A weekly round-up of the latest DVD releases.

By Damon Smith

New to rent on DVD/Blu-ray

DVD of the week

The Iceman (Cert 15, 106 mins, Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK Ltd, Drama/Thriller/Romance, also available to buy DVD £17.99/Blu-ray £21.99)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Ray Liotta, Winona Ryder, Stephen Dorff, James Franco, Chris Evans, David Schwimmer.

Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) is an underling for sadistic mob boss Roy DeMeo (Ray Liotta), doling out beatings to anyone who poses a threat to the sprawling criminal network. Richard shows an aptitude for mindless violence, slaughtering his victims without mercy, and he becomes an invaluable cog in the underworld machine as a hit man par excellence, allegedly racking up a triple-digit body count over two decades. Away from the bloodshed, Richard romances and eventually weds Deborah Pellicotti (Winona Ryder), who is clueless about her husband's illegal activities. When Richard aligns himself with another sadistic killer nicknamed Mr Freezy (Chris Evans), he jeopardises his relationship with DeMeo and the bullets and accusations fly. Loosely inspired by the life of New Jersey assassin Kuklinski, The Iceman is a taut thriller about the rise of an unsmiling, cold-blooded gun man through the ranks of the criminal fraternity, interspersed with fleeting appearances from David Schwimmer and James Franco and a slightly meatier role for Stephen Dorff as Richard's jailbird brother. Shannon's smouldering performance threatens to ignite Ariel Vromen's film, his eyes burning with rage as a victim of paternal abuse, who had almost every drop of goodness beaten out of him in childhood. The bones of Vromen's script, co-written by Morgan Land, are disappointingly light on emotional meat, so it's hard to muster empathy for the lead character as he lays waste to countless lives with the pull of a trigger and an unflinching stare.

Rating: ***


The Last Exorcism - Part II (Cert 18, 88 mins, Studio Canal, Horror/Thriller/Romance, also available to buy DVD £17.99/Blu-ray £22.99)

Starring: Ashley Bell, Julia Garner, Spencer Treat Clark, Muse Watson, Louis Herthum, Tarra Riggs.

Nell Sweetzer (Ashley Bell), the sole survivor of a bungled exorcism, is discovered in a catatonic state. Doctors place her with Frank Merle (Muse Watson), who runs a refuge for disturbed and emotionally damaged girls in New Orleans. Over time, Nell bonds with her spunky roommate, Gwen (Julia Garner), and secures employment as a hotel chambermaid, working alongside shy guy Chris (Spencer Treat Clark), who holds a torch for her. As Nell begins to let her guard down, she suffers disturbing visions and learns that she is being watched by a secret society known as Order Of The Right Hand, which promises to cleanse the evil that still courses through her veins. As the young woman's mental state deteriorates, Frank attempts to convince Nell that her nightmares are not real. "In a week, we'll probably all be dead," she snaps, sounding the death knell for the nameless supporting cast. Set directly after the climactic bloodbath of the original 2010 film, The Last Exorcism - Part II is a lumbering sequel, which conjures all of the spooky madness you expect and nothing more, barely tapping into the rich ghoulish history of New Orleans. Bell adopts a rictus of fear for majority of the film, with occasional flickers of a smile during the tepid romantic subplot with Clark. Supporting cast clings forlornly to the lifeless lines of dialogue and edge-of-seat scares are in depressingly short supply. Our lack of emotional connection with any of characters precludes any suspense. When these people die, as most of them surely must, their screams of terror fall on deaf ears.

Rating: **

Also released

Blood Of Redemption (Cert 15, 83 mins, Anchor Bay Entertainment, Action/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £12.99/Blu-ray £15.99 - see below)

Citadel (Cert 15, 85 mins, Metrodome Distribution, Horror/Thriller, also available to buy DVD £15.99 - see below)

The Kings Of Summer (Cert 15, 95 mins, Studio Canal, Drama, also available to buy DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £22.99 - see below)

Paris-Manhattan (Cert 12, 78 mins, Cinefile, Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £17.99 - see below)

The Rise (Cert 15, 106 mins, Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment, Drama, also available to buy DVD £12.99/Blu-ray £15.99 - see below)

Struck By Lightning (Cert 12, 83 mins, High Fliers Video Distribution, Comedy/Romance, also available to buy DVD £12.99 - see below)

