ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES

'Dinosaur 13' brings T-Rex case alive

'Dinosaur 13' resurrects a legal case over T-Rex bones
Tom Hardy drives 'Locke' home all by himself
'Proxy' uses imagination to spook its audience

Dinosaur 13

Available on VOD Aug. 15

An almost-forgotten tidbit of recent history becomes an absorbing legal drama in Todd Miller's documentary that tells the story of Sue, a T-Rex skeleton found in South Dakota in 1990 by a private paleontological institute, then seized by the federal government because it was discovered on Indian lands. Miller craftily assembles the details of what became a complicated, somewhat vindictive court case against Sue's discoverers, and while he doesn't turn all these archival clips and talking-head interviews into something deeply meaningful, the footage of the dig is so astonishing and the tale of the trial so fascinating that "Dinosaur 13" is highly watchable — especially for those who missed this story when it was all over the news 20 years ago.

Locke

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

It's tempting to call Tom Hardy's performance in writer-director Steven Knight's "Locke" career-defining, except that Hardy's already got several of those on his resumé (including the title character in "Bronson" and Bane in "The Dark Knight Rises"). Still, Hardy is remarkable in "Locke" and would be even if he weren't the only person on the screen for the movie's full 84-minute running time. Playing a construction supervisor who's driving through the night and making important phone calls, Hardy expresses an eerie calm, even as his conversations effectively ruin what had been a comfortable, middle-class family life. Knight lets the plot unfold entirely through dialogue, in ways that at time seem a little contrived, but the plot matters less than the way Hardy reacts to the situation spinning out of his control. He takes a deep breath and keeps driving. The "Locke" DVD and Blu-ray add a featurette and a Knight commentary track.

Muppets Most Wanted

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

Available on VOD Tuesday

Having successfully rebooted the Muppets franchise with 2011's "The Muppets" — which built on the past movies and TV shows while also giving the critters a revised origin story — director James Bobin and writer Nicholas Stoller send the team to Europe for a new adventure. As with the previous film, the best parts of "Muppets Most Wanted" are puckishly self-referential and make good use of a parade of guest stars that include the likes of Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, Tom Hiddleston. But the movie is way too long and way too slack — and more so in the DVD and Blu-ray edition, which includes even more material, plus featurettes and bloopers. The Muppet-ational spirit is here in this movie, but the focus is fuzzier than the Muppets themselves.

Proxy

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

It's a been a good year for imaginative horror films, and that continues with writer-director Zack Parker's "Proxy," which stars Alexia Rasmussen and Alexa Havins as troubled women who meet in a support group for grieving parents and then discover that they both have ulterior motives for seeking help. "Proxy" is so wildly twisty that it takes two hours to dispatch every one of its shocking switcheroos, but the movie works because it has a coarse satirical edge as it depicts the increasingly over-the-top competition between two people trying to out-victim each other. The DVD and Blu-ray come with a featurette and a commentary track.

And…

Batman: Assault on Arkham

Warner Bros., $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.98

The Blacklist: The Complete First Season

Sony, $69.99; Blu-ray, $75.99

Breathe In

Cohen, $20.99; Blu-ray, $24.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

Filth

Magnolia/Magnet, $26.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Frankie & Alice

Lionsgate, $26.98

Available on VOD Tuesday

A Haunted House 2

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD Tuesday

Rage

Image, $27.97; Blu-ray, $34.97

The Railway Man

Starz/Anchor Bay, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

calendar@latimes.com

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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