New releases on DVD, Blu-ray
The complete series of "The Magic School Bus" is available this week.
Updated: October 14, 2012 12:56PM
NEW THIS WEEK
“The Magic School Bus” ★★★★
Rated: No MPAA rating
Stars: Lilly Tomlin, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Daniel DeSanto, Erica Luttrell
The wheels on the bus go ... pretty much anywhere you can imagine. After selling millions of children’s books crossing science lessons and kid-friendly adventure under the tutelage of magically eccentric third-grade teacher Ms. Frizzle (Lily Tomlin), Scholastic books made the leap to TV with this popular Saturday morning cartoon series. The fast-paced, brightly colored and wildly imaginative series disseminates a fair amount of elementary scientific information on everything from the water cycle to germs to volcanoes and dinosaurs. Ms. Frizzle can transform the her little yellow school bus into a rocket to explore the solar system or a microbe-sized submarine inside the body of an ailing student. This eight-disc box set collects all 52 episodes from the series’ four-year run for the first time and throws in an activity booklet and a parent’s guide as a bonus. As Ms. Frizzle says: “Wahoo!”
“What To Expect When You’re Expecting” ★★½
Rated: PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic elements and language
Stars: Jennifer Lopez, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford
This over-crowded, intermittently amusing film, featuring five couples coping with babies on the way, turns out to be more or less exactly what you might expect. So long as you’re not expecting too much. If you’re satisfied to chart some emotional ups and downs while chuckling at cutesy-crude, prego-comedy and gross-out gags along the way to a group birth-a-thon (with all the awww-inspiring moments you could wish for), it’s a pretty safe bet. Extras include deleted scenes.
ALSO NEW THIS WEEK
“Snow White And The Huntsman”
In this revisionist fairy tale, the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) assigned to kill Snow White (Kristin Stewart) instead becomes her protector and helps lead a revolt against the evil queen (Charlize Theron). Director Rupert Sanders makes his feature debut with the fantasy adventure.
“Titanic” Blu-ray Debut
Director James Cameron’s romantic disaster epic finally makes its Blu-ray debut with a four-disc set featuring more than two and a half hours of bonus footage. Extras include Cameron conducting an in-depth tour of the film, a National Geographic documentary probing the final mysteries of how the unsinkable ship sank, more than 30 deleted scenes, 60 behind-the-scenes featurettes, 2,000 photos and three commentaries.
“Ghosts Of The Abyss”
In this 2003 documentary, director James Cameron journeys back to the source of his inspiration: the legendary wreck of the Titanic. Cameron and a team of historic and marine experts (and buddy Bill Paxton) use new technology developed for this project to explore the wreck in previously unimagined detail.
This locally produced thriller, shot in St. Charles, features a police chief (Bruce Davison) searching for a serial killer from the past the same night four teenagers go missing on Munger Road. Nicolas Smith makes his writing/directing feature debut.
“Power Rangers Monster Bash”
Three Halloween-themed episodes from the new series “Power Rangers Samurai.”
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2” Blu-ray Debut
A former Texas marshal (Dennis Hopper) hunts down the Chainsaw family in this grisly sequel. Extras include commentary by director Tobe Hooper and legendary makeup effects creator Tom Savini. “John Leguizamo: Tales From A Ghetto Klown”
The award-winning actor and playwright is profiled as he attempts to mount his latest one-man show on Broadway.
“Re-Animator” Blu-ray debut ★★★½
Rated: No MPAA rating
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton
Chicago theater director Stuart Gordon gave the horror genre a colossal jolt in 1985 with this wildly gruesome, darkly comic exercise in galvanic grand guignol, inspired by the stories of H.P. Lovecraft. Brilliant yet unorthodox medical student Herbert West (Combs) goes Dr. Frankenstein by attempting to revive the dead without any redeeming motive whatsoever. Not for the squeamish. Extras include commentary by Gordon and cast, extended and deleted scenes, and the documentary “Re-Animator Resurrectus.”
“Think Like A Man” ★★½
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content, some crude humor and brief drug use
Stars: Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union
In one sense it’s an extended infomercial for comedian Steve Harvey’s best-selling relationship advice book, “Think Like a Man,” but it also works reasonably well as a romantic comedy with a variety of women playing head games with the men in their lives after Harvey gives them the down-low on male psychology. But that’s mostly due to an appealing cast and the ensemble chops of director Tim Story. Extras include deleted scenes and a blooper reel.
AVAILABLE NEXT WEEK
Disgruntled English retirees cope with unsatisfactory accommodations in “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” while teen slaughter takes on apocalyptic dimensions in Joss Whedon’s “Cabin in the Woods” and Hugh Dancy and Maggie Gyllenhaal explore the naughty side of women’s liberation in “Hysteria.”