Only God Forgives
Available on VOD beginning July 19
With all the talk about Nicolas Winding Refn possibly directing a James Bond movie, or a Wonder Woman film, or a "Logan's Run" remake, fans of the Danish filmmaker might have begun to worry that he was losing the edge he brought to his cult favorites "Bronson" and "Drive." But the early reports that Refn's violent crime thriller "Only God Forgives" had been booed at Cannes proved perversely reassuring, and sure enough, the movie is distinctively Refn-esque, with "Drive" star Ryan Gosling playing a drug lord who tussles with the authorities in Thailand when his no-good younger brother gets killed by the cops. The film is crazy-stylish and ponderous to the point of self-indulgence, combining pulpy clichés with art-house posturing. And yes, it's bloody and bawdy, in ways that many will find off-putting. In other words: It's a Refn picture, by turns aggravating and stunning.
Warner Bros., $28.98; Blu-ray, $35.99
Available on VOD beginning July 16
The story of how Jackie Robinson became Major League Baseball's first African American player is one that most sports fans (and a lot of nonfans) know well, and while writer-director Brian Helgeland doesn't find too many heretofore unexplored avenues in this biopic, he does deliver a clean hit. Chadwick Boseman plays Robinson as a person, not an icon, which helps; and it's good to see Harrison Ford on-screen again, playing forward-thinking Brooklyn Dodgers boss Branch Rickey. This is a good history lesson, ideal both for youngsters and for baseball buffs who never get tired of hearing the old legends repeated. There's more of that history on the DVD and Blu-ray, via a set of featurettes.
Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99
There's nothing extraordinarily wrong with director Fede Alvarez's hit remake of Sam Raimi's cult horror film "The Evil Dead" — but nothing extraordinarily right either. Bright young sitcom star Jane Levy (from ABC's "Suburgatory") provides a little more nuance to the movie than the average scream-queen does, playing a drug addict who comes to a cabin in the woods with her concerned friends, and promptly gets possessed by a demon. But the movie seems designed primarily to appeal to fans of the original. "Evil Dead" generates some solid scares and gore effects, but they're mostly bigger-budget copies of what Raimi already did and feel pretty perfunctory. The DVD and Blu-ray add a commentary track and featurettes.
Orphan Black: Season One
BBC, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98
The most original sci-fi series since the heyday of "Lost," "Dollhouse" and "Fringe," this Canadian-produced BBC America original stars Tatiana Maslany as a desperate grifter who witnesses the suicide of her doppelgänger and tries to assume the lookalike's identity, only to discover that the two of them are actually clones — and that there are more clones out there, one of whom poses a threat to the whole line. The 10 episodes on the "Orphan Black: Season One" DVD and Blu-ray set (joined by a Maslany interview, plus other featurettes) follow the heroine as she pieces together the mystery of her life, with the help of other versions of "herself." Cleverly conceived and plotted, with a fair amount of wit and philosophical inquiry, "Orphan Black" is a showcase for Maslany, who slips easily and distinctively between a half-dozen roles.
Bullet to the Head
Warner Bros. Blu-ray, $35.99
Available on VOD beginning July 16
Lord of the Flies
Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $29.95
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