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Flurry of recent movies on Blu-ray, DVD this week
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Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith star in "My Old Lady," a comedy-drama now available on Blu-ray and DVD. - photo by Chris Hicks
Quite a few late 2014 movies have made their way to Blu-ray and DVD this week, including My Old Lady, John Wick, The Judge and Fury.

My Old Lady (Universal/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, PG-13, featurette). Kevin Kline stars in this dark comedy-drama as a down-and-out American who thinks hell find financial relief after inheriting a high-priced Paris apartment from his estranged father.

But the property has two tenants a feisty elderly Englishwoman (Maggie Smith) and her equally hard-nosed daughter (Kristin Scott Thomas) and thanks to an obscure French real-estate law he cant sell until the older tenant dies. Furthermore, he has to pay her an annuity. As he has no money, he moves in with them.

This marks the feature filmmaking debut of veteran playwright Israel Horovitz, but the drama is largely a tedious soap opera and some of the humor is surprisingly vulgar. Its the stars that pull it together, a shining example of talent rising above material.

John Wick (Summit/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital/On Demand, 2014, R for violence and language, audio commentary, featurettes). Keanu Reeves returns to action-hero mode as a retired New York assassin whose dormant skills are reawakened after thugs attack him and kill his dog. This kinetic revenge yarn does two very smart things: First, it moves like gangbusters, barely slowing down long enough for exposition to explore what little plot exists. Second, it gives Reeves very little dialogue.

The Judge (Warner/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, R for language, deleted scenes, featurettes, audio commentary). Robert Downey Jr. is a cocky, hotshot, wiseacre lawyer forced to return to his rural hometown after the death of his mother, only to find his estranged father, a respected judge (Robert Duvall), is being charged with murder. Naturally, he feels obligated to help out the old man, though neither likes the idea. Solid performances from two great stars, but the script is by the numbers.

Fury (Columbia/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital, 2014, R for violence and language, deleted/extended scenes, featurettes, photo gallery). World War II is winding down as Brad Pitt and his crew climb aboard their Sherman tank for one last deadly, perhaps suicidal mission. Very well plotted and acted but the relentless, gruesomely depicted violence and constant profanity make it a hard ride. Co-stars include Shia LaBeouf and Michael Pena.

SOS: Save Our Skins (BBC/DVD, 2014, not rated). Comic actors/writers Nat Saunders and Chris Hayward came up with this sci-fi/horror farce in which they play a pair of British geeks on vacation in New York City who awaken one morning to find that everyone else has vanished. They soon discover they arent alone, but unraveling the mystery isnt easy, and there are dangers lurking.

Bird People (Sundance Selects/DVD, 2014, not rated, in English and in French with English subtitles, trailer). Dull alleged exploration of two disparate personalities. A Silicon Valley engineer (Josh Charles) quits his job, leaves his wife and holes up in a hotel just outside Paris. Meanwhile, a maid at the hotel lies to her family about what shes doing, then turns into a bird. Sort of. Odd, very slow, pretentious mix of fantasy and existential meanderings.

Days and Nights (Sundance Selects/DVD, 2014, not rated, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, trailer). Katie Holmes, Allison Janney, William Hurt, Cherry Jones, Jean Reno and Russell Means are among the cast in this woeful ensemble update of Chekhovs The Seagull with a dysfunctional family gathering over Memorial Day weekend.

Open Windows (Cinedigm/Blu-ray/DVD, 2014, not rated, featurettes, trailer). Static thriller about a movie fan (Elijah Wood) who has won a dinner date with his favorite star (Sasha Grey) but is then contacted by a man claiming to be her manager and told its not going to happen. The manager then offers him an opportunity to watch her every move via computer and the manipulative games begin.

Big Driver (Lifetime/Lionsgate/DVD/Digital, 2014, not rated). Lifetime cable adaptation of the Stephen King short novel (part of his Full Dark, No Stars anthology) with Maria Bello as a famous writer heading home from a book signing in a remote New England area when she gets a flat tire and is then assaulted by a man who offers assistance. She later tracks him down and is surprised at the rage within herself.

The Remaining (Sony/Blu-ray/DVD/Digirtal, 2014, PG-13, deleted scene, featurette). Found-footage horror twist on Left Behind as those who are not among the raptured find themselves in an apocalyptic world with winged demons wreaking havoc.

Born of War (Lionsgate/DVD/Digital, 2015, R for violence and language, featurette, trailers). An Oxford college students family is massacred and she discovers her real father is an Afghan warlord who wants her back. She works with British Intelligence to go after him but her real intent is to take him down face-to-face.

Bombshell Bloodbath (Monarch/DVD, 2015, not rated). Some titles are just self-explanatory. This horror yarn has a mad scientist developing a formula to revive his dead wife but along the way hes creating zombies, and theyre hungry. Then his daughter inadvertently succumbs to the virus.

Mas Negro Que La Noche (Blacker Than Night) (Pantelion/DVD, 2014; R for violence, language, sex, drugs; in Spanish with English subtitles). Spanish-language horror about four young women in a creaky old mansion where they are charged with taking care of a black cat but instead unintentionally awaken demons.