This weekend is about big action, with films like X-Men: First Class and Hanna coming home; but with the fall primetime season upon us, there are also more TV releases to help you catch up on last season before the new season starts. The films currently ruling the DVD/Blu-Ray rental battle are Rio, Tyler Perry's Madea's Big Happy Family, Limitless, Priest, Soul Surfer, Arthur, Source Code, The Lincoln Lawyer, Prom and Hall Pass, in that order.
Here's what new:
X-Men: First Class
The X-Men franchise gets a reboot of sorts with the latest film, which goes back to the beginning of it all with James McAvoy as Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender as the man who would become Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games) as Raven/Mystique and Kevin Bacon and January Jones as the villains of the tale. The backdrop of the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis adds a layer of suspense and realism that only enhances director Michael Vaughn's storytelling. Between the questions that get answered (Why is Xavier in a wheelchair and how did the X-Men mutants come to be?), the film is a fortune trove of information with a plot that will thrill fans and newbies alike.
Director Joe Wright has taken all the puzzle pieces of a cunning thriller and molded a breathtaking vision of international intrigue as seen through the eyes of one truly special 16-year-old girl. When the film commences, Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is being raised by her father Erik (Eric Bana) in a remote forest. It is clear from the opening scene that the teenage girl is being trained to be a vicious assassin. Soon after, audiences learn why. Hanna is unlike anything you have ever seen before. The movie is a visual marvel with a fierce soundtrack from techno kings the Chemical Brothers. Add a stunning performance by its lead -- Oscar nominee Ronan (Atonement, The Lovely Bones and City of Ember) -- and powerful turns by Bana and Cate Blanchett, and this April release was the first really great film of 2011.
Everything Must Go
Will Ferrell tries his hand at the dramatic in Everything Must Go and succeeds on numerous levels. The film, based on the short story Why Don't You Dance? by Raymond Carver, follows a middle-aged alcoholic who loses his job and his wife on the same day, and must find his way back to normal. Ferrell's Nick goes through the full range of emotions as he navigates the mess that is his life and the supporting cast is brilliant, including Laura Dern, Michael Pena, Rebecca Hall and Notorious BIG's son Christopher Jordan Wallace.
Al Pacino's Scarface needs no introduction, but this is one fancy limited edition Blu-ray release. The SteelBook box holds both Brian De Palma's '80s film and the 1932 black-and-white crime classic that inspired it. It also includes deleted scenes, five featurettes and a new documentary that investigates Scarface's place in contemporary pop culture.
Releases include The Good Wife: Second Season, The Office: Season Seven, Parks & Recreation: Season Three, Fringe: The Complete Third Season, Community: The Complete Second Season, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, Criminal Minds: The Sixth Season, Chuck: The Complete Fourth Season, No Ordinary Family: The Complete First Season, Midsomer Murders: Set 18, Ghost Adventures: Season Three, Jillian Michaels: Killer Buns & Thighs, and Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition: The Workout.
Retro TV includes Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer: The Complete Series, Police Story and The Secret of Isis.
Dramas: Last Night, Decisions (Corey Haim's last film), It's the Rage, The Colors of the Mountain (Los colores de la montaña, South America), Vidal Sassoon the Movie, Loveless, The King and the Clown (Korean)
Action/Adventure/Thrills: The Entitled (Ray Liotta), Assassination Games, Clash of Empires, 10 Movie Action Pack, A Horrible Way to Die, The Last Kung Fu Monk and Wes Craven Collection.
Retro releases: Scream Five-Film Set (Scream 1-3 + two documentaries), Straw Dogs, Airwolf: The Movie, The Caine Mutiny Creepshow 2, Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Dressed to Kill, The Hills Have Eyes, In Name Only, Genevieve and United 93.
Kids/Family: Disco Worms (Jane Lynch), Thomas & Friends: Day of the Diesels, The Movie, A Cinderella Story: Once Upon a Song (Lucy Hale), Bad News Bears 4-Movie Collection, Scooby Doo: Legend of the Phantosaur, Cat In The Hat: Surprise Little Guys, Dino Dan: Dino Tracker, Sid: Sid in Motion, Olivia: Princess for a Day, Team Umizoomi: Journey to Numberland, The Lion of Judah (Michael Madsen), Babar: Best Friends Forever, Saturday Morning Cartoon Classics and TV Greatest Family Collection.
Documentaries: Alaska's Wild Denali, Alaska: The Edge of Life, Aldebaran Mystery & The Eisenhower Briefing Papers, Baseball's Greatest Games (several games under this title), The Civil War: 150th Anniversary, Dogs: Man's Best Friend and Ultimate Dog Tails: Volume 1.
Music: Sista's of R&B Hip Hop Soul, REO Speedwagon: Live in the Heartland, Silver Mountain: A Reunion Live, Emerson Lake & Palmer: 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert and America: Live in Chicago. Hendrix in the West -- Expanded drops Sunday.
Images: 20th Century Fox, CBS, Focus Features, Disney
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