This week: Vin Diesel and Paul Walker are still fast and furious, a new Ghostface returns to terrorize Neve Campbell in Wes Craven's latest and a Disney classic makes its Blu-ray debut.
If fast cars and/or Paul Walker and Vin Diesel really get your engine revving, then you'll want to give this fifth installment of The Fast and the Furious franchise a spin. This time Dom (Diesel) and Brian (Walker) are planning a heist in Rio de Janeiro, where they have escaped with Mia (Jordana Brewster). To pull it off they recruit some familiar franchise faces, including Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Don Omar, Sung Kang and more. There is one big thing standing in their way: DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson).
Whereas the first four films focused more on street racing, Fast Five only features one street-racing scene and shifts gears into a heist picture. There is still plenty of rubber-burning action, especially when the team is racing through the streets of Rio with a gigantic metal safe in tow. The inevitable smackdown between Johnson and Diesel is also a highlight, and be sure to watch through the credits for a hint as to who might be making a surprising return to the next installment of this furious franchise that never runs out of gas for adrenaline junkies.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a commentary, deleted scenes, "Brian O'Conner: From Fed to Con" and "Enter Federal Agent Hobbs;" the BD adds a featurette on the Hobbs vs. Dom fight, "Inside the Vault Chase" and other behind-the-scenes featurettes, including "Tyrese TV" with Gibson filming his co-stars. Fast Five is also now available on On Demand and iTunes.
Verdict: Rent Me
Fifteen years after the original Woodsboro murders, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) returns to her hometown on a promotional book tour only to become caught up in the aftermath of a new Ghostface killer on the rampage. Sidney, Sheriff Dewey Riley (David Arquette) and former reporter Gale Weathers-Riley (Courteney Cox) have survived this nightmare three times before, and the trio band together with a new deputy (Marley Shelton) to solve this mystery and try to save a new generation from slaughter, including Sidney's cousin, Jill (Emma Roberts), and her friends, including Kirby (Hayden Panettiere), Charlie (Rory Culkin), Robbie (Erik Knudsen) and more.
By reuniting his core cast and bringing back Kevin Williamson as the main writer, director Wes Craven has somehow managed to capture the spirit of the original trilogy and even improve on the last installment, 2000's Scream 3. The extended opening sequence goes full meta and features a funny cameo by Anna Paquin, and the rest of the film mixes this witty humor with bloody violence and new rules for survival. At one point, Sidney says the new number one rule of horror films is "don't f**k with the original," and Craven has done nothing of the sort by cleverly updating Scream for Generation Tweet.
Best extras: Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain audio commentary, deleted scenes, a making-of featurette and a gag reel. Scream 4 is also available on On Demand and iTunes.
Verdict: Buy Me (if you own the previous movies and still quote them), Rent Me (if you are only slash-curious)
The Lion King (Blu-ray and Blu-ray 3D)
Disney recently converted The Lion King to 3D for theaters and, judging from the millions of dollars it pulled in, there is still a lot of roar left in this 1994 animated classic about lion cub Simba and his rise to be king after his father's death at the hand, er, paw of his uncle. Simba grows up in exile in the jungle, adopts the motto of hakuna matata (no worries) only to be reunited with his favorite lioness, Nala, who encourages him to return to the Pride Lands and end the suffering of its inhabitants.
The Lion King remains the highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film of all time and its biblical story and catchy songs are still beloved by creatures of all sizes. After its successful run in theaters, Disney is releasing The Lion King on Blu-ray for the first time as well as in a combo pack with a Blu-ray 3D version that purr-fectly replicates the expert 3D conversion on display in theaters.
Best extras: The combo pack contains an extended scene, "Disney's Virtual Vault," a commentary, a sing-along mode, an interactive gallery, making-of featurettes, bloopers, outtakes and "Second Screen" functionality which allows you to sync a laptop or portable device to your Blu-ray player for additional interactivity. The Lion King is also available on iTunes, but the only way to currently see the 3D version is on Blu-ray 3D.
Verdict: Buy Me
Also New This Week: Dead Alive (BD), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (BD), Jackie Brown (BD), Pulp Fiction (BD), Beauty and the Beast (BD 3D), The Cider House Rules (BD), Cinema Paradiso (BD), Pee-wee's Big Adventure (BD), Prohibition, The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season—3-Disc Special Edition, Almost Famous (BD), Last Exit to Brooklyn (BD) and Beavis and Butt-head: Mike Judge's Most Wanted