New On DVD This Week: Titanic, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Camelot, Cinema Verite

by | April 25, 2012 at 4:14 PM | General

'Titanic' (Entertainment One)

Titanic

On April 14, 1912, at approximately 23:40 (ship’s time), the “unsinkable” RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. A modern marvel of technical mastery and nautical ingenuity, the largest passenger liner in service sunk under the waves four days into her maiden voyage, causing the deaths of over 1,500 passengers in one of the most infamous disasters of all time. As the world commemorates the 100th anniversary of the legendary tragedy with numerous events, Entertainment One has released ‘Titanic‘ on DVD and Blu-ray only ten days after its premiere on ABC. Penned by Oscar, Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning ‘Downton Abbey’ creator Julian Fellowes and BAFTA-winning producer Nigel Stafford Clark (“Bleak House”), the innovative miniseries presents an extraordinary re-telling of the doomed voyage, cleverly weaving action, mystery and romance across four engrossing hours. Brought to life by a stellar, award-winning ensemble cast and featuring stunning visual effects, the epic follows the destinies of the Titanic’s victims and survivors as their stories of passion, betrayal and hope unfold amidst the tragic events of the ship’s final hours. Shot in Budapest, ‘Titanic’ features both fictional and historical characters, ranging from steerage passengers and crew to upper class guests and staff, who all come together aboard the ill-fated vessel.  Home audiences will be taken on a heart-wrenching journey through Titanic’s last moments. Buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack right here.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

An intricate drama hailed as one of the finest ever made for television, John le Carré’s classic Cold War-era spy drama ‘Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy’ is now available on Blu-ray, featuring an exclusive new interview with director John Irvin. Oscar winner Alec Guinness (Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars, Lawrence of Arabia) leads an all-star ensemble cast with the performance of a lifetime in his BAFTA-winning role as George Smiley, a retired spymaster recruited to find a mole in the British intelligence service. This 1979 BBC miniseries garnered universal critical acclaim for its stellar ensemble cast, literate writing and intricate plots. The Blu-ray debut coincides with the home video release of the recent film adaptation starring Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight), which received Oscar® nominations for best screenplay and best actor. This Blu-ray 2-disc set includes six episodes, along with an exclusive 29-min. interview with director John Irvin, 27-min. interview with John le Carré, deleted scenes, subtitles, and more. Acorn Media previously re-released Tinker and Smiley’s People in October 2011 as DVD 3-Disc Sets. No doubt remains: a mole has infiltrated the Circus, code name for the British Secret Intelligence Service. It can only be one of four men operating at the very highest level. Sidelined agent George Smiley is covertly tapped to root out the mole, a task that requires a painstaking dig through the double-blind world of Cold War-era espionage and his own past. Alec Guinness. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

Camelot

The oft-told tales of Arthurian legend have always been fertile ground for art. With countless books, films and songs on the subject, there have been many interpretations of Merlin, the Knights of the Round Table, and the glories of the kingdom of ‘Camelot‘ and the doomed love triangle of King Arthur, Lady Guenevere and Sir Lancelot du Lac. The musical Camelot, however, remains the most iconic. Consider the historical context of the piece. Originated for the stage in 1960, Camelot coincided with the presidency of a young John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was a big fan of Camelot; he identified with King Arthur and, according to the First Lady, she and the President would often listen to the soundtrack before going to bed at night. Tragically, and ironically, just as Arthur’s rule lasted for “one brief, shining moment,” so did Kennedy’s and the press forever linked the two legendary leaders many. Buy the 45th Anniversary Blu-ray right here.

Cinema Verite

When reality became entertainment, everything changed. ‘Cinema Verite‘ is the compelling behind-the-scenes story of the revolutionary 1973 PBS documentary series “An American Family” which catapulted an ordinary family to notoriety and captivated audiences with the launch of a new television genre- reality TV. Fascinating and illuminating, ‘Cinema Verite’ stars an amazing ensemble cast. Along with Academy Award nominee Diane Lane, the film features James Gandolfini (‘The Sopranos’) and Academy Award and Golden Globe winner Tim Robbins. Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini directed a script written by David Seltzer. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

The Frank Sinatra Film Collection

Mom can swoon to Frank Sinatra’s sweet voice with the release of ‘The Frank Sinatra Film Collection’ on DVD. The 10-title collection spans 11 years of Frank Sinatra’s amazing career including some of his most memorable and critically-acclaimed performances: ‘A Hole in the Head‘ – Academy Award winner Best Music/Song, ‘Can-Can‘ – Academy Award nominee Best Costume Design, Best Music, ‘The Manchurian Candidate‘ – Academy Award nominee Best Actress, Best Film Editing and ‘Von Ryan’s Express‘ – Academy Award nominee Best Effects, Sound Effects. Buy the collection right here just in time for Mother’s Day!

