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New releases: 'Sound of My Voice' thinks big

'Dark Shadows,' 'Magic City,' 'Universal Classic Monsters' are also coming.

September 29, 2012|By Noel Murray
  • Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in "Dark Shadows."
Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in "Dark Shadows." (Peter Mountain, Warner…)

Sound of My Voice

20th Century Fox, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 2

With "Another Earth," "Beyond the Black Rainbow" and now this one, indie filmmakers have been proving that they don't need big budgets or special effects to produce effective science fiction. "Another Earth's" Brit Marling co-wrote "Sound of My Voice" with director Zal Batmanglij and stars as a woman who claims to be a visitor from 2054. Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius play documentary filmmakers who go undercover to expose her, but the more time they spend in the company of this would-be guru, the more they begin to question their own motives. Batmanglij and Marling play up the drama of the conflicts between unbelievers and the faithful while also effectively teasing out the mystery of their time traveler, in what amounts to a small-scale film of big ideas. The DVD and Blu-ray add featurettes.

Dark Shadows

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

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 2

For years, there were rumors of Johnny Depp angling to play the vampire Barnabas Collins in a big-screen adaptation of the '60s gothic soap opera "Dark Shadows," which makes it all the more disappointing that Depp and Tim Burton's movie is so disrespectful to its source material. Set in Maine in 1972, the film sticks to the soap's basic premise, following the melodramatic tribulations of the Collins family and their monstrous ancestors. But Burton and screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith adopt a farcical tone, treating the original as one big joke — and not an especially funny one. The result is a movie sure to irritate "Dark Shadows" fans and baffle viewers who've never seen the soap. The DVD and Blu-ray include deleted scenes and featurettes.

Magic City: The Complete First Season

Starz/Anchor Bay, $44.98; Blu-ray, $54.99

Starz network's drama has developed into one of the more compelling shows on cable, thanks to its exotic historical setting — Miami on the cusp of the '60s — and its story of mobsters flocking to a demographically diverse city in the wake of being expelled from Cuba. Jeffrey Dean Morgan plays a hotel owner who finds himself having to navigate these suddenly dangerous waters, in story lines that feature plenty of pretty people in glamorous outfits, brandishing guns and promises. The eight episodes are supplemented by more than an hour of behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Universal Classic Monsters: The Essential Collection

Universal Blu-ray, $159.98

This is the time of the year when home video companies dig through their vaults for anything horrific, and no one has a vault as well-stocked as Universal, which now trots out the classics "Dracula," "Frankenstein," "The Mummy," "The Invisible Man," "Bride of Frankenstein," "The Wolf Man," "Phantom of The Opera" and "Creature From The Black Lagoon" in a Blu-ray box set, complete with commentary tracks, alternate versions and hours of further supplemental material. These movies are essential additions to the libraries of fright fans and cinéastes alike.


The Lady

E1/Cohen, $24.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 2

People Like Us

Walt Disney, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 2

Red Lights

Millennium, $28.99; Blu-ray, $29.99

Available on VOD beginning Oct. 2

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