New movies released on DVD and Blu-ray this week make for slim pickings, with the only two major-studio pictures in the bunch being a disaster flick and a raunchy sequel.
“Into the Storm” (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG-13, featurettes). Amped-up reworking of “Twister” emphasizes Mother Nature gone wild over story and character development, but it’s certainly a visceral ride for audiences who miss disaster films. The story has converging tornadoes creating a super-storm that hits a small Oklahoma town, disrupting a high school graduation, with subplots involving storm chasers and a pair of stranded teens. All of which is merely an excuse for the special-effects team to crank up the mayhem, which they do impressively.
“22 Jump Street” (Columbia/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014; R for language, sex, drugs, nudity, violence; deleted/extended scenes, audio commentary, featurettes). Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill return to spoof cop-movie tropes, movie sequels and their previous film, “21 Jump Street,” which was a riff on the 1980s TV series that made Johnny Depp a star. As profane, raunchy and silly as you would expect, this time placing them as undercover cops in college instead of high school. Will “23 Jump Street” find them in grad school?
“As the Light Goes Out” (Well Go/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, not rated, in English and in Cantonese with English subtitles). Character-driven action film follows a trio of Hong Kong firefighters who are among those called out on Christmas Eve to a burning warehouse, which spreads to a nearby power plant, plunging the city into darkness and danger. Nice mix of drama and excitement. Jackie Chan fans should watch for him to show up in a cameo.
“Legends of the Knight” (Virgil/DVD, 2014, deleted scenes, featurette, trailer). Touching documentary relates stories of young children with life-threatening afflictions who are joined together by their love for Batman, and the comics and movies’ message of an individual fighting against adversity to survive and achieve.
“Ragnarok” (Magnet/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, PG-13, in Norwegian with English subtitles, featurette, trailer). Family-friendly Norwegian fantasy-thriller has an archaeologist pulling together a team (including his two young children) to explore a remote area of northern Norway, hoping to find secrets relating to Norse mythology — but they come up against more than they bargained for in the form of a sleeping serpent. Echoes abound of Indiana Jones, “Anaconda” and the 1959 version of “Journey to the Center of the Earth.”
“Reclaim” (Lionsgate/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, R for language and violence, deleted/extended scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, music video). Formulaic yarn has a couple (Ryan Phillippe, Rachelle Lefevre) contacting an international agency to adopt a Haitian refugee. But it turns out to be a scam, and when they go looking for the woman they dealt with, they run up against child traffickers. John Cusack, Jacki Weaver and Luis Guzman co-star.
“Not Another Celebrity Movie” (MVD/DVD, 2014, not rated). The title in this case is not ironic; it’s factual. Comic impressionists star in what is essentially a skit film as they impersonate Charlie Sheen, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Robert De Niro, Lady Gaga, Tom Cruise and others in a string of movie spoofs surrounded by an odd “Ocean’s Eleven” plot set in Las Vegas: Sheen gets the notion that Justin Bieber is his biological son, so he plots to kidnap him, with help from some pals.