A faith film that found box-office success in April and a terrific biography of Cesar Chavez lead these movies that are new on DVD and Blu-ray.
“Heaven Is for Real” (Sony/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG, deleted scenes, featurettes). This sentimental drama is based on Todd Burpo’s best-selling book (co-written with Lynn Vincent) about his 4-year-old son’s near-death experience, after which he innocently began talking about his time in heaven.
Burpo (played by Greg Kinnear) is a pastor at a small Nebraska church and the claims made by his son (Connor Corum) turn the town upside-down, causing a crisis of faith for Burpo and his wife (Kelly Reilly), as well as many church members. And it’s hard to write off the boy as delusional when he also remarks on things about which he should have no knowledge.
It's heavy-handed in places but sincere and is bolstered by an excellent cast that also includes Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church.
“Cesar Chavez” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG-13, featurette). Michael Pena delivers a fiery and impassioned performance as the real-life title character, an American farm worker who became a labor leader and civil rights activist, eventually helping found the National Farm Workers Association. America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson shine as Chavez’s wife and co-worker, respectively, and John Malkovich is on hand as a familiar villain. It's a very well-directed biography from Diego Luna.
“Transcendence” (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG-13, featurettes). Johnny Depp stars in this uneven sci-fi thriller as a scientist developing artificial intelligence to contain all knowledge and also have human emotions. When Depp is fatally wounded by an extremist group, his wife (Rebecca Hall) uploads his consciousness into their quantum computer. Lapses in logic torpedo the intellectual intent, but the cast is game and includes Morgan Freeman and Paul Bettany.
“The Single Moms Club” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG-13, featurettes). Tyler Perry wrote, directed, produced and has a supporting role in this comedy-drama about several disparate single mothers that form a support group. It's typical Perry fare, with a good cast that includes Nia Long, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown, Terry Crews and Eddie Cibrian.
“The Wind Will Carry Us” (Cohen/Blu-ray/DVD, 1999, not rated, in Farsi with English subtitles, audio commentary, featurette, trailer). Acclaimed Iranian film, a slow moving but engrossing study of cultural contrast as a surreptitious TV filmmaker and his crew invade a small village to record the death of an old woman. But when she hangs on, the filmmaker gets to know the locals and starts to question his own motives. Blu-ray upgrade improves upon previous releases.
“Make Your Move” (Sony/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG-13, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette). Not counting a pair of minor cameos, this marks Utah native Derek Hough’s film debut, and he does what he does best — he dances up a storm. His partner, BoA Kwon, is also a fine dancer. Unfortunately, they are saddled with a banal storyline you have seen too many times before. But if you just want some good dancing, this is your ticket.
“The Angriest Man in Brooklyn” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, R for language and sex, featurette, bloopers). Perpetual anger-management candidate played by Robin Williams is told by a doctor (Mila Kunis) that he has only 90 minutes to live, so he decides to hurriedly make amends with those he has hurt. Peter Dinklage, James Earl Jones and Melissa Leo co-star.
“The Suspect” (Well Go/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, not rated, in Korean with English subtitles). A North Korean field agent is betrayed, accused of murder and on the run. Worse, his wife and daughter are missing. Out for answers, as well as revenge, he declares war on his enemies. Excellent action sequences.
“Next Goal Wins” (Ketchup/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, not rated). This documentary is about the professional soccer team in American Samoa, which has had the worst FIFA world-ranked record for a decade. Then a maverick Dutch coach comes onboard and works with the team to turn things around. It's a funny, uplifting crowd-pleaser.
“GMO OMG” (MPI/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, not rated, featurettes, trailer, short film: The Scarecrow”). Documentary from Jeremy Seifert investigating genetically modified organisms, scientifically altered foods and how they affect children around the world.Comment on this story
“Appleseed Alpha” (Sony/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG-13, audio commentary, featurettes). Computer-animated sci-fi prequel to the 2004 films “Appleseed” and “Appleseed Ex Machina,” this one depicting younger Deunan Knute and Briareos in the dystopian 22nd century as they are hired by a warlord overseer of New York’s ruins to defeat bad guys.
“Sector 4: Extraction” (Lionsgate/DVD/Digital, 2014, R for language and violence, trailers). Martial arts star Olivier Gruner wrote and directed this vehicle for himself, a modern warfare thriller about an elite band of mercenaries battling al-Qaida when they are caught behind enemy lines. Eric Roberts co-stars.
“Cell 213” (eOne/DVD, 2014, R for violence and language). Horror yarn has an innocent attorney (Eric Balfour) in a prison overseen by a vicious guard (Michael Rooker) and a duplicitous warden (Bruce Greenwood) when supernatural forces come into play.