TomorrowlandTomorrowland (Disney, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere, VOD), the latest movie based on (sort of) a Disneyland attraction, is science fiction with heavy helpings of steampunk and retro-futurism, a film that visualizes the future with the idealism born of sixties hope, art deco lines, and skylines out of cover art from “Amazing Stories.” It’s the future as dreamed up by kids inspired by the 1964 World’s Fair, and then trashed by the cynicism and hopelessness of a culture where science is ignored as the population races to destroy their world.

That’s the film at its best, a triumph of imagination in an otherwise confused adventure involving time travel, a reclusive inventor, and killer robots from the future. Britt Robertson is Casey, a plucky but somewhat destructive teenager who still dreams of a future where great things are done and is rewarded with a “Tomorrowland” button, gives her a front row seat to the future. George Clooney is the former wonder boy turned bitter recluse, hiding out from the world while cobbling together inventions with a decidedly defensive purpose. They get a workout when the two of them flee an army of android assassins and head back to the future, where Hugh Laurie stands in as the film’s bad guy.

It should much more fun than it is, especially with former Pixar superstar Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) at the helm. Clooney, who can usually sustain a film with seemingly no effort, isn’t as much fun when he’s grumbling and griping. Robertson’s Casey keeps stopping to gawk and tell us how cool all this is so often we don’t get to enjoy the invention on our own. And while the idea that the inventors and the artists and the dreams can save the world is fine, the film has a very vague idea about how that actually works. But finally, it just doesn’t inspire or engage. There’s plenty of creative energy propping up a soggy story with a hollow sense of hope and a troubling sense of exceptionalism that seems rather randomly applied. All you gotta do, I guess, is sabotage a NASA demolition sight to get in the club.

On Blu-ray and DVD, with a production diary featurettes and a mock commercial. The Blu-ray also includes three featurettes, Brad Bird production diaries, an animated short, and deletes scenes, plus bonus DVD and UltraViolet Digital HD copies of the film.

DopeDope (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD, VOD), a quirky tale of life in the Inglewood hood for three high school geeks with a passion of nineties hip-hip, is livelier, snappier, and more fun, even with the threat of violence hanging over them throughout their strange adventure. The friends are not the usual kinds of characters you find in an urban comedy: Malcolm (Shameik Moore), Jib (Tony Revolori), and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) get good grades and play in a punk band. They’re bullied at their high school, where all students pass through a metal detector, and aspire to college. So how do they end up with a small fortune in MDMA (aka the party drug Molly) in a backpack, rival drug dealers on their trail, and a business plan to sell their stash via the darknet?

It’s complicated and writer / director Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood) has a fun time jumping the audience through the complications with rapid-fire cuts and a timeline that rewinds to put the situation in perspective. He also enjoys playing against stereotypes, though only so far. There are also gangbangers and drug dealers, a stoner hacker, a dead-eyed businessman who runs the drug trade from behind a front of legitimacy, and women who don’t rise beyond the level of sex object. Our heroes are oddballs in a culture right out of Boyz n the Hood, but with sarcastic banter and comic escapes and a sense of entrepreneurship that only a nerd would think of. They’re straight outta Inglewood.

Blu-ray and DVD with two featurettes. The Blu-ray also features bonus DVD and UltraViolet Digital HD copies of the film.

ManosManos: The Hands of Fate (Synapse, Blu-ray, DVD) is legendary as the worst film ever made—taking the mantle from Plan 9 From Outer Space (which, to be fair, is a tremendous amount of fun)—thanks largely to the efforts the Mystery Science Theater 3000 gang. When faced with this otherwise forgotten 1966 monstrosity about a family trapped by the strange doings of a polygamist pagan cult in rural Texas, a self-financed feature from first- (and only-time) director / writer / producer / star Harold P. Warren, the creators of MST3K brought their heckling to new levels and a cult was born. The film is loved for its awfulness and it is truly inept on every level: poorly shot, badly dubbed, performed seemingly without direction, and padded out with monotonous driving scenes.

Now it’s been restored (after a fight over ownership that is stranger than the film itself) from the original negative in 2K, with commentary by two of the stars, a half-hour documentary, and two short featurettes, plus the “Grindhouse unrestored version,” which is simply the same film from an unrestored source.

Also new and notable:

sanAndreasSan Andreas (Warner, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, VOD) pits Dwayne Johnson against “the big one,” an earthquake that levels both Los Angeles and San Francisco. He’s a chopper pilot who rescues his ex-wife (Carla Gugino) from the LA quake then races to San Francisco to save their college-age daughter (Alexandra Daddario). They don’t call him The Rock for nothing! With director commentary, featurettes, and deleted scenes among the supplements. The Blu-ray features bonus DVD and UltraViolet Digital HD copies of the film.

Reviews of David Cronenberg’s The Brood (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) and the original Lon Chaney The Phantom of the Opera (1925 / 1929) (Kino, Blu-ray, DVD), two superb releases with great supplements, are coming later this week.

And W.C. Fields Comedy Essentials Collection (18 films) (Universal, DVD) arrived just as I was going live, so hopefully I can dig into that in the next week or two. I mean, it is 18 films, after all, packed into five discs.

