New Releases

Chris Hemsworth in "Rush." (Jaap Buitendijk / Universal Studios)

Rush

Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98

Available on VOD beginning Jan. 28

Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Peter Morgan tell the story of 1970s Formula 1 racing stars James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) in "Rush," a true-sports adventure that starts out as a "the olden days were groovy" corn-fest, then takes a turn for the better. The second half of the film concerns itself mostly with the incredibly tight points-battle between Hunt and Lauda throughout the 1976 season, and those racing sequences — some of which were shot with a subjective camera, in bad weather conditions — are white-knuckle. Plus, the film has some pertinent things to say about what constitutes "greatness," by contrasting the calculating, outcome-oriented Lauda and the reckless, live-for-now Hunt. The DVD and Blu-ray come with deleted scenes and featurettes that deal with both the movie and the real-life events.

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The Fifth Estate

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

Available on VOD beginning Jan. 28

The Julian Assange and WikiLeaks saga comes to the big screen yet again (trailing the documentary "We Steal Secrets" and the "early years" docudrama "Underground") in Bill Condon's "The Fifth Estate," which tries too hard to deal not just with Assange but with the changing state of the media and geopolitics in the 21st century. The film works best when it's most focused, showing how activist German hacker Daniel Berg (played by "Rush" star Daniel Brühl) joined Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in exposing the secrets of powerful institutions and then grew wary of Assange's emotional instability and unwillingness to see the value in a sound journalistic vetting of classified government documents. The DVD and Blu-ray add few short, wonky featurettes.

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Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Paramount, $29.98; Blu-ray, $39.99

Available on VOD beginning Jan. 28

Johnny Knoxville and the "Jackass" crew go the "Borat" route for their fourth feature film, making a hidden-camera comedy with a plot, casting Knoxville as an elderly screw-up transporting his 8-year-old grandson across the country. "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa" still has its share of crazy, wince-inducing stunts, but this time a lot of them are staged in public, in front of people who don't know it's all a joke. "Jackass" fans likely will crack up over the extreme slapstick, while nonfans may be pleasantly surprised by how sweet and pointedly satirical the movie is at times. The DVD and Blu-ray tack on deleted scenes and featurettes.

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Metallica: Through the Never

Blackened Recordings, $19.98; Blu-ray, $24.98

Available on VOD beginning Jan. 28

Not just a concert film, "Metallica: Through The Never" is like a 1970s-style midnight movie, stitching together the heavy metal group's prop-filled arena show with a trippy narrative about a young roadie running an errand through a post-apocalyptic urban landscape. Frankly, the nonperformance parts of "Through The Never" are pretty goofy, but the movie as a whole is impressively grand, thanks in large part to Metallica's well-honed set, which includes some of the band's best-loved songs. The DVD and Blu-ray contain interviews and behind-the-scenes material.

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