'Made in America' leads week's video releases

A scene from the documentary "Made in America," about the world-class music festival in Philadelphia in 2012. Directed by Ron Howard.
A scene from the documentary "Made in America," about the world-class music festival in Philadelphia in 2012. Directed by Ron Howard. (RadicalMedia)
Posted: July 26, 2014

It's sometimes best not to put too much stock in what stars say. Especially when they make grand pronouncements, as did hip-hop megastar Jay Z when he promised to make Philadelphia the envy of American cities by creating a world-class music festival.

Jay Z followed through on his promise and delivered the impossible in 2012: He corralled a disparate group of artists to perform outdoors on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway on the last weekend of the summer.

More than 30 acts played, including Nine Inch Nails, Public Enemy, Kings of Leon, Jay Rock, 2 Chainz, and Pharrell Williams.

The work Jay Z, his wife Beyoncé, and their friends put in to create the festival is captured in the new documentary Made in America, directed by Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard ( The Da Vinci Code, Rush). The film features extensive backstage interviews and performances by the main stars.

And don't forget: The third Made in America Festival takes place Aug. 30 and 31. That weekend, the city of Los Angeles will also inaugurate its own Made in America concert, modeled on ours.

( www.phase4films.com; Same price $19.99, for DVD or Blu-ray; not rated)

Other titles of note

The Single Moms Club. Tyler Perry's latest comedy, which stars Amy Smart, Nia Long, Zulay Henao, Cocoa Brown, and Wendi McLendon-Covey, is about the terrifying united front that a sisterhood of busy, harassed, harried, lonely single moms can form when they join together to create a support group. ( www.lionsgateshop.com; $29.95 DVD; $39.99 Blu-ray; rated PG-13)

Rio 2. Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, Jemaine Clement, Bruno Mars, and Kristin Chenoweth lend their voices to director Carlos Saldanha's follow-up to his animated family megahit set in the rain forest. ( https://www.foxconnect.com/; $29.95 DVD; $39.95 Blu-ray; rated G)

Scanners. Before he became a leading art-house director, David Cronenberg made some of the most intelligent (and creepy) horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, including Shivers, Rabid, and Videodrome. His first international hit, Scanners (1981), is now available in a gorgeously restored DVD/Blu-ray combo edition from the Criterion Collection. Infamous upon its release for its exploding-head scene, the sci-fi yarn is about a group of people who have developed powerful telepathic and telekinetic powers and tells of how they are recruited by a corporation for corporate espionage purposes. ( www.criterion.com; $39.95 DVD/Blu-ray combo; rated R)

Bicycling With Molière. A delightful, literate, sexy comedy about the theater, Philippe Le Guay's film, due Aug. 5 from Strand Releasing, stars Lambert Wilson and real-life Molière expert Fabrice Luchini, who bicker about everything - except their love of French dramatist Molière's The Misanthrope, a play they discuss while biking on the beach on a tiny island off the coast of France. The director also throws a porn actress and a beautiful Italian divorcee into the mix. ( www.strandreleasing.com; $27.99; not rated)

Arch of Triumph. Set a year before World War II breaks out, this little-seen noir thriller from 1948 is an adaptation of the novel by Erich Maria Remarque ( All Quiet on the Western Front). Charles Boyer stars as a German refugee practicing medicine illegally in Paris and dreaming of killing the Nazi officer (Charles Laughton) who tortured him. Ingrid Bergman is as radiant as ever as a woman grieving the death of her lover whose yen for life returns after she meets the mysterious doctor. ( www.olivefilms.com; $24.95 DVD; $29.95 Blu-ray; not rated)

Hell on Wheels: The Complete Third Season. Something horrific happened at the end of the second season of AMC's post-Civil War historical epic about the creation of the American railroads: Just weeks after our beloved antihero Cullen Bohannon (Anson Mount) and the fair-haired heroine Lily Bell (Dominique McElligott) finally declared their love for each other, they are separated forever when Cullen's arch-nemesis The Swede (Christopher Heyerdahl) murders her. The nasty villain then plunges to his death from a bridge. Or does he survive his swan dive? Will he return in the third season? Pick up this set and find out. Be sure to watch before Aug. 2, when the fourth season premieres. ( http://entertainmentone.com; $39.98 DVD; $49.98 Blu-ray; not rated)


Most titles also available for digital download from major retailers.

tirdad@phillynews.com

215-854-2736

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