TransformersAgeTransformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, Cable VOD) delivers more giant robot action, this time with Mark Wahlberg taking over the human duties from Shia LaBeouf, playing a family man and freelance inventor who finds Optimus Prime (who has been in hiding from the government) and sides with the Autobots to save the human race from alien invasion and bureaucratic self-destruction. Michael Bay once again directs and Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, and Nicola Peltz co-star. This one earned far less in American theaters than previous installments but it was a hit overseas, including China, where much of it was calculatingly shot and set.

Glenn Kenny, writing for, describes the film as “a spectacular visual and aural experience. It is abundant in the most sophisticated visual effects that the movie industry has to offer, rendering in precisely-engineered 3D all manner of ingeniously designed organic, mechanic, mutated imaginary creatures enacting breakneck action and wreaking large-scale mayhem with relentless impact.” And then the caveat: “Of course, like ALMOST every other movie reviewer, I’m not convinced that a two-hour-and-forty minute toy commercial elaborately disguising itself as a movie is something to celebrate. Hence, I’m obliged to point out that all this moviemaking expertise is put in the service of a sci-fi concept that is, for lack of a better word, infantile.”

The Blu-ray editions feature the multi-part documentary “Evolution Within Extinction” and an interview with Michael Bay, plus additional featurettes and bonus DVD and UltraViolet Digital HD editions of the film. No supplements on the single-disc DVD release. There are plenty of special packaging deals for this release, created for different retail outfits. Cinephiled looked at the various editions here.

ColdJulyCold in July (IFC, Blu-ray, DVD) is further evidence that Jim Mickle is one of the most interesting filmmakers on the scene today. Based on the 1995 novel by Joe R. Lansdale and scripted by his longtime collaborator Nick Damici (who also co-stars), it features Michael C. Hall as a man who kills a burglar breaking into his home and ends up targeted by the dead man’s ex-con father (Sam Shepard). Vinessa Shaw and Don Johnson co-star.

It is “a terrific movie—the more terrific for the way it keeps evolving into another movie, and then another, you had no expectation of seeing,” praises Richard T. Jameson at Parallax View. “As reel two gets underway, a white-knuckle inland variation on Cape Fear is taking shape, with a lean, mean Sam Shepard in the Mitchum or De Niro role. That’s how it plays for a while, and very effectively, too. But then, well, our understanding of things changes, changes radically. And a reel or so later, something changes again.”

Features cast and crew commentary and deleted scenes with optional commentary among the supplements.

Also new and notable: LuckyThem

Lucky Them (IFC, DVD), from Eden director Megan Griffiths, is a character piece / road movie set in the Seattle music scene that turns into a buddy movie with Toni Collette as a sardonic music journalist and Thomas Haden Church as an insufferable but self-aware ne’er do well who funds her search for a music icon who died (or at least disappeared) a decade ago.

Chef (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD, Cable VOD) – After directing the first two Iron Man movies, Jon Favreau chose to make this small drama about a successful chef who starts over running a food truck with friends and family.

Third Person (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD) is Paul Haggis’ latest multi-story drama. This one stars Liam Neeson, Maria Bello, Mila Kunis, Adrian Brody, Olivia Wilde, Kim Basinger, and James Franco.

Ivory Tower (Paramount, Blu-ray, DVD) looks at the high cost of higher education and asks if it’s worth the cost. It debuted last year at Sundance.

Another notable documentary coming to disc this week is the 2002 French film To Be and To Have (Kino Lorber, DVD) from Nicolas Philibert.

Digital / VOD / Streaming exclusives:ObviousChild

Obvious Child (Lionsgate, Cable VOD), the indie film that got branded “the abortion comedy,” comes to Cable On Demand a week before it arrives on disc. From filmmaker Gillian Robespierre and starring comedienne Jenny Slate, it’s a spiky little film that takes on issues of adulthood and responsibility and family with a smart sense of humor.

