Coming out March 25:
“The Wolf of Wall Street” (R, 179 minutes, Paramount): Martin Scorsese’s big, bravura, maddeningly uneven indictment of the extreme financial depredations that characterized the 1990s earned five Oscar nominations, if no awards. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a real-life swindler and penny-stock con man who made more than $100 million off of unwitting investors. As “The Wolf of Wall Street” makes clear from its first aggressive, whipsawing moments, Belfort is the ultimate empty vessel, a man who can never get enough of anything, whether it’s sex or drugs or validation from the audience he addresses by way of near-constant narration, occasionally breaking the fourth wall for a contemptuous tutorial in Darwinian finance. Belfort is such a thoroughly loathsome character that it makes “The Wolf of Wall Street” difficult to process as art, much less entertainment. Contains sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and profanity throughout, and some violence. Blu-ray-only extra is a making-of featurette with DiCaprio, Scorsese, Jonah Hill taking viewers behind the scenes and discussing the real-life Belfort.
“Delivery Man” (PG-13, 104 minutes, DreamWorks/Disney): In 2011, Montreal filmmaker Ken Scott released “Starbuck,” a charming little feel-good film based on the true story of a sperm donor who wakes up to discover he has fathered 533 adorable kids. Barely a year later, he was tapped to remake the movie with a box-office-friendly American cast. The plot is set in motion when the sperm donor learns that 142 of his offspring have filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to lift his veil of anonymity. What’s the difference between the two films? Other than that Scott — remaking his own perfectly good French-Canadian movie in English — has replaced actor Patrick Huard with Vince Vaughn, not much. “Starbuck” was a funny and warm-hearted trifle. So is “Delivery Man.” Contains brief drug content, some crude language and sexual humor. Extras include bloopers, deleted scene. Also, on Blu-ray: Vaughn interview and “Building Family” and “I Got The Part” featurettes.
“The Great Beauty” (unrated, 142 minutes, in Italian with subtitles, The Criterion Collection): The Oscar winner for best foreign language film, about a a one-hit-wonder novelist (played by Toni Servillo) reflecting on his life at age 65, is more ravishingly Felliniesque than many of Federico Fellini’s own movies. Director Paolo Sorrentino doesn’t simply mimic the master’s style and preoccupations, which anyone could do, but conjures the kind of emotions that made “La Dolce Vita,” “8 1/2” and others endure. He collects scenes of superficial extravagance and eccentricity, then finds the deeper yearnings they conceal.Contains nudity, sexual content, strong language and drug themes. Extras include a conversation between Sorrentino and Italian cultural critic Antonio Monda, interviews with Servillo and screenwriter Umberto Contarello, deleted scenes and a booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Lopat.
“The Past” (PG-13, 130 minutes, in French and Persian with subtitles): In the film’s first few minutes, a French woman, Marie (Bérénice Bejo), awaits the arrival of her estranged Iranian husband, Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa), in an airport. When they first spot each other, it is through soundproof glass, a lovely and effective metaphor for the paradox of access and intangibility that characterizes many acts of remembrance. They’re not getting back together. It’s been years since Ahmad left France and his wife for his homeland, and the only reason he’s there now is to sign off on the divorce that Marie has, at long last, initiated. Marie has met a new man, Samir (Tahar Rahim), who’s ready to move in with her. Unfortunately Samir, as we discover in a story that peels itself, slowly, like an onion — and with just as many tears — also has a wife in a coma. That particular circumstance is the point around which “The Past” circles, uncovering its narrative clues like a mystery thriller. Contains mature thematic material and some crude language. Extras include commentary with director Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”), making-of featurette and a Directors Guild Q & A with Farhadi.
Also: “Odd Thomas” (based on the best-selling Dean Koontz novel, Image Entertainment), “Geography Club,” “Welcome to the Jungle” (Jean-Claude Van Damme comedy), “Home” (NAACP Image Awards nominee),”The Punk Singer” (documentary on riot grrl/activist Kathleen Hanna), “The Truth About Emanuel,” “Angels in Stardust,” “The Appearing,” “Boardwalk” (1979, MVD), “The Freshman” (1925, Harold Lloyd silent comedy classic, The Criterion Collection), “Persona” (1966, by Ingmar Bergman, The Criterion Collection), “The Bigamist” (1953, Film Chest Media), “The Swimmer” (1968, starring Burt Lancaster), “The Conspiracy,” “Gordon Family Tree,” “Chinese Zodiac,” “The Best of Bogart Blu-ray Collection,” “Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher” (animated) and “Monster High: Frights, Camera, Action!” (animated).
Television Series: “Veep: Second Season” (HBO), “Californication: Sixth Season” (Showtime), “Little House on the Prairie: Season One” (deluxe remastered edition includes pilot, Lionsgate), “Continuum: Season Two,” “Here’s Lucy: The Complete Series” (1968-74), ” “Mapp & Lucia: The Complete Collection” (1985-1986, British comedy on PBS, Acorn Media), “Dragons: Defenders of Berk Part 1,” “William & Mary: The Complete Collection” (six-disc set of British drama-comedy), “Tickety Toc: Spring Chicks Time” (Nick Jr.) and “Alpha And Omega 3: The Great Wolf Games” (animated).
Washington Post staff writer Kay Coyte contributed to this report.