New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows' and More

[caption id="attachment_99230" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Warner Bros."]Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows[/caption]

This week: After the blockbuster success of the first film, it was elementary that Robert Downey Jr. would return as the world's greatest sleuth and master of disguise in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," costarring Jude Law, Noomi Rapace and Jared Evans.

Also new this week is Nicolas Cage's return as Johnny Blaze in "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," Thandie Newton in "Tyler Perry's Good Deeds," the harrowing World War II foreign drama "In Darkness," and the Blu-ray debut of "Meatballs" with Bill Murray.

'Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows'

[caption id="attachment_132026" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Warner Home Video"]Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows[/caption]

Box Office: $187 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 61% Fresh

Storyline: Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.) meets his intellectual match in Professor Moriarty (Jared Evans), the evil mastermind behind a plot to start a World War for his own benefit. In an attempt to outmaneuver his formidable foe, Holmes steals Dr. Watson (Jude Law) away from his honeymoon, also enlisting the help of a gypsy fortune teller (Noomi Rapace).

Extras! The interactive picture-in-picture Maximum Movie Mode on the Blu-ray is hosted by Downey Jr., who walks you through the film's focus points.

We Say: Downey Jr. and Evans bring the brains as perfectly matched adversaries, while director Guy Ritchie's highly stylized action sequences will engage viewers still game for seeing the famous detective updated as an action hero.

'Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'

[caption id="attachment_132027" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Sony"]Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance[/caption]

Box Office: $52 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Rotten

Storyline: Nicolas Cage reprises his role as Johnny Blaze, who, struggling with his curse of being the devil's bounty hunter, has the opportunity to save a young boy and thereby free himself from the Rider forever.

Extras! Exclusive to the Blu-ray is a 90-minute "making of" feature, broken into six parts, that covers all aspects of the production.

We Say: Although described as a reboot, this semi-sequel is grittier and darker in tone than the first "Ghost Rider." It features another wonderfully loony performance by Cage, such as when he resists changing into the Rider in much the same way Dr. Banner resisted transforming into the Hulk. The herky-jerky camerawork by the guys who directed "Crank" can be jarring, but the flaming finale sizzles -- especially on the Blu-ray 3-D edition.

'Tyler Perry's Good Deeds'

[caption id="attachment_132028" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Lionsgate"]Tyler Perry's Good Deeds DVD[/caption]

Box Office: $35 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 32% Rotten

Storyline: Tyler Perry plays a corporate boss who has always done what is expected of him, including proposing to his restless girlfriend (Gabrielle Union) and tolerating his brother's unprofessional antics in the office. It is there that Perry has a chance encounter with a down-on-her-luck single mother (Thandie Newton), working as a cleaning woman, who sparks something life-changing in him.

Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain two featurettes that explore the central themes of the film, including how important it is to understand those in different social circles.

We Say: There are good intentions at the heart of "Good Deeds," but the tidy way this woman-in-trouble rescue fantasy plays out is just too implausible, even for fans of this kind of Lifetime-caliber melodrama.

'In Darkness'

[caption id="attachment_132029" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Sony"]In Darkness DVD[/caption]

Box Office: $1 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 90% Fresh

Storyline: Based on a true events, this Oscar-nominated Polish drama tells the story of Leopold Socha, a sewer worker in Nazi-occupied Lwów who used his knowledge of the city's sewer system to hide Jews during the Holocaust.

Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a meaningful meeting between director Agnieszka Holland and Holocaust survivor Krystyna Chiger.

We Say: Equal parts horrifying and moving, this arduous art-house drama is a testament to man's drive to survive even in the most hopeless situations.

'Meatballs' Blu-ray

[caption id="attachment_132030" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Lionsgate"]Meatballs Blu-ray[/caption]

Box Office: $43 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 71% Fresh

Storyline: Bill Murray made his feature-film debut as Tripper, the wisecracking, rule-breaking head counselor of the cut-rate Camp North Star, in this 1979 Ivan Reitman-directed comedy classic. It's Murray's show as Tripper plays pranks, flirts shamelessly with female counselors and schemes against the wealthy brats of Camp Mohawk.

Extras! This Blu-ray debut features all-new commentary by Reitman and co-writer/producer Dan Goldberg.

We Say: Although the franchise name has been tarnished by three sequels that had nothing to do with Reitman or Murray, this original PG-rated romp still offers fun in the sun that looks more vibrant than ever in high definition.

Also New This Week:

"Too Big to Fail"

"A Little Bit of Heaven"

"Harold and Maude" Blu-ray

"Thin Ice"

"Don't Go in the Woods"


VMAs 2018