Home Entertainment Release Recap for January 25th, 2011

THE AGATHA CHRISTIE HOUR, SET 2

Contains: Magnolia Blossom, The Mystery of the Blue Jar, The Red Signal, Search of a Job, The Manhood of Edward Robinson A henpecked fiance sets off on the drive of his life. Two-disc set, $39.99. (Acorn Media).

The Queen of Crime plumbs the recesses of the human heart in these five tales of mystery and murder, passion and peril, suspense and the supernatural. In these final episodes, Christie protagonists find themselves the victims of false accusations, embroiled in illicit love affairs, torn between duty and desire, and under the thumb of employers with questionable motives. These classic adaptations are Christie at her best, now on DVD for the first time.

The superb ensemble casts include Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding), Amanda Redman (New Tricks, Sexy Beast), Ralph Bates (Dear John, Poldark), Stephanie Cole (Doc Martin), Cherie Lunghi (Secret Diary of a Call Girl), and Christopher Cazenove (The Duchess of Duke Street, Dynasty).

BROADCAST NEWS

(1987) Dir: James L Brooks; Holly Hunter, William Hurt, Albert Brooks. DVD: Blu-ray: Two-disc special edition with a new, restored high-definition digital transfer, supervised by director James L. Brooks and editor Richard Marks. Extras: Commentary featuring Brooks and Marks; documentary on Brooks’s career in television and film, featuring actors Marilu Henner (“Taxi”) and Julie Kavner (“Rhoda,” “The Simpsons”) and several other of Brooks’ collaborators; deleted scenes and an alternate ending, with commentary by Brooks; video interview with veteran CBS news producer Susan Zirinsky, one of the models for actress Holly Hunter’s character and an associate producer on the film; featurette containing on-set footage and interviews with Brooks, Hunter, and actor Albert Brooks; original theatrical trailer; booklet featuring an essay by film critic Carrie Rickey. Also available on Blu-ray Disc. (Criterion Collection).

In the 1970s, the name James L. Brooks (“The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “Taxi,” “Terms of Endearment,” “The Simpsons”) was synonymous with intelligent television comedy — his shows were insightful about work and love and always tapped into the zeitgeist. With his transition to film in the 1980s, he became a master Hollywood storyteller, and none of his films was more quintessentially Brooks than “Broadcast News.” This caustic inside look at the Washington news media stars Holly Hunter, in her breakout role, as a feisty television producer torn between an ambitious yet dim anchorman (William Hurt) and her closest confidant, a cynical veteran reporter (Albert Brooks). Brooks’s witty, gently prophetic entertainment is a captivating transmission from an era in which ideas on love and media were rapidly changing.

THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST

(2010) Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Annika Hallin, Jacob Ericksson, Sofia Ledarp, Anders Ahlbom. DVD: $29.95 , Blu-ray: $34.95  (Music Box Films).

Two journalists on the verge of exposing their story in the political magazine millennium about an extensive sex trafficking operation between eastern europe and sweden are brutally murdered. They key suspect is lisbeth salander the troubled wise beyond her years genius hacker.

MAN IN A SUITCASE, SET 1

(1968) $59.99. (Acorn Media).

“Mac” McGill is an ex-spy with a murky past and an uncertain future. Wrongfully dismissed by his bosses in U.S. intelligence, he decides to freelance as a private detective based out of London. McGill’s work takes him far and wide, yet seemingly always on a collision course with the British authorities, the Soviets, and his old colleagues in American espionage. Beset by enemies on all sides, he strives to clear his name and restore his reputation. But until he does, he remains on the run, taking jobs in the dark and dangerous corners of European society.

This action-packed Cold War drama features savvy writing and a host of superb guest stars, including Donald Sutherland (Pride & Prejudice), James Grout (Inspector Morse), Anton Rodgers (Lillie), Nicola Pagett (Upstairs, Downstairs), Peter Vaughan (The Remains of the Day), Stuart Damon (General Hospital), and Judy Geeson (Mad About You).

NOWHERE BOY

(2010) Aaron Johnson, Kristin Scott Thomas, Anne Marie Duff, Thomas Brodie Sangster. DVD: $28.95 , Blu-ray: $30.95 Extras: “Nowhere Boy: The Untold Story of John Lennon and the Creation of The Beatles” featurette, deleted scenes.  (Sony).

Imagine…John Lennon’s childhood. Liverpool, 1955: a smart and troubled fifteen-year-old is hungry for experience. In a family full of secrets, two incredible women clash over John (Aaron Johnson): Mimi (Kristin Scott Thomas), the buttoned-up aunt who raised him, and Julia (Anne-Marie Duff), the prodigal mother. Yearning for a normal family, John escapes into the new and exciting world of rock ‘n’ roll where his fledgling genius finds a kindred spirit in the teenage Paul McCartney (Thomas Brodie Sangster). Just as John begins his new life, tragedy strikes. But a resilient young man finds his voice – and an icon explodes into the world.

PIE IN THE SKY, SERIES 4

(2009) $39.99. (Acorn Media).

Detective Inspector Henry Crabbe divides his time between catching criminals and his true passion—cooking. The proprietor of Pie in the Sky, his dream restaurant, Crabbe had hoped to while away his retirement serving up his favorite dishes with his accountant wife, Margaret (Maggie Steed, Shine on Harvey Moon). But his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Freddy Fisher (Malcolm Sinclair, Casino Royale), is determined to keep his best detective on the payroll, tackling the cases that only Crabbe’s deft touch can solve. Series 4 Episodes: Devils on Horseback (Part One), Devils on Horseback (Part Two), Chinese Whispers, New Leaf, Breaking Bread, Gary’s Cake.

RED

(2010) Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren, Karl Urban, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Pidgeon. DVD: $28.99 , Blu-ray: $34.99 Extras: Deleted and extended scenes, “CIA Exposed” featurette, commentary with retired CIA Field Officer Robert Baer. Blu-ray Disc adds “Access Red,” an immersive six-part interactive feature including pop up trivia, videos, interviews and more. (Summit Entertainment).

Frank (Willis) is a former black-ops CIA agent living a quiet life alone… until the day a hit squad shows up to kill him. With his identity compromised, Frank reassembles his old team Joe (Freeman), Marvin (Malkovich) and Victoria (Mirren) and sets out to prove that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves. Stand back and watch the bullets fly in this explosive action-comedy that critics call a rip-roaring good time.