Our pick of the new DVDs in August

Some new DVDs for September include the next entry in the ‘Divergent’ franchise, Noah Baumbach’s new indie comedy ‘While We’re Young’, Steven Soderbergh’s period medical show ‘The Knick’, critically acclaimed UK drama ‘Still Life’, and spooky new TV thriller series ‘Wayward Pines’.

cover imageInsurgent.
“Insurgent, the next gripping action-adventure in the blockbuster Divergent franchise, raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the dystopian ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world…”
(adapted from Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWhile we’re young.
“Noah Baumbach writes and directs this comedy starring Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a childless married couple living in New York who befriend a younger and more exciting couple. Fed up of their friends who pressure them into beginning a family of their own, documentary film-maker Josh (Stiller) and wife Cornelia (Watts) meet hipster couple Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried) and start to enjoy the new and refreshing experiences that come with the territory. However, are Jamie and Darby’s motivations for spending time with the older couple as harmless as they seem?” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageSomeone you love.
“World famous singer-songwriter Thomas Jacob is based in Los Angeles. He is a very successful man who has burned a lot of bridges. He lives and breathes music and very little else. When Thomas travels back to Denmark to record a new album with his regular producer, Molly Moe, his grown-up daughter, Julie, shows up with his 11 year-old grandson, Noa, whom Thomas has never met. Soon – and much against his will – Thomas is forced to take care of Noa. Against all odds the two of them slowly begin to connect through music. Then disaster strikes forcing Thomas to realize, that he now has to make a choice that will change his life forever.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageTrash.
“When two trash-picking boys from Rio’s slums find a wallet in amongst the daily detritus of their local dump, little do they imagine that their lives are about to change forever. But when the local police show up, offering a handsome reward for the wallet’s return, the boys realise that what they’ve found must be important. Based on Andy Mulligan’s best-selling novel, Rooney Mara, Martin Sheen, Wagner Moura and Selton Mello star in this thrilling adventure directed by Stephen Daldry and written by Richard Curtis.” (Rewiews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageAlex of Venice.
“In Chris Messina’s directorial debut, a workaholic attorney, Alex (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is forced to reinvent her life after her husband (Chris Messina) suddenly leaves. While juggling a career case, a young son, and a father (Don Johnson) struggling with the effects of aging, Alex discovers both a vulnerability and inner strength she had not yet tapped into, all while holding her family together.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageCake.
“Claire Simmons (Jennifer Aniston) is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. Blunt to the point of searing insult, Claire’s anger seethes out of her with nearly every interaction. She has driven away her husband, her friends – even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out. The only one left in Claire’s otherwise solitary existence is her housekeeper-cum-caretaker, Silvana (Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza), who barely tolerates her boss’ need for liquor and prescription pills. But the suicide of Nina (Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick), one of Claire’s fellow chronic-pain group members, prompts another fixation. In pursuing questions about the death of a woman she barely knew, Claire explores the boundaries between life and death, abandonment and heartbreak, danger and salvation. As she inserts herself into the lives of Nina’s husband (Sam Worthington) and the son Nina left behind, Claire just might find salvation.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageThe knick. The complete first season.
“Set in downtown New York in 1900 – The Knick is a groundbreaking new scripted drama from Oscar and Emmy-winning director Steven Soderbergh starring Oscar nominee Clive Owen, who also received a Golden Globe nomination for this series. The Knick centers on the Knickerbocker Hospital (dubbed The Knick), which faces a major upheaval due to poor finances and an exodus of wealthy patients. The one remaining star is Dr. Thackery (played by Clive Owen) who along with the hospital staff of surgeons, nurses and other personnel must struggle to keep both themselves and the hospital going.” (Editorial reviews, Amazon.com)

cover imageStill life.
“A poignant tale of life, love and the afterlife, Still Life is a tender and witty new drama from Uberto Pasolini, the Oscar-nominated producer of The Full Monty, starring Eddie Marsan (Tyrannosaur, Happy-Go-Lucky) and Golden Globe winner Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey). Meticulous and organised to the point of obsession, John May (Marsan) is a council worker charged with finding the next of kin of those who have died alone. When his department is downsized and he is given his final case, John finds himself on a liberating journey of self-discovery that will make him question everything and start living life at last.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageHemlock Grove. Season 1 / created by Brian McGreevy & Lee Shipman.
“From executive producer Eli Roth (Hostel, Cabin Fever) comes the darkly poetic, moving and terrifying hit US series Hemlock Grove. Set deep in the heart of Pennsylvania, a gruesome murder sends shockwaves through the eccentric residents of the mysterious suburb. Whispers follow Roman Godfrey, (Bill Skarsgård), the brooding scion of an aristocratic family headed by the beautiful but formidable Olivia Godfrey (Famke Janssen, X-Men), and Peter Rumancek (Landon Liboiron), an enigmatic teenager from the gypsy community who lingers on the edges of the Grove. As the mystery unfolds, the residents are led into the darkest shadows and deepest secrets of the town, their families and themselves where they must confront unspeakable truths and discover why Hemlock Grove is not all that it appears.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageMaggie.
“As a viral pandemic spreads across America, Wade Vogel (Arnold Schwarzenegger) searches for his runaway daughter Maggie (Abigail Breslin) and finds her in the quarantine wing of a hospital. Wade brings his daughter back home to his family for the short time before the teenager begins a painful metamorphosis. Determined to hold onto his precious daughter as long as he can and refusing to hand her over to the local police Wade edges ever closer to a time where he will have to take matters into his own hands.” (Reviews, Amazon.co.uk)

cover imageWayward Pines.
“Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in the bucolic town of Wayward Pines, ID, on a mission to find two missing federal agents. But instead of answers, Ethan’s investigation only turns up more questions. What’s wrong with Wayward Pines? Each step closer to the truth takes Ethan further from the life he knew, from the husband and father he was, until he must face the terrifying reality that he may never get out of Wayward Pines alive.” (Syndetics summary)