New DVDs and Blu-rays this week include The Martian (Matt Damon), Sinister 2 (review | giveaway | Shannyn Sossamon), Hotel Transylvania 2 (review), Howl (Ed Speleers), Irrational Man (Joaquin Phoenix, Emma Stone), and The Stanford Prison Experiment (Billy Crudup). Continue reading for a summary of the new Blu-rays and DVDs for this week.
DVDs coming out the week of January 12, 2016
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
Sinister 2 (review | giveaway)
The sequel to the 2012 sleeper hit horror movie. In the aftermath of the shocking events in Sinister, a protective mother (Shannyn Sossamon of Wayward Pines) and her 9-year-old twin sons (real-life brothers Robert and Dartanian Sloan) find themselves in a rural house marked for death as the evil spirit of Bughuul continues to spread with frightening intensity.
Hotel Transylvania 2 (review)
In this all-new monster comedy adventure, everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania. However, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is on vacation, things get batty as Drac enlists his monster friends Frank, Murray, Wayne, and Griffin to put Dennis through a monster-in-training boot camp.
On a dark and stormy night the last train out of London comes to a sudden halt deep in the middle of a forest. After the driver ventures out to investigate and never returns, the passengers are in a state of panic – particularly after seeing the driver’s mutilated body outside the carriage. Realizing there’s something dangerous lurking in the forest, a ticket-collector, Joe (Ed Speleers), tells the passengers to make barricades to secure themselves in the carriage, but soon the deadly creature is stalking the besieged train and smashing through their defenses, picking them off one-by-one. Joe rallies his ‘pack’ of passengers to fight back. During a vicious battle they manage to kill the creature, revealing it to be a hideous mutated fusion of human and wild animal — a werewolf. However, celebrations are cut short when they hear more howls coming from the forest.
Soon after arriving to teach at a small town college, Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) gets involved with two women, Rita Richards (Parker Posey), a lonely professor who wants him to rescue her from her unhappy marriage; and Jill Pollard (Emma Stone), his best student, who becomes his closest friend. While Jill loves her boyfriend Roy (Jamie Blackley), she finds Abe’s tortured, artistic personality and exotic past irresistible. Pure chance changes everything when Abe and Jill overhear a stranger’s conversation and when Abe makes a profound choice, he is able to embrace life to the fullest again. But his decision sets off a chain of events that will affect him, Jill and Rita forever.
The Stanford Prison Experiment
Based on the notorious true story, The Stanford Prison Experiment stars Billy Crudup (Watchmen) as Stanford University professor Dr. Philip Zimbardo, who, in 1971, cast 24 student volunteers as prisoners and guards in a simulated jail to examine the source of abusive behavior in the prison system. The results astonished the world, as participants went from middle-class undergrads to drunk-with-power sadists and submissive victims in just a few days. Featuring an extraordinary cast including Ezra Miller, Olivia Thirlby, Tye Sheridan, Keir Gilchrist, Michael Angarano, and Thomas Mann, and created with the close participation of Dr. Zimbardo himself, The Stanford Prison Experiment is a chilling, edge-of-your-seat thriller about the dark side of power and the effects of imprisonment.