New releases on DVD, Blu-ray
"The Cabin in the Woods"
Updated: September 21, 2012 11:37AM
NEW THIS WEEK
“The Cabin In The Woods” ★★★½
Rated: R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, language, drug use and some sexuality/nudity
Stars: Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly
This knowing, frequently brilliant, thoroughly entertaining meta-parody of horror-movie from debut director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon (“The Avengers”) dazzles with the sheer ambition of its conceit. Five teens visit a spooky cabin in the woods for a little illicit fun — and run into something far, far worse just your run-of-the-mill dismembering monsters. A must-see for genre fans with strong stomachs who appreciate a good, deconstructive laugh. Extras include audio commentary with writer/director Drew Goddard and writer/producer Whedon.
Rated: R for sexual content
Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Jonathan Pryce
Tanya Wexler’s delightful (and often very, very funny) romantic comedy gets considerable mileage from the exquisitely ironic historical fact that the personal vibrating massager was invented in Victorian England. Dancy and Gyllenhaal are nicely matched as a progressive, yet somewhat priggish, young doctor and an outrageously outspoken suffragette (also the daughter of our hero’s employer, a physician who treats unhappy, well-to-do ladies with a highly specialized and minutely focused form of massage). As charming as it is hysterical (literally and figuratively), “Hysteria” toys with the early days of a risqué revolution. Extras include deleted scenes and commentary with director Tanya Wexler.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
“Death And The Civil War”
The PBS documentary series “American Experience” explores the effect the death of 750,000 people in four years had on America and its psyche.
Desperate to impregnate his baby-crazed wife (Olivia Munn), a man who believes he is now infertile (Paul Schneider) asks friends to help him rob a sperm bank where he made a deposit years ago. Jay Chandrasekhar (“Supertroopers”) directed the comedy.
“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”
British seniors (Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and company) expecting to retire in grand style in India learn that the accommodations are not quite as described in the brochure. John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”) directed the comedy.
Two highly competitive brothers (Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis) stage their own private 25-event Olympics. Brothers Jay and Mark Duplass (“Cyrus”) co-wrote and directed the comedy.
“Indiana Jones: The Complete Adventures”
“Raiders of the Lost Ark” has been restored in ultra-high definition (under the supervision of Steven Spielberg) and combined with remastered versions of all three sequels for the series Blu-ray debut. Extras include seven hours of bonus features including rarely seen footage from “Raiders.”
“The Magic Of Belle Isle”
A famous Western novelist (Morgan Freeman) struggling with alcoholism takes up residence in a lakeside cabin in Belle Isle and befriends the single mom (Virginia Madsen) living next door with her daughters. Rob Reiner (“The Princess Bride”) directed the inspirational drama. Extras include commentary and deleted scenes.
A horror-buddy-comedy about Joey (Chris Wylde) and his best friend Bart (David Anders) — who has come back to life as a rapidly deteriorating blood-drinking zombie. D. Kerry Prior (“Roadkill”) directed. Extras include audio commentaries, deleted scenes and a photo gallery
“Steve Martin: The Television Stuff”
This three-disc set of comedian Martin’s stand-up concerts and TV performances includes “On Location with Steve Martin” (1976), “A Wild and Crazy Guy” (1978), “Comedy is not Pretty” (1980), “All Commercials. . . A Steve Martin Special” (1980), “Steve Martin’s Best Show Ever” (1981) and “Bits and Pieces,” collecting guest appearances, speeches and music videos from 1966-2005.
“The Magic School Bus: The Complete Series” ★★★★
Rated: No MPAA rating
Stars: Lilly Tomlin, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell
The wheels on the bus go ... pretty much anywhere you can imagine. After selling millions of children’s books crossing science lessons and kid-friendly adventure under the tutelage of magically eccentric third-grade teacher Ms. Frizzle (Lily Tomlin), Scholastic books made the leap to TV with this popular Saturday morning cartoon series. The fast-paced, brightly colored and wildly imaginative series disseminates a fair amount of elementary scientific information on everything from the water cycle to germs to volcanoes and dinosaurs. Ms. Frizzle can transform her little yellow school bus into a rocket to explore the solar system or a microbe-sized submarine inside the body of an ailing student. This eight-disc box set collects all 52 episodes from the series’ four-year run for the first time and throws in an activity booklet and a parents’ guide as a bonus. As Ms. Frizzle says: “Wahoo!”
“What To Expect When You’re Expecting” ★★½
Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements and language
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford
This over-crowded, intermittently amusing film, featuring five couples coping with babies on the way, turns out to be more or less exactly what you might expect. So long as you’re not expecting too much. If you’re satisfied to chart some emotional ups and downs while chuckling at cutesy-crude, prego-comedy and gross-out gags along the way to a group birth-a-thon (with all the awww-inspiring moments you could wish for), it’s a pretty safe bet. Extras include deleted scenes.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK
Hitchcock makes the move to Blu-ray in a big way with the 15-film “Masterpiece Collection,” Carol Burnett scores retrospective hilarity with four collections of her classic sitcom and “Charlie’s Angels” gets back into action with a 27-disc complete-series set.