New releases on DVD, Blu-ray
Denzel Washington starts in "Flight."
Updated: February 5, 2013 7:36AM
NEW THIS WEEK
PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sexual content, language, drug references, and nudity
Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Rachel Nichols
This sicko-violent yet ho-hum crime thriller suggests that action thrillers are not the ideal habitat for comedic character actor Perry (“Madea Goes to Jail”). Perry takes over from Morgan Freeman (“Along Came a Spider,” “Kiss the Girls”) as detective/clinical psychologist Alex Cross, whose efforts to thwart a torture-happy hit man called The Butcher (Fox) become decidedly personal after the killer turns his attentions to Cross’s crew and family. Unfortunately, even after going rogue, Perry remains calm, controlled, mild-mannered and soft-spoken for the most part, though he does seethe a little now and then.
R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and an intense action sequence
Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Nadine Velazquez
Just what the beleaguered airline industry needs: a movie that could make even the most confident flyer think twice, and twice again and then a few more times after that, about ever setting foot on an airplane again. Director Robert Zemeckis’ (“Back to the Future,” “Forest Gump”) spectacularly dramatic return to live action after years of motion-capture opuses such as “The Polar Express” features what may be the most harrowing plane crash in movie history and an equally harrowing personal death-spiral by the substance-abusing pilot (Washington) who saved the day despite being drunk and high on cocaine. After the plane crash, when Capt. Whitaker learns he could be facing life in prison since 6 of 102 passengers died in the crash (entirely due to equipment failure), “Flight” becomes a long, slow, careful study of the pilot’s complex character as his inability to face his addictions compels him to hit bottom at extremely high velocity.
HERE COMES THE BOOM
PG for bouts of MMA sports violence, some rude humor and language
Kevin James, Salma Hayek, Henry Winkler
Somehow, sitcom star James never seems particularly credible as a mixed martial arts contender — even when it’s all for a good cause. James plays Mr. Voss, a once-dedicated biology teacher who’s been marking time until retirement — until he learns that his hero, gifted music teacher Mr. Streb (Winkler) is about to lose his job because of budget cuts. Voss quickly declares that he will raise the $48,000 needed to save the day, then realizes he has no idea how to go about it. Until he realizes there’s big money in losing fights, if he can survive getting trounced 30 or 40 times before the end of the semester. Eventually, though, he starts thinking it will be faster and less painful if he starts winning, which moves “Here Comes the Boom” into sub-“Rocky” territory — with an overlay of inspirational teacher drama. Even though all of that is predictable, it’s not unsatisfying if you’re feeling tolerant.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
Bob Fosse’s Oscar-winning 1972 musical gets the high-def treatment in its Blu-ray debut. Extras include a new, remastered print featuring new and vintage documentaries, a 40-page book and a multi-part memory gallery.
DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL
A documentary about one of the most influential female figures of the 20th-century. During her 50-year reign as “Empress of Fashion,” Vreeland launched the modeling career of Twiggy, advised Jackie Onassis and was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar for 25 years before becoming editor-in-chief of Vogue.
HOUSE OF CARDS TRILOGY
The original U.K. series about political intrigue in Parliament has been remastered for this BBC collection including the “House of Cards” sequels “To Play the King” and “The Final Cut.” Extras include commentary by star Ian Richardson and screenwriter Andrew Davies.
JOSEPH CAMPBELL AND THE POWER OF MYTH WITH BILL MOYERS
This three-disc 25th anniversary edition features the PBS journalist’s well-known interviews with Campbell includes new and expanded features including initial interviews that were the precursors to the series and new introductions for each episode by Moyers.
A LATE QUARTET
On the eve of a string quartet’s 25th-anniversary performance, the news that the leader (Christopher Walken) must retire leads to a power struggle within the group, which includes Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener.
LITTLE WHITE LIES
When a central figure in a close group of friends (Jean Dujardin) winds up in intensive care, the rest of the group goes for a shortened version of their annual summer getaway — and old interpersonal tensions rise to the surface.
OMNIBUS: GENE KELLY ... DANCING: A MAN’S GAME
This episode of golden-age TV’s “Omnibus” cultural series features an Alastair Cooke interview with the dancer/choreographer and appearances by an Olympic skater, baseball’s Mickey Mantle, boxer Sugar Ray Robinson and quarterback Johnny Unitas, whose characteristic movements are incorporated into solo dance by Kelly. Available for the first time since its initial live airing on Dec. 21, 1958.
PAUL WILLIAMS: STILL ALIVE
After scoring a huge success in the 1970s as a singer, songwriter and actor, the Grammy and Oscar-winning Williams seemed to simply disappear. Fan and filmmaker Stephen Kessler tracked the performer down for a look back at his career—and the decades after.
The Blu-ray debut, 60th-anniversary Diamond Edition of the 1953 Disney classic boasts a new digital restoration with hi-def video and sound. Extras include numerous featurettes, deleted songs and scenes and commentary by Roy Disney.
SPIRIT OF THE CHURCH: A CELEBRATION OF BLACK GOSPEL MUSIC
This first release of a 12-volume set features performances from the 1962-1965 Chicago show “TV Gospel Time” featuring performances, transferred from original kinescopes, by Brother Joe May, Marie Knight, The Caravans, The Soul Stirrers, Madame Edna Gallmon Cooke and Rev. Milton Brunson & the Thompson Community Singers.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK
Warner Brothers continues its 70th-anniversary celebration with the 20-film collection “Musicals,” Documentarian Ross McElwee records his Internet-oriented conflicts with his son in “Photographic Memory” and the Smithsonian Channel pulls back the curtain on L. Frank Baum in “The Origins of Oz.”