New DVDs this week

Published: Friday, May. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 15TICKET

"Cloud Atlas" (R, 172 minutes, Warner): At its simplest, "Cloud Atlas" tells the interlocking stories of several characters over a 500-year span. How these disparate players intersect becomes the labyrinthine game, in which each story line gets its own distinctive look and tone. Those visual cues work well in helping viewers make sense of the dizzying time-trips "Cloud Atlas" takes them on; more controversial is having the same actors, including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and newcomer Doona Bae, portray characters in every subplot. One of the small miracles is that every actor manages to create a palpable, even memorable, character within a structure that threatens to blow apart from its own concentric force. Contains violence, profanity, sexuality, nudity and some drug use. Extras: "A Film Like No Other" on how directors Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski worked together.

"Texas Chainsaw" (R, 92 minutes, Lionsgate): This 3-D sequel picks up where other recent massacres have left off, manufacturing a reason for Heather to drag three of her 20-something friends to Newt, Texas. She's a surviving member of the slaying Sawyer clan, the inbreds who gave birth to and protected the hulking Leatherface. There are plenty of 3-D shove-the-saw-at-the-camera moments in director John Luessenhop's movie manual. But he mangles even the basics of making these many murders seem frightening. Strong grisly violence and language throughout. Extras: "Chainsaw alumni" audio commentary with stars Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns and John Dugan; a legacy featurette that looks back at the 40-year history of the series with Hooper; "Resurrecting the Saw" featurette; "The Old Homestead" featurette; "Leatherface 2013" interview with actor Dan Yeager on his interpretation of the role; and a 3-D creation featurette; special effects and make-up featurette.

Also: "Beware of Mr. Baker," "Leonie," "Back to 1942" (China), "Face 2 Face," "Frankie Go Boom," "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III," "The Bletchley Circle" (PBS), "Jubal" (1956, The Criterion Collection), "Liz & Dick" (made-for-TV biopic), "Escape" (Norway), "3:10 to Yuma" (1957, The Criterion Collection), "Crimewave" (1985, Shout! Factory) and "The Visitor" (Germany).

Television series:"Dexter: The Seventh Season" "Fraggle Rock: 30th Anniversary Collection" (1983-87, all four seasons of the Jim Henson series), "Fraggle Rock: Meet The Fraggles" (the pilot and five episodes); "3rd Rock From the Sun – The Complete Series," "Roseanne: The Complete Series," "Dance Academy" (2010/ 2011, Australian series on Teen Nick), "My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic – Season Two," "Power Rangers Samurai: The Sixth Ranger – Volume 4," "Taz-Mania: Taz on the Loose Season 1 Part 1," "Team Umizoomi: Animal Heroes" (Nickelodeon) and "Wordgirl vs. the Energy Monster" (animated series from Scholastic Media, PBS).

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