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New to DVD this week

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Twentieth Century Fox)

This prequel starts at the very beginning of the apes' saga, when lab chimp Caesar (played by Andy Serkis, the guy who gave Gollum life in The Lord of the Rings) gets a dose of experimental medicine that makes him smarter than anyone else onscreen (including James Franco). By the time the chimp leads an uprising of apes against their brutish captors, you'll be raising a hairy fist in support. The dozen deleted scenes add more awesomeness to this terrific movie, one of the few blockbusters that didn't suck this summer.

Branded to Kill (Criterion)

Seijun Suzuki's most out-there movie makes its Blu-ray debut in this gorgeously rendered set. The 1967 Japanese new-wave milestone — about a hit man with a boiling-rice fetish who screws up an assignment and becomes a target — cost Suzuki his job. Stylish, vicious, and funny.

City of God (Lionsgate)

Fernando Mereilles' breakthrough film celebrates its 10th anniversary next year. It's getting a jump on things with this Blu-ray debut. The story of two boys growing up in violent Rio de Janeiro still hits hard and remains one of the best movies of the past decade.

Fright Night (Buena Vista)

Colin Farrell has a great time as Jerry, a vampire who moves next door to a suspicious teen. The movie never takes itself too seriously, playing around with undead conventions. But it never pushes for anything more than some laughs and a few shocks.

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More by Michael Gallucci

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