Tom Cruise wants to kill Hitler. "Worth seeing for its irresistible ensemble of character actors, a handful of really well-crafted sequences, and a truth-based story that simply deserves to be repeated," wrote Scott Weinberg. Directed by Bryan Singer. Available in single-disc and double-disc editions, and also on Blu-ray. Rent it.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Kevin James as a plus-sized man in uniform. "Harmlessly humorless, Paul Blart tepidly goes through its motions, but that doesn't mean you have to," opined Nick Schager. Directed by Steve Carr. Also on Blu-ray. Skip it.
Remake of 1981 slasher flick. "Cheesy, corny, gimmicky, gory fun ... low-brow entertainment with high-tech execution," declared William Goss, and I concur. Consider this movie a love letter to horror fans. With Jensen Ackles and Kerr Smith. Directed by Patrick Lussier. Also on Blu-ray. Rent it.
Southern Gothic vampire weirdness translated remarkably well to television, despite some wonky faux-Louisiana accents. Not every episode works, yet even the imperfections and blemishes are fascinating to watch. With Anna Paquin. Also on Blu-ray. Buy it.
After the jump: Indies on DVD, more Blu-ray picks, and Collector's Corner!
Geeks travel cross country to steal a movie so their friend can see it before he dies of cancer. "Pretty dang fun -- quadruply so if you happen to be a Star Wars fanatic," observed Scott Weinberg. With a slew of cameos by familiar faces and Kristen Bell in a Slave Leia costume. Directed by Kyle Newman.
Crips and Bloods: Made in America
Stacy Peralta's doc analyzes gang violence in South Los Angeles, a subject that sounds numbingly familiar. Yet Peralta breathes life into what could be an academic exercise by surrounding the expected talking-head interviews with a vibrant mix of photos, archival footage, and music, allowing the community to come to life, even as he probes in possible solutions and keeps the moralizing to a minimum.
"Vikings vs. aliens -- you're either with it or not. ... Outlander is probably the best possible version of whatever movie you've already made in your head from reading those first three words," according to William Goss. With James Caviezel, John Hurt, and Sophia Myles. Directed by Howard McCain.
Three men seek to reestablish a music theater's glory in 1936 Paris. "Tries to do a dozen different things, and does none of them well," in the opinion of Eugene Novikov. Directed by Christophe Barratier.
A Bug's Life
Hungry for Up? Sink into the glories of a classic tale, as ants struggle against the oppressive yoke of grasshoppers, and a traveling circus may hold the key to the future of ant-hood. With the voices of Dave Foley, Kevin Spacey, and a pre-Heroes Hayden Panettiere. Directed by Andrew Stanton and John Lasseter.
Three Days of the Condor
Oh, for the days of the paranoid 70s, when conspiracies lurked around every corner and spies were not like us. Nowadays they're all in satellites, but in Sydney Pollack's thriller, they look like Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway. And when they're not sleek and stylish, they're Max von Sydow, Cliff Robertson, and John Houseman.
Before he was Bruce Wayne or John Connor, Christian Bale was a mysterious, haunted character in Brad Anderson's disturbing, increasingly discomfiting film. I'm not sure I'd necessarily want to see The Machinist on Blu-ray -- in part because one viewing was enough to leave scars -- but if you haven't seen it, this is the way to go.
Also out: Batman (1989), Changing Lanes, Circle of Iron, Eden Log, An Enemy at the Gates, Lions for Lambs, Paycheck, Sisterhood, Spy Game, Terminator 2: Complete Collector's Set.
Limited Edition T2 Complete Collector's Set Endoskull
Clear off a shelf. As William Goss reported, "The SIX-disc set will have that disc, the previous DVD editions (both cuts of which are technically included on the Blu-ray), and a digital copy, all wrapped up in a 14" T-800 Endoskull that lights up and makes noise every time you open your wallet." List price: $174.99, though Amazon currently has it on sale for the bargain price of $115.99. Hey, it's your money.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle
A legendarily under-seen 70s drama finally comes to DVD. Robert Mitchum stars as a "two-bit hood," as Roger Ebert described his character. "Mitchum has perhaps never been better." With Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan, and Alex Rocco. Directed by Peter Yates.
A big-game hunter wants to kill Hitler. Fritz Lang's 1941 thriller " has the timeless quality of a work of pure imagination," says Dave Kehr in the New York Times in a marvelous review. With Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, George Sanders, John Carradine, and Roddy McDowell.