Mild little 'Boyhood' builds to an emotional peak

'Boyhood,' 'Get On Up' and 'The Guest' and 'Looking' are new releases now available for home viewing


Paramount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

Writer-director Richard Linklater's ambitious, profound, 12-years-in-the-making "Boyhood" follows one young Texan from age 6 to age 18 and doubles as the story of America in the early 21st century. Linklater doesn't try to force a plot, nor does he dwell on the overly dramatic moments in this kid's life. Instead, "Boyhood" depicts childhood as a series of lectures from parents (well played here by Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke), sudden changes, pointless time-wasting with friends and a gradual shaping of personality and purpose. By the end, this mild little film becomes almost overwhelmingly emotional as Linklater and his characters prepare to move on to an uncertain future. The "Boyhood" DVD and Blu-ray add a lot of behind-the-scenes detail on how a modern masterpiece came to be.

Get On Up

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD Tuesday

Most biopics about artists are either overly sanitized or spend so much time dwelling on the dark side that they forget to celebrate the art. The version of the James Brown story that director Tate Taylor and screenwriters Jez and John-Henry Butterworth tell in "Get On Up" is refreshingly lively, jumping around in time to hit the high points of Brown's life — his hardscrabble childhood, his criminal past, his innovations in R&B — without ignoring the singer's abusive or megalomaniacal sides. The result is a film that captures the energy and passion of Brown's music, anchored by a strong Chadwick Boseman performance. The DVD and Blu-ray come packed with extras, digging more into Brown's sound and how Boseman played one of pop culture's most memorable characters.

The Guest

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD Tuesday

Former "Downton Abbey" star Dan Stevens leaves the mannered life of Old England far behind to play a sinister superman in director Adam Wingard's charmingly cheesy thriller. Stevens stars as a buff, frighteningly capable ex-soldier who volunteers to lend a hand to the rural family of a dead army buddy and then goes on a violent rampage in their hometown in the name of making their lives better. Stylistically, Wingard nods to John Carpenter, while screenwriter Simon Barrett tells a lean, twisty story with funny dialogue. But the main reason to watch "The Guest" is Stevens, who is at once charismatic, hilarious and terrifying. The DVD and Blu-ray contain an interview with Stevens, plus deleted scenes and a Wingard/Barrett commentary track.

Looking: The Complete First Season

HBO, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.98

Andrew Haigh's 2011 indie romance "Weekend" is one of the frankest and most revealing films about gay life ever made, and Haigh carries over that poignancy and realism as a writer, director and producer on the HBO series "Looking." The eight episodes here deal with a circle of San Francisco friends who are moving into their 30s in an era where gay culture is evolving, bringing new sets of challenges and expectations. The show covers dating, sex, careers, urban living and the nagging feeling among these men that they're not living up to the libertine, counterculture ideals of the generations that came before them. The DVD and Blu-ray include cast and crew commentary tracks on selected episodes.


Dinosaur 13

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $19.99


Starz/Anchor Bay, $24.98; Blu-ray, $29.99

No Good Deed

Sony, $30.99, Blu-ray, $35.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

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