MONSTERS UNIVERSITY (2013, Disney, G, $30) -- Pixar's first prequel serves up the delightful story of how walking eyeball Mike (Billy Crystal) became best palls with blue furball Sulley (John Goodman). Set at the titular school of scaring, there's plenty of funny business about misfit monsters and a discipline-obsessed dean (Helen Mirren) but the film is really about how tough it is to find your place in the world. This being a Pixar film, there's oodles to enjoy, including funny sight gags, characters richer than in most live-action comedies, and a moral that doesn't send you into sugar shock. Enroll immediately. Extras: "Blue Umbrella" short, deleted scenes, games and featurettes.
DAMAGES: THE COMPLETE SERIES (2007-2021, Sony, unrated, $96) -- Given that this legal series is rich in flashbacks and flash forwards, it's a treat to be able to go back again to the first episode and work your way through to the explosive finale. During the five seasons, attorney Patty Hewes (Glenn Close) matches wits with a greedy CEO (Ted Danson), a military contractor (John Goodman), a financial fraudster (Len Cariou) and a whistle-blower (Ryan Phillippe) but her biggest battles are with protege-turned- arch enemy Ellen Parsons (Rose Bryne). They bring out the worst in each other, in the most entertaining ways. Extras: featurettes and commentaries.
I GIVE IT A YEAR (2013, Magnolia, R, $25) -- Dan Mazer's ("Borat") comedy is just good enough to make you wish it were better. Rafe Spall ("Anonymous") shines as Josh, a writer who, after his marriage to Nat (Rose Bryne), realizes he's in love with his ex (Anna Faris). Meanwhile, Nat becomes smitten with a workmate (Simon Baker). In supporting roles, Stephen Merchant, Olivia Colman and Minnie Driver provide some laughs but the appealing cast can't quite overcome a script that always seems to be in the wrong gear. Extras: outtakes, deleted scenes and featurettes.
R.I.P.D. (2013, Universal, PG-13, $30) -- God bless Jeff Bridges. He alone gives this effects-heavy time-passer about deceased cops returning to earth to patrol zombies a much-needed jolt of life. Ryan Reynolds stars as a crooked Boston police officer who, after being shot by his even more crooked partner (Kevin Bacon), is pressed into undead duty alongside an Old West sheriff (Bridges). Soon, the new partners catch wind of a zombie scheme to take over the world. "R.I.P.D" longs to be "Men in Black" or "Ghostbusters" but the bad guys are a bland bunch and, Bridges aside, the comic timing is way off. A better title: "D.O.A." Extras: gag reel, deleted scenes and featurettes.
SPRINGSTEEN & I (2013, Eagle Rock, unrated, $15) -- For this documentary valentine to the Boss, director Baillie Walsh has collected about two dozen fan-generated tributes as well as live footage stretching from cozy '70s shows through to a 2012 Hyde Park bash. The videos are made by folks who cherish the opportunity to sing the praises of the Jersey rocker who, in one way or another, changed their lives. The best segments involve an Elvis impersonator who recalls being pulled up onstage by Bruce for a duet on "All Shook Up," and a British fan who was randomly selected to receive front-row seats at Madison Square Garden. Extras: additional footage.
FREE SAMPLES (2013, Anchor Bay, R, $20) -- "The Good Wife's" Jess Weixler stars in this lo-fi comedy as a snarky Stanford Law School drop-out who has no idea what to do with her life. Still reeling from a hangover, Weixler agrees to help out a buddy and take over a rundown ice cream truck parked in a dingy section of Los Angeles. When she's not dealing with annoying customers, she's picking up the pieces of her personal life, which includes a pair of past and future boyfriends (Jesse Eisenberg, Keir O'Donnell). An encounter with an older actress (a wonderful Tippi Hedren) rattles Jillian - and gives "Free Samples" its soft, creamy heart. Extras: none.
SHEPARD & DARK (2013, Music Box, unrated, $30) -- A few years ago, playwright Sam Shepard and his best pal, Jersey City's Johnny Dark, decided to collaborate on a book project about their decade- spanning friendship. While compiling their correspondence, they sat down with filmmaker Treva Wurmfield to discuss their very different lives. Dark rarely leaves his house in New Mexico except to go to work at the neighborhood deli and to take long walks with his dogs. Shepard, by contrast, seems incapable of sitting still, preferring to live out of temporary digs. Wurmfield can't quite figure out the mystery of the bond between these men yet she captures them at their most candid and vulnerable. Extras: deleted scenes.
