DVD PICK OF THE WEEK: ONE HOUR PHOTO (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Robin Williams offers a superb display of his versatility in this award-winning 2002 psychological thriller as Sy Parrish, a buttoned-down, seemingly mild-mannered employee who develops photographs at a suburban store called “SavMart.”Sy is obsessed with what he perceives to be an ideal family in Will and Nina Yorkin (Michael Vartan and Connie Nielsen) and their son Jake (Dylan Smith), but as he begins to realize theirs is not so “picture-perfect” a union, he descends into obsession.Writer/director Mark Romanek has fashioned a marvelously controlled and chilling exercise. One is never quite sure that Sy will do next, which intensifies the suspense. A solid cast includes Gary Cole as Sy’s officious boss, Clark Gregg and Eriq LaSalle as the inevitable police presence, and Erin Daniels as Will’s mistress, but this is Williams’ show all the way and he gives one of his very best performances to date.The new Blu-ray ($19.99 retail) includes audio commentary with Williams and Romanek, a featurette, and more. Rated R.
BALTIMORE RAVENS: ROAD TO XLVII (NFL Films/Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment): The title tells all in this collection of complete network broadcasts of the Ravens’ playoff victories during the 2012- ’13 season, culminating in a Super Bowl victory over the San Francisco 49ers. The DVD boxed set retails for $39.93, the Bluray boxed set for $49.99.
“THE CAROL BURNETT SHOW: THIS TIME TOGETHER” (StarVista Entertainment/Time-Life): A six-DVD collection ($59.95 retail) of 17 complete episodes from the long-running (11 season), award-winning (25 Emmys) comedy/variety show starring Burnett, Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence and Lyle Waggoner, with guest appearances by Dick Van Dyke, Sammy Davis Jr., Lily Tomlin, Bernadette Peters and many more.
CLOUD ATLAS (Warner Home Video): Filmmakers Andy and Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer joined forces for this epic, award-winning adaptation of David Mitchell’s bestselling novel, which offers a millennial exploration of the human condition and and a star-studded cast (including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw and Keith David) in multiple roles. Some critics liked it and some didn’t, but audiences stayed away in any event. The DVD retails for $28.98, the DVD/Blu-ray combo for $35.99. Rated R.
END OF WATCH (Universal Studios Home Entertainment): Jake Gyllenhaal (also an executive producer) and Michael Pena star in writer/director David Ayer’s colorful, exciting police drama as cops patrolling the mean streets of Los Angeles. The use of hand-held and surveillance cameras is distracting at times (as usual), but also more effective here than elsewhere. At its best, Ayer captures the distinctive flavor of Joseph Wambaugh. Rated R.
GANGSTER SQUAD (Warner Home Video): Thick-headed crime saga with Josh Brolin leading a team of cops (Ryan Gosling, Michael Pena, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Robert Patrick) on a violent campaign to usurp the power of gangster Mickey Cohen (an unleashed Sean Penn) in post-World War II Los Angeles. Inspired by true events, but just more inspired by other, better movies, and made by people who think they’re smarter than the genre. Emma Stone is wasted as Cohen’s moll and Gosling’s love interest, while Nick Nolte (who plays police chief Willard Parker) headlined a similar, superior film Mulholland Falls in 1996. One of 2013’s major disappointments. Rated R.
IDENTITY THIEF (Universal Studios Home Entertainment): Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy headline this hit comedy about an uptight accountant whose bank account is breached by a sassy con artist. The DVD retails for $29.98, the DVD/Blu-ray combo for $34.98. Rated R (also available in an extended unrated version).
LIZ & DICK (Entertainment One): The scandalous, tumultuous and immortal romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as played by Lindsay Lohan and Grant Bowler, but try as they might they’re no match for the real thing. Even the camp quotient is middling.
“LONGMIRE”: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Warner Home Video): Robert Taylor lays down the law in the title role of the widowed Wyoming sheriff, in all 10 episodes from the inaugural 2012 season of the popular A&E crime drama based on Craig Johnson’s bestselling novels. Katee Sackhoff, Bailey Chase, Adam Bartley, Cassidy Freeman and former Young Gun Lou Diamond Phillips round out the regular cast. The DVD boxed set retails for $39.98.
THE NUMBERS STATION (Image Entertainment): CIA agent John Cusack has a last mission in mind… which, of course, doesn’t go according to plan in this R-rated espionage thriller co-starring Malin Akermann and Liam Cunningham. The DVD retails for $27.97, the Blu-ray for $29.97.
“PERCEPTION”: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (ABC Studios): Eric McCormack stars as a brilliant scientist tapped recruited by former student and FBI agent Rachael Leigh Cook to help solve tough crimes, in all 10 episodes from the inaugural 2012 season of the TNT mystery series. The DVD boxed set retails for $29.99.
“PRETTY LITTLE LIARS”: THE COM- PLETE THIRD SEASON (Warner Home Video): More secrets come to light for the title lovelies in all 24 episodes from the 2012- ’13 season of the award-winning ABC Family series based on Sara Shepard’s best-selling novels. The regular cast includes Ashley Benson, Holly Marie Combs, Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale, Tyler Blackburn and Laura Leighton. The five-DVD boxed set, which retails for $59.98, includes bonus webisodes, deleted scenes, a gag reel and more.
“SAVING HOPE”: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (Entertainment One): A four-DVD boxed set ($39.98 retail) containing all 13 episodes from the inaugural 2012 season of the award-winning, Canadian medical drama with a supernatural bent, as the spirit of a Toronto surgeon (Michael Shanks) continues to haunt the halls of his hospital while his fiancee and colleague (Erica Durance) tries to cope. NBC aired the first season in the US.
SOMMORE: CHANDELIER STATUS (Entertainment One): The actress/comedienne (born Lori Ann Rambough) rocks Miami in this stand-up comedy special ($14.98 retail).
“TEEN WOLF”: SEASON 2 (MGM Studios/Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment): The full-moon madness continue for all-American teenager and werewolf Tyler Posey in all 12 episodes from the 2012 season of the awardwinning MTV thriller series (loosely) based on the 1985 horror comedy. The three-DVD collection retails for $39.98.
THIN ICE (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment): Wintry Wisconsin is the setting for director Jill Sprecher’s clever black comedy with Greg Kinnear (perfectly cast) as an insurance agent trying to con retired farmer Alan Arkin with the “help” of loony locksmith Billy Crudup. Originally titled The Convincer, the film’s premiere was reportedly disappointing, so producers re-cut the film (hence Kinnear’s narration, one assumes), not entirely to the satisfaction of Sprecher (who wrote the script with sister Karen) — but the end result is enjoyable nonetheless. Lea Thompson and Bob Balaban also appear. Rated R.
VIRGINIA (Entertainment One): Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black makes his directorial debut with this quirky drama starring Jennifer Connelly as an unstable single mother who goes off the deep end — but not without reason. An interesting failure (“interesting” being the operative word) given heft by a star-studded cast including Ed Harris, Emma Roberts, Toby Jones, Carrie Preston, Yeardley Smith and Harris’ real-life wife Amy Madigan. Rated R.
MARK BURGER can be heard Friday mornings on the “Two Guys Named Chris” radio show on Rock-92. © 2013, Mark Burger.