The fourth film in the Hunger Games franchise, the complete TV series “Freaks and Geeks” and the last of the 1990s Perry Mason TV movies are on home video this week.
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2” (Lionsgate, 2015, PG-13, audio commentary, featurettes). The final film in this franchise nicely wraps up the series as Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leads the rebellion to the Capitol to kill President Snow (Donald Sutherland), unaware of the duplicitous motives of President Coin (Julianne Moore).
There’s a lot going on here in the rush to tie up all the various loose ends, but it eventually comes together, and despite the dominant computer-animated special effects, it’s the top-notch cast that keeps things afloat, including Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Jena Malone, Natalie Dormer and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. (Also available is “The Hunger Games: Complete 4-Film Collection,” with new bonus features, including new deleted scenes.)
“Freaks and Geeks: The Complete Series” (Shout!, 1999-2000, nine discs, 18 episodes, deleted/alternate scenes, audio commentaries, featurette, auditions, bloopers, promos). This teen comedy-drama lasted only one abbreviated season — and six episodes were not shown in its initial run — but it had a rabid fan base that loved the show and was later hailed as an example of an excellent program that was canceled too soon.
Paul Feig and Judd Apatow, now successful filmmakers of raunchy R-rated comedies (“Trainwreck,” “Bridesmaids”), created this amusing and, as you might expect, occasionally raunchy look at 1980 teens in a Detroit high school that are split into two camps: the freaks and the geeks. The ensemble cast includes three future movie stars: James Franco, Seth Rogan and Jason Segal.
“Perry Mason Movie Collection: Volume 5” (CBS/Paramount, 1993-95, six movies). These are the last six movies that revived on a sporadic basis the Perry Mason TV series of the late 1950s and ’60s. Raymond Burr returned as Mason and stars in the first two of these movies, “The Case of the Telltale Talk Show Host” (with Regis Philbin and Montel Williams) and “The Case of the Killer Kiss.”
Following Burr’s death, Paul Sorvino took over for one film, and Hal Holbrook followed with three more. Nearly two years after the release of "Volume 4," these final six TV movies are now available. Guests include Dixie Carter, Diahann Carroll, Victoria Jackson, Holland Taylor and Tina Yothers.
“Daddy’s Home” (Paramount, 2015, PG-13, deleted/extended scenes, featurettes, bloopers). Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg team up for this domestic farce after playing mismatched cops in “The Other Guys,” and they essentially play the same characters, the doofus vs. the overconfident tough guy. In this occasionally vulgar comedy, biological father Wahlberg enjoys intimidating stepfather Ferrell in a contest for his kids’ affections, and he also schemes to win back his ex-wife (Linda Cardellini).
“Midwinter of the Spirit” (Acorn, 2016, three episodes). Anna Maxwell Martin plays a country vicar in training to become an exorcist for the Church of England, guided by a no-nonsense reverend (David Threlfall). She has an outsized sense of self-doubt due to her husband’s recent death and the challenges of rearing a teenage daughter on her own, but she’s forced to buck up when a murder investigation turns to spiritual terror. (Contains coarse language, violence, nudity and sex.)
“The Royals: Season Two” (Lionsgate, 2015-16, three discs, 10 episodes). Elizabeth Hurley stars as a fictional Queen of England and Joan Collins has a recurring role as her mother, the Grand Duchess of Oxford, in this salacious soap opera set among the British monarchy. Vengeance, backstabbing, duplicitous alliances, etc., are the order of the day.
“American Experience: The Perfect Crime” (PBS, 2016). This is an hourlong look at the sensational Leopold and Loeb murder, in which rich college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb killed a 14-year-old in the 1920s simply to prove that with their intellectual superiority they could commit the perfect crime. It is a popular subject for fiction and documentary examination in many books, plays and films, the most famous being a movie starring Orson Welles (“Compulsion”) and another directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart (“Rope”).
“Monster High: Great Scarrier Reef” (Universal, 2016, not rated, Webisode special). Lagoona and her friends explore the Great Scarrier Reef to help her come to terms with her roots. This feature-length (72 minutes) cartoon special is a spinoff of the TV series, which was a spinoff of the Mattel toy line, and was shown on Nickelodeon last month. (The bonus episode from the Web series is “Way Too Wonderland.”)