A Chess Game, a Mule, Pirates and Neeson as a P.I. on Home Video
A LITTLE GAME. (DVD Artwork). ©Arc Entertainment.

A LITTLE GAME. (DVD Artwork). ©Arc Entertainment.

By ANGELA DAWSON

Front Row Features

“A Little Game, ” a wholesome live-action family drama starring “Karate Kid’s” Ralph Macchio, arrives on DVD Tuesday, Jan. 20. Oscar winner F. Murray Abraham (“Amadeus”), comedienne Janeane Garofalo (“Ratatouille,” “West Wing”), Rachel Dratch (“Saturday Night Live”) and Olympia Dukakis (“Moonstruck”) also star.

Ostracized at her posh new uptown school and shaken by the death of her beloved grandmother, a 10-year-old downtown girl (newcomer Makenna Ballard) finds an unlikely mentor in the form of an irascible chess master (Abraham), who uses the game to teach her lessons in resilience, perseverance, and how to embrace inevitable change. “A Little Game” is rated PG for mild language and thematic elements.

Australian federal police detain a naive man with lethal narcotics hidden in his stomach in the thriller “The Mule,” available Tuesday on Blu-ray.

Alone and afraid, Ray Jenkins a.k.a. “The Mule” (Angus Sampson) makes a desperate choice to defy his bodily functions and, ahem, withhold the evidence. By doing so, he becomes a human time bomb, dragging cops, criminals and lawyers—not to mention his mother—into his impossible escapade. The Aussie film was inspired by true events.

“The Matrix’s” Hugo Weaving, Ewen Leslie, Leigh Whannell, Georgina Haig and John Noble star. Sampson and Tony Mahony co-directed the film based on a script by Sampson, Whannell and Jaime Brown.

From Disney Junior comes “Jake and the Never Land Pirates: Battle for the Book,” available now on DVD. Join Jake and his friends as they battle Captain Hook to save Wendy’s storybook and the story of Peter Pan. The DVD is packed several bonus features including four additional episodes and a free exclusive checkerboard bandana with gold coins fit for any aspiring young pirate.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD is now available of the gritty 2014 thriller “A Walk Among the Tombstones,” starring Liam Neeson (the “Taken” movies) and Dan Stevens (“Downton Abbey”). Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels and directed and written by Academy Award nominee Scott Frank (“Out of Sight,” “Minority Report”), “A Walk Among the Tombstones” is produced by Jersey Films’ Danny DeVito.

Neeson plays Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop turned unlicensed private investigator who reluctantly agrees to help a drug trafficker (Stevens) hunt for the perpetrators who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife. When Scudder learns that this is not the first time that the killers have committed such a heinous crime, he must blur the line between right and wrong as he races to track down the deviants through the backstreets of the city before they strike again.

The Blu-ray Combo Pack includes the Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD with Ultra Violet. Author Block and screenwriter/director Frank discuss the complex character of Scudder and how he transforms from page to screen on the Blu-ray bonus features. Additionally, an interesting featurette on both the Blu-ray and DVD versions called, “A Look Behind the Tombstones,” examines the many characters that are in the thriller.

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