New On DVD This Week: The Ides of March, Abduction, Bill Moyers: Amazing Grace, Merlin

by | January 17, 2012 at 10:42 AM | General

'The Ides of March' (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)

The Ides of March

Directed by Oscar and Golden Globe nominated writer-director George Clooney (Best Achievement in Directing, Good Night, and Good Luck, 2005) and featuring an all-star cast that has received a combined 13 Academy Award nominations, three Academy Awards, 23 Golden Globe nominations and 6 Golden Globes, ‘The Ides of March‘ is now available on Blu-ray with UltraViolet, DVD and Digital. The powerhouse cast includes Academy Award nominee Ryan Gosling (Best Actor, Half Nelson, 2006), Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Best Actor, Capote, 2005), Academy Award nominee Paul Giamatti (Best Supporting Actor, Cinderella Man, 2005), Academy Award winner George Clooney (Best Supporting Actor, Syriana, 2005), Academy Award winner Marisa Tomei (Best Supporting Actress, My Cousin Vinny, 1992), and Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, Across the Universe) in the story of a young, idealistic staffer who gets caught up in a political scandal during a presidential campaign.Bonus materials on the DVD include two behind-the-scenes featurettes and commentary with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. The Blu-ray exclusively offers two additional fetaurettes and UltraViolet. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Abduction

Action fans will be on the edge of their seats with the release of the adrenaline-pumping thriller ‘Abduction,‘ now available on Blu-ray and DVD.  Headlined by breakout star Taylor Lautner (The Twilight Saga), the film is a fast-paced ride as Nathan (Lautner) searches for the truth about his identity.  Directed by John Singleton (2 Fast 2 Furious) and written by Shawn Christensen, the thriller also stars Lily Collins (upcoming Mirror, Mirror), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Jason Isaacs (the Harry Potter series), Maria Bello (TV’s ‘Prime Suspect’) and Sigourney Weaver (Avatar). The Blu-ray and DVD bonus materials include two behind-the-scenes featurettes, a production journal with Taylor Lautner and a gag reel.  The Blu-ray Disc also offers an Enhanced Viewing Mode for the feature film, taking fans to the next level of entertainment. For as long as he can remember, Nathan has had an unsettling feeling about his life. His feeling is confirmed when he stumbles upon a photograph of him as a child on a missing persons website. Just as he begins to uncover the truth about his identity, he finds himself having to run for his life. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Bill Moyers: Amazing Grace

Celebrating one of the most popular and beloved songs in the English language, the PBS-broadcast documentary, ‘Bill Moyers: Amazing Grace’ is now available on DVD. Legendary Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Bill Moyers (PBS, NBC, CBS) explores the song’s origins and enduring power through 24 captivating performances including Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Jessye Norman, Marion Williams, the Boys Choir of Harlem, and more. The DVD also includes Pure Pete Seeger, a 60-minute bonus musical portrait of the folk singer, songwriter, storyteller, and activist, filmed for Bill Moyer’s Journal at Seeger’s home in New York’s Hudson Valley as well as a 12-page viewer’s guide. Amazing Grace is Athena’s tenth release from Moyers’ acclaimed library of programs. Transcending race, creed, geography, generation, and social station, “Amazing Grace” has been recorded more times than any other hymn and is widely credited with transforming lives. Written by John Newton, an English clergyman and former slave-ship captain, the poem was published in 1779 and took on its familiar tune during the Second Great Awakening in the United States. Produced and directed by Emmy and Peabody winner Elena Mannes, this documentary features illuminating conversations and stirring performances by Johnny Cash, Judy Collins, Jessye Norman, Marion Williams, the Boys Choir of Harlem, shape-note singers, prison inmates, and more. Produced in 1990, the documentary features Jeremy Irons as the voice of John Newton. Buy the DVD right here.

Merlin

Swords, sorcery and swashbuckling adventure return in the third season of the BAFTA nominated hit series ‘Merlin,’ following our heroes Merlin and Arthur as they face their greatest challenge yet. When misbegotten secrets are exposed and old friends choose new sides, they soon discover that the great battle for Camelot is only just beginning. With epic action, stunning CGI sequences, terrifying new monsters and a guest cast featuring Warwick Davies (The Harry Potter series, The Chronicles of Narnia), Miriam Margolyes (The Harry Potter series, Being Julia), and Mark Williams (The Harry Potter series, The Fast Show), the third season of Merlin will be bigger, bolder and more action-packed than ever. Bonus features include audio commentaries on select episodes, “Making of Merlin Season 3” featurette, deleted scenes, outtakes, video from the first ever Merlin panel at the San Diego Comic Con 2010, and more. Buy the Season 3 DVD right here.

Dead Poets Society

Robin Williams shone in the lead role in the successful period drama ‘Dead Poets Society.’ In 1959, the Welton Academy is a staid but well-respected prep school where education is a pragmatic and rather dull affair. Several of the students, however, have their thoughts on the learning process (and life itself) changed when a new teacher comes to the school. John Keating (Williams) is an unconventional educator who tears chapters of his textbooks and asks his students to stand on their desks to see the world from a new angle. Keating introduces his students to poetry, and his free-thinking attitude and the liberating philosophies of the authors he introduces to his class have a profound effect on his students, especially Todd (Ethan Hawke), who would like to be a writer; Neil ( Robert Sean Leonard), who dreams of being an actor, despite the objections of his father; Knox (Josh Charles), a hopeless romantic; Steven (Allelon Ruggiero), an intellectual who learns to use his heart as well as his head; Charlie (Gale Hansen), who begins to lose his blasé attitude; unconventional Gerard (James Waterston); and practical Richard (Dylan Kussman). Keating urges his students to seize the day and live their lives boldly; but when this philosophy leads to an unexpected tragedy, headmaster Mr. Nolan (Norman Lloyd) fires Keating, and his students leap to his defense. Dead Poets Society was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Williams; it won one, for Tom Schulman’s original screenplay. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

MAD

Watch the second half of ‘MAD‘ Season 1! The new animated sketch-comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation, inspired by the iconic MAD magazine, pulls back the curtain and exposes the sordid truth behind movies, TV shows, games and of course, curtains. This is not a typical animation show; MAD magazine comes to life in this satirical animated sketch show. Each episode is a collection of animated parodies of movies, games, TV shows, celebrities, and other media using various types of animation. Buy the Season 1, Part 2 DVD right here.

The Josephine Baker Story

Winner of five Emmy awards including Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for Lynn Whitfield (Eve’s Bayou) and the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TV for Louis Gossett Jr. (Academy Award winner, An Officer and a Gentleman), ‘The Josephine Baker Story’ is now available on Blu-ray disc with all new bonus content featuring an audio commentary with Whitfield, writer Ron Hutchinson and associate producer Alisa Taylor. Outrageous, shocking, sensational – Josephine Baker was born poor, but achieved fame and fortune through her sizzlingly exotic and erotic performances. Starting life on the American Vaudeville circuit, success took Josephine to Paris where her semi-nude dancing causes an international sensation. Josephine’s life becomes a roller coaster ride of love and rejection from both her lovers and her country. Whether she is semi-nude or head-to-toe in sequins, in battle fatigues or rags, her beauty and ambition ensured that Josephine Baker will always be remembered as the first, and possibly most loved, truly international star. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star

Adam Sandler co-writes and produces the comedy ‘Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star,’ starring Nick Swardson as Bucky Larson, a nerd from nowhere who heads out West to become a porn star after finding out his parents were ones themselves. Upon arriving in Hollywood, a waitress (Christina Ricci) with self-esteem issues gets him situated in the slightly less seedy part of town. Meanwhile, Bucky connects with a friend of his parents, Miles Deep (Don Johnson), who pities the backwards man-child and gives him a shot in the world of porn – only to discover that he’s severely lacking in both experience and manliness. Through sheer luck, the footage of Bucky becomes a viral hit on the internet and he is propelled to the top of the adult film business, irking the current king of porn actors, Dick Shadow (Stephen Dorff), who’ll do anything to not be in the shadow of the small time fool. The Hot Chick’s Tom Brady handled directing duties. Buy the DVD right here.

Age of Heroes

Inspired by the true story of “James Bond” author Sir Ian Fleming’s creation of one of the most important elite units in the history of the British Armed Forces – 30 Commando Assault Unit – ‘Age of Heroes’ is a spectacular, epic and edge-of-your-seat WWII action thriller, now available on Blu-ray and DVD. An inspiration to the modern day SAS, 30 Commando was a new breed of special operations taskforce created to carry out some of the most dangerous missions during the Second World War. Starring Sean Bean and Danny Dyer, together again for the first time since Nick Love’s ‘The Outlaw,’ this movie follows the unique circumstances behind 30 Commando’s inception and the unit’s first highly classified smash-and-grab mission into occupied Norway to capture vital radar technology that will change the course of the war. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Delocated

After testifying against the Russian Mafia, “Jon” and his family are uprooted and start living undercover in ‘Delocated!‘ While quietly living in an anonymous suburb, “Jon” accepts an offer for the family to participate in a reality show based on their lives, and they move to New York. However, in order to protect their identities with television audiences-and more importantly, the Russian Mafia-they wear ski masks and have their voices surgically disguised. The first season of Delocated! finds “Jon,” “Susan,” “David,” and their federal agent Mike dealing with divorce, friendship, falling in love, and becoming an honorary black man, while, in season two, a new government program is instituted to help protect “Jon”. Surprisingly a mole is discovered in the witness protection decoy program and “Jon” is pushed to the brink in a shocking turn of events. The two-disc release of ‘Delocated!’ Seasons 1 & 2 contains 19 episodes of countless awkward and hysterical moments from “Jon” and his family, with loads of additional features such as deleted scenes, outtakes, flip books, demos and commentaries.
Buy the complete seasons one and two DVD right here.

George Gently

Likened to Foyle’s War and Midsomer Murders, ‘George Gently, Series 1′ is now available on Blu-ray. Award-winning actor Martin Shaw (Judge John Deed, The Professionals) stars as the principled detective George Gently in these three feature-length mysteries based on the long-running series of novels by Alan Hunter. Shot in stunning high-definition, these powerful dramas boast clever writing, stylish direction, and strong casts and unfold against the beautiful backdrop of rural Britain during the tumultuous 1960s. George Gently premiered in the U.K. on BBC1 in April 2007 and has run for three series, with a fourth series in production. The Blu-ray 2-Disc Set features the first three feature-length episodes that were originally released on DVD in 2008. Tony nominee Martin Shaw stars as Commander George Gently—an incorruptible, uncompromising cop transplanted from London’s Scotland Yard to England’s North Country in the mid-1960s. Gently’s reputation for honesty and relentlessness makes him almost as feared among his colleagues as he is among criminals. But he finds an odd ally in John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby, Nicholas Nickleby, Ever After)—an overeager, opinionated young sergeant who plays fast and loose with police procedures. Together the two tackle cases involving murderers, drug dealers, gun runners, and more. Series 1 guest stars include Richard Armitage (Robin Hood), Phil Davis (Vera Drake), and John Kavanagh (The Tudors). Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Thurgood

HBO Films’ critically-acclaimed ‘Thurgood’ was nominated for three Emmy awards including Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for star Laurence Fishburne (Oscar nominee, What’s Love Got to Do with It).  Shot before a live audience at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in Washington, D.C., the film is a one-man show that traces the personal and professional history of civil rights pioneer and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The release comes on the eve of the 45th anniversary of Marshall’s appointment to the Supreme Court as well as being just in time for Black History Month. Told in the first-person, ‘Thurgood’ is a compelling present-tense narrative that uses a wealth of personal stories and anecdotes to show how Marshall’s life and outlook were shaped, along with background images and archival photos of Marshall throughout different stages in his life.  From childhood stories of his family and home life in Baltimore, to his college days at Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., Marshall recollects his triumphs over adversity to pursue a successful career in the judicial system fighting for human rights.  Establishing benchmarks in civil rights advancement, Marshall tried the historic case of Brown vs. Board of Education before the Supreme Court, successfully challenging the unconstitutional segregation of black and white students in public schools. His achievements eventually led him to become the first African-American to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Overcoat

Based on Nikolai Gogol’s story with the location changed from Russia to Italy and the time changed to the present, ‘The Overcoat’ is about a poor city-hall clerk (Renato Rascel) whose only desire is for a new overcoat. The town Mayor (Giulio Stival) is planning a reception for some visiting VIP’s in honor of a new, wasteful piece of construction. The clerk bungles his assignment and is fired. But he stumbles onto some bribery concerning the architects and, to keep him quiet, he’s given his job back plus a bonus. He buys his long-cherished overcoat, and it makes him so presentable he wins a new found respect from everybody. But his coat is stolen and the bitter weather causes him to contact a fever and he dies. His funeral upsets the Mayor’s reception when he returns as a ghost. Buy the DVD right here.

The Tuskegee Airmen

‘The Tuskegee Airmen,’ winner of three Emmy awards, comes to Blu-ray disc this January.  Debuting just days before the theatrical release of the George Lucas-produced film Red Tails, which was inspired by the story of the Airmen, the film is encased in a stunning 32-page hard-bound book featuring sweeping unit and historical photography. Featuring an outstanding cast lead by two-time Emmy award winner Laurence Fishburne (Miss Evers’ Boys, Tribeca), Academy Award winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire) and Emmy nominee Malcolm-Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show), The Tuskegee Airmen tells the story of the first squadron of African-American pilots allowed to fight for their country.  It is 1943 and the Germans are winning the Second World War as the U.S. suffers huge losses on the ground and in the air. Four newly recruited pilots are united by a desire to serve their country, at a time when African-American flyers are not welcomed in the Air Force. Now, through the brutal demands of their training, to the perils of flying over nations at war, the men they call “The Tuskegee Airmen” must undertake the riskiest mission of their lives – to prove to America that courage knows no color. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Division III: Football’s Finest

Comedy mad man Andy Dick (Old School) leads a winning ensemble cast in the outrageous comedy ‘Division III: Football’s Finest‘ – a new film in the no holds barred tradition of Bad Santa and Bad Teacher. Meet bad coach Rick Vice, a redneck psycho with a suspect record (the attempted murder of a Pee Wee football team). When the Pulham Blue Cocks coach drops dead on the sidelines, Vice is brought in to turn around the worst team in college football’s lowest division. Marshall Cook costars as Mitch, the slacker second-string quarterback who butts heads with Vice, his worst nightmare, but maybe Vice’s demented methods will be just the spark to turn Mitch and the Blue Cocks into winners. Adam Carolla and MadTV veterans Will Sasso, Debra Wilson, Mo Collins and Bryan Callen go the extra yard in this comedy that will blindside you. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Bombay Beach

Decades ago, the Salton Sea was a California tourist hotspot and a symbol of 195os-era American optimism. Now, in a state of environmental decline and abandonment, its inhabitants still cling to their dreams despite living among the decaying relics of a bygone era. This year’s winner of the Tribeca Film Festival documentary competition and a festival hit around the world, ‘Bombay Beach’ creates a portrait of this small community living on the fringes of the lost American dream, and the dreamers who populate its surreal and poetic landscape. Buy the DVD right here.

Undocumented

Good intentions lead to a living nightmare when student filmmakers trying to document the struggle of illegal immigrants become the targets of a dangerous radical group in ‘Undocumented,’ a startling debut feature coming to DVD from IFC Films. There are estimates that more than a million people attempt to cross illegally from Mexico to the United States every year – some succeed, some don’t. In his riveting debut as writer-director, Chris Peckover reveals the horror faced by one unlucky group of border crossers. In this suspense-filled drama, an aspiring documentary director Travis (Scott Mechlowicz, Mean Creek, EuroTrip) and his crew set out to record firsthand the injustices and inequities faced by those trying to make it into the U.S., but what they encounter is a horror worse than any they had imagined. Buy the DVD right here.

Cold Sweat

Barely 30 years old,writer-director Adrián García Bogliano has more than a dozen horror features andshort films under his belt, and he tops himself in ‘Cold Sweat,’ a pulse-pounding horror thriller whose title aptly describes what it produces in audiences. A sensation at the 2011 SXSW festival, it will chill the bones of home viewers. With films like 36 Steps, I’ll Never Die Alone, Watch ’em Die and Rooms for Tourists, Adrián García Bogliano has quickly established himself as a master whose work transcends the limits of horror and suspense – even garnering a Critic’s Choice notice in The New York Times. ‘Cold Sweat’ may be his most effective effort to date. When Roman’s girlfriend Jackie disappears, he expects to find her in the arms of another man. And, with the help of a friend, find her he does – but there is no lover on the scene, only a pair of demented old men keeping her locked away in the basement of their crumbling mansion. Armed with wild-eyed, reactionary political ideals and case after case of decades-old and highly unstable explosives, the villainous duo are conducting illicit experiments on a string of young women lured to their home via the Internet. With Jackie doused in nitroglycerine, her every step toward escape is fraught with the possibility of sudden death. If Roman cannot free his young love, she is likely to end up in pieces. Buy the DVD right here.

Good Morning, Vietnam

For the first time in stunning Blu-ray High Definition, Academy Award winner Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, Good Will Hunting, 1997) delivers a tour-de-force performance in the 25th Anniversary Edition of the hit comedy ‘Good Morning, Vietnam!’ Enjoy the unsurpassed digital sound quality of Blu-ray High Definition as Army deejay Adrian Cronauer (Williams) spins a red-hot soundtrack of ‘60s hits. His sidesplitting comedy and rapid fire wit make him a hero to the troops, but quickly get him in hot water with his by-the-book superiors. Featuring a behind-the-scenes look at Williams’ hilarious radio monologues, Good Morning, Vietnam remains the quintessential Robin Williams comedy.Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Courageous

The latest film from Sherwood Pictures and Alex and Stephen Kendrick is the action-packed inspirational drama ‘Courageous,’ now available on Blu-ray and DVD. The more than $32 million box office hit will have families laughing and cheering as they are inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. Bonus materials include four behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, a blooper reel and commentary by the Kendrick Brothers. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes and their parents willingly stand up tho the worst the world can offer, yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, they quickly discover that their children are beginning to drift further away from them. Buy the Blu-ray right here.