VOD is all the rage right now, and for good reason (check out our July 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.
"Orphan Black": Season One
In this popular thriller series broadcast on BBC America (with a second season announced for 2014), a street-smart con woman named Sarah (Tatiana Maslany) comes across an eerily identical-looking woman committing suicide right in front of her. Instead of it being mere coincidence, Sarah is drawn into an illegal underground cloning conspiracy, of which she is one of its products. She learns that there are more clones out there that look just like her, and that someone is killing them off one by one.
Extras: Character profiles, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and a tour of the set.
Aaron Eckhart stars as Ben Logan, a former CIA agent with an estranged young daughter (Liana Liberato). When his former employers erase all records of his existence and target both of them to be terminated, Ben and Amy are forced to go on the run, with a ruthless agent (Olga Kurylenko) on their tail.
Extras: A behind-the-scenes featurette.
"Lord of the Flies" (Criterion Collection)
Peter Brook's 1962 adaptation of William Golding's classic novel of civilization run amok was put out awhile back from Criterion before going out of print, but they are now releasing a revamped and improved version. When an airliner carrying a group of evacuated English schoolboys crashes near a remote island, the surviving boys decide to create their own society, where bickering and greed eventually causing the group to devolve into deadly chaos.
Extras: A restored digital transfer; audio commentary by Peter Brook, producer Lewis Allen, director of photography Tom Hollyman, and cinematographer Gerald Feil; a deleted scene; behind-the-scenes footage; a trailer; and a booklet with essay by film critic Geoffrey Macnab and an excerpt from Brook’s autobiography "The Shifting Point."
"The End of Love"
Mark Webber directs and stars in this story of a single father trying to take care of his son after the death of his mother. Drawing from elements of his own autobiographical experience, Webber depicts his actual son in the film, whose real-life mother is still alive but with whom Webber is no longer with. Michael Cera and Amanda Seyfried round out the cast in this realistic tribute to father-son relationships.
In this remake of Sam Raimi's influential 1981 horror film, which had its world premiere at SXSW back in March, a group of friends decide to get away to a remote cabin in the woods as a means to support their friend Mia's attempts to maintain clean and sober. Upon discovering and reading from "The Book of the Dead," the kids inadvertently summon up a demon, which enters Mia's body, wreaking havoc on all of them.
Extras: A behind-the scenes featurette and interviews with the director and cast.