Not sure why, but there are a lot of new DVD and Blu-ray movies this week. New titles include Birdman (Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis), St. Vincent (Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy), Dumb and Dumber To (Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels | review | giveaway), The Theory of Everything (Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones), The Homesman (Hilary Swank, Tommy Lee Jones), The Interview (Seth Rogen, James Franco), Life Itself (documentary), Dying of the Light (Nicolas Cage), and V/H/S: Viral. Continue reading for a summary of the new Blu-ray and DVD releases for this week.
DVDs coming out the week of February 17, 2015
Directed, written and produced by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman tells the story of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself. The film has enamoured critics and audiences alike with its technical achievements using a single shot concept and captivating performances from an all-star ensemble cast, which include Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date, Dinner for Schmucks), Edward Norton (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Primal Fear, American History X), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion, Shadow Dancer), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Win Win), Emma Stone (The Help; Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Amazing Spiderman franchise) Naomi Watts (St. Vincent, The Impossible, King Kong) as well as breath-taking cinematography from Academy Award-winner Emmanuel Lubezki.
- St. Vincent
Maggie (Melissa McCarthy), a single mother, moves into a new home in Brooklyn with her 12-year old son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher). Forced to work long hours, she has no choice but to leave Oliver in the care of their new neighbor, Vincent (Bill Murray), a retired curmudgeon with a penchant for alcohol and gambling. An odd friendship soon blossoms between the improbable pair. Together with a pregnant stripper named Daka (Naomi Watts), Vincent brings Oliver along on all the stops that make up his daily routine – the race track, a strip club, and the local dive bar. Vincent helps Oliver grow to become a man, while Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to: a misunderstood man with a good heart.
- Dumb and Dumber To
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their signature roles as Lloyd and Harry in the sequel to the smash hit that took the physical comedy and kicked it in the nuts: Dumb and Dumber To. The original film’s directors, Peter and Bobby Farrelly, take Lloyd and Harry on a road trip to find a child Harry never knew he had and the responsibility neither should ever, ever be given.
- The Theory of Everything
Starring Eddie Redmayne (“Les Misérables”) and Felicity Jones (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”), this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of — time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. The film is based on the memoir “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen,” by Jane Hawking, and is directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh (“Man on Wire”).
- The Homesman
When three women living on the edge of the American frontier are driven mad by harsh pioneer life, the task of saving them falls to the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Hilary Swank). Transporting the women by covered wagon to Iowa, she soon realizes just how daunting the journey will be, and employs a low-life drifter, George Briggs (Tommy Lee Jones), to join her. The unlikely pair and the three women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter) head east, where a waiting minister and his wife (Meryl Streep) have offered to take the women in. But the group first must traverse the harsh Nebraska Territories marked by stark beauty, psychological peril and constant threat.
- The Interview
In the action-comedy The Interview, Dave Skylark (James Franco) and his producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogen) run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show “Skylark Tonight.” When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them, perhaps the two least-qualified men imaginable, to assassinate Kim Jong-un.
- Life Itself
Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present Life Itself, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself, explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
- Dying of the Light
Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage ignites a powder keg of action in this electrifying cloak-and-dagger thriller. Evan Lake (Cage), a veteran CIA agent, has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé (Anton Yelchin) uncovers evidence that Lake’s nemesis, the terrorist Banir (Alexander Karim), has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.
- V/H/S: Viral
A stream of police cars chasing after a deranged ice cream truck driver has captivated the attention of the greater Los Angeles area. Dozens of teens flock to the streets with their video cameras and cell phones, hell-bent on capturing the next viral video. But there is something far more sinister occurring in the streets of L.A. As they’ll soon find out, these fame-obsessed amateur videographers, capturing salacious footage for the amusement of the public, are themselves the stars of the next big viral video — one where they face their own horrifying deaths.