New to buy on DVD/Blu-ray

The Walking Dead - The Complete Third Season (Cert 18, 720 mins, Entertainment One, DVD £39.99/The Complete First, Second & Third Seasons DVD Box Set £69.99/Blu-ray £44.99/The Complete First, Second & Third Seasons Blu-ray Box Set £79.99)

Sheriff's deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and young son Carl (Chandler Riggs) face more agonising life-or-death decisions in 16 episodes of the award-winning drama based on the graphic novels by Robert Kirkman. This series, civil rights attorney Andrea (Laurie Holden) is separated from the group and meets the Governor (David Morrissey), who presides over a settlement of survivors of the zombie epidemic. Nearby, Rick and the gang make a stand at a prison, believing they have sufficient supplies to lie low as the undead maraud the earth, but there are traitors in their midst, even more deadly than the flesh-eating predators. An 11-disc set comprising all three series is also available.

Monster High: 13 Wishes (Cert U, 74 mins, Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd, DVD £10.99/DVD Double Pack £14.99/Blu-ray £17.99, Animation/Children/Comedy)

Frankie, Clawdeen and Draculaura embark on more fang-tastic adventures in a feature-length animation set at the titular school for ghouls. Clawdeen's sister Howleen Wolf is granted not three but 13 wishes by the genie of a lamp, but she swiftly discovers than every heart's desire comes at a price and the other students at Monster High often have to suffer the consequences. A two-disc set comprising Ghouls Rule and 13 Wishes is also available.

Bones - The Complete Eighth Season (Cert 15, 1034 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, DVD £39.99//The Complete Seasons 1-8 DVD Box Set £199.99/Blu-ray £49.99, Thriller/Drama/Romance)

Six-disc box set comprising another 24 episodes of the popular crime drama based on the best-selling books by Kathy Reichs. This series opens with forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) on the run from police after she's framed for murder by hacker Christopher Pelant (Andrew Leeds). Thankfully, Brennan is cleared of the charges and returns to work alongside FBI agent Seeley Booth (David Boreanaz), but their relationship feels the strain when a diabolical face from the past targets him for elimination. A 45-disc box set, comprising all eight series, is also available.

Hawaii Five-O - The Third Season (Cert 15, 954 mins, Paramount Home Entertainment, DVD £34.99, Thriller/Action)

Former Navy SEAL Steve McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) and plucky sidekick Detective Danny Williams (Scott Caan) continue to solve more crimes in this contemporary re-imagining of the police drama set on the beautiful Hawaiian islands. This series, McGarrett has to deal with the return of his mother Doris (Christine Lahti), who was presumed dead, Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) avenges the death of his wife and fellow cop Kono Kalakaua (Grace Park) is implicated in a murder with Yakuza hallmarks. The seven-disc box set includes all 24 episodes.

Paradise Trilogy: Love/Faith/Hope (Cert 18, 410 mins, Soda Pictures, DVD £24.99, Drama/Romance)

A three-disc set comprising Ulrich Seidl's triptych about the search for contentment in the modern era. Paradise: Love centres on 50-year-old housewife and mother, Teresa (Margarete Tiesel), who embarks on a well deserved beach holiday to a busy resort in Kenya. There she joins gal pal Inge (Inge Maux), who is well versed in the unspoken rules of female tourists enjoying sex with local men. Faith focuses on Teresa's religiously devout sister, Anna Maria, whose main goal in life is to do missionary work in the immigrant neighbourhoods of Vienna, where she hopes to reignite the Catholic faith in the morally flawed masses. Finally in Faith, Teresa's overweight 13-year-old daughter, Melanie (Melanie Lenz), heads to fat camp for the summer to shed a few pounds. From the moment the truculent teenager arrives, it's evident that she has no interest in getting fit until she develops a crush on the camp's forty-something doctor (Joseph Lorenz), who struggles to maintain professional distance from his clearly smitten ward.

The Kings Of Summer (Cert 15, 95 mins, Studio Canal, DVD £19.99/Blu-ray £22.99, Drama/Comedy)

Shot on location in Ohio, The Kings Of Summer is an acutely observed rites of passage comedy drama directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Frank Toy (Nick Offerman) is a single father struggling to connect with his teenage son, Joe (Nick Robinson). The lad's hormones are raging and he's hungry for independence, free from the dictates of an interfering old man. So Joe, best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and a misfit called Biaggio (Moises Arias) head to a clearing in the woods where they intend to build a house free from controlling parents. As the makeshift residence takes shape, Joe, Patrick and Biaggio are excited about the prospect of becoming masters of their own destiny in their little piece of paradise.

Revolution - The Complete First Season (Cert 15, 860 mins, Warner Home Video, DVD £29.99/Blu-ray £39.99, Sci-Fi/Drama/Romance)

JJ Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) executive produces this post-apocalyptic sci-fi drama set in a world without electricity. Former US Marine Corps sergeant Miles Matheson (Billy Burke) once served with pride alongside Sebastian Monroe (David Lyons) but their paths diverged wildly after the blackout. While Monroe used his military training to seize power and co-found the Monroe Republic, even holding Miles's sister-in-law Rachel (Elizabeth Mitchell) hostage since she knew about the existence of pendants with the power to bring devices back to life. Meanwhile, Miles pursued an honest life with his niece Charlotte (Tracy Spiradakos), helping to rebuild fractured society and leading the rebellion against the Republic. As the battle between the two camps intensifies, shocking sacrifices are made by the few to secure a brighter future for the many. The five-disc set includes all 20 episodes.

Struck By Lightning (Cert 12, 83 mins, High Fliers Video Distribution, DVD £12.99, Comedy/Romance)

Chris Colfer, best known for his Golden Globe-winning role as Kurt in the TV series Glee, writes and stars in this sassy teen comedy co-starring Rebel Wilson, Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks and Dermot Mulroney. Carson Phillip (Colfer) is stuck by lightning and reflects on his quest to gain admission to college. He thinks back to his attempts to blackmail classmates into participating in a literary magazine, that he feels sure will gain acceptance to Northwestern University. What begins as a selfish enterprise for Carson has a profound impact on the people around him.

Blood Of Redemption (Cert 15, 83 mins, Anchor Bay Entertainment, DVD £12.99/Blu-ray £15.99, Action/Thriller)

Billy Zane, Vinnie Jones and Dolph Lundgren trade blows and one-liners in Giorgio Serafini and Shawn Sourgose's action thriller. Quinn Forte (Zane) was a key player in the Los Angeles criminal underworld until allies betrayed him, leading to incarceration and the murder of his father. Many years later, Quinn is released from prison and the only person he can turn to for help is his estranged brother, Kurt (Gianni Capaldi). The sibling is determined to bring down Quinn's former organisation, known as The Company, which is now under the control of ruthless one-time underling, Campbell (Jones). Quinn yearns to rebuild bridges with Kurt and he agrees to bring down The Company, putting the jailbird on a collision course with Campbell and his cohorts.

Citadel (Cert 15, 85 mins, Metrodome Distribution, DVD £15.99, Horror/Thriller)

Ciaran Foy directs this psychological horror about a young father tormented by the ghosts of a tragic past. Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) is left to raise his baby son alone after his beloved wife Joanne (Amy Shiels) is killed by a gang of hooded thugs. Consumed by grief, Tommy retreats into his flat on a rundown Glasgow housing estate, struck down with agoraphobia and a nagging feeling that the murderous youths intend to harm his baby. So Tommy turns to a local Catholic priest (James Cosmo) for spiritual guidance and the holy man's soothing words suggest that Tommy's pursuers might not be of this world.

Chickens (Cert 15, 144 mins, 2entertain, DVD £19.99, Comedy)

Joe Thomas, Simon Bird and Jonny Sweet star in this six-part Channel 4 sitcom about three twenty-somethings, who become social outcasts when they fail to join the other brave men fighting in the First World War. Shunning by the sleepy community of Rittle-On-Sea, conscientious objector George (Thomas) and pals Cecil (Bird) and Bert (Sweet) attempt to win over their disapproving friends and neighbours, especially the ladyfolk, who are rather thin on options when it comes to men to escort them home.

Outpost 11 (Cert 18, 92 mins, 101 Films, DVD/Blu-ray £15.99, Horror/Sci-Fi/Thriller)

Three soldiers face a nightmare scenario in writer-director Anthony Woodley's snowbound thriller. Albert (Joshua Mayes-Cooper), Graham (Billy Clarke) and Mason (Luke Healy) are posted to a remote listening station in the Arctic Circle, where the men must contend with the elements as well as the claustrophobia. One day, a warning light goes off and tension within the listening station cranks up a notch. Albert, Graham and Mason are unprepared for the terrifying enemy that awaits them in the icy wilderness or the tough choices they will have to make to survive.