Arriving on VOD in advance of theaters this week is the thriller Open Windows (Cinedigm,) with Elijah Wood and Sasha Grey and the horror anthology The ABCs of Death 2 (both available Thursday, October 2), and on Friday comes the offbeat fantasy Horns starring Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple.

Also new this week: The Fault in Our Stars (Fox, Cable VOD) and Stephen King’s A Good Marriage (Screen Media, VOD).

More releases:SpaceStation76

Space Station 76 (Sony, DVD, Digital HD)
Are You Here (Millennium, Blu-ray, DVD)
Decoding Annie Parker (eOne, Blu-ray, DVD)
The Man Who Will Come (Palisades Tartan/Kino Lorber, DVD)
Floating Skyscrapers (Canteen Outlaws, DVD)
Hellion (IFC, DVD)
Wolf (IFC, DVD)
American Muscle (Well Go, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital)Chefcap
Sniper: Legacy (Sony, DVD, Digital HD)
She: Their Love Story (Ariztical, DVD)
Team Hot Wheels: The Origin of Awesome (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD)
Monster High: Freaky Fusion (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD)
The Paranormal Diaries: Clophill (Image, DVD, Digital)
Leprechaun: Origins (Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD)
Delivery: The Beast Within (Cinedigm, DVD, Digital HD)
Grave Halloween (Anchor Bay, DVD)

TV on disc:SherlockHolmesBrett

Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Granada Television Series (MPI, Blu-ray)
The Mentalist: The Complete Sixth Season (Warner, DVD)
Mike and Molly: The Complete Fourth Season (Warner, DVD)
NYPD Blue: Season 7 (Shout Factory, DVD)
Zane Grey Theatre: The Complete Second Season (Timeless, DVD)
Beware the Batman: Dark Justice – Season 1, Part 2 (Warner, Blu-ray)
My Little Pony: The Complete Series (Shout Factory, DVD)
Time Team America: Seasons 1 and 2 (PBS, DVD)
Agatha Christie’s Marple: Series 6 (Acorn, DVD)MentalistS6
When the Boat Comes In (BFS, DVD)
Rake: Season 3 (BFS, DVD)
WPC 56: Season 2 (BFS, DVD)
The Mystery of Agatha Christie with David Suchet (PBS, DVD)
Field of Blood: Set 1 (Acorn, DVD)
Martin Clune’s Wildlife (Acorn, DVD)
The Fidel Castro Tapes (PBS, DVD)
Al Capone: Icon (PBS, DVD)
Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story (PBS, DVD)
American Experience: The Big Burn (PBS, DVD)
Nova: Vaccines – Calling the Shots (PBS, DVD)
The Mind of a Chef: Edward Lee (PBS, DVD)

Classics and Cult:OnceUponAmericanBDcap

Once Upon A Time In America: Extended Director’s Cut (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD)
Sundays and Cybèle (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD)
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Criterion, Blu-ray)
Nightcap (Merci Pour le Chocolate) (Cohen, Blu-ray, DVD)
Stunt Squad (Raro, Blu-ray, DVD)
Gone with the Wind: 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD)
The Audrey Hepburn Blu-ray Collection (Sabrina, Funny Face, Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Warner, Blu-ray)SundaysCybele
Ghost in the Shell 25th Anniversary Edition (Anchor Bay, Blu-ray)
Betty Boop: The Essential Collection Volume 4 (1932-1938) (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD)
Interview with the Vampire (Warner, Blu-ray)
Beyond Borders Box Set (A Bottle in Gaza / Arranged / Foreign Letters) (Film Movement, DVD)
The Last Step Down / Blood Lust (Kino Lorber / Redemption, DVD)
Killer Fish (Scorpion, Blu-ray, DVD)
Sordid Lives (Wolfe, Blu-ray+DVD Combo)

Calendar of upcoming releases on Blu-ray, DVD, Digital, and VOD