By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
The Griswold family embarks on an ill-fated road adventure in “Vacation,” which arrives in a Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and Digital HD Tuesday, Nov. 3. Starring Ed Helms (the “Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the “Anchorman” films) as Rusty and Debbie Griswold, “Vacation” is sort of a sequel to the 1983 National Lampoon classic that starred Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo (who reprise their roles as Rusty’s parents).
With a supporting cast that includes Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins as the Griswolds’ sons, James and Kevin, Chris Hemsworth in the role of Stone Crandall, Rusty’s irritatingly successful brother-in-law, Leslie Mann as Stone’s wife, Audrey (Rusty’s sister), the comedy begins with Rusty trying to recapture the magic of that long-ago family road trip in which the Griswold family traveled to Walley World. “Vacation” is written and directed by first time filmmakers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. It also is available on Digital HD.
Bonus features on the DVD include deleted scenes and a featurette on shooting in Georgia. The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes those extras as well as “A Return to Walley World,” “The Griswold Odyssey” and a gag reel.
In addition, a remastered “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” will be released on Blu-ray Combo Pack on Tuesday, Dec. 1. Presented in steel book packaging, the classic holiday comedy will be available for $19.98.
Less than 100 years ago, British women earned the right to vote. Achieving voting equality didn’t come easy and it came with a price. “The Story of Women and Power,” a three-part documentary that explores the suffragette movement in Britain, makes its North American DVD debut Tuesday, Nov. 3. Featuring the stories of some of the most notable women in history, the series is hosted by historian Amanda Vickery, who previously hosted “The Story of Women & Art.”
Vickery takes viewers on a journey to uncover the centuries-long struggle for women’s equality in her native Britain. She reveals the long-forgotten heroes and heroines who dedicated their lives to the cause including Emmeline Pankhurst, who encouraged her followers to use violence, if necessary, to achieve women’s suffrage in Britain.
Originally broadcast earlier this year in the U.K., the miniseries delves into the overlooked stories of systemic female oppression throughout history, such as the practice of wife sales and the Epsom Derby tragedy.
The miniseries DVD debut coincides with the recent release of the feature film “Suffragette,” which stars Meryl Streep as Pankhurst, and Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter as two of her courageous followers, who sacrificed everything, including family, for their belief in achieving equality.
Other key figures highlighted in the series include Hannah More, who found ways for women to enter public life, and interviews with Member of Parliament Stella Creasy and Viscount Astor, son of Nancy Astor, who was the first female MP.
The series spans from the early march for women’s rights in 1649 to a notorious incident in 1738 when the Duchess of Queensberry crashed the House of Lords to a violent militant of the Edwardian suffragettes and the modern-day campaign to put a woman on a British bank note, reminding viewers that the fight for equality isn’t quite over.
“Some Kind of Hate,” a horror thriller, is available on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, Nov. 3. Starring Ronen Rubinstein, Grace Phipps, Spencer Breslin and Michael Polish, the drama centers on a young boy named Lincoln whose life is plagued by bullies. He learns the true meaning of terror when he is sent to a remote boarding school for troubled teens and the harassment intensifies. Only, this time, someone is looking out for him—a mysterious teenage girl named Moira, who was driven to suicide by vicious bullies years earlier. Summoning Moira from her grave, Lincoln unleashes a vengeful and unstoppable supernatural force against his tormentors. “Some Kind of Hate” is directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer from a screenplay he wrote with Brian DeLeeuw. Extras include deleted scenes, a filmmaker commentary and a cast audio commentary.
Mark Webber (“Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”) plays a reclusive scientist, who allows a pretty reporter (“True Blood’s” Lucy Griffiths), to see his secret robot invention, in the sci-fi thriller “Uncanny,” available on DVD and Digital Video Tuesday, Nov. 3. Simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the scientist and his lifelike mechanical creation called Adam, Joy (Griffiths) discovers that the AI is developing emotions including jealousy and anger, which could prove dangerous, and possibly deadly. Matthew Leutwyler directs the provocative thriller from a screenplay by Shahin Chandrasoma.
Available on DVD Tuesday, Nov. 3 is the drama “Breaking Through.” When Casey (national talent search winner Sophie Aguiar), a dancer who is discovered on YouTube, gets thrust into the modern world of internet celebrity and culture, she must find a way to balance her true identity with her online persona, or risk losing everything she cares about. Written and directed by first time feature filmmaker John Swetnam, “Breaking Through” is executive produced by nine-time Grammy-winner John Legend. It features incredible dance numbers from some of today’s hottest YouTube dance stars, including performances by Les Twins, the Poreotics and Anitta.
The sci-fi horror movie “The Diabolical” is available Tuesday, Nov. 3 on Blu-ray and DVD. When a single mother (Ali Larter, “Resident Evil” and “Final Destination” franchises) and her two young children are tormented by an increasingly strange and intense presence in their quiet suburban home, she turns to her scientist boyfriend to take on the violent forces that paranormal experts are too frightened to face. The film, which also stars Arjun Gupta (“Limitless,” “The Magicians”), is directed by Alistair Legrand, who co-wrote the screenplay with Luke Harvis.
Revenge comes in an artfully wrapped package in “The Gift,” a chilling psychological thriller available now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. The drama asks the question, “Can you really go through life having never wronged anyone?” Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall) are a young married couple whose life is going as planned until a chance run-in with one of Simon’s high school acquaintances sends their world into a tailspin. At first Simon doesn’t recognize Gordo (Joel Edgerton), but after a series of uninvited encounters and mysterious gifts prove troubling, a horrifying secret from the past is uncovered after more than 20 years. When Robyn learns the unsettling truth about what happened between her husband and his classmate years earlier, she is forced to contemplate how much she really knows about the man she loves.
Both the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the DVD include an alternate ending, deleted scenes, “Karma for Bullies,” “The Darker Side of Jason Bateman” and a feature commentary with Edgerton, who wrote and directed the film as well as stars in it.