In our weekly column, we give you the lowdown on the weekly top three essential DVDs and Blu-ray releases.
This week's releases run the gamut, from the fast-paced action film "Taken 2" to the deepest bayous of the South in the character drama "The Paperboy." Rounding out the bunch is the latest from the Criterion Collection, the spy mystery "The Man Who Knew Too Much." Each of these makes a wonderful gift for yourself or the cinephile in your life.
1. "Taken 2"
Starring: Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen.
Director: Olivier Megaton
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Running Time: 98 min.
Retired CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) and his wife (Famke Janssen) are unexpectedly taken hostage by a man related to the kidnapper that Mills dispatched while trying to get his daughter (Maggie Grace) back in the first movie.
The special features on this release include a black ops field manual and kill counter, deleted and extended scenes, special effects and making-of featurettes and more.
The 2-disc package features both the theatrical and unrated extended cuts on Blu-ray and DVD, as well as a digital copy.
2. "The Paperboy"
Starring: Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack, David Oyelowo, Scott Glenn, Macy Gray
Director: Lee Daniels
Studio: Millennium Media
Running Time: 107 min.
Director Lee Daniels's striking tale of crime and sensuality in the deep South has been rather controversial. Reporter Ward James (Matthew McConaughey) and his investigative partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) return to James's hometown to investigate a murder case; they're aided by Charlotte (Nicole Kidman), a pedal-pushing bombshell who writes letters to inmates and has fallen in love with alleged murderer Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack). Seen through the eyes of James's brother (Zac Efron), the four of them try to unravel the case against Charlotte's lover.
Special features on this release include interviews with the cast and crew, behind-the-scenes featurettes and more.
This release of "The Paperboy" features a Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy.
3. "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934)
Starring: Leslie Banks, Peter Lorre, Edna Best, Frank Vosper, Hugh Wakefield, Nova Pilbeam
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Studio: The Criterion Collection
Running Time: 75 min.
Director Alfred Hitchcock's film revolves around a British family who become mixed up with a variety of spies and a desperate assassination plot while on vacation in Switzerland.
Special features on this special release include a 2012 interview with director Guillermo del Toro, a television program from 1972 in which Alfred Hitchcock is interviewed, another Hitchcock interview with Trauffaut, a featurette on the restoration process, audio commentary from film historian Philip Kemp and a booklet with an essay by critic Farran Smith Nehme.
"The Man Who Knew Too Little" is available now on Blu-ray.
Want more awesome DVD picks? Check in with Queue it Up over at NextMovie!