"Moonrise Kingdom" (PG-13, 97 minutes, Universal) "Moonrise Kingdom" opens with the sound of raindrops falling on the roof of a cozy house. The house is immediately recognizable as yet another habitat created by Wes Anderson. That opening-scene house has a name, by the way: Summer's End, which turns out to aptly capture a vaguely autumnal tale of young love that takes place in September 1965. The 12-year-old girl who lives in the house, Suzy Bishop, has struck up a pen-pal friendship with Sam Shakusky, a bespectacled, raccoon-tail-capped kid who has just run away from Khaki Scout camp. Anderson confects a distinctive mix of arch humor and solemnity in which Sam and Suzy confront death, abandonment and burgeoning sexuality in very real terms, but in which a character can also be struck by lightning without suffering anything worse than a pair of sooty glasses. Anderson's style may not be to everyone's taste, but he's that rare filmmaker who seems interested in exploring film, not just as a vehicle for narrative, but as a material object in and of itself. Contains sexual content and smoking. Extras: "A Look Inside Moonrise Kingdom," "Welcome to the Island of New Penzance" behind-the-scenes guided tours featurette, set tour with Bill Murray.
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (PG, 93 minutes, DreamWorks/Paramount): The third outing in the popular series of animated adventures about Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo may be the best of the bunch. To escape from Monaco where our heroes have traveled from Africa searching for the airplane they hope will take them home an order is given to shake the Monte Carlo animal control officer, who is determined to stop them from leaving. The film may be the best use of 3-D animation we've seen since "Up." Structured around a prolonged yet picturesque chase that takes Alex and company from Monaco to France to Italy to England, it's a story that lends itself naturally to visual-enhancement technology. What's really surprising about "Madagascar 3" is just how moving it is, largely because of the emotionally engaging character animation. Contains some mild bathroom humor. Extras: Commentary, deleted scenes, cast bios, "Mad Music Mash-Up" and "Circus Acts" featurette. Also, on Blu-ray: "The Animators' Corner" and "Get Them to the Train" featurettes, and a trivia track.
"Chernobyl Diaries" (R, 90 minutes, Warner) Set in an abandoned Ukrainian town next to the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power plant, site of the catastrophic 1986 explosion, the horror film is moderately spooky, visually stylish and tinged with mystery. What or who is haunting Pripyat, the former home to thousands of Chernobyl workers who fled after the disaster? The setup is fresh. A group of young travelers piles into the dilapidated van of a shadowy former special-ops agent known only as Uri to explore Pripyat. Uri is one of the best things about the film. Unfortunately, after the van breaks down and the group is stranded as night falls, Uri is the first to go. One by one, the remaining six visitors start to get picked off. There are some decent frights to be had here, and the scenery nicely evokes a decrepit theme park. Contains violence, bloody images and pervasive crude language. Extras: Alternate ending, Chernobyl conspiracy viral video, "Uri's Extreme Tours" infomercial, deleted scene.
"That's My Boy" P (R, 114 minutes, Sony Home Entertainment) Adam Sandler plays Donny, a man trying to reconcile with his estranged son, Todd (Andy Samberg), whom he fathered with his middle school teacher as a 13-year-old. Sandler attempts to mine this disturbing event for comedy, but he also goes after some pretty low-hanging fruit: fat people, the elderly, immigrants, washed-up celebrities and others. Samberg, whose role is essentially as straight man, is inoffensive but forgettable as a bridegroom who is mortified when his boorish old man shows up on the eve of his wedding. Contains crude sexual content, nudity, pervasive language and some drug use. Extras: Gag reel, three featurettes, deleted scenes.
Also: "Neil Young Journeys," "TCM Greatest Classic Legends" (four separate discs, covering Lauren Bacall, Spencer Tracy, Cary Grant and James Stewart, all Warner), "The Christmas Pageant," "Christmas Miracle." Television Series: "Alcatraz: The Complete Series," "Cagney & Lacey: The Complete Series," "Columbo: The Complete Series," "The Complete Red Green Show: High (Quality) Quantity Collection" (Canada, 1991-2006, 50-disc collector's edition), "The Firm: The Complete Series," "Medical Center: The Complete Second Season" (1970-71) and "Power Rangers Samurai: Christmas Together, Friends Forever."