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Popular 'Gotham' has its own unique look

Gotham: The Complete First Season

Warner Bros., $59.98; Blu-ray, $60.10

This Fox series was one of last season's most popular new TV shows, perhaps because it tries to be a lot of things at once. It's an origin story for the superhero Batman (seen here as a boy, soon after the death of his parents), a straightforward police procedural (albeit with colorful super-villains like the Penguin and the Riddler) and a modern TV interpretation of classic Hollywood gangster pictures and film noir. Not everything works — the "baby Batman" material consistently comes up short — but Ben McKenzie makes a potent lead as the future Commissioner Gordon, and the supporting cast seems to be having a ball playing such broad characters. Most important, "Gotham" has its own dark, ornate look and tone, unlike anything else on television. The "Complete First Season" DVD and Blu-ray include all 22 episodes, plus deleted scenes and featurettes.

The Age of Adaline

Lionsgate, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD Tuesday.

This unusual hybrid of romantic melodrama and whimsical fantasy stars Blake Lively as the title character, a young widow who dies, comes back to life and then never appears to grow any older. Though overstuffed with plot, the film is at least unpredictable from moment to moment. It also features memorable performances from Ellen Burstyn as Adaline's daughter and Harrison Ford as the aged version of a man she once loved; and in between all the twists and flashbacks, "The Age of Adaline" captures the bittersweetness of immortality. The DVD and Blu-ray add deleted scenes, featurettes and a commentary track by director Lee Toland Krieger.

The Editor

Scream! Factory Blu-ray, $26.97

The Canadian genre-film collective Astron-6 started out making fake trailers for non-existent drive-in movies before transitioning into features in the same "alternate universe exploitation" vein. Their "The Editor" is a funny, stylish parody of Italian giallo pictures, starring co-writer/co-director Adam Brooks as an ace film editor who becomes the chief suspect in the serial murders of his cast and fellow crew. The joke's a little one-dimensional (and aimed mainly at people who seen a lot of the movies being spoofed), but "The Editor" actually functions fairly well just as lurid thriller, phony or not. Scream! Factory's DVD/Blu-ray combo pack has deleted scenes, featurettes and an Astron-6 commentary track.

Fat City

Twilight Time Blu-ray, $29.95

A lot of older Hollywood directors struggled to adjust to the new creative freedoms of the late 1960s and early 1970s, but John Huston fit right into the cinema of 1972 with this adaptation of Leonard Gardner's novel about an over-the-hill boxer (played by Stacy Keach) trying to get back onto the circuit. Confidently low-key and character-driven — with stellar supporting performances by Jeff Bridges and the Oscar-nominated Susan Tyrrell — "Fat City" eschews glamour in its depiction of hard people leading lives on the edge. It stands up to the American classics of the era, like "Five Easy Pieces" and "The Last Picture Show." Twilight Time's new Blu-ray edition comes with a lively commentary track by scholars Lem Dobbs and Nick Redman.


Crystal Lake Memories: The Complete History of Friday the 13th

Image, $19.98; Blu-ray, $29.98

Dressed to Kill

Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95

Homeland: The Complete Fourth Season

20th Century Fox, $39.98; Blu-ray, $49.99

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

Image, $27.97; Blu-ray, $29.97


The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

HBO, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.98

One of the most talked-about television events of 2015, the HBO true-crime docu-miniseries "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" tells the strange story of a New York millionaire who's been linked to the murders of three people yet keeps escaping conviction. Director/co-producer Andrew Jarecki (best-known for the similarly audacious feature doc "Capturing the Friedmans") and his co-producer/cinematographer Marc Smerling interviewed frustrated law-enforcement officers and friends of the victims, who all help to contextualize Durst's case. But their big get is Durst himself: a rivetingly odd duck who talks slowly, blinks constantly, and describes horrific crimes without ever showing much emotion. The gradual unraveling of what Durst did—and how much responsibility he takes for it—is as exciting as any scripted TV show.

Love & Mercy

Lionsgate, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.99

Available on VOD September 11.

Screenwriter Oren Moverman and producer-director Bill Pohlad take a fresh approach to the life of Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson in "Love & Mercy," telling the story by cutting back and forth between the late 1960s (when working on the masterpieces "Pet Sounds" and "Smile" started wearing on Wilson's sanity) and the mid-1980s (when he was struggling under the care of a controlling psychotherapist, played here by Paul Giamatti). Paul Dano and John Cusack are terrific as the 1960s Wilson and 1980s Wilson, respectively, and while "Love & Mercy is too shapeless and too beholden to biopic cliches, it does capture what it must be like to be blessed and cursed by musical inspiration. The DVD and Blu-ray add a Pohlad/Moverman commentary, deleted scenes, and featurettes.

Heaven Knows What

Starz/Anchor Bay, $22.98; Blu-ray, $26.99

Available on VOD September 15.

At once harrowing and beautiful, Benny and Joshua Sadie's indie drama "Heaven Knows What" explores the contemporary culture of New York heroin addicts via a young junkie named Harley, played by novice actress (and recovering druggie) Arielle Holmes. The Safdie brothers create a real sense of the secret city that coexists within nearly every major metropolis, and they stick close to their at once pathetic and sympathetic Harley as she hits bottom and tries to climb her way back up to something approaching happiness. This movie plays rough, but it's never hard to watch, largely because the lead character's so compelling and the milieu so well-defined. The DVD and Blu-ray include a making-of featurette and deleted scenes.

Dog Day Afternoon: 40th Anniversary Edition

Warner Bros. Blu-ray, $24.98

Based on a true story, the 1975 drama "Dog Day Afternoon" is set over the course of one day in Brooklyn, as a hapless amateur bank-robber (played by an Oscar-nominated Al Pacino) touches off a hostage situation and a media frenzy while trying to get money for his lover's sex-change operation. For the 40th anniversary of director Sidney Lumet and screenwriter Frank Pierson's American cinema classic, Warner Brothers has prepared a suitably outstanding Blu-ray edition, containing a Lumet commentary track, a pair of interviews, two short films featuring Pacino's co-star John Cazale, and a bonus DVD of the fine documentary "I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale."


Aquarius: The Complete First Season

Starz/Anchor Bay, $49.98; Blu-ray, $59.99

Blind Chance

Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95

Cinderella (2015)

Disney/Buena Vista, $29.99; Blu-ray, $36.99

Available on VOD September 15.

Disneynature: Monkey Kingdom

Disney/Buena Vista Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD September 15.

Empire: The Complete First Season

20th Century Fox, $39.98; Blu-ray, $49.99

Furious 7

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD September 15.

Marvel's Agent Carter: The Complete First Season

Walt Disney, $29.99; Blu-ray, $39.99


HBO, $19.97; Blu-ray, $24.99

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