La Grand Illusion Blu-ray — Jean Renoir's World War I-set 1937 think piece tells a grim tale of French POWs who are trapped inside an all-but-inescapable fortress. The saga inspired dozens, if not hundreds of imitators, including just about every prison-escape movie ever made, as well as Casablanca and anti-war films such as Platoon and Full Metal Jacket. The visuals look revitalized in HD, far surpassing the muddy looks of previous DVD releases. Extras include a look at the restoration process, vintage trailers and commentary and interviews with film historians.
Hatfields & McCoys — Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton exert a Deadwood-like grit in this three-part, four-hour-plus History Channel miniseries, which places personal faces on the legendary Deep South family feud that erupted after the Civil War. Country-fried dialogue, rapid pacing and passionate performances keep the saga enthralling throughout. A story that might have felt forced and rushed in a feature film format has ample time to breathe and develop with more time to work with. A making-of featurette and a music video make up the extras.
LOL — Demi Moore and Miley Cyrus get together for a mommy-daughter drama-fest that tries way too hard to be hip. Cyrus plays a self-obsessed, instant messaging-addicted hookup artist. She causes headaches for her mom, who juggles a pair of sneaky beaus as she tries to set a good example. Silly when it tries to be serious and eye-rolling when it tries to be funny, the movie is a dud that's halfway worth watching to enjoy ironically. Filmmaker commentary and a trio of featurettes round out the disc.
Total Recall Blu-ray — Paul Verhoeven's 1990 virtual reality-based mind-bender, the remake of which is coming out Friday, romps with remarkable kitsch value. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a construction worker who has a tech firm implant an artificial memory in his head, which causes him to find out he may or may not be an amnesiac secret agent. Sharon Stone vamps it up as his not-to-be-trusted wife. A new interview with Verhoeven accompanies a classic Verhoeven-Schwarzenegger commentary track, a look at the movie's digital restoration and a featurette on the special effects.
Transformers Prime: One Shall Stand — A sort of highlight reel that spans the first two seasons of the animated show that airs on The Hub, the disc rounds up the seven-part story of the Autobots and Decepticons team-up to battle their giant common enemy, Unicron. The ultra-serious interpretation of such corny material is fascinating to watch, and is far more entertaining than any of the Michael Bay movies. Making-of featurettes buttress the episodes.
The Weight of the Nation — HBO's four-part documentary miniseries tackles our nation's rampant obesity from just about every conceivable angle, including its roots in poverty, culture and science. The material is a little dry at times, but the series is relentlessly informative and is great at making you sound smart in watercooler conversations. The set includes a 20-page booklet that summarizes points made in the series.