The Brass Teapot
VOD is all the rage right now, and for good reason (check out of June VOD list). But while it's gratifying to know that you can watch pretty much anything with the simple click of a button, there's something comforting about tearing into a DVD/Blu-ray case and popping the disc into your player. That, and not even a VOD film in HD can rival the clarity a Blu-ray disc offers. To keep you up to date with the current goings-on in the home video marketplace, here are the new releases worth your time and money.

South Korean maestro Park Chan-wook's first English-language film is a family drama that calls to mind Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" in its unsettling portrayal of small-town life and family secrets. Mia Wasikowska plays India, a teenager who has just lost her father to a freak car accident. From the moment her mysterious Uncle Charlie turns up, he begins inserting himself into her life and that of her mother (Nicole Kidman) in various toxic ways. Fans of the director will surely recognize and appreciate his signature stylist and disturbing style transplanted onto an American setting and a Hollywood cast.

Extras: Deleted scenes; a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film; a featurette centered on Chan-wook; footage from the red carpet premiere; image galleries; a free song download; and a digital copy of the film.

"American Mary"

The latest shocker from horror duo Jen and Sylvia Soska, aka the "Twisted Twins," "American Mary" follows medical student Mary Mason, who is facing financial stress and boredom from her studies. This leads her into the world of underground surgery and extreme body modification, taking on a demented and increasingly demanding set of customers.

Extras: Commentary with the directors; a 17-minute making of featurette; the theatrical trailer; and additional trailers.

"The Brass Teapot"

In this unique comedy, Juno Temple and Michael Angarano play a young couple plagued with financial uncertainty whose problems are solved when they come across a brass teapot that magically releases money. The only catch is that they must hurt themselves in order for it to spit out cash, which leads them on an uncertain journey of how far they are willing to go in order to maintain their increasingly lavish lifestyle. Also featuring Alexis Bledel and Bobby Moynihan, "The Brass Teapot" has a premise that is both fantastical and bracingly relevant in our unsure financial times. 

Extras: Audio commentary with director Ramaa Mosley and executive producer P. Jennifer Dana; an interview with Angarano; an interview with Mosley; a special TV look at "The Brass Teapot"; and the theatrical trailer.

"Marketa Lazarova" (Criterion)

Voted the best Czech film of all time by a critic's poll in its native country, "Marketa Lazarova" is finally receiving a proper and substantial release in the US. Based on a novel by Vladislav Vancura, the film evocatively captures the violence and religion of the Middle Ages, as a feud between two medieval lords begins to escalate.

Extras: A new and restored 4K digital transfer; interviews with actors Magda Vasaryova, Ivan Paluch, Vlastimil Harapes and costumer designer Theodor Pistek; interviews with film historian Peter Hames and film journbalist Antonin Liehm; a short documentary about director Frantisek Vlacil's directing process; storyboard gallery and original trailer.

Dustin Hoffman goes behind the camera to direct this charming comedy about a home for retired musicians whose annual tribute concert on Verdi's birthday is made complicated by the unexpected arrival of the ex-wife of one of the guests (Maggie Smith, who received a Golden Globe nomination for her performance), a former soprano who may be able to take part in the concert's quartet. With this film, as well as the success of last year's "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" and the upcoming film "An Unfinished Song," it seems that films for and about characters of a certain age are more successful and prominent than ever.

Extras: Feature commentary with Hoffman and a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Sundance Channel's first wholly owned original scripted series comes to DVD/Blu-ray today after wrapping up its first season earlier this year. The show follows the first week of freedom for Daniel Holden (Aden Young) when he's released from prison when DNA evidence exonerates him after almost two decades behind bars. The deliberate, intimate series, created by Ray McKinnon, has attracted serious critical praise for its content and performances, as well as enough attention that Sundance Channel has renewed it for a second and longer 10-episode season.

Extras: An on-set featurette; a behind-the-scenes short doc; "Inside the Episode With Ray McKinoon"; and the featurette "Behind the Screen."