THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (2013, Warner, PG-13, $30) -- Far from "Incredible," this clumsy comedy pivots on an overwrought turn from Steve Carell as a Las Vegas conjurer so burned out by the magic act he performs with his childhood friend (Steve Buscemi) that he lets his career slip away. In order to regain his mojo, he battles a street magician (scene-stealing Jim Carrey) and reconnects with the sleight-of-hand artist (Alan Arkin) who first sparked his love of magic. With the exception of Carrey's very funny routines, almost nothing works. Carell and Buscemi's act, in particular, is one leaden punch line after another. Extras: gag reel, deleted scenes and featurettes.
THE CALL (2013, Sony, R, $30) -- As a 911 operator who'll stop at nothing to assist a kidnapped teenager, Halle Berry is on fire, delivering a terrific turn in a thriller that matches her level of commitment every step of the way. From a call center in Los Angeles, Berry tries to save the life of Casey (Abigail Breslin) after the young girl has been jammed in a trunk by a nut-job killer (Michael Eklund). Indie filmmaker Brad Anderson ("Session 9") sustains the tension with great skill. "The Call" might just be a popcorn movie but it never loses its connection with the audience. Extras: featurettes, deleted scenes and commentary with Anderson and Berry.
UPSIDE DOWN (2013, Millennium, PG-13, $30) -- With this sci-fi romance, writer/ director Juan Solanas spends a lot of time setting up his crazy premise, which involves an attraction between a pair of star-crossed lovers who hail from mirror planets, each with different laws of gravity. Adam (Jim Sturgess, trying too hard to be adorable) is from the dingy Down Under while Eden (Kirsten Dunst) is from the spiffy Up Above. While there are some gorgeous trick shots, the central characters are so bland that their relationship never picks up much steam. "Upside Down" is all style and very little substance. Extras: deleted scenes, featurettes and storyboards.
NO (2012, Sony, R, $30) -- Oscar nominated as best foreign language film, the latest from Pablo Larrain ("Tony Manero") is a smart but talky political satire set in 1988 as Chile is preparing to hold a referendum vote about whether to oust dictator Gen. Augusto Pinochet. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as the charismatic Rene, an advertising genius tasked with selling the campaign against Pinochet. The purposely crude cinematography takes some getting used to but once you settle into the film's groove, "No" serves up a fascinating slice of South American history. Extras: commentaries with Garcia Bernal and Larrain.
AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT (2012, IFC, unrated, $25) -- After suffering through a humiliating series of job interviews, an unemployed advertising exec named Roberto (Jose Mota) finds himself the victim of a freak accident. He winds up teetering between life and death on live TV as reporters beam his predicament to the world. As a media satire, this unusual film from Spain's Alex De La Iglesia quickly wears out its welcome. But it has a secret weapon in Salma Hayek, who's terrific as Roberto's ferocious wife. As long as the electrifying Hayek in onscreen, fighting for her husband's life and battling shameless reporters, "Luck" seems to vibrate with pure energy. Extras: none.
PUSHER (2013, Anchor Bay, R, $25) -- Luis Prieto's English- language remake of the Danish thriller from 1996 is brutal, pulpy fun. The riveting Richard Coyle stars as a two-bit drug dealer named Frank who's in a race against the clock to pay back his ruthless supplier (Zlatko Buric, reprising his role from the original film). If Frank can't come up with the cash, he'll have to forfeit his life. "The Pusher" serves up blistering action, jolting suspense and, against all odds, characters you care about. Extras: featurettes.
THE RAMBLER (2013, Anchor Bay, R, $20) -- If you get a kick out of David Lynch's films, you might dig this hallucinatory head trip about an ex-con (Dermot Mulroney) thumbing his way across the country. On his journey, the Rambler crosses paths with a bitter ex- girlfriend (Natasha Lyonne), a freaky "scientist" (James Cady), and a singing waitress (Lindsay Pulsipher) who might or might not be a figment of his imagination. The gorefest starts out fairly conventionally and grows increasingly nonsensical as it goes along. By the end, "The Rambler" is running on nothing but fumes. Extras: none.
THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN (1970, Twilight Time, PG, $30) -- New to Blu-ray, Elizabeth Taylor's final film with director George Stevens (following "A Place In The Sun" and "Giant") is a potent two-hander about a pair of Vegas losers who surprise themselves by bringing out the best in each other. Taylor stars as a past-her-prime Vegas showgirl who falls for a piano-playing gambling addict (Warren Beatty.) "Game" is tantalizing not only for its dark-side-of-the- bright-lights view of Vegas but also for the persuasive performances by its stars. Neglected at the time of its release, "Game" is ripe for a rediscovery. Extras: none.
