DVDs of the Week: ‘The Crazies,’ ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’

OK, I don’t think I’ve ever ranked two movies as DVDs of the Week before, and yeah it’s kind of cheating, but you, dear reader, deserve only the best recommendations I can set forth. Which is why you absolutely, positively must rent, buy, download, beg, borrow or steal (not that last one) these two releases.

'The Crazies' on DVDThe Crazies In the picture-perfect Midwestern town of Ogden Marsh, something wicked this way comes, and it might just be hiding in your barn. Timothy Olyphant (TV’s 'Justified') and Radha Mitchell are two townspeople fighting to stay alive as their friends and family become “infected” homicidal maniacs, and the government black ops threatens a fate almost worse than what the crazies will bring down. This movie is seriously scary, and some of the scenes aren’t just frightening because they’re gory (although there’s that), but because they’re downright chilling. Extras: Director commentary, featurettes on “Paranormal Pandemics,” the makeup, visual effects, and “The Crazies” motion comic episodes 1-3 plus loads more (DVD/BD).
 
Hot Tub Time Machine (Unrated) So it disappointed at theaters. So what? Some of the best cult classics failed at the box office but live on in your DVD player. This is one of those releases that will endure the test of time, like so many of John Cusack’s movies, and is a must-own for fans of not just his, but ‘80s movies as a whole. Here, he and three buds plus a nephew get kicked back in time to 1986, when coke was plentiful, so were the hot girls, and Poison played the local ski resort. Can they change their futures, while wading through a sea of neon spandex, Aquanet and blue eyeshadow? Extras: Deleted scenes, theatrical trailer (DVD/BD); promo spots on the production, Chevy Chase’s cameo, Crispin Glover as the one-armed bellhop and the costumes, digital copy of the unrated movie (BD).
 
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan’s super-popular book series gets the movie treatment. Starring Logan Lerman as the titular Percy in modern-day high school, he finds out he’s the son of the Greek god Poseidon and tasked with unraveling a mystery that takes him cross-country. Extras: Deleted scenes (5), “Bringing the Book to Life” featurette, “Discover Your Powers” quiz (DVD/BD); deleted scenes (10), “Secrets of the Gods” featurette, on-set with the stars and more (BD).
 
The White Ribbon This year’s Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee in the foreign language categories is director Michael Haneke’s freaky vision of what happens when a German village’s oppressed and abused children decide enough is enough. The film’s cold direction and cinematography adds to the chill. Extras: Making-of; “My Life,” a look at Haneke’s career; Cannes Film Festival premiere; interview with Haneke (BD).
 
Creation Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly star in this screen adaptation of Annie’s Box, a play by a descendent of Charles Darwin based on personal letters and diaries, in which Darwin is driven to finish his life’s work. His challenge of the notion of God tears rifts in his personal and professional relationships. DVD only. Extras: Director commentary, making-of docu, 3 featurettes: “Debating Darwin,” more.
 
New to Blu
 
Predator: Ultimate Hunter Edition Just in time for the new Predators movie coming July 9, Fox is releasing this sci-fi hit with an all-new digital restoration plus retrospective documentary. In addition to the remastered movie, special added features include a sneak peek at the new movie and “Evolution of the Species” featurette. The release also includes previously released extras including John McTiernan’s commentary, “Inside the Predator” docu, featurettes on the effects, deleted scenes and outtakes and more.
 
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