It’s a relatively thin week for new releases on DVD, with just a couple of particularly notable titles available. These include a multiple Oscar nominee and a Certified Fresh drama, though they’re accompanied by a number of smaller indie features and a couple of new season sets of popular TV series. Read on for details:



Foxcatcher

87%

Films based on real people and real events were a big hit at this year’s Oscars, and Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher was no exception. The dramatic thriller notched five nominations, including Best Director, Best Actor for Steve Carell, and Best Supporting Actor for Mark Ruffalo. Channing Tatum stars as Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz, who, along with his brother Dave (Ruffalo), is offered a paid position on a private wrestling team funded and coached by an eccentric philanthropist named John du Pont (Carell). Though they initially bond over early successes, du Pont’s erratic behavior creates a rift between them that results in tragic consequences. Critics found much to praise in the performances of all three leads and found them well-equipped to handle the nuances of the chilling true story, leading to a Certified Fresh 88 percent score. Bonus features are limited to a 16-minute featurette, a couple of deleted scenes, and the film’s trailer.



Outlander: Season One, Part 1

Just ahead of the April premiere of the continuation of its first season, the first half of Starz’s surprise hit sci-fi/fantasy drama Outlander is set to hit shelves this week. Based on the novel series of the same name by Diana Gabaldon, the show follows a WWII nurse named Claire Beauchamp Randall (Caitriona Balfe) who is magically transported 1743 Scotland, where she meets both the ancestor of her husband and the dashing Highlander battling him, setting into motion an era-spanning love triangle. If it all sounds a bit hokey and soapy, the critics say it’s well worth a watch, thanks to the acting, the stunning cinematography, and the faithful adaptation of its source material. Certified Fresh at 90 percent, Outlander‘s first season is a worthy introduction to a surprisingly satisfying series. The box set comes with every episode so far on two discs, which also contain a total of 21 deleted scenes and six featurettes.

Also available this week:

  • The second season of another Starz drama, Da Vinci’s Demons (100 percent), following the exploits of a young Leonardo da Vinci as he is swept up in the political intrigue of his day.
  • Tinker Bell and the Legend of the Neverbeast (73 percent), an animated feature from Disney starring the fairy in an adventure to save Pixie Hollow from a creature who may actually be a gentle giant.
  • Life Partners (60 percent), starring Leighton Meester and Gillian Jacobs in a comedy about two friends whose friendship begins to suffer when one of them finally begins dating a guy seriously.
  • Barry Levinson’s The Humbling (51 percent), starring Al Pacino and Greta Gerwig in a drama about a struggling actor who finds inspiration in his relationship to a young lesbian he can’t quite keep up with.
  • The Better Angels (40 percent), starring Brit Marling and Diane Kruger in a drama about the formative years in the life of a young Abraham Lincoln.
  • The Last of Robin Hood (29 percent), starring Kevin Kline and Dakota Fanning in a drama about the later years of Errol Flynn’s life, when he began an affair with the much younger Beverly Aadland.
This week at the movies, we’ve got just one national release: the Egypt-set horror film The Pyramid, starring Ashley Hinshaw and Denis O’Hare). What do the critics have to say?


The Pyramid

14%

Plenty of sci-fi/horror films borrow freely from older genre classics. However, critics say The Pyramid is a particularly artless mash-up of Indiana Jones-style swashbuckling and old-school creature features, one that’s good for a couple jolts but not much else. It’s the story of a group of explorers who stumble upon a strange, three-sided pyramid in the middle of the desert. What they find inside is even more shocking — and certainly not of this world. The pundits say The Pyramid has the elements in place for a solid B-movie, but it’s ultimately undone by its utterly silly script.

Certified Fresh on TV:


The pundits say Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (Certified Fresh at 81 percent) has a familiar Housewives feel, but transcends genre conventions with Lisa Edelstein’s witty, hurt-filled performance — and a premise perfect for its network’s target demographic.

 


Alternating between electrifying tension and a meandering plot, critics found “Coda” (71 percent) to be an okay capper to a strong half-season of The Walking Dead.

Also opening this week in limited release:

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