Billy the Exterminator

America’s favorite – and quirkiest – exterminator is back for more unexpected on-the-job adventures with ‘Billy the Exterminator‘ the Complete Season 4 DVD release. In this funny family docusoap about the zaniest pest removal company on the planet, we join Billy Bretherton, who runs Vexcon, one of Louisiana’s busiest pest removal companies, with the help of his brother Ricky, whom he describes as “just as crazy as me,” his father Bill Sr., and his sassy mom, Donnie, who runs the office. Across all 12 episodes from the fourth season on 2 DVDs, the complete season 4 sees Billy hit the road for the first time, in search of challenges that are bigger, better and badder than ever. Buy the Season 4 DVD right here.

The Wild Thornberrys

Prepare for a smashing good time as you travel around the world with the Thornberry family in Season 2 of ‘The Wild Thornberrys.’ Eliza Thornberry’s parents, Nigel and Marianne, have a knack for nature; they produce the award-winning nature show, “Nigel Thornberry’s Animal World.” And Eliza has a secret- she was given the magical ability to talk to animals! Together with her family and best friend, a surprisingly sophisticated chimpanzee named Darwin, Eliza devotes her life to helping animals and protecting nature. Two DVDs packed with incredible wild adventures will have you laughing along with the Thornberrys’ comic antics and cheering for victory with every episode. Buy the Season 2, Part 2 DVD right here.

Agatha Christie’s Poirot

Newly remastered and restored to their original U.K. broadcast order, ‘Agatha Christie’s Poirot,’ Series 4 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD. The endearingly eccentric detective Hercule Poirot (David Suchet) is back on the case in these three feature-length mysteries from the hit series. Brimming with beguiling 1930s period details and pitch-perfect performances, these lavish adaptations look better than ever in this remastered edition. ITV Studios’ Poirot has aired on ITV1 in the U.K. since 1989 and on PBS and A&E in the U.S. Series 4 previously aired in 1992. The 2-disc Blu-ray and 3-disc DVD sets include all three mysteries from Series 4, now with SDH subtitles. Series 4 also stars Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Hugh Fraser (Sharpe) as the affable Captain Hastings, and Philip Jackson (Little Voice) as Chief Inspector Japp. Buy the Series 4 Blu-ray right here.

Iron Man Anime & X-Men Anime

With 12 episodes and bonus features in each DVD, bring home the action and adventures of Iron Man and the X-Men in the classic anime style. Guided by New York Times best-selling author Warren Ellis and produced by Madhouse for Marvel Television and Sony Pictures Entertainment Japan, these sets are not to be missed! The ‘Iron Man Anime’ stars Adrian Pasdar (‘Heroes’) as the voice of Tony Stark and the set includes special bonus features: “Re-Imagining Iron Man” explores the plot and themes of the anime series, and “21st Century Hero: The Technology of Iron Man” introduces fans to Tony Stark’s high-tech suit and gadgets. The ‘X-Men Anime’ features the voice of actor Scott Porter (‘Friday Night Lights’) as Cyclops. The set includes: “Re-Examining the X-Men” which takes viewers behind-the-scenes of creating X-Men’s mutant tales and ‘X-Men: A Team of Outsiders,’ which provides an in-depth exploration of Marvel’s most heroic and infamous mutants. Buy the Iron Man Anime DVD and the X-Men Anime DVD.

Return

A weary war veteran grows increasingly isolated after returning from her tour of duty, waging a valiant fight to stay connected to the people she loves in the town where she grew up in the earnest drama ‘Return‘ starring Linda Cardellini and Michael Shannon. Kelli (Cardellini) has just returned home from serving her country, and all she wants is to experience life the way it was before the war. But as her friends seek solace in the minutia of small town life and her children vie for her undivided attention, a chasm begins to open up between Kelli and her loving husband Mike (Shannon), who can’t relate to her experiences on the battlefield. Now, as Kelli becomes a stranger to the very people she grew up with, her life begins to take a series of unexpected turns that leave her struggling to forge a new path into the future. Buy the DVD right here.

Let the Bullets Fly

In the lawless land that is rural China in the 1920s, legendary bandit “Pocky” Zhang (Jiang Wen) and his gang stage a train robbery in ‘Let the Bullets Fly.’ They are quite unhappy to discover that instead of silver, the only thing left on the train is the con man, Tang (Ge You). Desperate, Tang explains that he’s on his way to Goose Town, where he’s bought himself a governorship. If allowed to live, he will help Zhang assume the governorship in his place … where Zhang can make more money in one month as a corrupt politician than he can in a year’s worth of train robberies. With Tang as his prisoner/counselor, off they go.  But neither realizes that Goose Town is already under the iron rule of the wealthy Master Huang (Chow Yun- Fat), whose charming exterior conceals a ruthless, conniving crime lord.  As Zhang begins to see how badly Huang oppresses the citizens of Goose Town, he decides to do something about it, and Huang quickly senses a major threat to his empire. Thus begins an escalating series of hyper-violent (and hilarious) mind games between the bandit and the crime lord, while the devious Tang tries to play both sides until he can exit the situation … preferably with a profit. The stakes quickly rise to ludicrous proportions in this masterfully vicious, pitch-black action-comedy (China’s highest grossing film of all time), and you’ll be laughing the entire time as double- and triple-crosses, razor-sharp wordplay, and hundreds of thousands of bullets explode across the screen. Buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack right here.