EMBRACE OF THE VAMPIRE (2013, Anchor Bay, unrated, $30) -- A remake of the cheesy horror movie from 1995 starring Alyssa Milano, this straight-to-DVD entry should have been a guilty-pleasure treat. Instead, it squanders a ripe premise and a game cast on a plot that's both repetitive and confusing. Sharon Hinnendael stars as a college freshman who is slow -- very slow -- to discover she's a vampire being tracked by another vampire for her curse-reversing powers. No terror, just tedium. Extras: none.
LOVE ACTUALLY: 10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (2003, Universal, PG-13, $20) -- Yes, there are segments that get a little gooey but this Christmas-themed romance, now available on Blu-ray, has a secret weapon in its treasure trove of memorable characters. Remember Bill Nighy as an aging rocker chasing a hit single or "The Walking Dead's" Andrew Lincoln as a chap in love with his best friend's (Chiwetel Eliofor) wife (Keira Knightley) or Emma Thompson as a woman who suspects her husband (Alan Rickman) is cheating on her? Don't fight it: "Love Actually" is the perfect stocking stuffer. Extras: deleted scenes, featurettes, commentaries and a Christmas tree ornament.
THE UNINVITED (1944, Criterion, unrated, $30) -- In this elegant chiller, Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey star as a brother and sister who use their life savings to buy an isolated, cliff-top home in Cornwall. Soon competing ghosts are slamming doors, scenting the air with mimosa and sending cold chills down the hallways. Light on jolts and heavy on atmosphere, "The Uninvited" is creepy fun, particularly appearances by a character named Miss Holloway (Cornelia Otis Skinner) who -- shades of Jessica Lange in "American Horror Story: Asylum" -- takes a little too much pleasure in running a loony bin. Extras: radio plays.
CARS 3D: ULTIMATE COLLECTOR'S EDITION (2006, Disney, G, $50) -- Pixar's classic about realizing life is all about the journey not the finish line goes 3-D with winning results. Owen Wilson voices the revved up Lightning McQueen, a race car driver who takes a much- needed detour in Radiator Springs, a sleepy burg that's home to the indelible Mater (Larry the Cable Guy), Sally (Bonnie Hunt) and Doc (Paul Newman). Extras: featurettes and deleted scenes.
FAMILY TREE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (2012, HBO, unrated, $30) - - For his first TV series, satirist Christopher Guest follows the adventures of an unemployed Londoner (Chris O'Dowd) who suddenly becomes fascinated with his ancestors. The show lacks the pacing Guest's best movies like "Waiting for Guffman" and "Best in Show" but there's just enough wryness and eccentricity to keep you chuckling In particular, Nina Conti is hilarious as O'Dowd's sister, a woman who is never very far from a hand puppet she calls Monkey. Extras: none.
DON'T TRUST THE B---- IN APARTMENT 23: THE COMPLETE SERIES (2012, Fox, unrated, $30) -- The first two seasons of this naughty but sweet sitcom are good enough to make you mourn its premature cancellation. Krysten Ritter and Dreama Walker are delightful as mismatched Manhattan roommates who discover they have more in common than they originally imagined. The supporting players are one-note, including James Van Der Beek as a goofy version of himself. But there's an authentic New York flavor to the fast-paced show as well as edgy plot twists that give it a welcome wildness. Extras: none.
KINDRED: THE EMBRACED (1996, Paramount, unrated, $40) -- Long before vampires, zombies and ghouls became TV staples there was this steamy series set in modern-day San Francisco. A forbidden romance drives the show, which lasted only eight episodes, but there's also turf wars between rival bloodsucking gangs and tension-packed interludes with nosy mortals. The cast includes Mark Frankel, C. Thomas Howell, Kelly Rutherford and Patrick Bauchau. Extras: featurettes, commentaries, deleted scenes and booklets.
-- Amy Longsdorf
Tuesday -- "Girl Most Likely," "Grown Ups 2," "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Extended Edition," "Lovelace," "Passion," "Twilight Forever: The Complete Saga," "White House Down."
Nov. 12 -- "Blackfish," "Man of Steel," "Prince Avalanche," "Turbo."
Nov. 19 -- "Paranoia," "Planes," "The To Do List," "2 Guns," "We're the Millers," "The World's End."
-- Caitlin Callons
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