By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been bringing their goofy brand of girl-power humor to audiences since their days at “Saturday Night Live” as cast members. After scoring a box office hit with 2008’s “Baby Mama,” the duo has joined forces again in “Sisters,” available Tuesday, March 15 in an Unrated Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and digital platforms.
The Jason Moore-directed comedy stars Fey as Kate, an irresponsible single mom and Poehler as Maura, Kate’s younger but always-reliable sister. They return to their parents’ Florida house to reclaim their prized possessions before it’s sold. Regretting the imminent loss of their childhood home, the siblings decide to throw one last bash. Their goal is to trash the house so that the incoming buyers will back out of the deal.
With the party in full swing, Kate—the designated party mom—suddenly has a change of heart when her parents phone from their new condo to tell her that she and her teenage daughter can have the house. Maura is in full party mode, so it’s up to sober Kate to stop the freight train of a wild party before the house literally is brought down by old and new friends. Co-starring alongside Fey and Poehler are Ike Barinholtz, James Brolin, Dianne Wiest, John Cena, John Leguizamo, and a slew of “SNL” alumni including Maya Rudolph and Rachel Dratch.
The Unrated Blu-ray Combo Pack includes deleted scenes, a gag reel, commentary by Fey, Poehler, director Jason Moore and writer Paula Pell and more.
Scottish filmmaker Paul McGuigan directed the pilot episode of the BBC’s witty and hyper-kinetic “Sherlock,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch, so it’s no surprise that his feature film “Victor Frankenstein,” now available on Blu-ray and DVD, recalls that earlier effort in both style and tone.
Sort of based on Mary Shelley’s oft-adapted work of horror (although there is nothing in the credits mentioning the 19thcentury author), the film begins with an acknowledgement that the audience knows the story, but what they remember is the monster, and not so much the man who created it.
James McAvoy plays the title character with so much energy that you’d think McGuigan had wired him up, monster-style, and gave him a jolt of lightning before every scene. One minute he’s twitchy and volatile, the next he’s charming and heroic. Daniel Radcliffe, of “Harry Potter” fame, plays Frankenstein’s loyal Igor, but in this version he’s smart, not simpleminded, and more of a colleague than an assistant to Victor. Igor’s given a backstory as a much-abused hunchback circus clown, and serves as the film’s narrator.
Frankenstein, a brilliant but decidedly unethical medical student, meets his helper at a circus, when they come to the rescue of a young trapeze artist who has fallen during a performance. Observing the lad’s unexpected gift for on-the-spot medical treatment, Victor rescues him from his cruel keepers. In the ensuing chase, one of the other circus performers is killed, so the police are called in. Leading the investigation is Inspector Turpin, a pious lawman from Scotland Yard. Played by Andrew Scott, best known for his role as the malevolent Moriarty in “Sherlock,” he is the faith-driven counterpoint to Victor, a man of science.
Frankenstein brings the nameless young man home, performs a squirm-inducing surgery on his misdiagnosed back ailment and rechristens him Igor, the same name as an AWOL flat mate. With the help of a back brace, Igor is perambulating around London in no time. He visits the Royal College of Medicine, where bright student Frankenstein attempts to reanimate a creature comprised of several different animal parts. The lofty experiment ends in failure. Igor also reconnects with the now recovered trapeze artist, who has moved up socially in the world thanks to a wealthy sponsor. Lorelei (“Downton Abbey’s” Jessica Brown Findlay) cautions Igor that he should be careful helping Frankenstein with his experiments.
With Turpin hot on his tail, Frankenstein escapes the cavernous former soap factory where he has set up his home lab for Scotland. There, thanks to the financial support of a wealthy classmate, he is free to build his ultimate monster, using electricity harnessed from a lightning storm. Hoping to stop their friend from conducting his unnatural and dangerous experiment and save him from Turpin’s arrest, Igor and Lorelei head toward the northern castle. That’s where the action-packed finale and the long-awaited monster appear.
The script and story by Max Landis, who wrote 2012’s “Chronicle,” is a novel take on the story but is wildly uneven. At times, it plays as a comedy, and at other points it’s serious and solemn.
The DVD and Blu-ray includes a making-of featurette, galleries of the production design, production photography and behind-the-scenes as well as the theatrical trailer. The Blu-ray and Digital HD versions including deleted scenes.
Academy Award nominated “Brooklyn,” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, March 15. Based on the best-selling novel the film tells the story about falling in love and finding your way home and is nominated for three Oscars including Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role and Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay.
