A weekly round-up of the latest DVD releases.


New to rent on DVD/Blu-ray

DVD of the week

The Place Beyond The Pines (Cert 15, 135 mins, Studio Canal, Drama/Action/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Ben Mendelsohn, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Rose Byrne, Mahershala Ali, Dane DeHaan, Emory Cohen.

Fearless motorcyclist Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling) is part of a stunt show in a travelling circus. By chance, he learns he has fathered a son by one former conquest, Romina (Eva Mendes), who has since found herself a boyfriend, Kofi (Mahershala Ali), to provide stability for the infant. Luke plots to supplant Kofi as the man of the house and joins forces with a mechanic called Robin (Ben Mendelsohn) to raise the necessary cash by robbing banks. Enterprising cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper) is in the right place at the right time to apprehend Luke during one botched robbery, and 15 years later, the men's wayward offspring, AJ (Emory Cohen) and Jason (Dane DeHaan), are flung together with violent consequences. The Place Beyond The Pines is a slow-burning meditation on crime and punishment in which the sins of fathers are revisited upon the sons. Derek Cianfrance's doom-laden triptych is impeccably crafted and Mike Patton's orchestrations beautifully underscore the inner turmoil. Gosling scorches every frame with his daredevil's simmering rage and he catalyses fiery screen chemistry with Mendelsohn, joking at one point: "Not since Hall & Oates has there been such a team." The 135-minute running time feels like more of an indulgence than dramatic necessity. The film's middle section, which wallows in the familiar mire of corrupt cops and their despairing wives, sags noticeably and to tie up the loose ends in the concluding chapter, Cianfrance hurries to an overly neat epiphany. Violence begets more violence, dishonesty sows the seeds of guilt and regret; no one escapes the melee completely unscathed.

Rating: ****


Evil Dead (Cert 18, 87 mins, Studio Canal, Horror/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £17.99/Blu-ray £22.99)

Starring: Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Elizabeth Blackmore, Lou Taylor Pucci, Jessica Lucas.

David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore) and friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) are cocooned in a rundown log cabin to support David's little sister, Mia (Jane Levy), as she goes cold turkey to kick her drug habit. Eric and Olivia doubt the intervention will succeed so they forge a secret pact with David to hold Mia hostage in the woods until the narcotics have been flushed from her system. Dark forces possess poor Mia but her friends dismiss her portentous ranting as the hallucinations of a recovering addict. David and co curb their natural instinct to escape and eventually turn on each other in a brutal battle for survival. Evil Dead is an affectionate remake of Sam Raimi's overtly camp, low-budget 1981 horror, which spliced black humour and extreme violence. Fede Alvarez's reboot isn't played for ghoulish giggles like the original but there are still flashes of warped wit to dissipate tension during the carnage. Once the gratuitous mutilation begins, the bloodgates open as shrieking cast members are sliced, scorched and eviscerated by an electric carving knife, a boiling hot shower, shards of shattered glass and a pneumatic nail gun. Levy is a spunky heroine, literally tearing herself to pieces to escape the madness, while co-stars make the most of the script's meagre scraps. Alvarez slathers the screen with enough entrails and freshly cleaved limbs to sate the rabidly carnivorous audiences who have grown fat and weary on a diet of torture porn, like the Saw and Hostel series.

Rating: ***

Spring Breakers (Cert 18, 90 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, Drama, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £24.99)

Starring: James Franco, Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine, Gucci Mane, Heather Morris.

Good girl Faith (Selena Gomez) attends religious instruction and turns her prayers to Heaven like the rest of her flock. She returns to her reckless childhood friends Brit (Ashley Benson), Candy (Hudgens) and Cotty (Rachel Korine), who are looking forward to the spring break, except they don't have the money to pay for their dream getaway. So the girls hold up their local Chicken Shack fast food restaurant and use the ill-gotten gains to finance their trip to sun-kissed Florida, where they meet sleazy drug dealer Alien (James Franco), who sports corn rows and metal teeth. Springer Breakers is an off-kilter crime caper, which begins as a desecration of the rose-tinted portraits of adolescence peddled by most Hollywood teen comedies, but quickly descends into a pointless repetition of images and vapid dialogue. The hold-up of the Chicken Shack is the film's standout sequence, shot from the vantage point of the getaway driver encircling the restaurant. Teen idols Gomez and Hudgens smash their wholesome images to smithereens by snorting drugs and pointing guns at innocent bystanders. Franco serenades his female co-stars at the piano with a rendition of the Britney Spears ballad Everytime, providing Harmony Korine's film with one of many moments of hallucinogenic madness. If there is a subtext, it's lost amid the miasma of bouncing breasts, debauchery and endlessly repeated dialogue - "This can't be the end of the dream" - that hints at the corruption of modern youth. Lingering shots of the female cast performing handstands and revealing their underwear adds to the thick veneer of voyeuristic sleaze.

Rating: **

Also released

Passion (Cert 15, 100 mins, Metrodome Distribution, Thriller/Romance, also available to buy DVD £19.99 - see below)

New to buy on DVD/Blu-ray

Girls - The Complete Second Season (Cert 15, 270 mins, Warner Home Video/HBO, DVD £24.99/Seasons 1 & 2 DVD Box Set £34.99/Blu-ray £29.99, Comedy/Drama/Romance)

Another 10 hilarious and touching episodes of Lena Dunham's award-winning comedy drama, chronicling the trials and tribulations of a group of twenty-something women living in New York. This series, struggling writer Hannah (Dunham) faces a recurrence of the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that made her teenage years a misery, Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) enjoys the development of her relationship with Ray (Alex Karpovsky), Marnie (Allison Williams) contends with unemployment and newlywed Jessa (Jemima Kirke) is stunned when her marriage is plunged into crisis. A four-disc set comprising both series is also available.

NCIS - The Ninth Season (Cert 15, 1440 mins, Paramount Home Entertainment, DVD £49.99, Action/Drama)

A diabolical terrorist, who is determined to avenge his son, targets Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) and his team at the Naval Criminal Investigation Service in 24 thrilling episodes of the Emmy-nominated drama. Also this series, Jethro is romantically attracted to the brilliant and beautiful Dr Samantha Ryan (Jamie Lee Curtis), Tony (Michael Weatherly) helps Ziva (Cote de Pablo) to locate a missing Navy chaplain, and a member of the team hovers between life or death following a shooting in a diner.

Friday Night Lights - The Fifth Season (Cert 12, 546 mins, Universal Playback, DVD £19.99/The Complete Collection DVD Box Set £39.99, Drama)

Four-disc set of the concluding 13 episodes of the acclaimed sporting drama, which follows the efforts of coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) to lead the players of the East Dillon Lions to glory in the state American football championships. This series, team captain Vince (Michael B Jordan) is haunted by his past, Eric's wife Tammy (Connie Britton) struggles to adapt to her new role as a guidance counsellor and reality bites for the coach's daughter Julie (Aimee Teegarden), whose first year at college falls painfully short of expectations. A 22-disc set comprising all five series is also available.

Justified - The Complete Fourth Season (Cert 15, 537 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD £34.99/The Complete First Four Seasons DVD Box Set £69.99, Drama)

Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant) investigates a case from the 1980s that remains unsolved and stirs up bad blood in another 13 episodes of the gritty US drama. Also this series, Winona Hawkins (Natalie Zea) is held hostage, Sheriff Hunter Mosley (Brent Sexton) attacks Raylan's father Arlo (Raymond J Barry) with a pair of scissors and the US Marshal discovers a severed foot, which may provide a vital clue to unravelling the case. A 12-disc set comprising all four series is also available.

Skins - Complete Seventh Series (Cert 18, 276 mins, DVD £24.99/Complete Series 1-7 DVD Box Set £89.99, Drama/Romance)

The final six episodes of the influential E4 drama returns to three characters from previous series, examining how they are dealing with the many pressures of life after college. Effy (Kaya Scodelario) trades her job as a receptionist at a London hedge fund for a position on the trading room floor, Cassie (Hannah Murray) becomes convinced that someone is following her home each day and Cook (Jack O'Connell) delivers drugs to his customers in Manchester but when he becomes involved with his employer's girlfriend, his carefully ordered world implodes with horrifying consequences. A 21-disc box set comprising all seven series is also available.

The Gatekeepers (Cert 15, 97 mins, Metrodome Distribution, DVD £17.99, Documentary/War)

In times of bitter and bloody conflict, morality is sacrificed to secure the tiniest victory. Directed by Dror Moreh, The Gatekeepers is an engrossing documentary which gently lifts the veil of secrecy that shrouds Shin Bet, Israel's security agency, and revisits the group's triumphs and devastating failures through the eyes of its six surviving directors: Avraham Shalom, Yaakov Peri, Carmi Gillon, Ami Ayalon, Avi Dichter and Yuval Diskin. These men are refreshingly candid about their roles in history and their conflicted feelings, reliving dark days such as the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Moreh intercuts these revealing interviews with archive footage and dramatisations that attest to the ruthlessness and resolve of the agency directors, and the deep emotional scars they must now bear.

Passion (Cert 15, 100 mins, Metrodome Distribution, DVD £19.99, Thriller/Romance)

Brian De Palma directs this English language make of the erotically charged French thriller Love Crime (Crime D'Amour), which resets the backstabbing and seduction to Berlin. Advertising executive Christine (Rachel McAdams) is determined to further her career as quickly as possible but her incredibly talented and efficient assistant, Isabelle (Noomi Rapace), threatens to overshadow her. Ambition trumps ethics and Christine takes sole credit for a marketing campaign conceived by Isabelle, creating friction between the two women. Isabelle retaliates by kindling an affair with Christine's husband Dirk (Paul Anderson) and the stand-off rapidly spirals out of control.

