Three first-rate tales of love, death and growing up top this week’s DVD selections.
• “The Conjuring,” B-plus: A family turns to experts to help deal with a house occupied by an evil spirit. Ron Livingston stars.
With “Saw,” director James Wan showed that he could create terror using buckets of blood and violence. With “The Conjuring,” he shows he can create just as many scares merely using things that go bump in the night. Don’t be shocked if you decide to leave a light on after seeing this based-on-a-true-story movie.
• “Before Midnight,” A: Almost two decades after meeting, a couple (Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy) deal with their life together.
“Before Midnight” is a beautiful reminder that a movie with nothing more than two people talking can have just as many explosions and fireworks as any high-tech summer blockbuster. And it shows that big relationship moments can be even more entertaining than a car crash or planet’s demise because they resonate with anyone who has ever felt the joy and the pain of being in love.
• “The Way, Way Back,” A-minus: Teenage boy finds happiness through a summer job at a water park. Sam Rockwell and Steve Carell star.
In their Oscar-winning script for “The Descendants,” writers Nat Faxon and Jim Rash had remarkable skill for showing the fear and confusion adults face when they reach a major crossroads in their lives. With their latest movie, they use that same sparkling writing style to show the emotions young people deal with during their own life-changing moments.
• “Bruce Lee: The Legacy Collection,” B-plus: The set includes the first ever Blu-ray versions of “The Big Boss,” “Fist of Fury, “Way of the Dragon” and “Game of Death.” If that isn’t reason enough to pick up the DVD collection, there’s a bonus disc with hours of new content exclusive to the set, plus 68 pages of archival materials and never-before-released photos.
Also new on DVD
“Just Like a Woman”: Two emotionally scarred women pair up to take control of their lives.
“Transformers Rescue Bots: Griffin Rock Rescue”: Autobot first responders are back on the job.
“The Vincent Price Collection”: Six films starring Price, including “Fall of the House of Usher.”
“I Give It a Year”: Family and friends doubt a marriage will last. Anna Faris stars.
“The Internship”: Two men looking for work apply to become interns at a tech company.
“Storm Rider”: Troubled teen is given an orphaned horse to foster and train.
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”: The extended edition includes 13 minutes of new footage.
“Love and Bullets” / “Russian Roulette”: Charles Bronson double feature.
“Dead in Tombstone”: Story of greed, revenge and atonement set in a Gold Rush boomtown.
“Kindred: The Embraced – The Complete Series”: Includes unseen footage of the conclusion to the short-lived thriller series starring C. Thomas Howell.
“The Garfield Show: A Purr-fect Life”: Includes six episodes of the animated show.
“Homecoming”: College friends reunite for homecoming weekend nearly 20 years after graduation.
“The Wall”: A woman is trapped behind an invisible, unyielding wall on the Austrian countryside.
“The JFK Collection”: A three-disc DVD set that explores one of America’s most legendary families.
“Standing Up”: Two teens run away from camp after being the target of a prank.