Coming June 11
"Oz the Great and Powerful" (PG, 130 minutes, Disney): Oscar Diggs (James Franco) is a sideshow conjurer with a traveling circus in 1905 Kansas, captured in the black-and-white, square-framed format of old-timey cinema. He's forced to make a quick escape from the midway via hot-air balloon, at which point he's caught in a cyclone that plops him down in a brightly colored, widescreen world. If that all sounds familiar, it's meant to: "Oz the Great and Powerful" hews faithfully to Victor Fleming's "The Wizard of Oz." Time travel may be one element of the L. Frank Baum stories on which "The Wizard of Oz" and this incarnation are based, but plopping a Gen-X California boy into a role that calls for swift instincts and shrewd alertness is an error from which "Oz the Great and Powerful" never recovers. As Oz and his motley band travel down the Yellow Brick Road, Director Sam Raimi punctuates their journey with references to the classic "Oz" film, introducing a fierce lion, an army of scarecrows and a field full of horses of a different color along the way. But what's meant to be an affectionate, clever way of establishing continuity between the two narratives instead serves to remind viewers of the enduring superiority of the classic. Contains sequences of action and scary images and obscenity. Extras: bloopers and a "Walt Disney and the Road to Oz" featurette that connects Walt Disney's childhood fascination with the Land of Oz to the inspiration that became his adaptation of the classic Baum books. Also, on Blu-ray: "The Magic of Oz the Great and Powerful" second screen experience that gives access to three making-of featurettes and a Mariah Carey music video); "My Journey in Oz" short directed by James Franco; an interview with composer Danny Elfman; three additional making-of featurettes.
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"Snitch" (PG-13, 95 minutes, Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate): Neither a family-friendly comedy, nor a flat-out action flick, "Snitch" requires little of its star other than a look of perpetual consternation. Dwayne Johnson plays John Matthews, a man who volunteers to go undercover for the DEA to get the criminal sentence reduced for his 20-year-old son (Rafi Gavron), a first-time offender who has been caught in a drug sting. John starts to suspect that he's disposable and that if he doesn't watch out he's going to end up stuffed inside a metal drum filled with acid in Juarez. Jon Bernthal is fine in his role as Daniel, the not-quite-reformed ex-con who introduces John to the underworld. Daniel is the closest thing to an action hero here, with Johnson doing everything in his power to seem like the clueless family man who's never picked up a gun before. Other than that little role reversal, however, there's little that we haven't seen before. "Snitch" is protein-and-starch filmmaking at its utilitarian best. Contains violence and some obscenity. Extras: "Privileged Information" multipart making-of documentary, commentary with director Ric Roman Waugh and editor Jonathan Chibnall; deleted scenes.
"Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters" (R, 88 minutes, Paramount): If Abraham Lincoln can be a vampire hunter, then of course Hansel and Gretel would spend their lives tracking and killing witches. The pair's vocation may be the only logical part of this rarely funny spoof that's heavy on bone-crushing and blood-gushing. The early scenes break down the familiar back story: A brother and sister stumble upon a candy-coated cottage in the woods that's home to a witch, who might be Freddy Krueger's great aunt. She tries to eat them, but they kill her instead. And before you know it, they're all grown up (played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) and bounty hunters. They are hired by the mayor of a village where children are disappearing at an alarming rate. Hansel and Gretel arrive as if two characters from "The Matrix" were dropped into 17th-century Heidelberg; they are leather-clad and carry massive guns and sassy attitudes that don't win them points with the wicked sheriff. Contains excessively bloody violence, nudity and crude language. Extras: none on DVD copy. Blu-ray version (which includes a DVD copy) extras include the featurettes "Reinventing Hansel and Gretel," "The Witching Hours" and "Meet Edward the Troll." Also available in 3-D.
Also: "Absolute Deception," "Wrong," "Knife Fight," "Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder," "Killing Lincoln," "Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary," "11 Flowers" (2011, China), "Fred Won't Move Out ," "Betty & Coretta" (Lifetime), "Beverly Lewis' The Confession" (Sequel to Hallmark Channel's "Beverly Lewis' The Shunning"), "Masquerade" (South Korea), "The Black Kungfu Experience"(PBS), "The Unbroken," "Tom and Jerry: The Golden Collection Volume 2" and "Enter The Dragon 40th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition" (1973, Warner).
Television series: "The Newsroom: The Complete First Season" (HBO), "Burn Notice: Season 6," "Necessary Roughness: Season Two," "Rizzoli & Isles: The Complete Third Season," "Doctor Who: Inferno Special Edition " (BBC, with extras), "Doctor Who: The Mind of Evil" (Studio), "Ghost Hunters: Season 8 Part 2," "Fairly Legal: Season Two," "House of Cards: The Complete First Season," "History Classics: After People" (2006-10), "The Philadelphia Experiment" (Syfy), "Major Crimes: The Complete First Season" and "Perry Mason: The Ninth & Final Season -- Volume One."