(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 Walking Dead: The Complete Eighth Season": Things are as violent as ever -- and arguably even more so -- in this stanza of the hugely popular AMC drama series, as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) leads an alliance in a major offense against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the latter's followers. The results only can be vicious, and as usual with this show, don't expect all of the characters who start the season to be there at the end. Norman Reedus, Lauren Cohan, Lennie James and Seth Gilliam also star. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by production personnel on selected episodes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Action Point": Johnny Knoxville adopts his "Jackass'' approach of no-holds-barred pranks and stunts to this tale of an amusement park that has seen better days. With it on the verge of being closed down, the site's operator (Knoxville) decides to go for broke to attract a healthy customer base again ... which means giving patrons the rides of their lives, quite literally. Believe it or not, the story was inspired by a true situation. Fellow "Jackass'' veteran Chris Pontius and Dan Bakkedahl ("Life in Pieces'') are among the co-stars. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this Week:
"NCIS: The Fifteenth Season": An arrival and a very significant departure mark this year of the globally popular CBS adventure-drama. "ER'' alum Maria Bello joins the series as Jacqueline ``Jack'' Sloane, a profiling expert who has her own haunted past to deal with; she's also a longtime friend of NCIS official Leon Vance (Rocky Carroll, who also directed the story that introduces Bello). The major exit from the show is made by founding cast member Pauley Perrette, as circumstances spread over two very eventful episodes dictate her lovably quirky character Abby Sciuto bidding the team and the program a farewell. Mark Harmon, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Emily Wickersham, Brian Dietzen, Duane Henry and Wilmer Valderrama also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Betty White: First Lady of Television": The title of this PBS special isn't merely a convenient catchphrase, but nearly the actual fact, since TV veteran -- and national treasure -- White starred in one of the medium's earliest syndicated comedies, ``Life With Elizabeth.'' As friends and colleagues including Valerie Bertinelli, Valerie Harper and Gavin MacLeod offer their personal memories of White, the program recaps her career with clips from ``The Mary Tyler Moore Show,'' "The Golden Girls'' and "Hot in Cleveland'' among her many other ventures in entertainment. If the approach feels familiar here, the profile was done by the makers of the recurring "Pioneers of Television'' series. *** (Not rated)
"Blue Bloods: The Eighth Season": A major shocker -- undoubtedly known by now to fans of the CBS police drama -- opens this round of the show, and we'll merely say it accounts for not all of the familiar faces being around the Reagan dinner table. The situation particularly impacts Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), who isn't sure he wants to continue being a cop until his lawyer sister Erin (Bridget Moynahan) gives him a special assignment. There's also a happier surprise involving another Reagan at the end of the season. Lorraine Bracco starts a recurring role as New York's new mayor, and Treat Williams and Stacy Keach are among those making return guest appearances. Tom Selleck, Will Estes and Len Cariou also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Book Club" (Aug. 28): Four friends (Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen) delve into racier reading that ends up inspiring their lives. (PG-13: AS, P)
"RBG'' (Aug. 28): The life and times of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg are traced in this documentary, which includes comments by President Bill Clinton. (PG: AS, P)
"Tag" (Aug. 28): Friends participate in a game that uses the whole country as a playing board; the ensemble cast includes Jon Hamm, Jeremy Renner, Isla Fisher and Hannibal Buress. (R: AS, N, P)
"Woman Walks Ahead" (Aug. 28): A widowed artist (Jessica Chastain) meets with opposition when she travels to late 19th-century North Dakota to do a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull. (R: P, V)
"Adrift" (Sept. 4): Their new romance takes two young people (Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin) on a quest to return a boat -- which turns into a fight to survive. (PG-13: AS, N, P, V)
"Won't You Be My Neighbor?" (Sept. 4): The impact and ongoing legacy of Fred Rogers, star of the public-television classic "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,'' are traced in this documentary. (PG-13: AS, P)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Definitely, Maybe" (2008): A former political-campaign worker (Ryan Reynolds) tells his daughter (Abigail Breslin) the story of his relationship with her mother. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Lake Placid" (1999): An amusing turn by Betty White as a local who has no fear of a giant alligator is a highlight of this David E. Kelley-written thriller. (Also on Blu-ray)
"Three Men and a Baby" (1987): Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg play the three men who inherit an infant in this hit remake of a French comedy. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending August 12, 2018, Courtesy of comScore)
1 "Life of the Party"
4 "Ready Player One"
5 "Breaking In"
6 "Super Troopers 2"
7 "I Feel Pretty"
8 "A Quiet Place"
10 "Blumhouse's Truth or Dare"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence