New On DVD This Week: Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Poldark, Drive, Star Trek: The Next Generation

by | February 3, 2012 at 5:39 PM | General

'Transformers: Dark of the Moon' (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The ongoing epic story of the mighty Autobots continues in ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon‘ and the four-disc Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD combo pack takes fans behind-the-scenes, across the U.S. and into the far reaches of space for a fully immersive entertainment experience. The set includes a nearly two-hour documentary about the making of the film, which follows the cast and crew around the world, reveals the secrets behind the breathtaking stunts, including more footage of the amazing “birdmen,” and documents the film’s progress all the way through its triumphant release. Plus, additional features show how Chicago was transformed into the movie’s biggest action set, offer a look inside NASA, unveil artists’ renderings of the Autobots and Decepticons and much, much more. The combo pack will also be enabled with UltraViolet, a new way to collect, access and enjoy movies.  With UltraViolet, consumers can add movies to their digital collection in the cloud, and then stream or download them – safely and securely – to a variety of devices. Buy the Blu-ray 3D combo pack right here.

Poldark

A sensation on PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre and a must-see for costume drama fans, ‘Poldark: The Complete Collection’ is now available on DVD, featuring all 29 episodes of this spellbinding family saga. The Emmy and BAFTA-nominated miniseries, based on the beloved novels by Winston Graham, tells the story of a dashing 18th century English army officer (Robin Ellis, The Good Soldier), who finds the trials and travails at home every bit as perilous as what he faced in war. Hailed as a British Gone with the Wind, the classic miniseries debuted on PBS in May 1977, was featured on “The Best of Masterpiece Theatre” special, and voted one of the 10 most popular shows in the series’ history in a 2007 PBS poll. This collector’s edition DVD includes 29 engrossing episodes, collectible foil packaging, “Getting the Part” by star Robin Ellis, and more. Teeming with adventure and romance and set against the spectacular backdrop of the ruggedly beautiful Cornish coast, this spellbinding saga tells the story of the gallant Captain Ross Poldark (Robin Ellis) and his ever-changing fortunes. In Series 1, a wounded Ross returns from the American Revolution after a brave escape from a French prison camp. He finds his father dead, the woman he loves engaged to another man, and a viperous businessman eager to drive his family from their land. Series 2 follows Ross through further tumultuous times, from saving his marriage to reclaiming his fortune as he attempts to defeat his predatory rival once and for all. Buy the complete collection right here.

Drive

A lone-wolf Hollywood stunt driver (Ryan Gosling) moonlights as a freelance getaway wheelman, and he finds his solitary existence taking on new meaning after befriending Irene (Carey Mulligan), the lonely wife of convicted felon Standard (Oscar Isaac), and her young son Benicio (Kaden Leos) in the new movie ‘Drive.’ When Standard gets released from prison and is strong-armed into committing a bold daytime robbery, the Driver offers his services in an effort to help the repentant ex-con cut his ties to the criminal underworld. Things get complicated, however, when the robbery goes unexpectedly awry, and the Driver just barely manages to escape alive. When the take from the job proves to be stratospherically higher than the Driver was led to believe, it quickly becomes apparent that they were set up. Later, thugs threaten to kill Irene and Benicio, and all evidence points to transplanted New York crime boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and his hot-headed partner Nino (Ron Perlman) as the masterminds. As the Driver attempts to turn the tables on them, it becomes clear that the chain of command goes much higher than he could have ever anticipated. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

While the first full season won’t be available until later in 2012, CBS Home Entertainment is releasing ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’: The Next Level, a single Blu-ray disc to give fans a taste of the series in HD. The disc will include the feature-length pilot – “Encounter at Farpoint” – as well as two more “fan favorite” episodes, “The Inner Light” (Season 5) and “Sins of the Father” (Season 3). One of the most popular series in the ‘Star Trek’ franchise, ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012. It premiered in first-run syndication during the week of September 28, 1987 and ran through 1994. Set in the 24th century on the Starship Enterprise, about 100 years after the original ‘Star Trek’ series took place, the series starred Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Jonathan Frakes as Commander William T. Riker, LeVar Burton as Lt. Commander Geordi La Forge, Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi, Brent Spiner as Lt. Commander Data, Michael Dorn as Lieutenant Worf, Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher and Wil Wheaton as her son Wesley Crusher. Buy the Next Level Blu-ray right here.

Malcolm X

Writer-director Spike Lee’s epic portrayal of the life and times of the slain civil rights leader ‘Malcolm X‘ begins with the cross-cut imagery of the police beating of black motorist Rodney King juxtaposed with an American flag burning into the shape of the letter X. When the film’s narrative begins moments later, it jumps back to World War II-era Boston, where Malcolm Little (Denzel Washington) is making his living as a hustler. The son of a Baptist preacher who was murdered by the Ku Klux Klan, Little was raised by foster parents after his mother was deemed clinically insane; as an adult, he turned to a life of crime, which leads to his imprisonment on burglary charges. In jail, Little receives epiphany in the form of an introduction to Islam; he is especially taken with the lessons of Elijah Mohammed, who comes to him in a vision. Adopting the name ‘Malcolm X’ as a rejection of the ‘Little’ surname (given his family by white slave owners), he meets the real Elijah Mohammed (Al Freeman, Jr.) upon exiting prison, and begins work as a spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Marriage to a Muslim nurse named Betty Shabazz (Angela Bassett) follows, after which X spearheads a well-attended march on a Harlem hospital housing a Muslim recovering from an episode of police brutality. The march’s success helps elevate X to the position of Islam’s national spokesperson. There is dissension in the ranks, however, and soon X is targeted for assassination by other Nation leaders; even Elijah Mohammed fears Malcolm’s growing influence. After getting wind of the murder plot, X leaves the Nation of Islam, embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca that proves revelatory; renouncing his separatist beliefs, his oratories begin embracing all races and cultures. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Shakespeare in Love

William Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) is on a cold streak in the Oscar winning movie ‘Shakespeare in Love.‘ Not only is he writing for Philip Henslowe (Geoffrey Rush), owner of “The Rose,” a theatre whose doors are about to be closed by sadistic creditors, but he’s got a nasty case of writer’s block. Shakespeare hasn’t written a hit in years. In fact, he hasn’t written much of anything recently. Thus, the Bard finds himself in quite a bind when Henslowe, desperate to stave off another round of hot-coals-to-feet application, stakes The Rose’s solvency on Shakespeare’s new comedy, “Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate’s Daughter.” The problem is, “Romeo” is safely “locked away” in Shakespeare’s head, which is to say that not a word of it is written. Meanwhile, the lovely Lady Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow) is an ardent theatre-goer — scandalous for a woman of her breeding — who especially admires Shakespeare’s plays and, not incidentally, Bill himself. Alas, she’s about to be sold as property into a loveless marriage by her mercenary father and shipped off to a Virginia tobacco plantation. But not before dressing up as a young man and winning the part of Romeo in the embryonic play. Shakespeare soon discovers the deception and goes along with it, using the blossoming love affair to ignite his muse. As William and Viola’s romance grows in intensity and spirals towards its inevitable culmination, so, too, does the farcical comedy about Romeo and pirates transform into the timeless tragedy that is Romeo and Juliet. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Comic Strip Presents

In the early 1980s a group of comedians started appearing on a regular basis in Soho’s Raymond Revue Bar strip club, laying down some of the foundations of alternative comedy, while they got ready to dominate the British comic scene. Each night, there were three double acts: Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmonson (20th Century Coyoyte), Nigel Planer and Peter Richardson (The Outer Limits) and Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders (French and Saunders) and along with a host of other irreverent and wildly talented comedians, they forged a new path of anarchic, cult humor. In doing so, they caught the attention of the newly-created Channel 4 and the influential “The Comic Strip Presents” was born. Buy the complete series right here.

Vision Quest

High school wrestler Louden Swain is a man obsessed, trying to shed 23 pounds in a dangerously short time and take on Shute, the undefeated, tough-as-nails 168-pound champion who’s the best wrestler in the state in ‘Vision Quest.’ Matthew Modine stars as the mop-headed student undeterred in his Vision Quest…until the day a sexy drifter (Linda Fiorentino) threatens to pin Louden and his dreams to the mat of unrequited love. The hit soundtrack features Journey’s “Only the Young”, Foreigner’s “Hot Blooded” and John Waite’s “Change”. In her first film, Madonna shines while performing “Gambler” and “Crazy for You”. Buy the DVD at WBshop.com.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Newly remastered and restored to their original U.K. broadcast order, ‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot: Series 1′ is now available on Blu-ray and arrives on DVD. These 10 full-length mysteries star fan-favorite and BAFTA nominee David Suchet as the brilliant Belgian detective. Based on the novels by Agatha Christie, these lavish adaptations capture every splendid detail of the Art Deco era. ITV Studios’ Poirot has aired on ITV1 in the U.K. since 1989 and on PBS and A&E in the U.S. The 2-disc Blu-ray set and 3-vol. DVD set include all 10 mysteries from the first series, now with SDH subtitles. Agatha Christie’s brilliant Belgian detective is on the case in the first series of the hit PBS mystery. Fan favorite David Suchet stars as the dapper sleuth who solves the thorniest of cases with his formidable intellect set in glittering 1930s Europe. The lavish productions feature stellar supporting casts including Hugh Fraser (Sharpe) as the affable Captain Hastings, Philip Jackson (Robin of Sherwood) as Chief Inspector Japp, and Pauline Moran as Miss Lemon. Buy the Series 1 Blu-ray right here.

Chalet Girl

A self-described tomboy and former skateboard champion finds her footing as a chalet girl at a posh ski resort in the Alps, and enters into an unlikely romance while preparing to take part in a competition that will remind her how it feels to be a true champion. Kim Matthews is a 19-year-old (Felicity Jones) who thought her best days were far behind her in the new movie ‘Chalet Girl.’ A fast-food worker who struggles through endless shifts to support herself and her father, she is completely stunned when she lands a catering job at a popular ski resort. Having never lived high on the hog, it’s a world that seems as alien to her as life on Mars. But in time, the nimble skateboarder discovers the joys of snowboarding and decides to take a shot at a major competition staged to celebrate the end of the winter season. While trying to fit in and mastering the art of snowboarding, however, Kim starts to fall for her boss’ son Jonny (Ed Westwick), a handsome young skier who seems to have taken a liking to her, yet still seems strangely elusive. Buy the DVD right here.

Best Picture Academy Award Winners – Five Film Collection

With awards season in full swing, Lionsgate debuts five breathtaking films that nabbed Best Picture together for the first time with this collection. ‘Shakespeare in Love,’ ‘The English Patient,’ ‘Chicago,’ ‘No Country for Old Men’ and ‘Crash’ are the selected masterpieces. In addition to winning the Best Picture statuette, these five films garnered a total of 19 additional Academy Award wins and a total of 22 other nominations, further illustrating the mark these films have left on movie history. Buy the DVD right here.

Pac Man

Pac-Man! The game that gobbled up a nation’s quarters while its hero gobbled up those annoying Ghost Monsters spawned sequels, spin-offs, toys, games and more. Taking note of Pac-Man’s avid fan base, famed carton studio Hanna-Barbera hit upon the idea of adapting the game for Saturday morning animation – becoming the first video game to make the jump to TV. Kids were immediately enraptured and a score of other arcade favorites soon followed Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man and Baby Pac-Man from the gaming console to the cathode ray tube. In this 2-Disc, 13-Episode collection, Pac-Man does battle with Inky, Blinky, Pinky, Clyde and Sue, the Ghost Monster minions of the dreaded Mezmaron, who lusts after Pac-land’s precious power spheres. Buy the DVD at WBshop.com.

Dead Hooker in a Trunk

Four friends set out on an everyday errand and end up in a fight for their lives when they discover the body of a dead hooker in their trunk. Led by sexy, impulsive Badass, her distant twin sister Geek, their bible-thumping friend Goody Two Shoes and chaotic rock star pal Junkie, the group must put aside their differences to dispose of the body as they face off against persistent police, a sleazy motel manager, chainsaw-wielding triads and a brutal serial killer. All while being followed by the mysterious Cowboy Pimp, who wants to claim the corpse for himself. Identical twins Jen and Sylvia Soska (upcoming American Mary) wrote, directed, produced and star in ‘Dead Hooker in a Trunk,’ this explosive ride filled with gun fights, extreme violence, blood, guts, gore … and goats. Also in the cast are Rikki Gagne (Dark Moon Rising) and John Tench (Tooth Fairy). Buy the DVD right here.

Monsignor

An ambitious American veteran turned priest (Christopher Reeve, ‘Somewhere In Time’) journeys to Rome to take his assignment as the Vatican’s new treasurer. But upon his arrival he finds the holy coffer nearly bare, and he takes it upon himself to refill it, striking illegal business deals with a U.S. Army sergeant with ties to the Italian Mob. The young priest’s morality is corrupted even further when he meets and seduces a beautiful young woman (Genevieve Bujold) on her way to becoming a nun. Can his faith save him before his sins condemn him? From director Frank Perry (‘Mommie Dearest’) ‘Monsignor’ is a tale of ambition, greed, lust and power, boasting stellar performances from supporting cast members including Jason Miller (‘The Exorcist’), Fernando Rey (‘The French Connection’) and Joe Pantoliano (‘The Matrix’). Buy the DVD right here.