Digital / VOD / Streaming exclusives:experimenter-poster

Available on Cable and Video On Demand day as select theaters nationwide is Experimenter starring Peter Sarsgaard as social psychologist Stanley Milgram whose experiments in human behavior in the early 1960s shocked America. Michael Almereyda directs and Winona Ryder and Taryn Manning co-star.

Also new: the thriller Momentum with Olga Kurylenko and Morgan Freeman (R) and the horror films The Diabolical (no rating, mature audiences) and Tales of Halloween (R).

Available for digital purchase in advance of disc:
Inside Out (Disney, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere)
Southpaw (Anchor Bay, Digital HD) Friday, October 16

Classics and Cult:SpecialDay

A Special Day (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD)
Edward Scissorhands: 25th Anniversary (Fox, Blu-ray, Digital HD)
Aladdin: Diamond Edition (Disney, Blu-ray+DVD)
(Warner, Blu-ray)
John Carpenter’s Vampires (Twilight Time, Blu-ray)
Count Yorga, Vampire (Twilight Time, Blu-ray)
Scream and Scream Again (Twilight Time, Blu-ray)AladdinBD
Strange Invaders (Twilight Time, Blu-ray)
Black Widow (Twilight Time, Blu-ray)
Devil in a Blue Dress (Twilight Time, Blu-ray)
Star Wars: The Complete Saga (Fox, Blu-ray)
W.C. Fields Comedy Essentials Collection (18 films) (Universal, DVD)
Close My Eyes (Hen’s Tooth, DVD)
The Return of Count Yorga (Scream Factory, DVD)
Shattered (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray)WCFields
Scissors (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray, DVD)
Malone (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray)
Company Business (Kino Lorber Studio Classics, Blu-ray)
Mosquito (Synapse, Blu-ray, DVD)
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Warner, Blu-ray)
Witness (Warner, Blu-ray)
Escape from Alcatraz (Warner, Blu-ray)
Matchstick Men (Warner, Blu-ray)
Team America: World Police (Warner, Blu-ray)JohnCarpentersVampires_BD
Hard Target (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD)
Sudden Death (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD)
Matchstick Men (Warner, Blu-ray)
Kiss the Girls (Warner, Blu-ray)
15 Minutes (Warner, Blu-ray)
Neon Maniacs (Code Red, DVD)
Nightmare (Code Red, DVD)
Shakma (Code Red, DVD)
Mary Mary Bloody Mary (Code Red, DVD)
The Jail (Intervision, Blu-ray)
The Voyeur (Cult Epics, Blu-ray)
Class of Nuke ‘Em High 3: The Good, the Bad and the Subhumanoid (Troma, Blu-ray)
Theatre of the Deranged (Troma, Blu-ray)
Pro-Wrestlers vs. Zombies (Troma, Blu-ray)
Big Eden: 15th Anniversary Edition (Wolfe, Blu-ray)
Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don’t Come Back!) (Paramount, DVD)

TV on disc:CivilWar

The Civil War 25th Anniversary Commemorative Edition (PBS, Blu-ray, DVD)
Mad Men: The Final Season, Part 2
(Lionsgate, Blu-ray, DVD)
Wayward Pines: Season One (Fox, DVD)
Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: Season One (Universal, DVD)
Ascension: A Miniseries Event (Lionsgate, DVD)
Regular Show: The Movie (Warner, DVD)
The Widower (PBS, Blu-ray, DVD)
Indian Summers (PBS, Blu-ray, DVD)MadMenFinalp2
Regular Show: The Movie (Warner, DVD)
The 100: The Complete Second Season (Warner, DVD)
Bates Motel: Season Three (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD)
The Following: The Third and Final Season
(Warner, Blu-ray, DVD)
Justified: The Complete Series (Sony, Blu-ray, DVD)
Heroes: The Complete Series (Universal, Blu-ray, DVD)
The Six Million Dollar Man: The Complete Series (Universal, DVD)
The Bionic Woman: The Complete Series (Universal, DVD)
Blackwood (BBC, DVD)WaywardPinesS1
Copenhagen / Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond (BBC, DVD)
Impractical Jokers: The Complete Third Season (Warner, DVD)
Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour: Christmas Specials (Shout! Factory, DVD)
The Saint: Seasons 1 & 2 (Timeless, DVD)
When Calls the Heart: Year Two (The Television Movie Collection) (Shout! Factory, DVD)
When Calls the Heart: Follow Your Heart (Shout! Factory, DVD)

More new releases:Gloria

Gloria (Universal, DVD)
Volley (Strand, DVD)
The Gallows (Warner, Blu-ray, DVD)
Caffeinated (Kino Lorber, DVD)
Call Me Lucky (MPI, Blu-ray, DVD)
The Little Death (Magnolia, Blu-ray, DVD)
Skin Traffik (Alchemy, DVD)
Ballet Boys (First Run, DVD)
PS Dance! (First Run, DVD)
Day 6 (One 7, DVD)
Sodoma: The Dark Side of Gomorrah (One 7, DVD)
Hyde’s Secret Nightmare (One 7, DVD)

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