New to DVD and On Demand Releases for April 8 - 14

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08 April 2018
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:
The Greatest Showman"The Greatest Showman": Even without sporting claws, Hugh Jackman scored one of his most popular hits to date with this musical-drama about the ambitious and ultimately legendary circus mentor P.T. Barnum. While tracing his story, the script (co-written by "Sex and the City'' alum Jenny Bicks) also considers those Barnum met along the way who helped turn his dreams into reality, including playwright Philip Carlyle (Zac Efron) and singer Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). Also featuring Michelle Williams and Zendaya, the film is produced on a grand scale reminiscent of many genre classics from years ago. "La La Land's'' Benj Pasek and Justin Paul composed the songs, including the Oscar-nominated "This Is Me.'' DVD extras: ``making-of'' documentaries; "Jukebox'' sing-along feature. *** (PG: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
All the Money in the World"All the Money in the World": Possibly more famous for a performance that ultimately wasn't in the finished film, director Ridley Scott's involving dramatization of the John Paul Getty III kidnapping features recent Oscar nominee Christopher Plummer as the family's vastly wealthy patriarch ... a role originally played by Kevin Spacey before his scenes were excised and reshot with Plummer at almost the eleventh hour. Michelle Williams plays the victim's mother, who teams with the eldest Getty's private investigator (Mark Wahlberg) to retrieve the young man (Charlie Plummer, no relation to Christopher). Timothy Hutton also appears in the story, now being retold in the FX drama series "Trust.'' DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Phantom Thread"Phantom Thread": Favored with six nominations in the recent Oscars, and rewarded with one (for, appropriately enough, costume design), writer-producer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's drama gives Daniel Day-Lewis -- who has maintained this is his last acting role -- another complex character in a domineering British fashion designer of the 1950s. Closely aligned with his sister (Lesley Manville) both personally and professionally, he becomes involved with a waitress (Vicky Krieps) and engages in a power struggle with her that eventually turns potentially lethal. Camilla Rutherford, Gina McKee ("Notting Hill'') and "Frasier'' alum Harriet Sansom Harris also are featured. *** (R: AS, P)

Also Releasing this Week:
Molly's Game"Molly's Game": Jessica Chastain offers a lesson in star power with this true drama, which marks the directorial debut of long-praised, much-awarded writer Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing,'' "The Social Network''). After her dreams of being an Olympic skier are derailed, Molly Bloom (Chastain) is introduced to the world of underground poker games and eventually starts her own for an exclusive clientele, some members of which have highly questionable backgrounds ... to the concern of other organizers and the FBI, with a lawyer (Idris Elba) trying to help Bloom out of the trouble she runs into. Loaded with Sorkin's typically snappy and speedy dialogue -- in a script, based on Bloom's memoir, that was Oscar-nominated -- the film also includes Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Chris O'Dowd and Graham Greene in its fine cast. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Outlander: Season Three"Outlander: Season Three": With the fourth round now in production for an intended premiere later this year, the most recent stanza of the much-watched Starz series -- based on Diana Gabaldon's globally popular novels -- sees Claire (Caitriona Balfe) taken far into the past in search of Jamie (Sam Heughan) after they've been living their lives separately in different eras. Adventures at sea are involved heavily once the two are reunited. A "Collector's Edition'' version, with additional extras, also is available. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes. *** (Not rated: AS, N, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
Proud Mary"Proud Mary": If you think Taraji P. Henson is fierce on television's "Empire,'' just wait until you see her in action -- very literally -- in this adventure about a hit woman in the employ of a Boston crime family. With echoes of the tale "Gloria,'' which was filmed twice, her maternal instincts surface when she encounters a youngster (Jahi Di'Allo Winston) in the course of one of her intended kills. Co-stars include Danny Glover, "How to Get Away With Murder's'' Billy Brown and Neal McDonough ("DC's Legends of Tomorrow''), but there's no question that Henson (also an executive producer of the film) is the true show here. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

Upcoming Releases:

"The Post" (April 17): Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep play Washington Post legends Ben Bradlee and Katharine Graham in Steven Spielberg's newspaper drama. (PG-13: P, V)
"Genius" (April 17): Geoffrey Rush plays the adult Albert Einstein in the first season of the National Geographic drama series from executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. (Not rated: AS)
"Hostiles" (April 24): Christian Bale plays an Army captain on a dangerous trek to bring a Cheyenne chief to his intended resting place. (R: P, V)
"The Commuter" (April 17): A just-fired insurance salesman (Liam Neeson) gets caught up in intrigue aboard the train he's taken daily. (PG-13: P, V)
"Paddington 2" (April 24): The domesticated title bear (voice by Ben Whishaw) tries to recover the stolen gift he bought for his aunt's milestone birthday. (PG: AS)
"Forever My Girl" (April 24): Returning to his hometown, a country-music star (Alex Roe) is reunited with the love (Jessica Rothe) he left behind. (PG: AS, P)
"Grease" (April 24): In its 40th-anniversary year, the musical based on the stage hit gets a relaunch on home video; John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John play young lovers Danny and Sandy. (PG: AS, P)

Oldies But Goodies:

"Les Miserables" (2012): Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Oscar winner Anne Hathaway star in the screen adaptation of the hit musical. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Manhandled" (1924): The legendary Gloria Swanson stars in this silent classic about an impersonator whose success takes her away from her true love. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Thelma & Louise" (1991): Director Ridley Scott about oppressed, rebellious female friends (Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis) is being re-examined for its relevance now. *** (Also on Blu-ray)

TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending March 18, 2018, Courtesy of 

1)   "Thor: Ragnorak"
2)   "Coco"
3)  "Daddy's Home 2" Christmas"
4)  "Murder on the Orient Express"
5)   "Wonder"
6)   "Darkest Hour" 
7)   "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
8)   "I, Tonya"
9)   "Justice League"    
10)   "A Bad Moms' Christmas"

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

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