How I Met Your Mother - The Complete Eighth Season (Cert 12, 489 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, DVD £24.99/Complete Seasons 1 To 8 DVD Box Set £149.99, Comedy/Romance)

Three-disc box set including 24 episodes of the award-winning comedy, in which Ted (Josh Radnor) recalls finding the love of his life. This series, the relationship between Marshall (Jason Segel) and Lily (Alyson Hannigan) becomes strained thanks to baby Marvin, and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) makes a shocking discovery about the identity of Ted's new girlfriend that gives an uncomfortable new meaning to 'keeping it in the family'. A 24-disc box set, comprising all 182 episodes from the eight series, is also available.

Paris-Manhattan (Cert 12, 78 mins, Cinefile, DVD £17.99, Comedy/Romance)

From an early age, Alice Ovitz (Alice Taglioni) fell in love with the romantic comedies of Woody Allen and she often addresses matters of the heart to a poster of the New York-born filmmaker that hangs over her bed. Like one of his cinematic heroines, her attempts to fall in love are disastrous and she is emotionally scarred by the loss of the jazz-playing boy of her dreams, Pierre (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing), to her sister Helene (Marine Delterme). Ten years pass without anyone touching Alice's heart and she ploughs all of her energy into working at her father's pharmacy. Then out of the blue she meets two suitors - Vincent (Yannick Soulier) and Victor (Patrick Bruel) - who seem perfect, though in very different ways. Poor Alice faces a quandary and thankfully for her, when the time comes to make her decision, the real Woody Allen might just be in Paris to dole out words of wisdom to ensure she picks the right man in writer-director Sophie Lellouche's witty romance.

The Rise (Cert 15, 106 mins, Momentum Pictures Home Entertainment, DVD £12.99/Blu-ray £15.99, Drama)

Harvey (Luke Treadaway) is falsely imprisoned thanks to the scheming of drug kingpin Roper (Neil Maskell), losing both his liberty and the trust of his girlfriend Nicola (Vanessa Kirby). When Harvey eventually regains his freedom, he swears revenge against Roper and enlists the assistance of trusted friends Charlie (Gerard Kearns), Dempsey (Iwan Rheon) and Dodd (Matthew Lewis) to decimate the kingpin's business empire and strip him of his dignity and assets. Harvey also faces an uphill battle to win back Nicola.

Convoy (Cert 12, 98 mins, Studio Canal, DVD £15.99/Blu-ray £19.99, Drama/Action)

A welcome re-release of Sam Peckinpah's cult 1978 road movie about a long-distance trucker called Rubber Duck (Kris Kristofferson), who is trying to keep corrupt sheriff Lyle Wallace (Ernest Borgnine) in his rear view mirror. To evade the cops, Rubber Duck gets on his CB radio and asks for assistance from his fellow truckers, who have also fallen foul of Wallace. The assembled vehicles form a massive convoy that leaves smashed up police cars and devastation in its wake.

DVD retail top 10

1 (3) Fast & Furious 6

2 (1) Iron Man 3

3 (-) Homeland - Season 2

4 (2) Star Trek Into Darkness

5 (5) The Big Bang Theory - Season 6

6 (8) Downton Abbey: A Journey To The Highlands (Christmas Special 2012)

7 (6) Jillian Michaels: 30 Day Shred

8 (7) Breaking Bad - Season 1-4

9 (-) The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

10 (10) Downton Abbey - Series 3

Chart supplied by Amazon.co.uk

DVD rental top 10

1 (1) Star Trek: Into Darkness

2 (2) Mud

3 (3) Olympus Has Fallen

4 (4) Cloud Atlas

5 (5) Iron Man 3

6 (6) Lincoln

7 (8) Zero Dark Thirty

8 (9) Side Effects

9 (10) Life Of Pi

10 (-) A Good Day To Die Hard

Chart supplied by www.LOVEFiLM.com

Film streaming top 10

1 (3) Friends with Benefits

2 (1) The Princes And The Frog

3 (2) The Sweeney

4 (4) The Smurfs

5 (5) X-Men - First Class

6 (-) Arthur

7 (8) Barbie - Princess Charm School

8 (9) Rio

9 (7) Alice in Wonderland

10 (6) Bridesmaids

Chart supplied by www.LOVEFiLM.com