New to DVD and On Demand Releases for April 2 - 8

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02 April 2017
VIEW FROM THE COUCH
By Jay Bobbin Zap2it
(Ratings for each film begin with a "star'' rating -- one star meaning "poor,'' four meaning "excellent'' -- followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)

 
Releasing this Week:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" : The intergalactic franchise introduces a host of new characters in this enjoyably fast-paced and action-crammed latest chapter, the foremost being Jyn Erso (played by Felicity Jones), who avenges a years-earlier attack on her family by the evil Empire. She forcibly becomes an ally of the Rebels, who want to know about a larger plot the Empire presumably is hatching. Diego Luna, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen and -- as the voice of droid K2SO -- Alan Tudyk (''Powerless") are among other notable newcomers to the series, with Jimmy Smits reprising his earlier role as Bail Organa. DVD extras: 10 ''making-of" documentaries. *** (PG-13: V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Office Christmas Party"Office Christmas Party": Co-workers refuse to let the threatened closure of their branch get in the way of their holiday bash in this raucous comedy, which yields more raunch than genuine hilarity. Jennifer Aniston plays the hard-hearted supervisor who may be about to put her brother (T.J. Miller) and his colleagues out of work, unless they can land a big client and boost their business numbers in the waning days of the year. Jason Bateman, Olivia Munn, Courtney B. Vance (in a rare humorous role), Rob Corddry, Randall Park ("Fresh Off the Boat'') and "Saturday Night Live'' veterans Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer also star in the film directed by Josh Gordon and Will Speck, who guided Aniston and Bateman in "The Switch'' previously. ** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
We Don't Belong Here"We Don't Belong Here": Indie-film favorite Catherine Keener ("Being John Malkovich'') gets a showcase role in this intense drama, which also marked one of the last performances by Anton Yelchin ("Star Trek''). Keener plays a dysfunctional family's matriarch whose method of coping -- to whatever degree she can -- is shattered when her son (Yelchin) vanishes. Kaitlyn Dever ("Last Men Standing''), Riley Keough ("The Girlfriend Experience'') and Glenn Close's offspring Annie Starke portray the clan's daughters; Cary Elwes, Lois Smith and "Saturday Night Live'' veterans Maya Rudolph and Molly Shannon also appear. *** (R: AS, P)
The Book of Love"The Book of Love": Though he's known principally for comedic work, certainly from his tenure on "Saturday Night Live,'' Jason Sudeikis has proven himself quite effective in dramatic parts -- as he does in this story of an architect trying to recover from his wife's (Jessica Biel) car-accident death. He finds the possible means to do it by helping a young woman (Maisie Williams, "Game of Thrones'') with her seemingly fanciful plan to construct a raft and cross the Atlantic Ocean on it. Though Biel's on-screen role is relatively brief, she had a big hand in the movie; she's one of its producers, and her husband Justin Timberlake composed the score. Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser and Orlando Jones also are in the cast. *** (PG-13: AS, P)


Also Releasing this Week:
Paterson"Paterson": Veteran director Jim Jarmusch ("Stranger Than Paradise,'' "Down by Law'') wrote and directed this drama named both for the New Jersey city and the title character, a bus driver played by Adam Driver ("Girls,'' "Star Wars: The Force Awakens''). His wife (Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani) stokes the idea of his publishing his poetry, a prospect that later seems destroyed -- along with his poems -- when their dog tears up the notebook containing them. However, the dream ultimately is revived quite unexpectedly via inspiration from a surprising source. The film was an entry in the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. Co-stars include Cliff Smith, alias rap music's Method Man. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)
The Bounce Back"The Bounce Back": "Criminal Minds'' fans who have been missing Shemar Moore will be glad to see him front-and-center in this romantic comedy, with a plot inspired by an actual "Bounce Back Book'' on recovering from ended relationships. For purposes of the story, Moore plays its author, who -- stop us if you've heard this one before -- can't seem to figure out how to win over a therapist (Nadine Velazquez). For its predictability, the picture has an ace in Moore's unstoppable charisma; Sheryl Underwood and comic Bill Bellamy also appear. *** (PG-13: AS, P)


Upcoming Releases:
"Hidden Figures" (April 11): The true, Oscar-nominated drama about female mathematicians who assisted NASA with the space program stars Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer. (PG: AS, P) ``LION'' (April 11): Years after being adopted by an Australian couple, a man seeks his biological family; Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman star. (PG-13: AS)
"Mars: Season One" (April 11): The National Geographic series combines drama and documentary elements to project the first manned mission to the ``Red Planet''; stars include Olivier Martinez. (Not rated)
"Silicon Valley: The Complete Third Season" (April 11): Richard (Thomas Middleditch) ponders his next move after being ousted as Pied Piper's CEO. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Veep: The Complete Fifth Season" (April 11): Selina Meyer's (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) bid for another round as the American president hangs in the balance. (Not rated: AS, P)
"War on Everyone" (April 11): Alexander Skarsgard and Michael Pena play corrupt policemen whose extortion attempts finally backfire. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Lion" (April 11): Years after being adopted by an Australian couple, a man seeks his biological family; Oscar nominees Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman star. (PG-13: AS)
"Hawaii Five-O: The Complete Original Series" (April 18): Jack Lord stars as police-unit chief Steve McGarrett in the crime drama that had a 12-season run. (Not rated: AS, V)
"Sleepless" (April 18): A Las Vegas police detective (Jamie Foxx) faces numerous challenges in one night as he tries to rescue his kidnapped son. (R: AS, P, V)
"Split" (April 18): A man (James McAvoy) with multiple personalities kidnaps several girls in writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's melodrama. (PG-13: AS, P, V)


Oldies But Goodies:
"McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force" (1965): With Ernest Borgnine absent, Tim Conway got a bigger share of this feature-film spinoff of the television sitcom. ***
"Office Space" (1999): Writer-director Mike Judge's comedy casts Ron Livingston as one of several workers who rebel against their company. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Walking and Talking" (1996): A woman (Catherine Keener) tries to adjust to the imminent marriage of her best friend (Anne Heche). ***


TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending March 19, 2017, Courtesy of
comScore)

1)  "Moana"
2)  "Marvel's Doctor Strange"
3)  "Trolls"
4)  "Passengers"
5)  "The Accountant"
6)  "Hacksaw Ridge"
7)  "Arrival"
8)  "Masterminds"
9)  "The Girl On The Train"
10)  "The Edge Of Seventeen"


FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violenc
 
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