Sunday, June 16 2013, 08:33 AM MDT
Father's Day Gift Guide
With Father’s Day fast approaching here’s a list of recent DVD and Blu-ray titles that might make shopping for that perfect gift a little easier.
Recently in Theaters
Cloud Atlas (DVD and Blu-ray)
Set in multiple eras in a variety of locations and starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant in multiple roles Cloud Atlas is an epic sci-fi experience so vast it required three directors to film. Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) and Andy and Lana Wachowski (The Matrix) teamed to bring David Mitchell’s novel to life.
Dark Skies (DVD and Blu-ray)
Keri Russell (Felicity) and Josh Hamilton star as a married couple tormented by an unseen force in Scott Stewart’s (Priest, Legion) sci-fi/horror hybrid.
A Good Day to Die Hard (DVD and Blu-ray)
Bruce Willis returns as John McClane for the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise. This time McClane finds himself in Russia trying to save his wayward son.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (DVD and Blu-ray)
Director/writer Tommy Wirkola (Dead Snow) turns the classic tale of Hansel & Gretel into a campy horror picture with an overabundance of over-the-top gore. Starring Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) and Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) as the brother and sister duo.
Identity Thief (DVD and Blu-ray)
Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy star in director Seth Gordon’s (Horrible Bosses) newest comedy about a man forced to travel to Miami from Colorado to confront and detain the woman responsible for stealing his identity and systematically ruining his life.
Jack Reacher (DVD and Blu-ray)
Tom Cruise stars as Jack Reacher, a rogue homicide investigator, who looks to find the truth behind a shooting involving a military marksman and five random victims.
The Last Stand (DVD and Blu-ray)
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns to action films in this outlandish story about a small-town sheriff who takes on a drug cartel as they attempt to smuggle their leader back into Mexico.
Oz the Great and Powerful (DVD and Blu-ray)
Director Sam Raimi and stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams bring the backstory behind Oz’s rise to power in this lively prequel to the classic film The Wizard of Oz.
Side Effects (DVD and Blu-ray)
Steven Soderbergh (Traffic) directs Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law and Catherine Zeta-Jones in Scott Z. Burns’(The Bourne Ultimatum, Contagion) thriller about a woman suffering from unexpected side effects from anti-depressants.
Snitch (DVD and Blu-ray)
Dwayne Johnson stars as a father forced to work for the DEA in order to save his son from an extended prison sentence for a first-time offense.
Classic Films and Box Sets
Robert Redford stars in this 1980 drama as a warden who poses as an inmate to expose the corruption of an Arkansas prison. W.D. Richter and Arthur A. Ross received an Oscar nomination for their work on the film’s screenplay.
For its 50th anniversary the 4-hour version of Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s historical epic starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton and Rex Harrison was given a full restoration and the fruits of those labors are obvious in Fox’s new Blu-ray release.
Clint Eastwood 40-Film Collection (DVD)
Warner Bros. continues its love affair with Clint Eastwood with this massive box set that includes the majority of Eastwood’s classic films including Dirty Harry, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Unforgiven, Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino and J. Edgar. The set also features the newly produced documentary Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story as well as the previously released extended version of The Eastwood Factor documentary. A 20-film version of the box set has been released on Blu-ray.
Enter the Dragon (Blu-ray)
After 40 years Enter the Dragon is still considered by many to be the quintessential martial arts film. Released only a handful of days after the death of Bruce Lee, the film was a worldwide success and influenced more than its share of filmmakers and paved the way for films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Kill Bill.
The Henry Fonda Film Collection (DVD)
Fox has released a box set containing 10 of Henry Fonda’s films. It features a nice mix of Fonda’s early films and a pair of movies from the 1960s. The set includes: Jesse James (1939), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Return of Frank James (1940), Immortal Sergeant (1943), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), My Darling Clementine (1946), Daisy Kenyon (1947), The Longest Day (1962) and The Boston Strangler (1968)
The Great Escape (Blu-ray)
Steve McQueen stars in this classic WWII film about a group of Allied POWs who plan their escape from a German prison camp.
In Old Arizona (Blu-ray)
In 1929 novelist O. Henry’s Cisco Kid was brought to life in director Irvin Cummings’ In Old Arizona. The film was the first Western talkie to be shot outdoors (including scenes in Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park). The film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture.
Mad Max Trilogy (Blu-ray)
Mel Gibson and director George Miller launched their careers with 1979’s Australian dystopian film Mad Max. The duo would reunite for a pair of sequels, the superior Mad Max 2 (aka The Road Warrior) and the delightfully over-blown Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. This collection marks the Blu-ray debut of Beyond Thunderdome.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (Blu-ray)
Warner Bros. celebrates the 30th anniversary of the landmark comedy National Lampoon’s Vacation with a Blu-ray release that includes a new retrospective documentary with interviews with the cast and crew. The fourth film in the series, Vegas Vacation, also recently made its Blu-ray debut.
The Verdict (Blu-ray)
Nominated for five Oscars director Sidney Lumet (12 Angry Men, Network) joined forces with screenwriter David Mamet and actor Paul Newman for this stunning adaptation of Barry Reed’s novel about an ageing lawyer in search of redemption.
Viva Zapata (Blu-ray)
Elia Kazan’s Oscar winning from 1952 film stars Marlon Brando as the Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata.
Breaking Bad: The Fifth Season
The continuing, but soon to end, adventures of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), America’s favorite science teacher (turned drug dealer).
Fans of the newer series have The Snowmen Christmas special and the second half of season seven on DVD and Blu-ray. Those that prefer the older storylines have Mind of Evil and special edition releases of Visitation and Inferno on DVD to choose from.
Falling Skies: The Complete Second Season
The second season of TNT’s Steven-Spielberg-produced alien invasion series retains the quality mix of solid acting, sci-fi action and intelligent storylines that made the first season such a pleasure to watch.
House of Cards: The Complete First Season
From executive producer David Fincher (Seven, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) and based on the excellent BBC series (which was based on Michael Dobbs’ novel) this political drama stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, a disgruntled politician determined to undermine those that stand in his way.
The Newsroom: The Complete First Season
The first season HBO’s drama finds The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin shifting his focus to the behind-the-scenes happenings at Atlantis Cable News. The series is still finding its footing, but has a tremendous cast that includes Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher, Jr., and Alison Pill.
Perception: Season One
Eric McCormack (Will & Grace) stars as a schizophrenic neuropsychiatrist who aids the FBI with various cases by providing his unique perspective. Rachael Leigh Cook co-stars.
Suits: Season Two
Secrets and blackmail dominate the second season of the USA Network drama about Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a college dropout who masquerades as Harvard graduate to work at a high-profile law firm in New York City.
True Blood: The Complete Fifth Season
Season five marks the end of Alan Ball’s run as showrunner for this HBO guilty pleasure. Based on The Southern Vampire series the show is a bloody soap opera populated by shapeshifters, vampires, werewolves, witches, fairies and witches. Where the show goes next is anyone’s guess.
-Ryan Michael Painter