Sesame Street: Big Elmo Fun

Elmo embarks on some gigantic adventures in ‘Sesame Street: Big Elmo Fun.’ In “Elmozilla,” he is accidentally enlarged and towers over all of Sesame Street. While Abby tries to figure out how to get Elmo back to his normal size, kids will learn all about measurement as they help solve Elmo’s BIG problem. In “Elmo and the Monarch Butterfly,” children will learn about science and observation. Finally, in a spoof of the hit cooking show “Iron Chef,” Elmo stirs up even more fun in a silly cooking competition, “Cast Iron Cooks,” with Jason Schwartzman as the judge. Buy the DVD right here.

Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour

A 20-year veteran of the stand-up comedy scene with multiple critically acclaimed DVDs, albums, tours and various acting and voiceover roles under his belt, Patton Oswalt has become ubiquitous in the world of stand-up. In his fourth (and Grammy nominated) full-length special ‘Patton Oswalt: Finest Hour,’ Patton covers a range of topics from how hipsters make the Spam museum sad, the greatness of sweatpants and revisits his attack on KFC Famous Bowls. Buy the DVD right here.

Contraband

A former smuggler from New Orleans faces ruthless drug lords, vicious criminals, corrupt officials, and trigger-happy hit men after getting back into the business to help his brother-in-law settle a deadly debt in the new thriller ‘Contraband.’ When it came to transporting illicit goods under treacherous circumstances, Chris Farraday (Mark Wahlberg) used to be the best in the business. But all of that changed when he chose to give up his life of crime to start a family with Kate (Kate Beckinsale). Chris learns that leaving his past behind is easier said than done, however, after Kate’s brother Andy (Caleb Landry Jones) goes to work for ferocious drug lord Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi), and drops the ball on a major deal. Now, in order to set things right, Chris must smuggle millions of dollars in counterfeit bills from Panama into the United States. And if anything goes wrong, Tim will target his entire family for death. With his best friend Sebastian (Ben Foster) by his side and a crackerjack crew along for the ride, Chris heads to Panama for one last job. Later, with time running out and a treacherous maze of desperate criminals to navigate, the job gets complicated, and Chris must race to reach his family before Tim gets to them first. Lukas Haas, Diego Luna, and J.K. Simmons co-star. Buy the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack right here.

The Innkeepers

Westward the Women

Rugged pioneers. Indian fighters. Brave trailblazers. These are the women who tamed the wild west. Based on historical record, the wagon train saga ‘Westward the Women’ details a 2,000 mile journey from Chicago to California. Buck Wyatt (Robert Taylor) is a tough, experienced scout who leads a wagon train full of women, including two prostitutes (Denise Darcel and Julie Bishop), a hearty widow (character great Hope Emerson), and an Italian immigrant widow, with fifteen men acting as guides. When one of the men disobeys Buck’s orders not to fraternize with the ladies, Buck shoots him, causing the others to desert. Instead of turning back, the determined women insist on going on, learning to ride, shoot and drive mules. Although treacherous terrain and a deadly ambush lay ahead, these tough ladies are filled with the American frontier spirit and nothing will stop them! William Wellman directs this genre-busting western from a story by Frank Capra. Buy the DVD at WBshop.com.

Dark Tide

Prepare to swim with the sharks with the release of ‘Dark Tide‘ on Blu-ray Disc, DVD and Digital Download. Starring Academy Award winner Halle Berry (Best Actress in a Leading Role, Monster’s Ball, 2001) and Olivier Martinez (Unfaithful), the taut and suspenseful thriller follows a small boat expedition deep into the dangerous South African waters known as Shark Alley. The movie is directed by John Stockwell, (Into the Blue, Blue Crush, Turistas), from a screenplay by Amy Sorlie and Ronnie Christensen. Kate (Berry) is a shark expert whose business has been failing since a shark attack killed a fellow diver under her command. Once dubbed “the shark whisperer,” Kate is haunted by the memory of the attack and unable to get back into the water. With bills piling up and the bank about to foreclose on Kate’s boat, Kate’s ex-boyfriend Jeff (Martinez) presents her with a lucrative opportunity: lead a thrill-seeking millionaire businessman on a dangerous shark dive…outside the cage. Battling her self-doubts and fear, Kate accepts the proposal — and sets a course for the world’s deadliest feeding ground: Shark Alley. Buy the Blu-ray right here.

A Mother’s Love

From director Tim Alexander (Diary of a Tired Black Man), starring actress and talk-show host Rolonda Watts and Vanessa A. Williams (“Melrose Place,” “Soul Food”), ‘A Mother’s Love’ was an official selection at the 2011 Pan African Film Festival. Regina Reynolds is a strong, independent woman in the truest sense. However, her taste for the good life doesn’t necessarily include her husband Marcus or her daughter Monica. It truly takes “a mother’s love” from Georgia, Regina’s mother, to pray her down to earth. Just in time for Mother’s Day, experience the devotion with ‘A Mother’s Love.’ Buy the DVD right here.