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50 to 1 and Paddington lead new movies on DVD, Blu-ray this week
Skeet Ulrich stars in "50 to 1," now on DVD. - photo by Chris Hicks
Two family-friendly movies one a true story about an unlikely horse entering the Kentucky Derby and the other adapted from the popular Paddington childrens books are on DVD and Blu-ray this week.

50 to 1 (Sony/DVD, 2014, PG-13, featurette, bloopers). Theres something about underdog sports pictures that just naturally gets the adrenalin pumping. Sure, you know how its going to turn out; in films like this, its a given. But getting there is half the fun, and the other half is the predictable but nonetheless exciting climactic showdown.

This one, a true story of course, stars Skeet Ulrich as down-and-out horse trainer Chip Woolley, who goes to work for wealthy pal Mark Allen (Christian Kane) at a New Mexico ranch. When hes sent to Canada to scout a horse named Mine That Bird, Chip bonds with the animal, brings him back but cant seem to win a race. As a result, Marks not-so-silent partner (William Devane) wants to let Chip go.

However, thanks to his success in Canada, Mine That Bird lands a spot in the Kentucky Derby, so Chip gets one last chance to prove himself. Well let you write the rest, but unlike, say, Seabiscuit or Secretariat, 50 to 1 leans on character situations that are more cowboy in nature and include some broad comedy. How true they are is anyones guess, but theyre certainly entertaining. Especially when Mine That Birds jockey Calvin Borel turns up, playing himself and stealing the show.

Paddington (Anchor Bay/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, PG, featurettes, music video). Raucous but sweet and often funny adaptation of the popular childrens books by Michael Bond about a young anthropomorphic Peruvian bear that moves in with a London family and becomes a fish out of water. Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey) is the requisite stodgy father, Sally Hawkins the more accepting mum, and Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman (in vampy villain mode) also show up. Ben Whishaw voices the computer-animated title character.

The Boy Next Door (Universal/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2015; R for violence, sex, nudity, language; deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurette). Jennifer Lopez stars in this gender-reverse variation on Fatal Attraction as a lonely single mother who teaches high school. After an ill-advised one-night stand with the teen next door (Ryan Guzman) who is 19, the film takes pains to point out, so as to avoid those unsavory statutory-rape implications the lad develops an obsession that becomes more and more violent, eventually heading into gory slasher-film territory. Kristin Chenoweth and John Corbett co-star.

Inherent Vice (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2015; R for drugs, sex, nudity, language, violence; featurettes). Joaquin Phoenix stars as a drug-addled L.A. private eye, circa 1970, who investigates three overlapping cases in this raunchy hallucinogenic comedy-drama by Paul Thomas Anderson (adapted from Thomas Pynchons novel). All-star support from Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone and Katherine Waterston.

The Gambler (Paramount/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/on Demand, 2014; R for language, sex, nudity; deleted/extended scenes, featurettes). Mark Wahlberg stars in this downbeat drama as a college professor with a gambling addiction that gets him in deep with loan sharks. So he borrows money from his mother (Jessica Lange) to pay off his debts, but, you guessed it, he gambles it all away. Mediocre remake of a mediocre 1974 film that starred James Caan.

The Wedding Ringer (Sony/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2015; R for sex, language, drugs, nudity; deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes, bloopers, music video). Is it just me or are all these loud, raunchy comedies beginning to look alike? Kevin Hart stars in this one as the title character, a professional best man who helps about-to-be-married men with no friends seem less socially inept. Josh Gad is the dork in question and Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting is the bride-to-be. Co-stars include Cloris Leachman and Mimi Rogers.

The Turn of the Screw (BBC/DVD, 2009, not rated, trailers). This British TV-movie adaptation of Henry James ghost story is highlighted by the presence of Michelle Dockery and Dan Stevens as patient and doctor (who would be reunited to play husband and wife in Downton Abbey a year later). But this version changes several aspects of James yarn for no definable reason, and literalizes the sex and violence, which undermines rather than adds to its potential. For a better version, see the 1961 film The Innocents, starring Deborah Kerr.

The Admiral: Roaring Currents (CJ/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, not rated, in Korean with English subtitles, featurettes, trailer). Set during the Battle of Myeong-Nyang in 1597, this naval thriller is South Koreas biggest box-office hit. The story tells of Admiral Yi Sun-shins remarkable victory when, at war with the Japanese, he finds himself with only 12 battleships as he faces off against the enemys 330 vessels. (Quite violent with some foul language.)

Jonah Lives (WildEye/DVD, 2015, not rated, featurettes, trailers). Group of teens uses a Ouija board to contact the title character, who reveals his history and then comes after them on his way to exacting revenge on the woman that, until now, got away with his murder. (The expected violence, language.)

Bedlam (Lionsgate/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2015; R for violence, language, sex, nudity). A young schizophrenic man accepts his doctors suggestion that he commit himself to Bedlam hospital. Bad idea. Brutal Australian film purports to be true, though some of the things depicted may just be in the main characters mind.
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