SpongeBob makes a comeback

New releases on disc this week: 'The SpongeBob Movie,' 'Jupiter Ascending,' 'Camp X-Ray,' 'The Wire' series'

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Paramount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99/$52.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The Nickelodeon character SpongeBob SquarePants was once almost as popular with adults as with kids, and while those days have passed, the undersea pineapple-dweller did experience something of a revival with his second feature film, this surprise hit . The big gimmick is that SpongeBob and his friends have been rendered as CGI characters for a long stretch of the third act, interacting with the live-action world while trying to outwit a thieving pirate named Burger-Beard (Antonio Banderas). But what's more important is that the show's original creator Stephen Hillenburg is back as a consultant, after more than a decade away. His return may explain why "Sponge Out of Water" has so much of the sweetness and loopy humor of the show at its height. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes and a healthy assortment of featurettes.

Jupiter Ascending

Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $44.95

Available on VOD Tuesday.

Even fans of "The Matrix" writer-directors Lana and Andy Wachowski's more idiosyncratic movies "Speed Racer" and "Cloud Atlas" have had a hard time mustering much of a defense for this clumsy science-fiction epic. The Wachowskis bring their usual cutting-edge special effects to the story of a depressed housecleaner (played by Mila Kunis) who discovers from an alien warrior (Channing Tatum) that because of ancient interplanetary plots and bargains, she's the secret owner of the Earth. But the story is confusing and the dialogue overwritten, making it tough for the usually game Kunis and Tatum to bring much spark to the picture. Devotees of gonzo fantasy films might appreciate the ambition of "Jupiter Ascending," but the Wachowskis are capable of so much better. The DVD and Blu-ray tack on multiple behind-the-scenes featurettes.

Camp X-Ray

MPI/IFC, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

The "Twilight" series made Kristen Stewart a star, but it's been her recent string of independent films that have established her as one of her generation's strongest actresses. Stewart gives her best performance in writer-director Peter Sattler's drama, playing a Guantanamo Bay guard who becomes friendly with a prisoner. The film is a little too blunt in making its points about injustice and inhumanity and about the problems with putting the Army in charge of a long-term detention project. But Stewart is outstanding, as is Payman Maadi as the detainee. They find startlingly human angles on nearly every scene, even when Stewart's character is just listening to what other people have to say.

The Wire: The Complete Series

HBO, Blu-ray, $199.99

There was a little controversy late last year when this HBO crime series was remastered in HD, because the conversion to widescreen also altered the original aspect ratio, drastically changing the framing of some scenes. But the new complete series Blu-ray set — ultimately approved by the show's creator David Simon — looks sharp and comes not just with all of the commentary tracks and featurettes from the early DVDs but also footage from a recent cast/crew reunion. Plus, the set contains all 60 episodes of "The Wire," which is widely (and rightly) regarded as one of the great achievements of the television medium: a thoughtful, compelling drama that uses the Baltimore drug trade as a way to explore the institutions that control a city, including the politicians, the schools and the press.



Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $44.95

Available on VOD Tuesday.

Justified: The Complete Final Season

Sony, $55.99; Blu-ray, $65.99

Li'l Quinquin

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

McFarland, USA

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

Available on VOD Tuesday.

The Taking of Tiger Mountain

Well Go USA, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.98


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