New releases on DVD, Blu-ray
Updated: February 12, 2013 7:56AM
NEW THIS WEEK
Alex Libby, Kelby Johnson, Ja’Meya Jackson
This controversial, activist documentary sets aside balanced, even-handed objectivity for an uncomfortably personal view of how it feels to be bullied, and the devastating effect it can have on the lives of young people and their families. Emmy-winning director Lee Hirsch examines the stories of five bullied kids (two driven to suicide), including shocking footage of a 12-year-old being strangled, beaten and ridiculed on the daily bus ride to school. Haunting. Extras include a filmmaker Q&A and deleted scenes.
R for strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue
John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, William H. Macy
One of the year’s warmest and uplifting films is probably also the first to feature a romantic lead inside an iron lung. Based on the life and writings of quadriplegic journalist and poet Mark O’Brien (who was also the subject of the 1996 Oscar-winning documentary short “Breathing Lessons”) “The Sessions” opens with him recovering from a broken heart after a disastrous marriage proposal. And musing that before he dies, he wants to know what it’s like to make love to a woman. A devoutly religious man, O’Brian decides to go about it by first by contacting his priest, then a sexual surrogate. “The Sessions” tells a powerful and complex story, but the performances are what make it work so well, especially Hawkes, who communicates O’Brien’s sadness, loneliness and wry humor almost entirely from the shoulders up.
PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking
Daniel Craig, Javier Bardem, Naomie Harris, Judi Dench
The most successful Bond movie ever was a colossal hit worldwide, but it’s hard to pinpoint what made it work so well. Could it be the film’s somber mood matching the temperament of audiences after several years of global recession? Or the fact that this is the most personal Bond film to date, complete with a psychological profile and a back story revealing his past as an embittered orphan? Or maybe it’s simply the fact that this is the first film to cast the ordinarily super-cool, super-suave, super agent as a bit of an underdog: graying, sagging, binge drinking, out-of-shape and out of step with the times? Whatever the reason, “Skyfall” is one of the most satisfying Bond outings in ages, as 007 tries to protect MI-6 from a vengeful former agent turned terrorist (Bardem) returned from the guilty past of boss-lady M (Dench). Extras include the four-part documentary “Shooting Bond” and commentary by director Sam Mendes.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
BEST OF WARNER BROS.
Warner Brothers studio continues it’s 75th anniversary celebration with this 20-movie package of musicals including classics such as “An American in Paris,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “The Music Man,” “Show Boat” and “Cabaret.”
DOCTOR WHO: THE REIGN OF TERROR
This digitally remastered edition of the 1964 “Doctor Who” classic features the first doctor, William Hartnell, in an adventure set in Paris during the French Revolution. This edition includes episodes 1, 2, 3 and 6 of the mini-series and brand-new animated versions of episodes 4 and 5, currently missing from the BBC archives.
DUCK DODGERS: DARK SIDE OF THE DUCK — SEASON 1
This double-disc set includes 13 episodes featuring Daffy Duck and his trusted companion Porky Pig blasting off into outer space to protect Earth from menacing Martian invaders. Extras include the Chuck Jones’ classic Merrie Melodies short “Duck Dodgers in the 24 1/2th Century.”
GOSSIP GIRL: THE COMPLETE SERIES
This 29-disc set features all 121 episodes of the six-season series about privileged teens attending an elite private school in New York. Extras include featurettes, deleted scenes and a gag reel.
THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
A humble blacksmith (RZA) attempts to defend on his village when a bandits, assassins and a rogue British soldier (Russell Crowe) compete to find a fabled treasure in gold. Rap star RZA co-wrote and directed the martial arts adventure.
THE ORIGINS OF OZ
This Smithsonian Channel documentary examines the life and career of Oz creator L. Frank Baum, with details including the girl who inspired the character of Dorothy and how the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair inspired the Emerald City.
Frequently in conflict with his son, who seems addicted to the virtual worlds of the Internet, documentary maker Ross McElwee decides to journey back to his childhood home to retrace his own transition to adulthood. Extras include an archival photo gallery.
TOP GEAR: 50 YEARS OF BOND CARS
Presenter Richard Hammond reveals behind the scenes stories about some of James Bond’s iconic cars, including the Aston Martin DB5 and the Lotus Esprit submarine car. Hammond also hosts a segment on the Bond movies greatest car stunts.
WEEDS: THE FINAL SEASON
This triple-disc set features all 13 episodes of the eight season of “Weeds,” about a suburban mom turned marijuana dealer. Extras include a featurette on the world of medical marijuana, including the creation of a marijuana pill, plus commentaries by cast and crew, deleted scenes and a gag reel.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK
It’s a big week for Blu-ray debuts, including dogs having their day in the Christopher Guest mock-umentary “Best in Show,” Astaire promenading with Garland in “Easter Parade” and big bugs going bonkers in “The Nest” — 1988’s best movie about killer cockroaches.