New to DVD and On Demand Releases for August 2 - 7
Releasing this week:
"Insurgent": The "Divergent'' saga continues with this solid first sequel, as heroine Tris (Shailene Woodley) tries to find respite while being hunted by enemies -- including the determined Jeanine (Kate Winslet) -- both physically and psychically. Tris is still considered a danger in a society separated by traits because she embodies several different categories, and she and love interest Four (Theo James) delve into the past to ensure their loved ones will have a future. Other returning cast members include Ansel Elgort (also Woodley's "The Fault in Our Stars'' co-star), Ashley Judd, Tony Goldwyn ("Scandal''), Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q (``Stalker'') and Mekhi Phifer. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; audio commentary by producers Doug Wick and Lucy Fisher. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Every Secret Thing": Excellent, edgy acting boosts director Amy Berg and screenwriter Nicole Holofcener's version of Laura Lippman's best-seller about a detective's (Elizabeth Banks) efforts to exorcise her ongoing pain from a case that went wrong. Years later, a similar investigation puts her in the trail of another child who has vanished ... soon after the two women (Dakota Fanning, Danielle Macdonald) who were sentenced for the earlier crime are released. Diane Lane is particularly striking in an atypical role as the mother of one of the suspects; Nate Parker, Common and Renee Goldsberry ("The Good Wife'') also appear. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on On Demand)
"Far from the Maddening Crowd": Carey Mulligan is not Julie Christie, automatically making her portrayal of Bathsheba Everdene much different -- and intriguingly so -- in this latest screen version of the classic Thomas Hardy novel. Several diverse suitors seek the independent-minded Bathsheba's romantic favor in Victorian England: a farmer (Matthias Schoenaerts), a soldier (Tom Sturridge) and an older man of financial means (Michael Sheen). All of the performers are fine here, and it's fascinating to watch Mulligan moderate her interaction with each of the male leads. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"True Story": In this fact-inspired drama, a shamed journalist (Jonah Hill) tries to redeem himself by interviewing an accused murderer (James Franco) who tried to assume the reporter's identity. Thinking it's the story that will restore his career, the newsman visits a prison for the encounter that turns out to be much more challenging than he could have predicted. Felicity Jones ("The Theory of Everything'') and Gretchen Mol also are featured. (R: AS, P)
Also Releasing this week:
"How to Get Away With Murder: The Complete First Season": Executive producer Shonda Rhimes has scored a triple play in ABC's Thursday lineup by adding this clever, frequently intense drama to her "Grey's Anatomy'' and "Scandal.'' Screen Actors Guild Award winner Viola Davis shines in the lead role of Annalise Keating, a calculating attorney and law-school professor whose students often have reason to wonder about what she's reaching them ... even as they vie to make themselves the most useful to her as her hand-picked assistants. Davis had one of the past television season's most-discussed scenes, in which Annalise strips herself of all excess, quite literally; co-stars include Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Katie Findlay, Charlie Weber and Liza Weil ("Gilmore Girls''). Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Affair: Season One": Both the "his'' and "her'' sides of an extramarital relationship are detailed in this smartly written, beautifully acted Showtime drama series, with Dominic West ("The Wire'') and Golden Globe Award winner Ruth Wilson as the people involved in the liaison -- and Maura Tierney ("ER'') and Joshua Jackson ("Dawson's Creek'') as their respective spouses. The emotional complications are many for the two unfaithful but sincere people, especially as their different perceptions they have of their passionate liaison unfold. Mare Winningham and Richard Schiff ("The West Wing'') also are in the superb cast. DVD extras: character profiles; episodes of "Ray Donovan,'' "Happyish'' and "Madam Secretary.'' (Not rated: AS, N, P)
"Unfriended" (Aug. 11): Chat-room members are alarmed to receive a message from a classmate who committed suicide; cast members include Heather Sossaman. (R: AS, P, V)
"Hot Pusuit" (Aug. 11): A police officer and a drug lord's widow (Reese Witherspoon, Sofia Vergara) flee together as enemies pursue them across Texas. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"The Blacklist: The Complete Second Season'' (Aug. 18): FBI agent Liz (Megan Boone) needs informant Red's (James Spader) help when some of her actions catch up to her. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Knick: The complete First Season" (Aug. 11): Clive Owen stars as an early-20th-century surgeon using primitive methods of certain practices in the Cinemax drama series. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Scandal: The Complete Fourth Season" (Aug. 11): Washington, D.C., "fixer'' Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is missing as this round of the ABC drama series begins. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Aloha" (Aug. 25): While on a mission in Hawaii, a military contractor (Bradley Cooper) gets involved with his professional liaison (Emma Stone) and an old flame (Rachel McAdams). (PG-13: AS, P)
"The Walking Dead: The Complete Fifth Season" (Aug. 25): The entire population of Earth faces a new threat in this latest round of the AMC hit. (Not rated: AS, P, GV)
"Gotham: The Complete First Season" (Sept. 8): Police detective Jim Gordon (Ben McKenzie) tries to keep the habitat of Batman-to-be Bruce Wayne (David Mazouz) safe in The CW series. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending ending June 28, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "American Sniper"
3) "Fifty Shades of Grey"
4) "Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water"
5) "Project Almanac"
6) "The Duff"
7) "The Boy Next Door"
8) "Taken 3"
9) "Black or White"
10) "The Seventh Son"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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