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.)
"The Angry Birds Movie": Actually, only some of the title characters actually are angry in this animated feature inspired by the popular app. Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Danny McBride voice three flying friends who aren't readily accepted by others in their island habitat, but they may end up coming to the rescue of all concerned when green piggies suddenly invade. Also in the voice cast are Sean Penn -- yes, really -- Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones''), Tony Hale ("Veep"), Keegan-Michael Key and ''Saturday Night Live" veterans Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon and Bill Hader. DVD extras: ''making-of" documentary; bonus scene; music video; photo gallery. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"God's Not Dead 2": This sequel to an earlier box-office success gives television veteran Melissa Joan Hart one of her most substantial feature-film roles to date, a teacher who finds herself on the hot seat for her candid answer to a student's (Hayley Orrantia, "The Goldbergs'') religion-oriented classroom question. Her response concerns the school's administration enough for a court case to result. The cast also includes Jesse Metcalfe ("Desperate Housewives''), Ernie Hudson, Robin Givens, Sadie Robertson ("Duck Dynasty'') and the late Fred Thompson ("Law & Order''). *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Affair: Season Two": If the format of the Showtime drama's first round seemed complex, with the story told from the perspectives of both Noah and Alison (Dominic West, Ruth Wilson), that's multiplied by women this sophomore session ... since the views of their now-estranged mates, Helen and Cole (Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson) also are considered. As all affected parties to try chart new courses for themselves, more information comes to light that threaten to deepen the already existing rifts. New cast members here include Catalina Sandino Moreno, Richard Schiff, Joanna Gleason and Jennifer Esposito. *** (Not rated: AS, N, P)
Also releasing this week:
"Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words": Being offered as part of The Criterion Collection, this documentary -- which was made to commemorate the 100th anniversary of its subject's birth -- does indeed present a portrait of the star of "Gaslight,'' "Casablanca'' and numerous other classic films as literally told through her own words and archival letters and photographs. Also included is home-movie footage taken by Bergman herself, with recent Oscar winner Alicia Vikander as narrator. The bonus material includes interviews with Liv Ullmann, Sigourney Weaver and Bergman's fellow-actress daughter Isabella Rossellini. *** (Not rated: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)
"American Experience: The Boys of '36": The Berlin Olympics of the mid-1930s are remembered largely for the role of track-and-field medalist Jesse Owens, but other American athletes also made their marks in those Games, as recounted by this recently televised episode of the PBS series. Based on a nonfiction best seller by Daniel James Brown, it recalls the Depression-era inspiration supplied by nine University of Washington rowers who showed endurance not only against rivals backed by Adolf Hitler, but also against elite U.S. teams that expected to emerge as superior in the competition. *** (Not rated: AS)
"A Cinderella Story: If the Shoe Fits": Even if the trappings are decidedly modern, the basic structure of the fairy tale remains in this direct-to-video musical fantasy. Sofia Carson, of Disney Channel's "Descendants'' and the recent remake of "Adventures in Babysitting,'' plays an earnest young woman who attends the auditions for a live production of "Cinderella'' with her stepmother and stepsisters. The latter have designs in being involved in the show, which Carson's character also harbors secretly, resorting to an alias to try out. Things get expectedly complicated when she lands a role. Jennifer Tilly also is in the cast. *** (PG: AS)
"The Huntsman: Winter's War" (Aug. 23): Battling sisters (Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt) pose big challenges for the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his true love (Jessica Chastain). (PG-13: AS, V)
"Roots" (Aug. 23): The remake of the landmark miniseries about author Alex Haley's family background features Forest Whitaker and Laurence Fishburne. (Not rated: AS, V)
"The Jungle Book" (Aug. 30): In Disney's live-action version of the Rudyard Kipling classic, Mowgli (Neel Sethi) interacts with animals that have the voices of Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson and others.
"Limitless: Season One" (Aug 30): Actually, this is the only season of the now-canceled CBS series based on the movie that starred Bradley Cooper, a producer and recurring guest star here; Jake McDorman stars. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Money Monster" (Sept. 6): A televised financial adviser (George Clooney) is held captive by a vengeful investor (Jack O'Connell); Julia Roberts also stars. (R: AS, P, V)
"Captain America: Civil War" (Sept. 13): Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) lead opposing factions of Marvel superheroes. (PG-13: P, V)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending July 31, 2016, courtesy of comScore)
1) "London has Fallen"
2) "Kung Fu Panda 3"
3) "The Divergent Series: Allegiant"
5) "My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2"
6) "Miracles from Heaven"
9) "10 Cloverfield Lane"
10) "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence