‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ a spectacular sequel to ‘Rise’

Kenneth Turan reviews ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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

The 2011 franchise-rebooting “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” was the best Apes movie since the 1968 original, but this year’s sequel is even better. Set several years after its predecessor, “Dawn” pits a thriving ape civilization against an enclave of bedraggled humans recovering from a devastating global plague. Director Matt Reeves integrates astonishing motion-capture technology into a tense story about two species that can barely understand or trust each other and plays up the fear and anxiety of each as they tentatively explore each other’s habitats. This is a movie not only with spectacular action sequences — who can say no to gun-toting chimps on horseback? — but one that’s also filled with real wonder and tender, interpersonal relationships. The DVD and Blu-ray add a Reeves commentary track, deleted scenes and featurettes.

Broad City: Season One


Comedy Central/Paramount, $22.94

Comedy Central has been on a roll lately with its original programming, and it hit a particular high (pun intended) with this sitcom about a pair of pot-smoking New Yorkers. Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson play the best friends who spend their days working crummy service-class jobs and most of their nights taking drugs, going to clubs and trying to live like the rich kids they aren’t. Glazer and Jacobson have a wonderfully weird chemistry, but for all its moments of surreal whimsy, “Broad City” is also very funny and honest about what it’s like to be a young woman in New York in the mid-2010s. The DVD of the first season contains 10 uncensored episodes, supplemented by some suitably kooky featurettes.

The Strain: The Complete First Season

20th Century Fox, $39.98; Blu-ray, $49.99


“Lost” producer Carlton Cuse and “Pacific Rim” director Guillermo del Toro collaborated with novelist Chuck Hogan to bring Del Toro and Hogan’s epic, eccentric vampire series to television. The show was a solid summer hit for FX, earning a second season for Cuse & Co. to follow the adventures of an epidemiologist (played by Corey Stoll) on the trail of parasitic worms connected to an ancient evil. Both gory and gothic, “The Strain” is a cult favorite in the making. The first season DVD and Blu-ray set has 13 episodes, plus featurettes.

The Congress

Cinedigm/Drafthouse, $14.93; Blu-ray, $19.97

Ari Folman’s half-animated science-fiction feature stars Robin Wright as an aging actress named “Robin Wright” who sells her likeness to a movie studio, to be digitally inserted into films in perpetuity. Twenty years later, Wright visits the colorful dreamscape that has become the new entertainment and considers whether to allow her essence to be turned into a recreational drug. In other words, this is one weird movie that attempts to create in the viewer the feeling of “irreversible hallucinogenic poisoning” that Wright is experiencing. Though overly esoteric at times and too broadly satirical, “The Congress” benefits from a bold performance by Wright as both a person and a cartoon. Plus, Folman’s level of ambition here is admirable. Folman contributes a commentary track to the DVD and Blu-ray, and Wright sits for an interview.


As Above, So Below

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD on Tuesday


The Hundred-Foot Journey

Walt Disney, $29.99; Blu-ray, $36.99

Available on VOD on Tuesday

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Sony Blu-ray, $14.99