a mother and teenage daughter deal with their choices regarding men, sex and the consequences of those decisions on their lives in ‘More Sex & the Single Mom.’ Paralegal Jess Gradwell (Gail O’Grady) met pediatric surgeon Alex Lofton (Grant Show) during expert witness preparation for a malpractice case. Their affair resulted in the birth of a son Alex never knew about. Now engaged to a great man from the office, Jess is startled to see Alex back in the courthouse where they first met years ago. While Jess tries to sort out her complex life, her daughter Sara (Chelsea Hobbs, “Make It or Break It”) loses her virginity to an older photographer who has little interest in a relationship. Sara now shares with her mom the flurry of emotions relationships and sex bring to light. Tortured by her conflicted feelings regarding her secure relationship and her smoldering liaison with Alex, Jess finds herself faced with a critical decision.
Buy the DVD right here.

Mom, Dad and Her

15-year-old Sydney Foster (Brittney Wilson) is a troubled teen from a broken home, heading for trouble in ‘Mom, Dad and Her.’ After being caught shoplifting and a bout of alcohol poisoning, her volatile behavior has finally reached a breaking point. Sydney is sent to spend the summer with her father (Paul McGillion) who hopes to reconnect with her and introduce her to his new wife Emma (Melora Hardin). At first Sydney lashes out, feeling abandoned yet again – missing her boyfriend and her city life. But she slowly forms new relationships with those around her – including a local girl whose mother is dying of cancer – and begins to turn her attitude around. She unexpectedly finds herself connecting with her new stepmother, who is nervously expecting her first child. It is this relationship with her stepmother, and the birth of the new baby, that finally heals the wounds left by her parent’s bitter divorce. Buy the DVD right here.

Stan Lee’s Superhumans

Throughout history, the forces of evolution and genetic mutation have endowed humans with astonishing new abilities and features. It’s a process that continues to this day, and nowhere is it more evident than in the fascinating world of ‘Stan Lee’s Superhumans.’ Co-hosted by Stan Lee, the legendary creator of The X-Men, Spider Man and the Hulk, the series scours the globe for the real life counterparts of Lee’s characters – people with unique genetic traits that translate into remarkable powers. In each episode, these “superhumans” undergo tests that may help explain their amazing gifts. Buy the DVD right here.

Bunny and the Bull

A man who has become an emotion basket case thinks back on the friend who made him that way in the offbeat comedy ‘Bunny and the Bull‘ from Great Britain. Stephen (Edward Hogg) is a profoundly neurotic young man suffering from agoraphobia, though this is a relatively recent development, and as he ponders the dim prospect of going out for food, he recalls a vacation in Europe with his former best friend Bunny (Simon Farnaby). While Stephen is quiet and shy, Bunny is outgoing to a fault, and he chases women, guzzles booze and bets on anything as if there’s no tomorrow. When Stephen gets dumped by his girlfriend, Bunny suggests a trip to Europe is just the thing to cure his blues, especially after he’s enjoyed a windfall at the track. Buy the DVD right here.

Muay Thai Giant

A docile giant gets a little more than he bargained for while vacationing in Thailand in the hilarious action-comedy ‘Muay Thai Giant.’ Writer and choreographer Paana Riitikria cooks his own recipe of “muay thai” martial arts when the unsuspecting Barney is mugged and left without money or a passport to get home. Unable to speak the language in a foreign land, two Thai sisters take him in, forming an unlikely friendship. Buy the DVD right here.

Playing House

Frannie (Joanne Kelly) is a junior copy editor at a publishing house in New York City when she lands the account of her favorite author, Michael Tate (Colin Ferguson) in ‘Playing House.’ Everything is coming together nicely for her, and she seems to be living the dream – until she finds out she has accidentally gotten pregnant by Calvin (Lucas Bryant), her boyfriend of just a few months. The couple does what they think is the responsible thing and moves to the suburbs to settle down, but behind the picket fence, neither one of them is truly happy. When a mysterious stranger waltzes into town, he offers to whisk Frannie back to the bright lights of New York City. Will she give in to temptation and the glamorous life that could await her, or will she stay true to her new family and the life she has created with Calvin? Buy the DVD right here.

Honeymoon with Mom

When Shannon (Virginia Williams) is dumped at the altar, her single mother, Marla (Shelley Long), suggests they take the planned honeymoon to a remote island resort together in ‘Honeymoon with Mom.’ Marla, a publisher of a top magazine, tells Shannon that the trip to paradise will make their relationship stronger, but she has ulterior motives: to land an interview with the resort’s owner, Nick Tercel (Jack Scalia), a former astronaut who was involved in a scandal several years earlier and fled to the island. When Marla finally meets Nick and conducts the interview without his knowledge, she finds herself falling for him. However, when her scheme backfires, Shannon, upset and disappointed, confronts her mother. Meanwhile, Shannon meets a new man (Eric Johnson) on the island, must contend with her ex-fiancé (Edward Finlay), who shows up unexpectedly, and finds herself face-to-face with a man she’s been waiting to meet her entire life – her father (Winston Rekert). Buy the DVD right here.