THE POWER AND THE PRIZE (1956, Warner Archive, unrated, $25) -- The story of a man's moral awakening, this involving drama revolves around Cliff Barton (Robert Taylor), a business exec who is dispatched by his ruthless boss (Burl Ives) to London to facilitate a merger. Once overseas, Cliff falls in love with a German refugee (Elisabeth Mueller) and begins to question his entire existence. With its emphasis on boardroom double dealings and secret love affairs, "Power and the Prize" occasionally feels like a prequel to "Mad Men." Extras: none.
WILD BILL: HOLLYWOOD MAVERICK (1996, Kino, unrated, $20) -- As chronicled in this superb doc, filmmaker William Wellman turned out terrific movies like "Wings," "A Star Is Born" and "The Ox-Bow Incident" while simultaneously clashing with the powers that be. He threatened the life of Jack Warner after Warner cut one of his films to pieces and dumped a truckload of manure on a Paramount boss's desk to protest the bad scripts he was forced to direct. The doc includes both extensive film clips and interviews with A-listers like Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Robert Redford who either worked with or admired Wild Bill. Extras: none.
SHOAH (1985, Criterion, unrated, $99) -- Claude Lanzmann's nine- hour film remains the definitive Holocaust documentary even though there isn't a single frame of archival footage in it. Instead Lanzmann relies on the testimony of Jewish survivors, former Nazis and Polish bystanders to tell the story of the mass killings. The film, which includes silent, haunting shots of the camps and train stations as they appear today, is essential viewing. Extras: interviews and three additional Lanzmann films.
CLINT EASTWOOD: 40 FILM COLLECTION (2013, Warner, PG-13-R, $179) - - In honor of its 90 years in the movie business, Warner Bros. is issuing this generous celebration of one of its most iconic stars. On tap are 38 of Eastwood's best, stretching from 1968's "Where Eagles Dare" to 2012's "Trouble With the Curve." Hidden gems abound from the underrated road movie "A Perfect World" with Kevin Costner to the Altmanesque comedy "Bronco Billy." The final two films in the package are the vintage "Eastwood Factor" doc and the new "Eastwood Directs: The Untold Story," which boasts tart interviews with Meryl Streep and Gene Hackman, among others. Extras: none.
CSI: NY -- THE FINAL SEASON (2012, Paramount, unrated, $65) -- Despite suffering from a nearly fatal gunshot wound at the end of the eighth season, Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise) is back in the CSI lab and ready to work. He's suffering from a bit of memory loss but his second-in-command (Sela Ward) covers his tracks. The still- entertaining police procedural concludes its nine year run with a 17- episode season featuring, among other treats, a cross-over show with cast members from "CSI: Las Vegas." Extras: featurettes, gag reel and deleted scenes.
FAT ALBERT AND THE COSBY KIDS: THE COMPLETE SERIES (1972-1984, Shout Factory!, unrated, $119) -- Hey, hey, hey! North Philly's favorite cartoon kids are back in this 15 disc, 110-episode set. Created by Bill Cosby, who based the characters on his childhood buddies, the episodes are intended to be both fun and educational. Not every show is a winner but Cosby (who voices Fat Albert) keeps things lively while also commenting on a wide range of topics including sexism, racism and the dangers of drug abuse. Extras: documentary.
-- Amy Longsdorf
Tuesday -- "Tai Chi Hero."
July 9 -- "Dead Man Down," "The Host," "Spring Breakers," "Temptations: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor."
July 16 -- "Evil Dead."
July 23 -- "Ginger & Rosa," "New World," "Trance."
July 30 -- "Black Rock."
Aug. 6 -- "A Boy and His Dog," "Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal."
Aug. 13 -- "Emperor."
-- Jaclyn Antonacci
A service of YellowBrix, Inc.
Most Popular Stories
- NSA Defends Global Cellphone Tracking Legality
- Top Websites for U.S. Hispanics
- Networks Vie for U.S. Hispanic TV Viewers
- Ad Counts Rise in 2013 for Hispanic Magazines
- Saab Gets Back into the Game; U.S. Auto Sales Soar
- Apple Wants Samsung to Pay $22M for Patent Dispute Legal Bills
- Apple Activates Customer-Tracking iBeacon
- Starbucks Gets Grinchy; No Gingerbread Lattes for Tampa Customers
- A Biography of Jonathan Ive, Apple's Creative Chief
- Jobs Report Brings Cheer As Unemployment Drops to Five-year Low