This week on DVD/Blu-ray: The latest from the Dardenne brothers; one of the most buzzed-about documentaries of last year; a moving coming-of-age drama that ranks as one of the best high school movies released in a good long while; a charming Sundance character study about a man and his robot; and a “Dangerous Liaisons” adaptation that proves the classic tale has lost none of its bite.
#1. “The Kid With a Bike”
The Palme d’Or winning Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenn (“Rosetta,” “L’Enfant”) return with this acclaimed French-language drama about an 11-year-old boy (remarkable newcomer Thomas Doret) who turns to a stranger (Cécile de France) after his father (Dardennes’ mainstay Jeremie Renier) abandons him. Winner of the Grand Prix (the runner-up prize to the Palme d’Or) at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, “The Kid With a Bike” packs an emotional whallop that feels warranted given the realism the famed directing duo bring to the table.
Extras: A new conversation between film critic Kent Jones and the directors; an interview with de France; a new interview with Doret; “Return to Seraing,” a half-hour documentary in which the Dardennes revisit five locations from the film; the film’s trailer; plus a booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoff Andrew
A hit at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival where it was swiftly acquired by The Weinstein Company, the documentary “Bully” sheds a harsh and much needed light on the bullying epidemic that’s plaguing the American school system. Director Lee Hirsch opens “Bully” by recounting the 2009 suicide of Tyler Long, a teen who took his own life after years of being bullied. Using that horrifying incident as a springboard, Hirsch opens up his film to follow a handful of bullied children across the country, to address what is evidently a country-wide problem.
Extras: The two-disc set includes the Blu-ray and a DVD copy of the film. Extras include a special version of “Bully” edited for a younger audience; six deleted scenes; a handful of making-of featurettes; a “Good Morning America” segment; and a text-based advertisement for a companion book.
#3. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”
Stephen Chobsky’s novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” became something of a “Catcher In The Rye” for the Millennial generation when it was published back in 1999. Over a decade later, Chobsky has written and directed the book’s cinematic adaptation himself, and it’s a total tear-jerking winner. The film centers on freshman Charlie (Logan Lerman), an outcast at his high school who befriends two outspoken seniors, Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), who open him up to new experiences and help him come out of his shell.
Extras: Audio commentary with Chbosky; cast and director audio commentary with Lerman, Watson, Miller and Chbosky; “Best Summer Ever” featurette; deleted scenes with optional audio commentary by Chbosky; and dailies.
#4. “Robot and Frank”
A hit at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, the low-key yet totally winning dramedy “Robot and Frank” imagines a future where robots are domesticated and used to help out around the house. Frank Langella stars as an aging jewel thief whose son buys him a domestic robot, only to use the generous gift as an aid to pull off another crime. Susan Sarandon co-stars.
Extras: Audio commentary by writer-director Jake Schier and a gallery of the film’s posters.
#5. “Dangerous Liaisons”
Zhang Ziyi of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” heads the cast in Hur Jin-ho’s sensual adaptation of the classic French novel, “Dangerous Liaisons.” Jin-ho’s take on the material updates Pierre Choderlos de Laclo’s tale of sex and scheming to 1930s Shanghai.
Extras: A behind-the-scenes featurette; a making-of featurette; and the film’s theatrical trailer.