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New on DVD: 'Jane Eyre,' 'The Conspirator,' 'Priest,' 'Something Borrowed'

Pthers also reviewed: "The Bang Bang Club," "The Big Lebowski," "Dexter: The Complete Fifth Season," and "Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil."

August 14, 2011|By Noel Murray, Special to the Los Angeles Times
  • Mia Wasikowska stars as the title character in "Jane Eyre."
Mia Wasikowska stars as the title character in "Jane Eyre." (Laurie Sparha / Focus Features )

Jane Eyre

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

There's nothing staid about director Cary Fukunaga and screenwriter Moira Buffini's adaptation of Charlotte Brontë's "Jane Eyre." Mia Wasikowska brings bruised angst to the title character, a governess who falls in love with her master Edward Rochester (powerfully played by Michael Fassbender), and Fukunaga and Buffini tell their story via a time-jumbled structure that emphasizes the extremes of emotions in the heroine's life, from pained despair to romantic rapture. The movie is terrifying at times, sweet at others, and gripping throughout. The well-assembled DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes, featurettes (including a fascinating and too-brief one about Dario Marianelli's score) and a Fukunaga commentary track.

The Conspirator

Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99

What's happened to Robert Redford? Once as skilled as a director as he is as an actor, Redford of late has been making dry, preachy films: first 2007's turgid "Lions For Lambs" and now "The Conspirator," a flat and talky dramatization of the trial of Mary Surratt, a woman charged with abetting the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Redford and screenwriter James D. Solomon have something important to say about how a panicky public pushes their leaders to make unjust decisions, and they have a good case study to make that point. But the dialogue is too on-point and the staging too blunt, despite good performances by Robin Wright as Surratt and James McAvoy as her war-hero attorney. The DVD and Blu-ray are quite nice though, thanks to a feature-length documentary about the Lincoln plot, plus featurettes and a Redford video commentary.

Priest

Sony, $30.99/$35.99; Blu-ray, $45.99

Based loosely on Hyung Min-woo's comic book series, "Priest" stars Paul Bettany as a warrior-cleric who polices a post-apocalyptic world where vampires and humans are at war. Like John Wayne in "The Searchers," the hero heads into hostile territory with a posse to save his niece before savages assimilate her. The horror/western/sci-fi/road-trip genre-splicing should be pure sensationalistic fun, but the effects here aren't as imaginative or scary as in director Scott Stewart's previous film "Legion" (which also starred Bettany). Instead, the movie plays as rote wasteland-bound action fare. The DVD and Blu-ray come with a Bettany-Stewart commentary track, deleted scenes and featurettes.

Something Borrowed

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99

The string of recent films about the complications of friendships and romances hits a particularly kinky patch with "Something Borrowed," an adaptation of an Emily Giffin novel starring Ginnifer Goodwin as a woman who unwittingly has a one-night stand with her best friend's fiancé, thus aggravating the man who's been in love with her since grade school. Goodwin has a bright screen presence, and she's ably supported by Kate Hudson, John Krasinski and Colin Egglesfield as her nexus of chums, lovers and would-be lovers. But no matter how likable the actors are, the characters in "Something Borrowed" behave like creeps. It's hard to root for any of them to end up together — happily or not.

And…

The Bang Bang Club

E1, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

The Big Lebowski

Universal Blu-ray, $29.98

Dexter: The Complete Fifth Season

Paramount, $54.99; Blu-ray, $64.99

Hoodwinked Too! Hood Vs. Evil

Starz/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98/$39.99

John Carpenter's The Ward

Arc, $24.99; Blu-ray, $29.99)

Meet Monica Velour

Starz/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Outcasts: Season One

BBC/Warner, $34.98; Blu-ray, $34.99

Queen To Play

Zeitgeist, $29.99

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