Coming June 25
"The Call" (R, 95 minutes, Sony Home Entertainment): In "The Call," a tense police procedural starring Halle Berry as a besieged 911 operator, the seasoned responder, named Jordan, takes a call from a terrified teenager that does not end well. Rattled, she jumps into the breach when another young woman -- played by Abigail Breslin -- is abducted from a shopping mall parking lot. Director Brad Anderson does a terrific job of establishing Jordan's work culture and anxiety that defines the psychic space that most 911 operators occupy. The twist in"The Call" is that Berry's character has no intention of allowing herself or her young charge to be a victim. That ethos of empowerment is commendable, but by "The Call's" outlandish and weirdly perfunctory conclusion, it feels less honorable than conveniently self-serving. Audiences may cheer the vigilante manifesto that "The Call" morphs into, but at some point, they'll wish it made better sense. Contains violence, disturbing content and some profanity. Extras: making-of featurette; commentary with Berry, Breslin and the filmmakers. Also, on Blu-ray: alternate ending; deleted and extended scenes; Michael Eklund audition tape; featurettes: "A Set Tour of The Hive and The Lair" and "Inside the Stunts."
"The Incredible Burt Wonderstone" (PG-13, 101 minutes Warner): This fitfully funny mainstream comedy doesn't nearly get the best from its name-brand players but doesn't qualify as a desecration, either. Viewers expecting the chemistry that made "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Anchorman" big hits will need to adjust their assumptions: Here, Steve Carell's sidekick is played by Steve Buscemi, who has his own bug-eyed appeal, but is essentially a straight man to Carell's Burt Wonderstone diva. When Jim Carrey shows up on the Strip as hipster stunt artist Steve Gray, any hopes of comic riffing between him and Carell are soon dashed by the realization that he barely registers his co-stars' presence. "Burt Wonderstone" is best appreciated not as an ensemble of inspired talents but as the convergence of very funny actors who are all starring in their own little movies. In the hands of better writers, Carell and his co-stars would have had more to do. Contains sexual content, dangerous stunts, a drug-related incident and profanity.
"No" (R, 110 minutes, in Spanish with English subtitles, Sony Home Entertainment): Pablo Larrain's "No" revisits Chile in 1988, when brutal dictator Augusto Pinochet held a plebiscite on his leadership. "No" follows the advertising campaign mounted to remove Pinochet from power. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as Rene Saavedra, a brash young advertising executive who masterminds a media strategy that infused an inherently negative word ("no") into a vote for progress. Saavedra co-opts Madison Avenue ad strategies to create a down-with-dictatorship/up-with-people campaign. Seen through one lens, Saavedra is a metaphor for Chile itself, the embodiment of the very passivity and fear that he's trying to banish. But that might be reading too much into a simple retelling of events. The film is one of the most naturalistic, spontaneous-looking period pieces in recent memory. "No" isn't nearly as definitive or declarative as its title: It leaves viewers wondering whether they should cheer, shrug or shake their heads. Contains profanity. Extras: commentary with Bernal and Larrain; Q&A with Bernal.
"Phantom" (R, 97 minutes): Todd Robinson's intriguing, if uneven, thriller, dusts off an obscure chapter in Cold War-era brinkmanship. The action begins in 1968, when a Soviet submarine captain named Demi (Ed Harris), who's about to retire, receives one last commission -- on a clanking rust bucket that still runs on diesel fuel at the dawn of the all-nuclear age. Along with his executive officer, Alex (William Fichtner), Demi welcomes a few new crew members to their cramped quarters and the enigmatic mission. Filmed in a real-life Russian submarine, the movie possesses a cramped, humid sense of verisimilitude. That admirable air of realism dissipates once Robinson takes viewers outside the sub, where torpedo skirmishes are staged with too-perfect CGI bombast. "Phantom" isn't a cinematic masterpiece, but it tells a fascinating story that turns America-first patriotism on its head. Contains violence. Extras: commentary; featurettes "Facing the Apocalypse," "The Real Phantom" and "Jeff Rona: Scoring the Phantom;" "An Ocean Away" music video.
Also: "A Place at the Table" (documentary), "Into the White," "As Luck Would Have It" (2011, Spain), "Crawlspace," "Black Pond," "Cody the Robosapien," "In the Family," "The Rambler," "Venus and Vegas," "Lord of Darkness" (aka "Sawney: Flesh of Man"), "Beauty and the Least" (aka "Ben Banks," named for its star) and "Babar Adventure Pack."
Television series: "CSI: NY -- The Final Season," "Masterpiece Mystery!: Inspector Lewis 6" (PBS), "MADtv: Season Three (1997-98)," "Jack Taylor, Set 1" (U.S. debut of British series starring Iain Glen, Acorn Media), "New Tricks, Season 9" " (U.S. debut of British series starring Amanda Redman, Acorn Media),"Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The Complete Series" (15-disc box set), "Honest" (U.S. debut of British series, Acorn Media), "Todd & the Book of Pure Evil: The Complete Second Season," "The Garfield Show: Pizza Dreams" and "Beck: Volume 7 Episodes 19-21 and Volume 8 Episodes 22-24" (2006-07).Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.