Even Charlie Brown's biggest fans should like 3-D 'The Peanuts Movie'

Even Charlie Brown's biggest fans should like 3-D 'The Peanuts Movie'
Lucy and Charlie Brown in "The Peanuts Movie." (20th Century Fox)

The Peanuts Movie

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99/$49.99


Available on VOD Tuesday

A lot could've gone wrong with this movie, which turns the late Charles Schulz's beloved comic strip into a 3-D animated feature and takes liberties with the look and tone of the original along the way. But although producer Paul Feig and director Steve Martino have come up with something truer to the treacly TV specials than to Schulz's more melancholy comic, on its own merits "The Peanuts Movie" is quite charming. The episodic structure — loosely tied to Charlie Brown's repeated botched efforts to impress "the little red-haired girl" in his class — allows for enough fanciful, funny and sweet moments to make the film enjoyable even for "Peanuts" purists. The DVD and Blu-ray come loaded with extras including bonus shorts and featurettes.


Starz/Anchor Bay, $22.98; Blu-ray, $26.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

William Shakespeare's bloody tragedy is reinterpreted as a stylish-but-glum "300"-esque war movie by director Justin Kurzel, who emphasizes the play's violence over its dialogue. Michael Fassbender makes a strong Macbeth — and is well-matched by Marion Cotillard as his scheming wife — and for those who generally find Shakespeare confusing, this adaptation's plot-centered take makes the tale of treachery and ambition in ancient Scotland easy to follow. But all of Kurzel's visual wizardry and nonlinear editing becomes distracting after a while, as though he were trying extra hard not to bore anyone. His approach ultimately shortchanges the source material. The "Macbeth" DVD and Blu-ray add two brief featurettes.


Kino Adopt, $29.95; Blu-ray, $34.95

Sebastian Schipper's Berlin-based drama was filmed in one long take, with the actors playing out an entire logistically complicated plot in real time. That's a heck of a stunt, and the main selling point for this otherwise fairly straightforward "wrong place, wrong time" story. But that's not the only reason to see it. Laia Costa is terrific as the title character, a Spanish immigrant who meets some club kids who turn out to be bank robbers and then gets roped into their plan. Though the movie's design boxes the cast in a little — forcing them to hit their marks or risk botching the choreography — the single-shot approach does build tension as what seems like an ordinary night out takes an unexpected turn.

Coming Home

Sony Blu-ray, $34.99

"Coming Home" sees director Zhang Yimou re-teaming with his frequent leading lady Gong Li for the first time since 2006's "Curse of the Golden Flower" in an adaptation of Yan Geling's novel "The Criminal Lu Yanshi." Chen Daoming plays a scholar who spends years in a labor camp during the Cultural Revolution then returns to an amnesiac wife (Li) who doesn't recognize him — and won't have anything to do with him because she thinks she's still waiting for her husband. A moving, well-acted melodrama, "Coming Home" recalls Zhang's classic history-plays of the 1980s and '90s, which also touched on how a changing China affects the lives of ordinary people. The Blu-ray comes with a commentary track and an interview with Zhang.


The Benefactor

E1, $29.98; Blu-ray, $32.98

Available on VOD Tuesday

In the Heart of the Sea

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

Available on VOD Tuesday

Jane B. Par Agnès V./Kung-Fu Master!

Cinelicious Blu-ray, $39.95

Manhattan: Season Two

Lionsgate, $34.98; Blu-ray, $34.97

Paris Belongs to Us

Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95

Victor Frankenstein

20th Century Fox, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD Tuesday