New on DVD & Blu-Ray: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hundred-Foot Journey, and More

by | December 2, 2014 | Comments

This week on home video, we’ve got the second installment of the successfully rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise, a feelgood drama from Lasse Hallström, and a claustrophobic found-footage horror film to kick things off. Then, we’ve got a couple of Certified Fresh TV shows, a few indie flicks, a rerelease of a Holiday favorite on DVD, and a newly remastered classic starring Jimmy Stewart. Read on for details:

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


If you were as disappointed by Tim Burton’s 2001 Planet of the Apes reboot as half the critics were, then 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes probably went a long way toward making you feel better about the future of the franchise. Thanks to glowing reviews and a smartly told origin story, we got part two of the reinvigorated series this year with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which finds the human race fighting to survive in the aftermath of a “simian flu” that has wiped out much of humanity while Ceasar (a mo-capped Andy Serkis) and his tribe of intelligent apes flourished in the meantime. Jason Clarke represents a community of San Francisco survivors in search of a power source located in ape territory, and though Ceasar sees benefit in maintaining peace with the humans, an angry chimpanzee named Koba challenges his authority and seeks to eradicate the human threat. Critics raved yet again, sending Dawn to a Certified Fresh 91 percent Tomatometer score in recognition of the film’s intelligent, ambitious, and surprisingly emotional script, as well as its skillful use of immersive visual effects. The Blu-ray comes with a number of featurettes, including a look at the production design, the community of apes, the special effects, and an interview with Andy Serkis, among other things.

The Hundred-Foot Journey


Lasse Hallström has proven in the past that he can make schmaltzy stories work, and though The Hundred-Foot Journey isn’t quite the equivalent of cinematic haute cuisine, critics still thought it was fairly hearty. The film tells the story of Hassan (Manish Dayal), a young Indian ex-pat chef living in France whose family opens an Indian restaurant across the street from a classical French restaurant run by the fierce, calculating Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). As a feud ensues between the two, Hassan falls for Mme Mallory’s sous chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), and soon Mme Mallory herself begins to see Hassan’s potential as a fine chef. This is familiar narrative territory — even for Hallström, who helmed the thematically similar Chocolat — but Helen Mirren is a joy to watch, and Hallström knows what he’s doing, so critics awarded it a 67 percent on the Tomatometer. Special features include an interview with producers Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey discussing what drew them to the project, a look at the production design and the transition process from page to screen, and, as a nice little culinary bonus, a little how-to video recipe for coconut chicken.

As Above, So Below


Being trapped underground can be a frightening experience in and of itself, but being trapped underground in the catacombs? You’d think that would add an extra level of freakout to the proceedings. Not so, say the critics, at least not in the case of As Above, So Below, the Paris-set chiller by director/screenwriter duo the Dowdle brothers, who remade the Spanish zombie flick [REC] as Quarantine. As Above follows a group of intrepid explorers who venture into the catacombs of Paris in search of a legendary alchemical catalyst and stumble upon inexplicable supernatural forces. As Above, So Below begins intriguingly enough despite its found footage trappings, say critics, but like many other subpar horror films, it devolves into a barrage of genre clichés executed with little panache. Special features on the release include just one making-of doc.

Also available this week:

  • The Congress (76 percent), starring Robin Wright and Harvey Keitel in a half-animated meta sci-fi drama about an aging actress who agrees to have her image digitally recreated so that she can continue starring in films.
  • Field of Lost Shoes, starring David Arquette and Lauren Holly in a drama about a group of teenagers who are recruited to fight in the Civil War.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas (92 percent) is getting a new 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD release, which includes the TV special It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown.
  • Season one of the Certified Fresh FX sci-fi series The Strain (87 percent), produced by Guillermo Del Toro, is available.
  • The first season of Comedy Central’s Certified Fresh Broad City (95 percent), starring Abbi Jacobsen and Ilana Glazer as a couple of slackers living in New York, is also available.
  • And finally, Frank Capra’s 1939 classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (94 percent), starring Jimmy Stewart as the titular idealist who’s tapped as an interim senator and attempts to take on his corrupt opponents, is getting a 4k remastered Blu-ray with several special features, including a booklet featuring a new essay on the film.

