New Releases: 'Maze Runner' action starts early and never stops

'Maze Runner' is among the new releases available for home entertainment

New Releases, Maze Runner, The Skeleton Twins, Magic In the Moonlight, Tootsie

The Maze Runner

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

The latest dystopian young adult novel to hit the big screen is one the better movie versions that the genre's produced. Dylan O'Brien plays Thomas, a young man who wakes up unexpectedly in a walled-in grassy field, alongside other kids who tell him all about the deadly maze that surrounds them and prevents escape. "The Maze Runner" has a little of the life-or-death competition of "The Hunger Games" and a lot of the what-in-the-heck? mystery of "Lost," and what makes it work so well is that the story is relatively uncomplicated. Director Wes Ball gets the action started early and just keeps cranking it up. "The Maze Runner" DVD and Blu-ray include deleted scenes, a Ball commentary track and extensive behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The Skeleton Twins

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast mates Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig co-star in writer-director Craig Johnson's film as Milo and Maggie, estranged siblings who reconnect at the lowest point in their lives and help each other heal. For the most part, "The Skeleton Twins" is a frustratingly conventional indie dramedy, from the "immature melancholics find companionship" sub-genre. But Hader and Wiig have good chemistry and a lot of spontaneity too as they shift between cracking jokes and wallowing in self-pity. Hader and Wiig join Johnson for a commentary track on the DVD and Blu-ray, which also contain a featurette and a hilarious gag reel.

Magic In the Moonlight

Sony Pictures Classics, $30.99; Blu-ray, $34.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

Woody Allen's recent run of surprise successes hits a bump with a romantic comedy so light that it practically dissipates as it's being watched. Colin Firth plays a renowned stage magician and debunker of spiritualist frauds who falls for a self-styled psychic played by Emma Stone. The plot and dialogue are both fairly flat for an Allen film, and Firth overplays his role in a way that makes the movie unpleasant at times. Stone sparkles, though, and Darius Khondji's cinematography is stunning. It's a shame the rest of "Magic In the Moonlight" isn't up to that level. The DVD and Blu-ray come with two brief featurettes.

Tootsie

Criterion Blu-ray, $39.95

One of the best American comedies of the 1980s looks dated today in its gender politics but is so polished, funny and well acted that it holds up overall. Dustin Hoffman plays a struggling actor who dresses up as a woman to get a job working on a soap opera and becomes an unexpected sensation — while simultaneously realizing how differently he gets treated when changes from pants to frocks. The battle-of-the-sexes theme is less edgy now than all of the material about television and acting, which allowed Hoffman to spoof his own reputation as a thorny perfectionist. He's well supported by his director Sydney Pollack and by a top comic cast that includes Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman and Bill Murray. Criterion's new DVD and Blu-ray editions add deleted scenes, a Pollack commentary and a generous set of new and old interviews.

And …

At the Devil's Door

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

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Paramount, $29.99; Blu-ray, $54.99

Available on VOD Tuesday

This Is Where I Leave You

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

Available on VOD Tuesday

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