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The Who, why, and how of ‘Quadrophenia’

Phil Daniels as Jimmy in “Quadrophenia.”Criterion Collection

Flash back to “Love Reign O’er Me” as the soundtrack of a life, as “Quadrophenia” (1979), the immersively scruffy feature riff on the Who’s classic rock opera, arrives this week in a terrific-sounding, meticulously remastered Blu-ray. (The visuals look pretty great, too.) Phil Daniels (pictured) remains a compelling figure as Jimmy, the disaffected ’60s London teen fumbling to define himself through the posturing, pill popping, tricked-out scooters, and ironically buttoned-down look of mod subculture. Daniels’s unvarnished, attitudinal performance holds the film together in early going that’s slightly more aimless than intended. There’s no missing 20-something Sting as mod hotshot Ace Face, but you might be fooled by barely recognizable Ray Winstone as a “rocker” (read: biker) who refuses to get hung up on gang labels fueling the mods-rockers rivalry. Extras: Director Franc Roddam, Sting, and the Who’s Roger Daltrey plug the movie in a vintage BBC program, with Daltrey good-humoredly sniping that “Saturday Night Fever” lifted its scenester sensibility from the “Quadrophenia” concept. “[We’ve got] better music, too,” Daltrey says. “It’s the Bee Gees with [expletive].” Roddam supplies new commentary, and discusses how his helicopter shot of the film’s climactic scooter crash was nearly the end of him. An interview with producer and Who manager Bill Curbishley offers analysis of the youthful search for identity theme running through Pete Townshend’s work. Townshend’s liner notes from the source album’s 1973 release are included. (Criterion, $29.95; Blu-ray, $39.95)




A group of fed-up women turn to comedian Steve Harvey’s advice-book preachings to get guys in check. Gimmick or no, it’s an agreeable enough rom-com that skates past tired material about granny panties and such on the likability of an ensemble cast that includes Taraji P. Henson (pictured), Michael Ealy, and Kevin Hart. Still, you can half-sense a smarter movie in a scene in which the men suss out what’s up, and have exactly the reaction of expletive-laced incredulity they should (within their contrived little bubble, anyway). Blurts one, “ ‘Family Feud’ Steve Harvey?!” Extras: Blu-ray featurettes. (Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $35.99)




And in the week’s other featured gimmick release based on the games people play, director Peter Berg (“Friday Night Lights”) fills two hours by – oh, why not? – going the “Transformers” route with the Milton Bradley classic. Taylor Kitsch (pictured) plays a ne’er-do-well who joins the Navy just in time to fight an alien armada that lands off Hawaii. If only there were more genuine rah-rah fun, instead of seen-it-all-before mayhem. Real-life US military vets get some screwy opportunities to take part in the action. Extras: Blu-ray visual commentary by Berg; production and effects featurettes. (Universal, $29.98; Blu-ray, $34.98)



The animators at Aardman (“Wallace & Gromit”) have a knack for leaving us smiling almost as goofily as one of their claymation creations. They do it yet again with this genial genre sendup, featuring Hugh Grant as a swashbuckler informed by Darwin (David Tennant) that his “parrot” is a dodo, and their ticket to glory. Maybe even, yes, Pirate of the Year honors. Extras: A new “Pirates!” short, plus, on Blu-ray, a survey of other shorts by director Peter Lord and a look at the stop-motion process. Also for the kids: an interactive pirate disguise game. (Sony, $30.99; Blu-ray, $40.99; 3-D, $45.99)