Tag Cloud

VH1 Reality Competition 2017 comic hist Film Festival Nickelodeon 2015 Trivia serial killer Sundance President nature TCA Black Mirror binge Elton John hispanic Vudu MTV comiccon ABC Women's History Month Food Network YouTube American Society of Cinematographers Dark Horse Comics Winners green book thriller zombie romance facebook DC Universe joker series Tarantino richard e. Grant Super Bowl streaming true crime Rom-Com Watching Series Syfy Cannes psycho Brie Larson dc 2016 Ghostbusters sitcom History Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt sports Warner Bros. Comic Book Reality book First Reviews theme song Family Disney Calendar Tomatazos crime robots Epix spy thriller TV Land war LGBTQ canceled TV shows Spring TV El Rey Paramount ITV Awards Tour 45 miniseries DGA foreign Mystery docudrama Fall TV Walt Disney Pictures TCM E! Superheroe 2019 Cosplay Character Guide CMT Musical Esquire Superheroes game show RT21 Western OWN Freeform Fantasy children's TV YA NYCC Shudder sequel TCA 2017 Opinion cinemax Election Sundance Now zero dark thirty 2018 biography Emmys Box Office The Walking Dead Animation cults GoT adventure San Diego Comic-Con SXSW talk show Disney Channel casting revenge GLAAD politics police drama DC streaming service SundanceTV Country Comedy Marvel crime thriller Drama science fiction 007 Emmy Nominations jamie lee curtis Adult Swim Photos WGN transformers AMC mutant Red Carpet Comics on TV animated dragons Apple TV+ cancelled television Ellie Kemper Heroines Rocketman USA Network composers medical drama MCU The Arrangement golden globes Pixar boxoffice FX DirecTV BET what to watch Tumblr Kids & Family quibi TV renewals zombies Disney Plus political drama Musicals historical drama south america APB Pet Sematary Music Holidays disaster Premiere Dates social media Columbia Pictures See It Skip It Action Countdown kids based on movie free movies award winner blaxploitation doctor who Sneak Peek The CW TIFF slashers Paramount Network cats anthology Biopics Nominations space spider-man natural history period drama stand-up comedy psychological thriller Anna Paquin RT History unscripted Horror YouTube Premium Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Grammys cancelled TV shows witnail Martial Arts crime drama First Look Television Academy Comedy Central Quiz Toys Set visit Schedule Podcast dramedy spanish language strong female leads Lucasfilm diversity Certified Fresh Masterpiece adaptation CBS dceu Amazon X-Men Universal crossover ratings CBS All Access game of thrones Infographic Video Games vampires aliens ABC Family E3 Spectrum Originals FXX NBC WarnerMedia Winter TV Hulu TLC Mary Tyler Moore Amazon Prime CNN Ovation Year in Review Star Trek The Witch Sci-Fi Christmas Rock Stephen King MSNBC Lifetime Disney streaming service TruTV cars ESPN Awards Arrowverse YouTube Red 20th Century Fox BBC America SDCC cancelled TV series Polls and Games Netflix Mindy Kaling PBS Writers Guild of America video Trophy Talk USA Mary Poppins Returns Film Oscars spinoff Sony Pictures TBS Teen Lionsgate Pirates VICE toy story Mudbound cooking halloween Thanksgiving LGBT festivals tv talk latino cops justice league National Geographic cancelled Showtime HBO TV Nat Geo CW Seed mockumentary Summer Best and Worst teaser Binge Guide Captain marvel spain ghosts Britbox 21st Century Fox Peacock elevated horror DC Comics singing competition Marathons travel discovery Apple TNT Fox News GIFs Shondaland Mary poppins Creative Arts Emmys harry potter Chernobyl PaleyFest IFC 24 frames A&E anime supernatural New York Comic Con Cartoon Network Pride Month finale Star Wars movies Starz Pop 71st Emmy Awards Extras canceled BBC Interview Trailer Bravo IFC Films Logo batman technology FOX television renewed TV shows Crackle Valentine's Day Song of Ice and Fire Amazon Prime Video HBO Max Rocky Spike Acorn TV