ALPHA & OMEGA 3: THE GREAT WOLF GAMES (LionsGate): The latest installment in the CGI-animated film franchise about a fun-loving family of wolves.
The DVD retails for $19.98, the DVD/Bluray combo for $24.98.
“ANGER MANAGEMENT”: VOLUME TWO (LionsGate): Charlie Sheen’s up to his old tricks as the therapist in need of therapy, in 24 episodes from the 2013 season of the FX Network comedy series, available on DVD ($34.98 retail) or Blu-ray ($34.97 retail).
“ANGRY BIRDS TOONS”: SEASON ONE, VOLUME TWO (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment): The popular animated comedy shorts (originating from Finland!) pit the titular critters against the Bad Piggies on Piggy Island. This collection, which includes the remaining 26 episodes from the inaugural 2013 season, retails for $19.99 (DVD) and $26.99 (Bluray).
BIRDS OF PARADISE (LionsGate): This PG-rated animated feature ($19.98 retail) focuses on our feathered friends and features the voice talents of Ashley Tisdale, Drake Bell, Jon Lovitz, Jane Lynch, Ken Jeong, Dallas Lovato and Keith David.
CHICAGO (Miramax/LionsGate): A “diamond edition” DVD/Blu-ray combo ($14.99 retail) of Oscar-nominated director Rob Marshall’s 2002 feature debut, a splashy musical based on Bob Fosse’s ‘70s Broadway musical and inspired by an actual case in the title town during the Roaring Twenties, with Renee Zellweger (Oscar nominee for Best Actress) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (Oscar winner for Best Supporting Actress) as accused murderesses Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, with Richard Gere as smooth-talking lawyer Billy Flynn. In development for decades, some love it, some think it’s overrated – but it became Miramax’s biggest boxoffice hit, as well as Oscar winner for Best Picture, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Editing and Best Sound, with additional nominations for Best Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly), Best Supporting Actress (Queen Latifah), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography and Best Song (“I Move On”).
Title notwithstanding, to save money the film was shot entirely in Toronto! Rated PG-13.
THE CONTRACTOR (LionsGate): Faint echoes of Cape Fear in this tedious, sub-standard thriller with Christina Cox and Brad Rowe as a couple whose hiring of contractor Danny Trejo goes predictably sour. Good cast deserves better. Rated PG-13.
DRACULA: THE DARK PRINCE (LionsGate): The goofy, episodic medieval chiller is more JRR Tolkien than Bram Stoker – and scarcely an improvement on either. Luke Roberts is a weak Dracula, with Jon Voight (sporting a bulbous nose and accent) as Van Helsing. Rated R.
GREAT WHITE (RetroVision Entertainment): Writer/director Zac Reeder’s lowrent 1998 shark opus (at one point titled Shark) finds a fiendish fish unaccountably prowling a Nevada lake. Slow-moving, shot on video, and (very) loosely based on the 1916 New Jersey shark attacks. The shark footage is slightly more convincing than the fiberglass fin that slushes through the water. The Greensboro-based RetroVision has at least made this the best-looking version of a laughably bad movie. That counts for something. Rated PG-13.
HOUSE OF VERSACE (LionsGate): Gina Gershon portrays Donatella Versace in this Lifetime adaptation of Deborah Ball’s best-seller, detailing the fashion empire’s tumult following the tragic 1997 murder of her brother Gianni (Enrico Colantoni).
Colm Feore (as Santo Versace), Donna Murphy and Raquel Welch co-star. The DVD retails for $14.98.
KINGDOM OF CONQUERORS (LionsGate): The rise to power of Genghis Khan (Tu Men) in 13th-century Mongolia is dramatized in director Wang Ping’s historical saga. Rated PG-13. The DVD retails for $26.98.
MOBIUS (LionsGate): Jean Dujardin, Tim Roth and Cecile De France are mixed up in international intrigue in writer/director Eric Rochant’s R-rated thriller, available on DVD ($19.98 retail) and Blu-ray ($24.99 retail).
MORTAL ENEMIES (LionsGate): Robin Shou and newcomer Verdy Bhawanta play boyhood friends unexpectedly reunited when the latter is abducted by modern-day pirates. Originally titled Pirate Brothers, this R-rated action opus retails for $26.98 (DVD).
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES (Paramount): The latest installment of the popular found-footage horror franchise stars Andrew Jacobs (in his screen debut) as a teenager terrorized by supernatural phenomena. Rated R (also available in an unrated version). The DVD retails for $29.95, the DVD/Blu-ray combo for $39.99.
“POWER RANGERS MEGAFORCE: ULTIMATE TEAM POWER”: VOLUME 1 (LionsGate): A DVD collection ($14.98 retail) of the first four episodes from the inaugural 2013 season of the Nickelodeon fantasy/action series, the latest incarnation of the “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.” LionsGate has also released the fourepisode DVD selection “Power Rangers Samurai: The Sixth Ranger” – Volume 4 ($14.98 retail), “Power Rangers: Clash of the Red Rangers – The Movie” ($14.98 retail), “Power Rangers: The Great Dragon Spirit” ($14.98 retail) and “Power Rangers Megaforce: The Mysterious Robo Knight” ($14.98 retail).
PRIMITIVE (LionsGate): So-so shocker with Matt O’Neill as a special-effects expert whose darkest impulses manifest themselves as a monstrous demon. Phantasm mainstay Reggie Bannister plays O’Neill’s shrink and Le’Rue Delashay’s score echoes Bernard Herrmann (which isn’t a bad thing). Rated R.
REDEMPTION (LionsGate): Jason Statham’s back in action as a burned-out ex-soldier mixed up with London’s underworld. The directorial debut of screenwriter Steven Knight is routine action fodder (originally titled Hummingbird), nicely shot by ace cinematographer Chris Menges. Joe Wright was an executive producer. Rated R.
SEAL PATROL (LionsGate): A generic title for a generic movie, in which Eric Roberts hires a crack military unit (called “BlackJacks,” the film’s original title) to infiltrate his quarantined energy facility, where an inhuman menace awaits. Yes, this is one of those movies. Co-star Brian Donowho was also a producer. Rated R.
“SIBERIA”: SEASON ONE (Lions- Gate): A DVD collection ($24.98 retail) of all 11 episodes from the inaugural 2013 season of the NBC fantasy series in which contestants in a reality-TV show face supernatural forces in the Tunguska region of Siberia, where a century before unexplained events previously transpired. The regular cast includes Joyce Giraud, Johnny Wactor, Esther Anderson and Jonathon Buckley.
“SWAMP PEOPLE”: SEASON 4 (LionsGate): A six-DVD boxed set ($24.98 retail) of all 23 episodes from the 2013 season of the popular History Channel reality series detailing the daily lives of the denizens in a remote bayou of southern Louisiana. !
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2014, Mark Burger.