Outrage: Way of the Yakuza

In a ruthless battle for power, several yakuza clans vie for the favor of the head family in the Japanese underworld in the new movie ‘Outrage: Way of the Yakuza.’ The rival bosses seek to rise through the ranks by scheming and making allegiances sworn over sake. Long-time yakuza Otomo has seen his kind go from elaborate body tattoos and severed fingertips to becoming important players on the stock market. Theirs is a never-ending struggle to end up on top, or at least survive, in a corrupt world where there are no heroes but constant betrayal and vengeance. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Big Year

Let the fowl play begin!  Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment presents the story of a competitive trio who quickly turn a simple quest into the ultimate competition when ‘The Big Year,’ now available on Blu-ray and DVD. Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson portray three men from very different walks of life, facing a mid-life crisis, a work-life crisis and a no-life crisis. In the biggest competition of their lives, they undertake an unforgettable trek through North America, engaging in hilarious and bizarre adventures and forming friendships that will last a lifetime. Directed by David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me) and featuring outrageous supporting performances from Joel McHale (“Community”), Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”), Angelica Huston (50/50), Dianne Wiest (“In Treatment”),Brian Dennehy (The Next Three Days), Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation”), Kevin Pollak (Red State) and Anthony Anderson (Scream 4), ‘The Big Year’ Blu-ray is loaded with special features including the theatrical and extended editions of the film, over 40 minutes of deleted scenes and the featurette “The Big Migration. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Double

A retired CIA spy and a fledgling FBI agent team up to investigate the murder of a U.S. senator and catch a notorious killer in ‘The Double,’ a high-stakes political thriller starring Richard Gere and Topher Grace. Back when he was an active operative, Paul Shepherdson (Gere) devoted his every waking minute to capturing “Cassius” — an elusive Soviet hitman with a spectral reputation. Decades later, Shepherdson believes that Cassius has been taken out of the game. But when a U.S. senator is assassinated and all evidence links the killing to Cassius, Shepherdson’s former boss Tom Highland (Martin Sheen) convinces his old operative to investigate. Meanwhile, FBI agent Ben Geary (Grace) becomes positively certain that the high-profile murder is the work of the notorious Soviet hatchet man, and begins working with Shepherdson to crack the case. Now, in order to learn their target’s true identity, Shepherdson and Geary must first revisit the entire case from top to bottom. In the process, the two determined men uncover a clue that indicates Cassius may not, in fact, be the prime suspect that the government has been chasing for decades, but instead the last person anyone ever expected. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Thunder Soul

Bring back the funk with the documentary ‘Thunder Soul.’ Presented by Oscar winner Jamie Foxx, this heart-warming film about a high school band that became a funk phenomenon earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for Best Documentary (2011) and garnered five Audience Award wins at film festivals including South by Southwest (2010) and the Los Angeles Film Festival (2010). The DVD release includes an audio commentary with director/producer Mark Landsman and editor Claire Didier, a “making of” featurette and never-before-seen footage. Buy the DVD right here.

Leapfrog: Numberland

‘LeapFrog: Numberland,’ is now available on DVD! Starring the ever popular learning puppy Scout and his friends as they introduce early numeracy skills while setting up a surprise birthday party in the enchanted Number Land. This DVD is a new tool to help children develop these skills which research has shown to be the strongest predictor of future academic success in youngsters. Launched in 2009, the Scout franchise has established itself as a rising star in the best-selling LeapFrog toy line, with its own line of products from a play computer, reading tablet, iPhone apps and more. Buy the DVD right here.

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Strangeness is afoot in ‘Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles.’ Most people don’t notice the hundreds of cryptic tiled messages  about resurrecting the dead that have been appearing in city streets over the past three decades from Philadelphia, Boston, New York and St. Louis – all the way to Buenos Aires and Santiago, Chile. But Justin Duerr does. For years, finding an answer to this long-standing urban mystery has been his obsession. As Duerr, a Philadelphia-based artist and musician, starts piecing together key events of the past he finds a story that is more surreal than he imagined, and one that hits disturbingly close to home. Buy the DVD right here.

Spiderhole

Molly, a vivacious young artist, and her three friends embark upon a mission to find an empty house in London where they can live as squatters, free from rent and free to party. After finding what seems like the ideal place, they turn the house into their home. But darkness pervades their new dwelling, and a malevolent force soon sets to work ridding the house of its unwanted residents ‘Spiderhole,’ an IFC Films theatrical release, presents a nightmare world that traps the viewer and protagonists alike in a terrifying and unforgiving new reality. Who or what is orchestrating their bloody demise and why? The house appeared to be empty and yet a malevolent force is clearly at work. An impressive debut from writer-director Daniel Simpson, ‘Spiderhole’ stars Emma Griffiths Malin (Wallander, Agatha Christie’s Poirot), Reuben-Henry Biggs (The Illusionist) and newcomers Amy Noble and George Maguire. Buy the DVD right here.