Menu

Videoview

by Jay Bobbin

(NOTICE: Ratings for each film begin with a ‘star’ rating — one star meaning ‘poor,’ four meaning ‘excellent’ — followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)

STARTING THIS WEEK: “THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL”: Several terrific British acting veterans — including Judi Dench, who was guided to her “Shakespeare in Love” Oscar by this film’s director, John Madden — star in this engaging tale of several retirees who invest their money in a site in India, where they intend to enjoy their retirement. Once they get there, they find the place isn’t in quite the lavish condition promised, and they ultimately decide to make things right for themselves. Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson are among others with principal roles in the comedy-drama, as is Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”). DVD extras: five “making-of” documentaries. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and Movies on Demand)

“KATY PERRY: PART OF ME”: The music superstar offers a telling glimpse into her personal life, as well as concert sequences, in this profile“I originally shown in theaters in 3-D (and it’s also available on home video in that format, along with a regular 2-D version). Including behind-thescenes footage of rehearsals that underscores the energy Perry puts into her performances, the film was in production as her marriage to comedian Russell Brand was hitting the skids, with some surprisingly candid moments resulting. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)

“INDIANA JONES: THE COMPLETE ADVENTURE COLLECTION”: Fans of the series made by producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg have been anticipating the movies’ Blu-ray debuts, and the time has come. Harrison Ford plays the bullwhip-cracking archaeologist with a taste for finding the supposedly unfindable in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” The stories’ thrills, patterned after those in old Saturday afternoon serials, hold up extremely well. Co-stars include Karen Allen, Kate Capshaw, Sean Connery, Denholm Elliott and John Rhys-Davies. A disc of special features boasts numerous documentaries about the films. **** (PG and PG-13, varying by title: AS, P, V)

“THE CABIN IN THE WOODS”: As suggested by the writing-producing involvement of genre icon Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), there’s a bit more to this horror tale than it might first seem, though it lures a group of teens to the title cabin where terror awaits them. What they don’t know is that their reactions are being watched by curious observers played by Richard Jenkins (“The Visitor”) and Bradley Whitford (“The West Wing”), and all concerned are in for more surprises. Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth (“The Avengers”) and Fran Kranz are among those who play the subjects of the experiment. DVD extras: three “making- of” documentaries; audio commentary by Whedon and co-writer and director Drew Goddard. *** (R: AS, N, P, GV) (Also on Bluray and Movies on Demand)

“2012 LONDON OLYMPICS: HIGHLIGHTS”: With as much television coverage as there was of the recent Games, it’s probably no surprise that home video would furnish a digest of the two weeks-plus of competition relatively shortly after the conclusion. As would be expected, the record- breaking performance of U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps is a big element here, but athletes from other countries and in other areas of competition also get their share of attention. *** (Not rated)

“STEVE MARTIN: THE TELEVISION STUFF”: The “wild and crazy” comedy icon made many home-screen appearances before focusing his creative efforts elsewhere, and this set compiles a number of examples, including specials he made for NBC and HBO ... one of them devoted exclusively to parodies of commercials. Also included is relatively rare footage of Martin performing stand-up-comedy acts. David Letterman, Johnny Cash, Paul Simon, and “Saturday Night Live” alumni John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd and Bill Murray make appearances. DVD extras: new interview with Martin; booklet. *** (Not rated)

COMING SOON: “THE AVENGERS” (Sept. 25): It’s a meeting of Marvel Comics all-stars as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and others team up to protect Earth. (PG-13: AS, V)

“DAMSELS IN DISTRESS” (Sept. 25): Director Whit Stillman’s comedy follows several college students’ efforts to brighten their classmates’ lives. Stars include Greta Gerwig and Adam Brody. (PG-13: AS, P)

“DARK SHADOWS” (Oct. 2): Johnny Depp plays revived vampire Barnabas Collins in director Tim Burton’s take on the classic television serial. Michelle Pfeiffer also stars. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

“MAGIC CITY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON” (Oct. 2): Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars in the Starz series as the mob-connected operator of a Miami hotel circa 1959. Olga Kurylenko (“Quantum of Solace”) also appears. (Not rated: AS, P, V)

“THE RAVEN” (Oct. 9): To save his true love (Alice Eve), Edgar Allan Poe (John Cusack) must outwit an enemy who’s using the plots of his stories for villainy. (R: AS, GV)

“ROCK OF AGES” (Oct. 9): Aspiring stars seek fame and find love in the musical infused with ‘80s hits and a dynamic performance by Tom Cruise as a heavymetal icon. (R: AS, P)

FAMILY-VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.