BADGES OF FURY (Well Go USA Entertainment): Jet Li and Zhang Wen play mismatched cops trailing a serial killer in Hong Kong in this light-hearted action romp (originally titled Bu er shen tan), marking the directorial debut of Taz Ming Wong and featuring Corey Yuen’s action choreography. In Mandarin with English subtitles or English-dubbed. The DVD retails for $24.98, the Blu-ray for $29.98.
“BEN 10 OMNIVERSE: DUEL OF THE DUPLICATES” (Cartoon Network/Warner Home Video): A DVD selection ($14.97 retail) of episodes from the award-winning, animated sci-fi series about a young hero (voiced by Yuri Lowenthal) who can transform into various alien beings.
BEST FRIENDS FOREVER (Horizon Movies): An uneven but encouraging directorial debut from Brea Grant, who stars with Vera Miao (both scripted) as friends driving to Los Angeles, unaware of the impending apocalypse. Good cinematography by Michelle Lawler.
BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEM- ISTRY (Universal Studios Home Entertainment):
Straight-laced pharmacist Sam Rockwell’s mid-life crisis entails ditching wife Michelle Monaghan and embarking on a wild fling with Olivia Wilde in the debut feature of writer/directors Geoff Moore and David Posamentier, with Ray Liotta, Ken Howard, Norbert Leo Butz and Jane Fonda (who narrates). The DVD retails for $19.98, the Blu-ray for $26.98.
“THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW:
CAROL’S CRACK-UPS” (Time Life/StarVista Entertainment): A self-explanatory six-DVD collection ($59.95 retail) of episodes from the long-running, awardwinning CBS comedy/variety series as selected by Carol Burnett herself, featuring appearances by series regulars Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, Tim Conway, Lyle Waggoner and Dick Van Dyke, plus guest stars Richard Crenna, Carl Reiner, Roddy McDowall, Andy Griffith, Ruth Buzzi, Charo, Steve Lawrence and Gloria Swanson. Lots of special features for Burnett buffs.
“CIVIL WAR: THE UNTOLD STORY” (RLJ Entertainment/Athena): Elizabeth McGovern narrates this five-part PBS documentary mini-series that comprehensively examines the history of the Civil War, featuring interviews with scholars, dramatic battle re-creations and rare archival imagery. The two-DVD collection retails for $49.99.
THE DEMONS (Redemption/Kino Lorber): The Blu-ray bow ($29.95 retail) of Jess Franco’s R-rated 1973 shocker (AKA Les demons) about a group of nuns possessed by demons after being cursed by a witch burned at the stake, inspired by Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971). In French and German with English subtitles.
“DYNASTY”: SEASON EIGHT (CBS DVD/Paramount): The romance, treachery, glamor and greed continue in all 22 episodes from the 1987-’88 season of the award-winning, prime-time ABC soap opera starring John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Heather Locklear, John James, Jack Coleman, Emma Samms and ever-scheming Joan Collins. “Volume One” and “Volume Two” each retail for $42.99, or both volumes as a DVD combo for $69.98.
THE HANGOVER PART III (Warner Home Video): One last blast for Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis brings the boys back to Las Vegas and brings the trilogy to a close. Not as funny as the earlier films, but Helms again proves a first-rate straight man with his constant glowering at Galifianakis’ hijinks. Series veterans Justin Bartha, Ken Jeong, Heather Graham, Sasha Barrese and Jeffrey Tambor re-appear (some briefly), with John Goodman the bad guy and Melissa McCarthy a prospective love interest for Galifianakis. Rated R.
“JIM GAFFIGAN: OBSESSED” (Comedy Central Home Entertainment/Paramount): The popular funnyman steps up for this stand-up comedy special, available on DVD ($16.99 retail) and Blu-ray ($22.98 retail).
MIKE TYSON: UNDISPUTED TRUTH (HBO Home Entertainment):Spike Lee’s one-man Broadway show starring the former heavyweight champ sees “Iron Mike” recounting his turbulent life and career in alternately boastful and self-effacing fashion – but the crowd loves him anyway. Executive producers include Lee, Tyson and Tyson’s wife Kiki (also credited as writer).
NOSTALGHIA (Kino Lorber): Andrei Tarkovsky’s award-winning 1983 drama follows the Russian poet Andrei Gorchakov (Oleg Yankovsky) tours Italy researching a composer’s life when he becomes obsessed with the apocalyptic ramblings of a mad hermit (Erland Josephson) he encounters along the way. In Italian and Russian with English subtitles. The DVD retails for $29.95, the Blu-ray for $34.95.
“RAWHIDE”: THE SEVENTH SEASON (CBS DVD/Paramount): Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood saddle up for more action in the award-winning CBS Western series, featuring guest stars Dean Martin, Robert Blake, Harry Dean Stanton, Barbara Eden, Slim Pickens, Brock Peters and Gavin MacLeod. “Volume One” includes the first 15 episodes from the 1964-’65 season and “Volume Two” the remaining 15 episodes. Each DVD volume retails for $46.99.
“TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL”: THE NINTH AND FINAL SEASON (CBS DVD/Paramount): A DVD boxed set ($61.99 retail) of all 22 episodes from the 2003 season of the award-winning CBS prime-time drama starring Roma Downey as an earthbound angel with a few miracles up her sleeve. Other regulars include Della Reese, John Dye and Valerie Bertinelli, joined by guest stars including Stacy Keach, Lesley Ann Warren, Dennis Weaver, America Ferrera, Cloris Leachman, Patty Duke, David Ogden Stiers, Patrick Duffy and others.
WRONG COPS (IFC Midnight/MPI Media Group): Quentin Dupieux’s raunchy send-up of cop movies and TV shows is hit-and-miss throughout, but it’s hard to dislike so shameless a comedy, especially given its zealous cast: Mark Burnham, Eric Wareheim, Eric Judor, Arden Myrin, Ray Wise, Kurt Fuller, Grace Zabriskie, Agnes Bruckner, Eric Roberts and a makeup-free Marilyn Manson. Dupieux also supervised the score under the pseudonym “Mr. Oizo.”
“YOU, ME & THEM”: SERIES 1 (RLJ Entertainment/Acorn): He’s a divorced grandfather (Anthony Head), she’s a much-younger free spirit (Eve Myles), and their romantic relationship plays out in this British sitco co-starring Lindsay Duncan as Head’s eccentric ex-wife. The DVD collection ($39.99 retail) includes all six episodes from the premiere 2013 season.
“YU-GI-OH”: THE OFFICIAL FOURTH SEASON (Cinedigm): A self-explanatory DVD collection ($44.95 retail) of all 40 episodes from the 2004- ’05 season of the popular fantasy series based on the popular trading-game series. Cindegim is also offering “Volume 1” and “Volume 2” of the fourth season, each retailing for $24.95. !
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2014, Mark Burger.