New to DVD and On Demand Releases for August 27 - September 2

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27 August 2017
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:
Baywatch"Baywatch'': Though it ultimately can't decide what it wants to be -- affectionate yet adult spoof, or straight-ahead action-adventure -- this take on the popular television series expectedly offers its share of beautiful bodies, plus the appealing repartee of Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron. Johnson inherits David Hasselhoff's former role as veteran lifeguard Mitch, who keeps an eye on (and often delivers a putdown to) the trainee played by Efron. He also has to watch a savvy and scheming businesswoman (Priyanka Chopra, "Quantico'') whose plans could mean trouble for beach dwellers. Hasselhoff and fellow "Baywatch'' alum Pamela Anderson make appearances in a cast that also includes Alexandra Daddario ("San Andreas''), model Kelly Rohrbach and comic Hannibal Buress. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
My Cousin Rachel"My Cousin Rachel": First filmed in the 1950s, the Daphne du Maurier story gets fresh treatment with this fine version from director-screenwriter Roger Michell ("Notting Hill''), with Rachel Weisz in the title role of a woman suspected by her cousin (Sam Claflin) of having caused the death of his benefactor. He initially seeks vengeance, but he soon falls under her spell, even as evidence that she is the lethal culprit mounts. Iain Glen ("Game of Thrones'') and Holliday Grainger also star. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by Michell and producer Kevin Loader; deleted scenes, photo gallery. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Designated Survivor: The Complete First Season"Designated Survivor: The Complete First Season": Kiefer Sutherland's series follow-up to "24,'' this ABC drama takes its title from the term used for the member of a presidential cabinet who stays behind during the State of the Union Address, should anything happen to the others. It does here, suddenly making the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (Sutherland) the new chief executive, a job he immediately knows he's unqualified for -- but he sticks with the extremely sharp learning curve, though other officials want him out of the Oval Office as soon as possible. Co-stars include Natascha McElhone, Italia Ricci, Kal Penn -- who actually worked in the White House for a time -- and Maggie Q. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; set tour. *** (Not rated: P, V)
Dean"Dean": Demetri Martin ("House of Lies'') is writer, director and title star of this comedy-drama about a New York-based cartoonist who tries to dissuade his father (Kevin Kline) from selling the Los Angeles family home after his mother's death. In the course of dealing with that situation, both men find new love, with Gillian Jacobs ("Community'') and Mary Steenburgen as the romantic interests. Briga Heelan ("Great News'') also is featured. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; Q&A with Martin and co-star Rory Scovel. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)

Also Releasing this Week:
"Bring It On: Worldwide Cheersmack": The cheerleader-comedy franchise goes global -- and adds a hashtag to its title -- with this made-for-video edition, with Cristine Prosperi ("Degrassi: The Next Generation'') as the leader of an American squad that has reigned triumphant through several domestic competitions. National pride is on the line when a cheerleading icon (Vivica A. Fox) arranges an international contest that bundles a lot into the rivalry. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries; outtakes. ** (PG-13: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)
"NCIS: The Fourteenth Season'': There was a good amount of change in this most recent round of the regionally popular CBS drama series, with two familiar television faces succeeding Michael Weatherly, who left to star in his own show ("Bull''). Wilmer Valderrama ("That '70s Show'') and Jennifer Esposito ("Blue Bloods'') debuted as NCIS Special Agents who joined Gibbs' (Mark Harmon) team in probing a Washington, D.C., car explosion and its lethal results. Duane Henry, introduced earlier as an MI6 operative, also became a cast regular -- and though Weatherly was absent, guest star Robert Wagner returned as his father during the season. Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Rocky Carroll and Emily Wickersham also are among continuing cast regulars ... but this turned out to be Esposito's sole "NCIS'' season, since she's not returning. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

Upcoming Releases:
"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)
"This is Us: The Complete First Season" (Sept. 12): The acclaimed NBC drama series focuses on the interconnected lives of several people; stars include Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia. (Not rated: AS, P)
"The Big Sick" (Sept. 19): The critically praised comedy-drama, based on star and co-writer Kumail Nanjiani's life, casts him as a comic whose heritage may get in the way of love; Zoe Kazan also stars. (R: AS, P)

"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:
"The Big Knife" (1955): In director Robert Aldrich's classic drama, a Hollywood executive (Rod Steiger) will do whatever it takes to force a top star (Jack Palance) to renew his contract. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Olympus Has Fallen'' (2013): A disgraced Secret Service agent (Gerard Butler) tries to protect the president (Aaron Eckhart) from terrorists. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"The Shining" (1980): Jack Nicholson stars in the Stanley Kubrick-directed thriller, included in a new "King of Horror'' Blu-ray collection of Stephen King stories. ***

TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending August 13, 2017, Courtesy of 

1)  "The Fate of the Furious"
2)  "The Boss Baby"
3)  "Kong: Skull Island"
4)  "Going in Style"
5)  "Ghost in the Shell"
6)  "The Circle"
7)  "Gifted"
8)  "Unforgettable"
9)  "Logan"
10)  "CHiPs"

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