CATEGORIES DVDs
It's not often that you'll find films as extremely opposite as the two main theatrical releases heading to home video this week. First up is the testosterone-pumping sci-fi action adventure reboot 'Predators,' starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Oleg Taktarov, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, Louis Ozawa Changchien and Mahershalalhashbaz Ali as mercenaries and murderers transported to an alien planet where they're hunted down as prey. It's action -- action -- action. At the other end of the spectrum is 'Please Give,' a gentle comedy of human proportions about life on this planet, starring Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet.

'Predators'
What It's About: If you're a Predator fan, then this gory, action-packed reboot is just for you. It starts out as if in a dream -- star Adrien Brody falling from the sky, barely getting his parachute to open. No, this isn't a bad dream -- it's a real nightmare as eight killers -- mercenaries, Yakuza, convicts, death squad members, murderers and predators all -- have been transported to an alien planet, were they're now the hunted ones, being tracked down by seemingly invincible alien Predators. Simplicity itself. Let the games begin.

It's Kinda Like: 'Predator' on steroids

What We Say: We were a great fan of the original 'Predator' but not the milquetoast sequel; our adrenaline levels were excited by the first 'AVP: Alien vs. Predator' (directed by Paul W.S. Anderson) but definitely not the second one. So we were pleased to find that this redo of the 1987 original did justice to the franchise, even ratcheting up the stakes a notch or so by setting up a Predator hierarchy (Classic, Berserker and Trackers). It's straight-ahead action from beginning to end -- with some nice twists thrown in for good measure -- and the possibility of another sequel. It's a two-popcorn bag movie.
• Extras: The DVD includes commentary and motion comic prequel vignettes while the Blu-ray Disc adds a six-part documentary, "Evolution of the Species: Predators Reborn," deleted and extended scenes, "The Chosen" featurette, and more.
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'Please Give'

What It's About: Director Nicole Holofcener has been called the 21st century Woody Allen and this insightful, darkly funny character study about class and family will give you entree to that appellation. Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt are married New Yorkers riddled with guilt. They own an successful upscale vintage furniture store, which they stock by purchasing furniture on the cheap at estate sales. They feel guilt and worry that they're making their daughter too materialistic. And then there's their cranky, elderly next door neighbor with two grown granddaughters; they're waiting for her to die so they can take over her apartment. While they wait, Keener tries to befriend one sister while Platt beds down the other. Oh the angst.

It's Kinda Like:
'Hannah and Her Sisters' meets 'Metropolitan'

What We Say:
This character study of human foibles hits all the right notes: it's light in some places, dark in others, but always respectful of the people who find themselves in conflicted situations, having to make choices in life that are never clear cut. Don't let the low-key story line fool you -- there may not be earthshaking family crises that populate "heavy" melodramas but neither are there the empty-headed situations that make up most romantic comedies. These are real people facing the everyday muck of life, and it's at once intimate and profound. Great performances by Keener, Platt and Rebecca Hall and Amanda Peet as the granddaughters).
• Extras: Behind the scenes featurette, outtakes, Q&A with Holofcener.
Rotten Tomatoes Reviews | Buy DVD | Save DVD to your Netflix queue


'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Ultimate Edition'
and 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Ultimate Edition'
Why the Re-Release? As the Harry Potter franchise slowly winds down -- 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1' will arrive in theaters Nov. 19, with 'Part 2' due July 15 -- Warner Home Video has embarked on a project to re-release all the Potter films on DVD and Blu-ray before next summer. These are ultimate editions in three-disc standard DVD and Blu-ray sets, packed with 40-plus page photo books, collectible character cards, a lenticular card, and digital copies of the film. Each set also has one part of a multi-part documentary on the making of the films, "Creating the World of Harry Potter," as well as a mix of new and old featurettes and extras.

New Special Features: 'Prisoner of Azkaban' includes "Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 3: Creatures," a tour of Nick Dudman's Creature Shop," "Creating the Vision" interview with J.K. Rowling and the filmmakers, "Conjuring a Scene: Creating Buckbeak and the Dementors for the Screen," additional scenes, more. 'Goblet of Fire' includes "Creating the World of Harry Potter Part 4: Sound & Music," "Preparing for the Yule Ball," conversations with the cast, reflections on the fourth film, more.

Is It Worth Upgrading? With Potter films coming in so many configurations since their initial theatrical runs -- as single disc DVDs and Blu-rays, two-disc special editions, and packed in multi-year boxed sets and giftsets, and with the prospect of 3-D versions of all the films just down the road, only the truest of fans will welcome this new package and make extra room on their shelves. If you can't get enough of Harry, then these are for you. If you're new to Potterdom, these are a must -- particularly the Blu-ray versions.
Watch an exclusive clip from the DVD's bonus features:



Best in Blu-ray: 'Psycho,' 'Apocalypse Now,' 'The California Kid'

Other New October 19 DVD Releases:
'Agora'
'Forbidden Lies'
'Holy Rollers'
'Mirrors 2'
'The Misfortunates'
'Night of the Demons' (2009)
'Oceans'
'The Psycho Legacy'
'The Six Wives of Henry Lefay'
'Smash His Camera'
'Wallander'

Also on Blu-ray October 19:
'Apocalypse Now Full Disclosure Edition'
'Moulin Rouge!'
'Psycho 50th Anniversary Edition'
'The Rocky Horror Picture Show'
'Seven Samurai' (Criterion)
'William Shakespeare's Romeo+Juliet'

Check out other new October 19 DVD releases at OnVideo.

More about movies on Blu-ray DVD