Saoirse Ronan stars as Eilis Lacey, a young Irish immigrant, navigating through Brooklyn, alone, in the 1950s. Although her initial sadness and homesickness gives way to romance with an Italian-American, Eilis’s life is disrupted by news from her hometown. After traveling home to mourn the loss of a loved one, she finds herself forced to choose between two countries and two men on opposite sides of the world.
Extras on the Blu-ray included deleted and extended scenes. Both the Blu-ray and DVD include six featurettes and a director’s commentary.
The Complete Fifth Season of HBO’s critically and popularly acclaimed series, “Game of Thrones,” debuts Tuesday on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, March 15. The Blu-ray Combo features a free Digital HD copy of all 10 episodes, plus exclusive bonus content including a brand new feature that takes an in-depth look at the story behind the Tagaryen civil war, known as the Dance of Dragons. That edition also includes an in-episode guide, which allows viewers to dig deeper into the show with in-feature resource that provides background information about on-screen characters, locations and relevant histories.
Learn about the mythology of Westeros and Essos as told from varying perspectives of the characters themselves in 14 history pieces. Select histories feature illustrations from the show’s storyboard artist Will Simpson. The Blu-ray also features Dolby Atmos Moving Audio, which places and moves sounds and music anywhere in the room, including overhead, creating a captivating experience that brings the entertainment alive all around.
The DVD edition includes quite a number of features including 12 audio commentaries with cast and crew, deleted scenes, new characters/new locations, the “real” history behind “Game of Thrones” and more.
Season Five picks up with a power vacuum that protagonists across Westeros and Essos look to fill. At Castle Black, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) struggles to balance the demands of the Night’s Watch with those of newly arrived Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), who regards himself the rightful king of Westeros. Meanwhile, Cersei (Lena Headey) scrambles to hold on to power in King’s Landing amidst the Tyrells and the rise of a zealous religious group led by the enigmatic High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce), while Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) embarks on a secret mission. Across the Narrow Sea, Arya (Maisie Williams) seeks an old friend while a fugitive Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) finds a new cause. As danger mounts in Meereen, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) finds that her tenuous reign as leader of the city requires some hard sacrifices.
“Game of Thrones: The Complete Fifth Season” is available on Blu-ray for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $79.98; the SRP for the DVD is $59.99.
“Mayday,” a horrifying British supernatural miniseries, makes its DVD debut Tuesday, March 15. On May Day in a small community, the residents go about their everyday business as they wait for the traditional pagan parade to begin. When the newly crowed May Queen, the highlight of the festivities, is announced but doesn’t show up, the townsfolk grow suspicious that she’s been kidnapped. Upending the typical whodunit, this five-episode miniseries focuses on the horror of suspecting a loved one has committed a terrible crime. Peter Firth (“MI-5”), Aidan Gillen (“Game of Thrones”), Leila Mimmack (“Son of God”), Max Fowler (“The Slap”), Leslie Manville (“Maleficent”) and Academy-award nominee Sophie Okonedo (“Hotel Rwanda”) star in the miniseries.
“Mayday” made its U.S. premiere last November on Acorn TV, the streaming service for television from Britain and beyond. It two-disc DVD set has an SRP of $39.99, and is available at AcornOnline.com.
Featuring the 100th episode of the series, Season 12 of “New Tricks,” the hit British mystery series, is available on DVD Tuesday, March 15. Beautiful DCI Sasha Miller (Tamzin Outhwaite, “EastEnders”) leads a team of detectives called out of retirement to solve cold cases, in this longrunning series from across the pond.
Season 12 sees the departure of the last remaining original member of the Unsolved Crime and Open Case Squad (UCOS), Gerry Standing (Dennis Waterman, “The Sweeney”), who is replaced by old-school ex-copper Ted Case (“Gavin & Stacey”). The series is packed full of mystery, drama and trademark British humor fans have grown to know and love. Guest stars include Amy Nuttall (“Downton Abbey”), Bernard Cribbins (“Doctor Who”) and Geraldine Somerville (“Cracker”), among others.
Bonus material in the box set includes a 41-minute Top Ten Moments featurette. The three-disc DVD set is available for an SRP of $39.99, and is available for purchase on AcornOnline.com.
Everyone’s favorite singing pop stars, the Chipmunks, are back in the adventure comedy “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip,” arriving on Blu-ray and DVD Tuesday, March 15.
Hit the road with everyone’s favorite fur balls as Alvin, Simon and Theodore race to Miami on a wild road trip. Their jaunt takes a nutty detour, leading the trio to hilarious hijinks and music-packed adventures across the country. The Ultimate Playlist is featured on both the Blu-ray and DVD so viewers can “munk out” to all the top hits from all of the “Alvin & the Chipmunks” movies.” Rated PG for some mild rude humor and language.