By ANGELA DAWSON
Front Row Features
Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) and Jamie Dornan (“Fifth Shades of Grey”) reprise their cat-and-mouse roles in the second season (series, as they call it in the U.K.) of “The Fall,” available on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday, March 1.
Anderson plays DSI Stella Gibson, who continues to hunt serial killer Paul Spector (Dornan) in the popular U.K. investigative crime drama. As Gibson tries to help Spector’s surviving victim remember the identity of her attacker, Spector deals with loose ends he left behind in Belfast. When he discovers that someone from his past has been helping the police with their inquiries, he changes his plans with terrifying consequences. Archie Panjabi (“The Good Wife”) also stars this season.
The six-episode season first aired in 2014 on BBC 2. Series 3 is scheduled to air in Britain sometime this year. The DVD and Blu-ray 2-disc sets each feature all six episodes plus bonus behind-the-scenes featurettes and deleted scenes. They are available for $39.99 via AcornOnline.com. Additionally, Series 1 makes its Blu-ray debut the same day. (The DVD version already is available.) “The Fall” won the 2014 Irish Film and TV Awards for Best TV drama.
Season Three of “The Americans” is available Tuesday, March 1 on DVD, with deleted scenes and exclusive extras. The series, which airs on FX, stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB spies posing as Americans living in suburban Washington, D.C., shortly after Ronald Reagan’s election to office. Their arranged marriage has produced two children 14-year-old Paige (Holly Taylor) and 12-year-old Henry (Keidrich Sellati), who know nothing about their parents’ true identities. The “couple’s” relationship grows more genuine and passionate by the day but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control.
In the third season, the Jennings personal and professional worlds collide and exposure of their true identities looms as their friendship with FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) grows. As the Jennings’ assignments grow riskier and more ethically questionable, they face mounting pressure to induct their friend into the KGB.
Extras on this four-disc set include deleted scenes and a featurette called “The Cold War for Paige.”
The Oscar-nominated “Rocky” sequel “Creed” is available Tuesday, March 1 in a Blu-ray Combo Pack. Along with the Blu-ray, viewers get the DVD and Digital HD versions. From Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures and New Line Cinema comes this latest installment of the popular “Rocky” franchise. Directed by Ryan Coogler, the film reunited the filmmaker with his “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan as Adonis Johnson, the son of Apollo Creed, and explores a new chapter in the “Rocky” story, starring Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role.
“Creed” also stars Tessa Thompson (“Selma”) as Bianca, a local singer-songwriter who becomies involved with Adonis, Phylicia Rashad, and former three-time ABA heavyweight champion Anthony Bellow as “Pretty” Ricky Conlan.
Extras on the Blu-ray Combo Pack and the standard definition DVD are “Know the Past, Own the Future,” “Becoming Adonis” and deleted scenes.
Available on DVD and VOD Tuesday, March 1 is the gritty thriller “Kill or Be Killed,” co-directed and co-written by Duane Graves (“Up Syndrome”) and Justin Meeks (“The Wild Man of Navidad”), who also stars in it. Paul McCarthy-Boyington, Greg Kelly, Luce Rains and Arianne Margot also star.
Claude “Sweet Tooth” Barbee (Meeks) and his gang of cutthroat outlaws—the most wanted men in Texas—are on a desperate ride across five hundred miles of badlands to recover a fortune in hidden loot from their most daring robbery. But Barbee and his crew aren’t the only coldblooded killers riding the range. With a large “dead or alive” cash bounty on their heads, the outlaws are being picked off one by one. What began as a hard journey driven by greed becomes a feverish race to survive.
Special features include a making-of featurette, as well as deleted scenes, interviews and commentary with the filmmakers and a “Slacker” 2011 segment by the filmmakers. “Kill or Be Killed,” from RJL Entertainment, is available for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $27.97.
The epic historic drama “The North Star” is an inspirational story of two slaves based on true events. It is available on DVD and VOD Tuesday, March 1. First time writer/director Thomas K. Phillips tells the story of Big Ben (Jeremiah Trotter) and Moses (Thomas C. Bartley, Jr.), who face the daily cruelty of life on a Virginia plantation, as well as the fear of being hunted down and tortured as runaway slaves. But when Ben learns he is about to be sold to a new owner, he and Moses make the desperate choice to run. Evading brutal slave hunters and with only the light of the North Star as their guide, the pair make the grueling journey across hostile land to thefree state of Pennsylvania. And even when a community of kind-hearted abolitionists welcomes them, Ben and Moses realize that their perilous struggle for freedom continues.
The drama stars ex-NFL Linebacker Jeremiah Trotter, Lynn Whitfield (“How to Get Away With Murder”), Keith David (“Enlisted”), Clifton Powell (“Army Wives”) and April Woodall (“Audition”). “The North Star” made its streaming premiere in February for Black History Month on the Urban Movie Channel (UMC), a premium subscription-based video streaming service created by Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Entertainment and founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). The drama is available for an SRP of $27.97.
“The Danish Girl” is available Tuesday, March 1 on Blu-ray and DVD. The critically acclaimed 1920s-set drama tells the remarkable love story inspired by the lives of artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener (portrayed by Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander). Nominated for four Oscars this year, including best actor for Redmayne and best supporting actress for Vikander, “The Danish Girl” is directed by Academy Award winner Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech,” “Les Misérables”). The story centers on the marriage of Lili and Gerda’s traditional man-wife marriage, which evolves as Gerda supports her husband’s transition to a transgender woman. Through the other, each of them finds the courage to be who they are. There is a featurette on the making of “The Danish Girl” on the Blu-ray.
“Youth” arrives Tuesday, March 1 on Blu-ray. From Paolo Sorrentino, the internationally renowned writer and director of Italy’s Oscar-winning foreign language film “The Great Beauty,” this coming-of-old-age drama stars Michael Caine as Fred and Harvey Keitel as Mick. The drama explores the lifelong bond between two friends vacationing in a luxury Swiss Alps lodge as they ponder retirement. While Fred has no plans to resume his musical career despite the urging of his loving daughter Lena (Rachel Weisz), Mick is intent on finishing a screenplay in what may be his last important film for his muse Brenda (Jane Fonda). Set against a sprawling landscape of unforgettable sights and intoxicating music, “Youth” asks if our most important and transformative experiences can come at any time, even late in life.
The film features David Lang’s moving composition, “Simple Song #3,” nominated for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. Lang wrote the signature song before Sorrentino completed the script, which was a vital plot point for the character of Fred Ballinger (Caine). A recipient of the Pulitzer prize in 2008 and Carnegie Hall’s Debs Composer’s Chair for 2013-2014, Lang is one of America’s most performed composers.
Extras on the Blu-ray include a featurette on Caine as well as separate featurettes on director Sorrentino and other cast members, the film’s music and more.
It’s Shortcake overload with the arrival of two DVDs of Strawberry Shortcake on Tuesday March 1: “Strawberry Shortcake: Berry Bake Shop” and “Strawberry Shortcake: Sweet Sunshine Adventures.” When all the girls compete to make the best cupcake in honor of Berrykin Bloom for “The Berry Biggest, Berry Baddest Bake-off,” they soon learn that there’s one ingredient no recipe can do without: friendship. Cherry and Huckleberry discover that patience, practice and confidence work a whole lot better than a good luck charm in “The BerryLucky Day.” Lemon and Raspberry try to cover for Blueberry’s absence at a masquerade ball by dressing up as their friend, giving everyone a sour impression in “A Basket Full of Blueberries.” The DVDs include printable color pages and recipes, music videos and more.