New to DVD and On Demand Releases for August 6 - 12

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07 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:
Snatched"Snatched": Though not the unqualified success one might anticipate from a meeting of female comedy generations in the pairing of Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer, this tale still furnishes some pleasure from their teaming. They play a mother and daughter who end up being kidnapped while on a vacation together in Ecuador, a trek Schumer's character planned to take with her suddenly former boyfriend. The women couldn't be more dissimilar, making for mirth in the script by Katie Dippold ("The Heat''). Wanda Sykes and Joan Cusack also appear, but it's clear which two ladies are counted on most to bring the funny here. DVD extras: audio commentary by director Jonathan Levine; alternate, extended and deleted scenes; outtakes. (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"King Arthur: Leged of the Sword": Though tales of ancient knights -- particularly one of the most famous -- usually can find an audience, this one's armor shattered early at the summer box office. Still, director Guy Ritchie's ("Sherlock Holmes'') approach to the saga of the would-be monarch (played by "Sons of Anarchy'' alum Charlie Hunnam) and his efforts to dethrone his scheming uncle (Jude Law) may find its intended audience through its arrival on home video. Holding to well-known history, the famous sword known as Excalibur plays a major role in the quest, with Djimon Hounsou, Aiden Gillen ("Game of Thrones'') and Eric Bana also in the cast. DVD extra: "making-of'' documentary. ** (PG-13: AS, P, V) 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul"Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul": The series of comedies based on Jeff Kinney's novels continues with its fourth screen installment, as Jason Drucker assumes the role of young Greg. He tries to evade a major embarrassment on his home turf by changing his initially negative tune about his family's road trip, secretly planning to get away at some point to attend a video-game convention. Some fans of the franchise were alarmed -- quite vocally -- that the major parts had new actors in them, and a definite sign that time is marching on is that Alicia Silverstone and Tom Everett Scott play the parents here. DVD extras: six "making-of'' documentaries; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Dinner"The Dinner": The title meal is far from an ordinary one in this involving drama from screenwriter-director Owen Moverrnan ("The Messenger''), a story told earlier in Dutch and Italian versions. Richard Gere and Steve Coogan ("Philomena'') play long-estranged siblings who meet at a restaurant, along with their wives (Rebecca Hall and Laura Linney), to discuss what to do about their sons ... who have gotten involved in criminal activities. The ensuing conversation reveals many more cracks in the family's veneer. Chloe Sevigny and Charlie Plummer also appear. DVD extras: audio commentary by Moverman and Linney; photo gallery. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Exception"The Exception": The ever-masterful Christopher Plummer's portrayal of Kaiser Wilhelm II is a definite highlight of this World War II drama, whose employees include a maid (Lily James, "Cinderella'') harboring a major secret. It's discovered by a German officer (Jai Courtney, "Divergent'') sent to the Netherlands look into the exiled Kaiser's dealings, and his eventual involvement with the woman complicates matters. Janet McTeer also stars, but Oscar winner Plummer expectedly looms largest over the film, even when he's not visibly on the screen. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Blindspot: The Complete Second Season"Blindspot: The Complete Second Season": The adventures of Jane (Jaimie Alexander), the tattooed woman trying to remember her past, continue in this sophomore round of the NBC drama series. She and her new FBI colleagues continue their pursuit of her former organization, which Jane rejoins to get information from the inside. Archie Panjabi ("The Good Wife'') joined the show in this season, adding more mystery as an espionage official whose agenda isn't entirely clear. Luke Mitchell and Michelle Hurd also are cast additions, with Sullivan Stapleton, Ashley Johnson, Audrey Esparza and Rob Brown returning. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)

Also Releasing this Week:
"Remember Me": Though he's best-known for comedy, Monty Python veteran Michael Palin makes a sharp turn into drama in this three-episode suspense tale, being released on home video in the same week it ends its PBS debut (a couple of years after its initial run on England's BBC). Palin plays a senior citizen who gets himself into an assisted-living program by faking a fall, but he ends up in a very real mystery when he witnesses a social worker's death. Others seem relatively unconcerned, with the exception of a young health-care assistant (Jodie Comer). Mark Addy and Julia Sawalha also star. *** (Not rated: AS, P)
"Pure Country: Pure Heart": The third drama in the country-music-infused franchise -- and the second to be made directly for the home-video market -- this tale offers authentic country talents in co-stars Willie Nelson and Laura Bell Bundy. However, the thrust of the story is on two teen sisters who suddenly learn things they didn't know about their father, a Marine who was killed while serving in Iraq. They take a road trip to discover more about his own musical aspirations, eventually setting them on a course for their own lives. Kaitlyn Bausch and Cozi Zuehlsdorff play the siblings, and the cast also includes Amanda Detmer, the WWE's Shawn Michaels and veteran actor Ronny Cox, who wrote and performs one of the songs on the soundtrack. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; music video. *** (Not rated: AS) (Also on Blu-ray)

Upcoming Releases:
"Chuck" (Aug. 15): Liev Schreiber ("Ray Donovan'') plays Chuck Wepner, the real-life boxer whose underdog story inspired "Rocky.'' (R: AS, P, V)
"How to be a Latin Lover" (Aug. 15): Eugenio Derbez ("Instructions Not Included'') is backed by a notable cast, including Salma Hayek and Rob Lowe, in this comedy about a dethroned ladies' man, (PG-13: AS, N, P)
"Alien: Covenant" (Aug. 15): Another space crew picks up an unwelcome passenger in director Ridley Scott's prequel; Michael Fassbender and Katherine Watersron star. (R: AS, N, P, V)

"Billions: Season Two" (Aug. 15): Federal prosecutor Chuck and hedge-fund king Axe (Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis) both face major personal and professional challenges. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Chuck" (Aug. 15): Liev Schreiber ("Ray Donovan'') plays Chuck Wepner, the real-life boxer whose underdog story inspired "Rocky.'' (R: AS, P, V)
"Descendants 2" (Aug. 15): The sequel to the Disney Channel musical-fantasy movie about famous characters' offspring reunites cast members including Dove Cameron and Sofia Carson. (Not rated)
"Wakefield" (Aug. 22): Bryan Cranston has the title role in E.L. Doctorow's story of a family man who places himself in isolation in his attic. (R: AS, P)

Oldies But Goodies:
"Clambake" (1967): Elvis Presley takes to the water as the incognito heir to a fortune in this comedy-with-music, new to Blu-ray; Shelley Fabares co-stars. *** 
"Teen Wolf" (1985): Michael J. Fox's movie stardom was on the rise when he made this comedy, newly offered in a "Collector's Edition'' on Blu-ray. *** 
"Trainwreck" (2015): Amy Schumer made a big movie splash, in her own script, as a commitment-shy woman who falls for a sports doctor (Bill Hader). *** (Also on Blu-ray)

TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending July 23, 2017, Courtesy of 

1)  "CHiP" 
2)  "Logan" 
3)  "Beauty and the Beast" 
4)  "The Lost City of Z"
5)  "John Wick: Chapter 2" 
6)  "Smurfs: The Lost Village"
7)  "The LEGO Batman Movie""
8)  "Kong: Skull Island"
9)  "Saban's Power Rangers"
10)  "Get Out"

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