'Foxcatcher,' 'Mockingjay' lead new releases

Courtesy files

Courtesy files

Editor's Note: Last week's "Out This Week" mistakenly listed "Hunger Games" and "Foxcatcher." They are slated for release this week on DVD/Blu-Ray instead, and are re-listed.

DVD/Blu-Ray

• The Captive (2014) - Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman, Alexia Fast

Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she's still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance (IMDb).

• The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 (2014) - Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

Katniss Everdeen is in District 13 after she shatters the games forever. Under the leadership of President Coin and the advice of her trusted friends, Katniss spreads her wings as she fights to save Peeta and a nation moved by her courage (IMDb). They raised the stakes in the series with "Mockingjay," and much like the books, the films are taking a much darker turn. Part 1 leaves off at just the right time, setting up what is sure to be an epic second film.

• Foxcatcher (2014) - Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum, Sienna Miller

The greatest Olympic Wrestling Champion brother team joins Team Foxcatcher, led by multimillionaire sponsor John E. du Pont, as they train for the 1988 games in Seoul - a union that leads to unlikely circumstances (IMDb). The cast seems like a bit of an odd pairing for a serious drama, but the top-billed cast fully commits to their roles in this biopic and all have been widely praised for their performances.

• The Better Angels (2014) - Brit Marling, Diane Kruger, Wes Bentley

The story of Abraham Lincoln's childhood in the harsh wilderness of Indiana and the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that marked him forever and the two women who guided him to immortality (IMDb). This film wasn't on many people's radar when it hit Sundance last year. Many critics and reviewers described it as gritty, artsy and atmosphere-centered.

Books

• Old Venus - edited by George R.R. Martin (608 pages)

This is an anthology of 16 original stories from sci-fi writers centered around the planet Venus. Classic writers such as Ray Bradbury and C.S. Lewis join other writers, including Elizabeth Bear, Mike Resnick and David Brin, in creating a multi-faceted look at the planet named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty.

• Dead Heat, Alpha & Omega #4 - Patricia Briggs (366 pages)

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles's role as his father's enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse on her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way. (Goodreads.com). Briggs' "Alpha & Omega" series is set in the same world as her very popular "Mercy Thompson" series, and is regarded as "urban fantasy." On her website, she says this series is more focused on romance than fantasy, but it is "sweet rather than steamy."

• The Assassin, Isaac Bell #8 - Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (416 pages)

As Van Dorn private detective Isaac Bell strives to land a government contract to investigate John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly, the case takes a deadly turn (Goodreads.com). This series takes place in early 20th century America, with the previous eight novels dating back to 2007 often gracing the bestselling charts as mystery-thrillers.