screening room

DVD: “Oz The Great and Powerful,” “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” “House Of Cards,”And More!


The LGBT-themed pickins may be slim this week, but there is some big-budget fantasy 3D eye candy to compensate.

Slap on the 3D glasses and microwave the popcorn for Oz The Great And Powerful and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Then experience emotional fireworks with the Blu-ray release of must-see documentary How To Survive a Plague. And those without Netflix can catch (and own) their amazing House of Cards: The Complete First Season series on home video.

Oz The Great and Powerful

($44.99 3D Blu-ray/Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Walt Disney)

James Franco stars as the magician who becomes the legendary Oz in this 3D prequel to the classic film. Director Sam Raimi dishes up plentiful CGI-candy, and the trio of witches — played by Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams and Rachel Weisz — are great fun. Extras include bloopers, behind-the-scenes featurettes dedicated to the film’s music, production design, and makeup effects, and a featurette directed by James Franco (who has way too much free time on his hands).

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

($54.99 3D Blu-ray, $39.99 Blu-ray, $29.99 DVD; Paramount)

In this latest fairy tale-inspired Hollywood flick, Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the titular witch hunters, whose experience as children drives them to wipe out all manner of cackling hag. It’s all OTT cray cray CGI action here — in 3D! The Blu-ray includes a 2D extended cut, plus a trio of brief featurettes.

How to Survive a Plague

($29.99 Blu-ray, MPI)

Journalist David France’s eye-opening, Oscar-nominated documentary on how AIDS activists changed the way our government and pharmaceutical sector addressed the AIDS crisis (and other terminal diseases to boot) receives a Blu-ray release. Many untold stories from the epidemic are revealed through compelling archival footage and individual stories. Essential viewing, and the Blu-ray extras include commentary and deleted scenes.

House of Cards: The Complete First Season

($65.99 Blu-ray, $55.99 DVD; Sony Pictures Entertainment)

Kevin Spacey is at his best as a scheming, shady Washington D.C. politician in this hit Nextflix series. Alas, no extras — boo, Netflix!!!




Knife Fight


Wild Strawberries (Criterion)


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