Heartland - The Complete Sixth Season (Cert PG, 900 mins, 4Digital Media, DVD £24.99, Drama/Romance)

A staff of a ranch in the Rocky Mountains dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of ailing horses experience more trials and tribulations in 18 episodes of the popular Canadian drama. This series, Ty (Graham Wardle) sets out to prove that the owner of a dead horse was directly responsible for the animal's demise. On a happier note, he mulls over his decision to go down on bended knee to Amy (Amber Marshall).

Go Goa Gone (Cert 15, 111 mins, Eros International, DVD £12.99, Bollywood/Comedy/Horror/Action)

Bollywood ventures tentatively into the world of zombie horror with this action-packed comedy co-directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK. Bunny (Anand Tiwari) embarks on a business trip to Goa and allows his sacker buddies, Hardik (Kunal Khemu) and Luv (Vir Das), to come along for the ride. Upon arrival, a beautiful girl called Luna (Puja Gupta) invites the travellers to a rave on a remote island organised by Indo-Russian kingpin Boris (Saif Ali Khan). Bunny, Hardik and Luv readily accept the invitation, looking forward to a night of excess. However, it quickly becomes clear that something is dreadfully wrong on the tropical idyll and when a zombie attacks the three friends, they become embroiled in a battle for survival against legions of the marauding undead.

The Seasoning House (Cert 18, 89 mins, Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment, DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £17.99, Thriller/Horror)

A young girl plots horrific revenge against violent and abusive men in Paul Hyett's bloodthirsty thriller. Angel (Rosie Day) works against her will in a brothel run by Viktor (Kevin Howarth), who caters to the sick and twisted desires of military personnel. The intention is for Angel to join the ranks of the young prostitutes, who suffer brutal encounters with male clientele, but for the time being, she tends to girls after each appointment, soothing their injuries and covering up bruises as quickly as possible. At night, Angel inhabits the crawlspaces in the house, spying on the girls and witnessing the atrocities perpetrated behind closed doors. When Angel glimpses the rape of newcomer Vanya (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), she finally snaps and hatches a diabolical plan to wreak revenge. Her macabre intentions gain momentum when the squad of soldiers, who murdered Angel's family, arrives at the brothel to sate their carnal hunger.

I Superbiker, Day Of Reckoning (Cert E, 97 mins, Metrodome Distribution, DVD £19.99, Sport/Documentary)

Narrated by Murray Walker, the one-time voice of Formula One racing, Mark Sloper's film revs its engine with the competitors of the 2012 British Superbike championship, following six of the riders through the ups and downs of the high-speed season. Reigning champion Tommy Hill hopes to defend his crown but he faces challenges from all directions, including ex-Moto GP star Shakey Byrne, headline-grabbing Australian rider Josh Brookes and up-coming British racer Alex Lowes. The season reaches a dramatic conclusion at the last race, where the champion is decided on the final lap of the final round.

96 Minutes (Cert 15, 91 mins, High Fliers Video, DVD £12.99, Drama/Thriller)

A carjacking has devastating consequences for the victims and the perpetrators in Aimee Lagos's drama, which unfolds from myriad perspectives. College students Carley (Brittany Snow) and Lena (Christian Serratos) are looking forward to graduation and the choices that lie ahead, like where to continue their education. Their paths intersect with a troubled young white man called Kevin (J Michael Trautmann), who yearns to be a part of the black gang that rules his neighbourhood despite the dire warnings of his best friend, Dre (Evan Ross).

Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated - Season 1 - Part 2 (Cert U, 308 mins, Warner Home Video, DVD £9.99, Animation)

Fred (voiced by Frank Welker), Daphne (Grey DeLisle), Velma (Mindy Cohn), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and their trusty pooch Scooby-Doo (also Welker) jump back into the Mystery Machine to unravel various mysteries around Crystal Cove, which is reportedly the most haunted place on Earth, in 14 episodes of the fast-paced animated series.

DVD retail top 10

1 (2) Despicable Me

2 (3) Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred

3 (1) Luther: Series 1-2 Box Set

4 (4) Luther: Series 1-3 Box Set

5 (-) The Host

6 (7) Red

7 (8) Quartet

8 (-) Luther: Series 3

9 (-) Jack the Giant Slayer

10 (-) Boardwalk Empire - Season 3

Chart supplied by Amazon.co.uk

DVD rental top 10

1 (-) Gangster Squad

2 (1) Life of Pi

3 (-) Side Effects

4 (2) Les Miserables

5 (3) Robot and Frank

6 (5) Oz the Great and Powerfu

7 (6) Django Unchained

8 (4) Arbitrageafe

9 (-) G.I. Joe: Retaliation

10 (9) The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey

Chart supplied by www.LOVEFiLM.com

Film streaming top 10

1 (1 ) Barbie - Princess Charm School

2 (-) The Smurfs Scooby Doo

3 (-) Looper

4 (3) Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Rodrick Rules

5 (-) 10,000 BC

6 (5) The Sweetest Thing

7 (4) Cars 2

8 (8) Van Wilder - Party Liaison

9 (10) Hall Pass

10 (-) Up

Chart supplied by www.LOVEFiLM.com