This week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases include Tai Chi Zero, End of Watch, The Paperboy, Searching for Sugar Man, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, Death Race 3: Inferno, Young Justice Invasion Destiny Calling: Season 2, and Iron Man: Armored Adventures Season 2 Vol 3. I have not seen any of them yet, but Tai Chi Zero looks the most promising based on the movie trailer. If you’re thinking about adding it to your Netflix queue, keep in mind the film is in Mandarin Chinese so you’ll have to read subtitles. If you have children, Young Justice and Iron Man are both excellent choices. My kids love those two series, which feature high school and college age superheroes.
DVDs coming out the week of January 22, 2013
- Tai Chi Zero
In legendary Chen Village, everyone is a martial arts master, using their powerful Chen Style Tai Chi in all aspects of their lives. Lu Chan has arrived to train, but the villagers are forbidden to teach Chen Style to outsiders, and do their best to discourage him by challenging him to a series of fights. Everyone, from strong men to young children, defeats him using their Tai Chi moves. But when a man from the village’s past returns with a frightening steam-powered machine and plans to build a railroad through the village at any costs, the villagers realize they may have no choice but to put their faith in Ly Chan… who has a secret power of his own.
- End of Watch
In their mission to abide by their oath to serve and protect, Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Pena) have formed a powerful brotherhood to ensure they both go home at the end of watch. But nothing can prepare them for the violent backlash that happens after they pull over the members of a notorious drug cartel for a routine traffic stop. Seen from the point of view of the officers, gang members, surveillance cameras, dash cams and citizens caught in the line of fire, a 360° perspective creates a gritty, compassionate and intense portrait of the city’s darkest streets, and the brave men and women patrolling them.
- Searching for Sugar Man
The film is about the incredible true story of Rodriguez the greatest ’70s rock icon who never was. After being discovered in a Detroit bar Rodriguez’s sound struck two renowned producers and they signed a recording deal. But when the album bombed the singer disappeared into obscurity. A bootleg recording found its way into apartheid South Africa and over the next two decades he became a phenomenon. The film follows the story of two South African fans who set out to find out what really happened to their hero.
- Young Justice Invasion Destiny Calling: Season 2
The latest season of the critically acclaimed series jumps ahead in time five years to re-introduce the original squad as well as all new members Nightwing, Wondergirl, Blue Beetle, Batgirl, and Beast Boy as they fight off a secret alien invasion affecting the entire planet.
- Iron Man: Armored Adventures Season 2 Vol 3
Join Tony Stark and his friends as they battle it out to keep control of his father’s company Stark Enterprises and protect the original Iron Man armor! Watch as he fights villains to save his position as the original Iron Man all while being a normal teenager. Will he be able to help a fellow super-hero regain his power? Or will he turn his back on him in an effort to protect himself? Anything can happen in the superhero world of Iron Man Armored Adventures!
- Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning
John (Scott Adkins) wakes up from a coma to discover his wife and daughter were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Haunted by images of the attack he vows to kill the man responsible Luc Deveraux (Jean-Claude Van Damme). While John tries to piece his reality back together things get more complicated when he is pursued by a relentless UniSol (Andrei Arlovski). As John gets closer to Deveraux and the rouge army of genetically enhanced warriors led by back-from-the-dead leader Andrew Scott (Dolph Lundgren) John discovers more about himself and begins to call into question everything he believed to be true.
- The Paperboy
A man (John Cusack) convicted of killing a seedy sheriff is given a new life when a female pen pal (Nicole Kidman) enlists the aid of two journalists to try and get him off death row. PRECIOUS’ Lee Daniels adapts Pete Dexter’s novel.
- Death Race 3: Inferno
Repentant convict Carl Lucas (Luke Goss) — aka Frankenstein — is a legendary driver in the brutal prison blood sport known as Death Race. Only one victory away from winning freedom, Lucas is plunged into his most vicious competition yet: the first-ever desert Death Race. Through South Africa’s infernal Kalahari Desert, Lucas is pitted against ruthless adversaries and powerful forces at work behind the scenes to ensure his defeat. Also starring Danny Trejo and Ving Rhames, Death Race 3: Inferno is an insane, action-packed thrill ride.
DVDs released last week
- Won’t Back Down (review and giveaway)
OSCAR Nominees Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis lead a stellar cast in this rousing drama inspired by actual events. Frustrated by her dyslexic daughter’s struggles at a failing inner-city school, Jamie Fitzpatrick (Gyllenhaal) tries to enroll her somewhere else. When this fails, Jamie recruits a disillusioned but caring teacher (Davis) to try to fix the broken school. Soon, the women find themselves in a tense battle against apathy, hopelessness, and powerful interests. OSCAR Winner Holly Hunter and OSCAR Nominee Rosie Perez** also star in this inspiring story that shows how profoundly parents can affect their kids’ education.
- 30 Nights of Paranormal Activity With the Devil (giveaway)
Scare yourself silly and scream with laughter at this hilarious spoof of Hollywood’s hottest horror movies. When a young family, who can’t seem to stop filming themselves, moves into a house that turns out to be haunted, they meet up with a host of creepy characters — including a horny vampire-hunting president who wants to emancipate their dragon-tattooed daughter. With help from the hysterically high-energy “Ghost Brothers” the family sets out to solve the mystery of the haunted house.
- Thomas & Friends: Muddy Matters (review and giveaway)
Through mud, garbage and muck, Thomas and his engine friends show that being Really Useful can be a dirty job! See James turn into the Really Muddy Engine, and Thomas get showered with garbage. Watch Peter Sam make a big mess trying to keep things on track, as Thomas creates chaos with the crows and much, much more. Join Thomas and the Steam Team as they make the best of the mess in these exciting muddy and mucky adventures!
- Taken 2
Liam Neeson returns as Bryan Mills, the ex-CIA operative who stopped at nothing to rescue his daughter from sadistic kidnappers. When the father of one of the kidnappers swears revenge, it is Bryan and his wife who find themselves “taken” hostage in Istanbul. To survive, Bryan must enlist the help of an unlikely ally and use his brutally efficient skills to take out his heavily-armed foes one by one.
- To Rome with Love
Romance! Adventure! Hilarity! Italy! Woody Allen leads this all-star cast on a rollicking ride through the streets of one of the world’s greatest cities. Lovers and Fiances, Opera Singers and Architects, the talented and the famous, and the youthful and the wise are all players within this ensemble tour-de-force as their stories and lives magically criss-cross and collide throughout this engaging film.
- The Possession
Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em’s behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a Dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.
- About Cherry
18-year-old Angelica (Ashley Hinshaw, Chronicle) shuffles between school, a dead-end job, her exploitative boyfriend (Johnny Weston) and home, where her life consists of cleaning up after her alcoholic mother (Lily Taylor) and protecting her younger sister from their menacing stepfather. After arranging an escape to San Francisco with her best friend Andrew (Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), she soon finds herself dating a coke-addicted attorney (James Franco) and becoming immersed in the local adult film industry, mentored by director Margaret (Heather Graham), who has more than just a professional interest in Angelica’s talents.