(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.)
"Wakefield": Multiple Emmy winner (for "Breaking Bad,'' of course) Bryan Cranston -- who has shown himself to embrace any acting challenge that comes his way -- has the title role in E.L. Doctorow's story of a quietly distressed attorney who places himself in isolation in his garage attic. While his wife (Jennifer Garner) and others wonder what has become of him, he knowingly observes them from his secret perch. Co-stars also include Beverly D'Angelo, Ian Anthony Dale ("Salvation'') and Jason O'Mara ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.''), but this clearly is Cranston's show as designed by writer-director Robin Swicord. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Supergirl: The Complete Second Season": The title heroine (played by Melissa Benoist) experienced some changes in her sophomore round -- a change in network from CBS to The CW, and the general absence of media-mogul boss Cat Grant (Calista Flockhart, who does return for a couple of episodes here) -- but it's largely adventurous business as usual for her. She does get to fight side-by-side with her cousin, the one-and-only Superman (Tyler Hoechlin), in certain instances ... and she also meets Wonder Woman in a sense, since Lynda Carter guest stars as the U.S. president. One particularly notable story shows off the singing talents of Benoist and Grant Gustin, alias "The Flash,'' in a crossover tale with a musical theme. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and episode director Kevin Smith; Comic-Con panel. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
Also Releasing this Week:
"NOVA: Poisoned Water": The plight of the population of Flint, Mich. -- where a cost-saving switch to a different water source led to 12 deaths and the pervasive threat of lead poisoning -- is detailed in this recent episode of the long-running PBS science series. Residents discuss concerns they had early on, which prompted them to contact local officials ... whose response propelled them to take additional action and get in touch with Virginia Tech researchers, who then confirmed the worst. The problem isn't exclusive to Flint, since other American communities also in have experienced it in recent times. Joe Morton ("Scandal'') narrates the program. *** (Not rated)
"Blue Bloods: The Seventh Season": Long a staple of Friday-night television viewing, the CBS police drama continues with New York police commissioner Frank Reagan (Tom Selleck) and his relatives facing new challenges ... yet always making time for the weekly family dinner. Among guest stars, Michael Imperioli ("The Sopranos'') plays a contentious federal attorney, Stacy Keach portrays a cardinal involved in a confidentiality matter, and Tony Award winner Cady Huffman ("The Producers'') appears as the wife of Frank's aide Gormley (Robert Clohessy). This season of the show, which ends with a literally fiery situation for Danny (Donnie Wahlberg), encompassed its 150th episode. Bridget Moynahan, Will Estes and Len Cariou also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Never Let Go": There is no determination -- nor vengeance -- like that from a parent whose child is placed in harm's way, a notion borne out by the female protagonist (played by Angela Dixon) of this action-adventure tale. When her daughter is apparently kidnapped, nothing will stop the single mother from finding the girl in an overseas pursuit, including her implication in a murder. Ultimately, the case turns out to be bigger than an abduction. Co-stars include Rami Nasr ("The Night Manager'') and Lisa Eichhorn. (R: P, V)
"My Cousin Rachel" (Aug. 29): In the Daphne du Maurier tale, a man (Sam Claflin) begins to fall for the woman (Rachel Weisz) he believes killed his benefactor. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Designated Survivor: The Complete First Season" (Aug. 29): After an attack, the one cabinet member apparently left alive (Kiefer Sutherland) becomes -- and must adjust quickly to being -- the U.S. president. (Not rated: P, V)
"Baywatch" (Aug. 29): Lifeguard Mitch (Dwayne Johnson) and a trainee (Zac Efron) have their hands full with a scheming businesswoman (Priyanka Chopra). (R: AS, N, P)
"Megan Leavey" (Sept. 5): A Marine officer (Kate Mara) forges a strong bond with a military combat dog and effects many rescues in Iraq. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Hawaii Five-0: The Seventh Season" (Sept. 5): Say farewell to Chin Ho and Kono, since this turned out to be the last round of the CBS reboot for Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Beatriz at Dinner" (Sept. 12): Salma Hayek has the title role as a holistic practitioner whose car trouble leaves her stranded at a client's (Connie Britton) dinner party. (R: P, V)
"The Mummy" (Sept. 12): A finder and seller of artifacts (Tom Cruise) becomes the target of an ancient princess' malevolent spirit (Sofia Boutella). (PG-13: AS, N, P, V)
"The Hero" (Sept. 19): While dealing with illness, a former Western star (Sam Elliott) gets an unexpected chance at a career comeback. (R: AS, P)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Escape from New York" (1981): Antihero Snake Plissken (Kurt Russell) ventures into the future prison that used to be New York to rescue the U.S. president (Donald Pleasence). (Also on Blu-ray)
"Ragtime" (1981): Milos Forman's film of the E.L. Doctorow novel integrates factual situations and fictional characters; James Cagney and Howard E. Rollins Jr. star. ***
"Supergirl" (1984): The Girl of Steel (Helen Slater) tries to stop the power-crazed Selena (Faye Dunaway); Peter O'Toole also stars. ***
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending July 30, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
1) "Kong: Skull Island"
2) "Ghost in the Shell"
5) "Beauty and the Beast"
6) "John Wick: Chapter 2"
7) "The Lost City of Z"
8) "Smurfs: The Lost Village"
9) "The LEGO Batman Movie"
10) "Get Out"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence