“Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call — New Orleans” (R): Nicolas Cage takes on the title role — playing a crackpot (not to mention crackhead) law enforcement officer emerging from the primal ooze of post-Katrina New Orleans — in Werner Herzog’s luridly entertaining police noir, which shares a title and little else with Abel Ferrara’s 1992 “Bad Lieutenant.”
Elsewhere on the recent-release front, “The Collector” (R) focuses on a financially strapped ex-con (Josh Stuart) who plots a heist at his new employer’s country home, not realizing that another crook already has rigged it with deadly traps.
And that’s it for the recent-release debuts, but a host of hits arrive on Blu-Ray Disc this week, from the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy (PG-13) to Ralph Bakshi’s 1978 animated “Lord of the Rings” (PG), plus “The Natural: Director’s Cut” (PG), “Cocoon” (PG-13), “Dreamscape” (PG-13) and the 1999 remake of “The Thomas Crown Affair” (R) with Pierce Brosnan. Legendary French director Rene Clair’s hilarious “The Italian Straw Hat” (G) serves up delightful social satire as a dozen characters try desperately to keep up appearances despite comic disaster. And “Icons of Suspense: Hammer Films” (not rated) brings five British thrillers to DVD, including Peter Cushing in “Cash on Demand” and director Joseph Losey’s futuristic “These Are the Damned.”
Turning to movies that never played local theaters, the partially made-in-Vegas “Dolan’s Cadillac” (R), based on a Stephen King story, follows a teacher (Wes Bentley) who devises diabolical revenge when a notorious crime boss (Christian Slater) murders his wife. The top award-winner at last year’s CineVegas film festival, “Easier With Practice” (not rated) stars “The Hurt Locker’s” Brian Geraghty as a lonely writer who becomes emotionally attached to a mysterious long-distance caller. Another festival award-winner, “War Eagle, Ark.” (PG-13), focuses on a high school baseball star (Luke Grimes) torn between a college sports career and his rural Ozark community. Brian Dennehy, Mare Winningham, Mary Kay Place and James McDaniel co-star. Twins (played by real-life sisters Tilly and Maggie Hatcher) endure personal and professional entanglements in the independent comedy “Beeswax” (not rated). And Indiana basketball provides the backdrop for “Home of the Giants” (PG-13), featuring “Sixth Sense’s” Haley Joel Osment. On the documentary front, “I’m No Dummy” (not rated) focuses on Jeff Dunham and other ventriloquists, while Jamie Lee Curtis narrates the award-winning “Dirt! The Movie” (not rated).
Tuning in to TV-to-DVD transfers (all unrated unless otherwise noted), “Lord of the Rings’ ” Sean Bean returns as the title soldier in PBS’ “Masterpiece” adventure “Sharpe’s Peril,” while PBS also releases a pair of documentaries: “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years” and “The Street Stops Here,” about renowned high school basketball coach Bob Hurley. And Lucille Ball reunites with “Lucy Show” co-stars Vivian Vance and Gale Gordon in the 1977 special “Lucy Calls the President.” Also due today: “Ed’s Up: The Best of Season One,” “Party Down: Season One,” “Ally McBeal: Season Two,” “Simon & Simon: Season Four,” “Mythbusters: Collection Five” (PG) and those darn Kardashian girls in “Kourtney & Khloe Take Miami.”
Jakob Dylan, “Women & Country”: Jakob Dylan has great taste in “Women & Country.”
This is obvious on his latest solo record, where he recruits alt-country’s reigning badass, Neko Case, and her longtime cohort, Kelly Hogan.
With acclaimed producer T. Bone Burnett behind the board, it all equates up to a rootsy, intimate album that’s good enough to turn Nashville on its tin ear.
Also in stores: Melissa Auf der Maur, “Out of Our Minds”; Black Prairie, “Feast of the Hunters’ Moon”; Solomon Burke, “Nothing’s Impossible”; John Butler Trio, “April Uprising”; David Byrne & Fatboy Slim, “Here Lies Love”; Darkthrone, “Circle the Wagons”; Dr. Dog, “Shame, Shame”; Jeff Healey, “Last Call”; Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, “Propellor Time”; Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, “I Learned the Hard Way”; and Slash, “Slash.”
“Changes” by Jim Butcher: Detective Harry Dresden’s in for some big surprises in the 12th installment of this popular series.
Arianna Ortega, the duchess of the vampiric Red Court, learns a secret held by Dresden’s ex-girlfriend. To get back at Dresden, whom she blames for the death of her husband, Ortega steals something Dresden never knew he had — a child.
Also on the fiction front this week, Anne Rice’s son, Christopher Rice, delivers a psychological thriller.
In “The Moonlit Earth,” Megan Reynolds becomes embroiled in a mystery while trying to save her brother’s life after he’s accused of being involved with a terrorist attack.
Also hitting shelves: “The Aloha Quilt (Elm Creek Quilts Series No. 15)” by Jennifer Chiaverini; “Anthill” by E.O. Wilson; “At the Gates of Darkness (Demonwar Saga No. 2)” by Raymond E. Feist; “The Big Book of BBQ: Recipes and Revelations from the Barbecue Belt” by Oxmoor House; “The Black Cat” by Martha Grimes; “Contested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare?” by James Shapiro; “The End of Wall Street” by Roger Lowenstein; “Father Fiction: Chapters for a Fatherless Generation” by Donald Miller; “Imperfect Birds” by Anne Lamott; “In the Shadow of the Cypress” by Thomas Steinbeck; “The Lake Shore Limited” by Sue Miller; “The Last Time I Saw You” by Elizabeth Berg; “Mike and Mike’s Rules for Sports and Life” by Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic; “Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking at Home” by Mario Batali; “Paula Deen’s Savannah Style” by Paula Deen; “Sara Moulton’s Everyday Family Dinners” by Sara Moulton; “A River in the Sky” by Elizabeth Peters; “US: Transforming Ourselves and the Relationships that Matter Most” by Lisa Oz; and “The Walk” by Richard Paul Evans.