Quests seem to be the theme of this week’s home-entertainment releases.: A rigid French policeman lives to track down a reformed thief in the big-budget adaptation of Les Miserables, while a CIA operative is willing to go move heaven and Earth to find Osama Bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty. It’s a trek of a different kind in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (above) which kicks off Peter Jackson’s prequel trilogy to The Lord of the Rings.
Also out this week, the lesbian rock opera Strange Frame and Love Kills, the tale of a young gay man obsessed with a hottie who’s nothing but bad news.
UP FIRST: Dream a dream of Les Mis
($34.98 Blu-ray, $29.98 DVD; Universal)
The sweeping big-budget musical about fallen woman Fantine (Oscar winner Anne Hathaway), reformed thief Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), and obssessed policeman Javert (Russell Crowe) comes to DVD. The film has its critics but Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen are a treat as the degenerate Thénardiers. Blu-ray extras include a commentary track and featurettes on the movie’s unique on-set live singing technique, the building of the barricade, the show’s West End producer, recreating period Paris, Victor Hugo’s original literary masterwork, and more.
NEXT: Take An Unexpected Journey
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
($44.95 3D Blu-ray, $35.99 Blu-ray, $28.98 DVD; New Line)
The first entry in Peter Jackson’s stretched-out Hobbit trilogy sees wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) recruit furry-footed Bilbo Baggins (Sherlock‘s Martin Freeman) to join a group of dwarfs in their quest to reclaim their kingdom. Amazing 3D effects aside, the Gollum sequence alone is worth picking up this release. Extras include two hours’ worth of behind-the-scenes featurettes, an online code to a sneak peek of the second installment, and more.
NEXT: The hunt for Osama in Zero Dark Thirty
Zero Dark Thirty
($40.99 Blu-ray, $30.99 DVD; Sony)
Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to The Hurt Locker is a suspenseful and superbly acted account of how Osama Bin Laden was finally tracked down, thanks to the obsessive efforts of a CIA operative (Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain). More importantly, the film asks “was it worth it?”
NEXT: Jupiter needs women in Strange Frame
($24.95 DVD; Wolfe)
In this futuristic sci-fi flick set on one of Jupiter’s moons, singer-songwriter Naia falls for female saxophone player Parker. The ladies start a relationship, but even in the 28th century the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly. Director/co-writer GB Hajim delivers sweeping cityscapes to rival Blade Runner and voice work from George Takei, Michael Dorn and Tim Curry.
NEXT: Boy meets boy in Love Kills
($19.99 DVD; Feel Bad Movies)
In this queer short by up-and-coming German director Tor Iben, a young gay man pushes aside his mother and boyfriend for some ill-advised rough trade. Includes a second short, Tourist, and trailers for Iben’s next features, Cibrail and The Passenger.
ALSO OUT ON DVD:
Rust and Bone
The Other Son
Badlands (Criterion Collection)