“The Last Song” (PG): A rebellious teen (Miley Cyrus), stuck in a Southern beach town to reconnect with her estranged father (Greg Kinnear), finds romance in the latest from “Dear John” author Nicholas Sparks.
Elsewhere on the recent-release front, the fur flies in “Furry Vengeance” (PG) when woodland creatures protest a housing developer’s plans for a new Oregon subdivision that threatens to wipe out their natural habitat. Brendan Fraser, Brooke Shields and “The Hangover’s” Ken Jeong lead the human cast. And in “Ca$h” (R), cash-strapped Chicagoans (Chris Hemsworth, Victoria Profeta) who find a suitcase stuffed with hundreds of thousands of dollars think their financial problems are solved — until a British crook (Sean Bean) shows up at their doorstep demanding his money.
Several new titles that never made to local theaters also arrive on DVD today. Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney headline “The City of Your Final Destination” (PG-13), a literary drama that reunites Hopkins with “Howards End” and “Remains of the Day” screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhavbala and producer-turned-director James Ivory. “Office” mates Ricky Gervais and director Stephen Merchant team up for the ’70s coming-of-age comedy-drama “Cemetery Junction” (R), which follows the fortunes of an ambitious small-town lad (Christian Cooke); Ralph Fiennes, Matthew Goode and Emily Watson co-star. Tim Roth takes on the title role in “Skellig: The Owl Man,” about a boy who befriends a mysterious man with otherworldly powers. On the documentary front, the award-winning “Four Seasons Lodge” (not rated), which played the January’s Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival, focuses on an annual Catskills reunion of elderly Holocaust survivors. Another award-winner, “Soundtracker” (not rated), chronicles an Emmy-winning sound recordist’s quest to find America’s last remaining quiet places. And in “Off and Running,” (not rated), an adopted Brooklyn teen who grew up in a multi-racial household goes in search of her African-American roots.
One of the best movies from the Oscar-winning director of “The Godfather” and the Oscar-winning star of “The French Connection” tops today’s vintage titles: Francis Ford Coppola’s brilliant 1974 “The Conversation” (R) with Gene Hackman as an obsessive surveillance expert; Robert Duvall, Cindy Williams, Frederic Forrest, John Cazale and an up-and-comer named Harrison Ford co-star in a movie that lost the best picture Oscar — to Coppola’s “The Godfather, Part II.” And debuting on Blu-ray Disc: Kenneth Branagh’s uncut 1996 “Hamlet” (PG-13), with the director as Shakespeare’s Melancholy Dane joining Kate Winslet, Julie Christie, Derek Jacobi, Billy Crystal and Charlton Heston; the 1959 Oscar-winner “Black Orpheus” (not rated), which brings the Orpheus-Eurydice myth to Rio de Janeiro’s Carnaval; and 2005’s “Nanny McPhee” (PG), with Emma Thompson as the title charmer, arriving just in time for “Nanny McPhee Returns’ ” theatrical debut Friday.
A pair of made-for-cable dramas top today’s TV transfers. Claire Danes takes on the title role in “Temple Grandin” (PG), who overcomes autism to become a pioneer in the human treatment of livestock; Julia Ormond, Catherine O’Hara and David Strathairn co-star. And “ESPN Films 30 for 30: The U” (not rated) focuses on changing times — and changing demographics — for the University of Miami’s football team. Also on tap (all unrated): “Cougar Town: The Complete First Season,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians: The Complete Third Season,” “Ugly Betty: The Complete Fourth and Final Season,” “Friday Night Lights: The Fourth Season,” “Dexter: The Fourth Season,” “Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Season Four,” “One Tree Hill: The Complete Seventh Season” and Tom Selleck in the six title “Jesse Stone Collection.”
Iron Maiden, “The Final Frontier”: It’s an album almost as long as the band’s decades-plus career.
Commemorating their 35th year with their 15th and most lengthy album, Iron Maiden’s latest clocks in at more than 76 minutes with an average running time of 7:59 per song.
The British heavy metal pioneers always have favored the epic over the austere, with galloping bass lines, multiple guitar harmonies, tunes with a historical bent and frontman Bruce Dickinson’s equally operatic and malevolent howl.
And with “The Final Frontier,” these dudes prove to be as durable as their namesake.
Also in stores: Trace Adkins, “Cowboy’s Back in Town”; American Hi-Fi, “Fight the Frequency”; Andrea Bocelli, “Carmen: Duets & Arias”; Darker My Love, “Alive As You Are”; Filter, “The Trouble With Angels”; David Gray, “Foundling”; Ray LaMontagne and The Pariah Dogs, “God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise”; John Mellencamp, “No Better Than This”; Taking Back Sunday, “Live From Orensanz”; Toadies, “Feeler”; and Brian Wilson, “Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.”
“The Postcard Killers” by James Patterson and Liza Marklund: New York police Detective Jacob Kanon isn’t in Europe on vacation. He’s hunting for a killer — one who murdered his daughter in Rome and continues to find prey in Europe’s capitals.
Laura Lippman also has a novel expected out this week. In “I’d Know You Anywhere,” ghosts from the past come back to haunt housewife Eliza Benedict when she receives a letter from a rapist-killer who kidnapped her when she was a teenager.
Also hitting shelves: “After America” by John Birmingham; “The Bear (Saga of the First King Series No. 4)” by R.A. Salvatore; “The Blasphemer” by Nigel Farndale; “The Cobra” by Frederick Forsyth; “Give Us Liberty: A Tea Party Manifesto” by Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe; “The Good Thief’s Guide to Vegas (Charlie Howard, Book 3)” by Chris Ewan; “The Last Lie” by Stephen White; “Last Night at Chateau Marmont” by Lauren Weisberger; “The Power” by Rhonda Byrne; “Renegade” by Justin Spring; and “Three Stations (Arkady Renko Series No. 7)" by Martin Cruz Smith.