New releases on DVD, Blu-ray
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:03AM
NEW THIS WEEK
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY
PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images
Martin Freeman, Ian McKellan, Richard Armitage
The High Frame Rate 3D version of this first installment in director Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of the Tolkien classic “The Hobbit” was a fairly shocking disappointment. Unrelenting hyper-realism, it turns out, is not fantasy-friendly. Fortunately, though, the regular old 24-frames-per-second version of “An Unexpected Journey” turns out to be almost as magically spectacular as Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The pace lags a bit from time to time, perhaps because part one stretches roughly 90 pages of “The Hobbit” into three hours. But that’s not enough to spoil the fun as the great wizard Gandalf (McKellan) and the young Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) set out to help a company of dwarfs recover their lost kingdom from an evil dragon. Extras include a full suite of Jackson’s production videos including start of production, location scouting, filming in 3D and the Wellington world premiere.
ZERO DARK THIRTY
R for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language
Jessica Chastain, Joel Edgerton, Jason Clarke
This harrowing, morally complicated drama by the creative team behind the Oscar-winning “The Hurt Locker” (director Kathryn Bigelow and journalist/screenwriter Mark Boal) is every bit as realistic, suspenseful and emotionally intense — though the story here is much more far-ranging and complex. The closely based on fact “Zero Dark Thirty” opens with the introduction of a fictional, composite character — Jessica Chastain as an obsessively dedicated young CIA officer named Maya. After working for years to track down Osama bin Laden, Maya is convinced the al-Qaeda leader is in Pakistan. Of course, we know she is right and we know what happens when she ultimately locates him, but that doesn’t lessen the impact of this gripping, fast-moving dramatization. Featurettes include behnd-the-scenes footage of the recreation of Bin Laden’s lair and the raid by Navy SEALS.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
A trio of bridesmaids (Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fisher) throw a final bacchanal for the bride (Rebel Wilson) with disastrous results. Screenwriter Leslye Headland (TV’s “Terriers”) made her writing/directing debut with the comedy.
CHANCE IN A MILLION COMPLETE COLLECTION
This triple-disc set features all three seasons of the award-winning 1984-86 British comedy about the mishap-prone courtship between a man (Simon Callow) and the woman he loves (Brenda Blethyn).
DANIEL DAY-LEWIS TRIPLE FEATURE
Three early BBC movies from the early days of the triple Oscar-winning actor’s career: “How Many Miles to Babylon?” (1982), “Dangerous Corner” (1983) and “The Insurance Man” (1986).
THE HUNT FOR BIN LADEN
This Smithsonian Channel documentary offers an inside look at the secret mission that led to the elimination of the Al-Qaeda leader.
JERSEY SHORE: THE UNCENSORED FINAL SEASON
This four-disc set features all 13 uncensored season-six episodes of the hit reality series. Extras include deleted scenes, a Most Outrageous Moments montage and a “Breakdowns, Boobs ‘N Bronzer” special.
NO JOB FOR A LADY: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION
This triple-disc set features all 18 episodes of the 1990-92 Brit TV comedy about female Member of Parliament (Penelope Keith) contending with her chauvinist fellow MPs.
RUST AND BONE
A young father (Mattias Schoenaerts) falls in love with a killer-whale trainer (Marion Cotillard), who loses a leg in a tragic accident. Jacques Audiard (“Sur mes Levres”) wrote and directed the drama.
TIME RIDER: THE ADVENTURE OF LYLE SWAN
A champion off-road motorcycle racer (Fred Ward) has to outsmart a gang of Old West bandits after being accidentally zapped back into the past. William Dear (“The Perfect Game”) directed the 1982 fantasy adventure. Extras include commentary by Dear, interviews with Dear and producer/co-writer (and former Monkee) Michael Nesmith, and a storyboard gallery.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK
Carol Burnett repackages 16 classic episodes in “The Time Together,” a boy and his airborne automaton save the world in “Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot” and Ethan Hawke, Jeremy Irons, Derek Jacobi and company tell the stories behind the plays in “Shakespeare Uncovered.”