New to DVD and On Demand Releases for August 9 - 15

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09 August 2015
By Jay Bobbin
Releasing this week:

Hot Pursuit"Hot Pursuit": In the style of so many "buddy'' movies that rely heavily on the differences between their two stars, this comedy draws upon the inherent differences between Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family'') -- both producers of the film as well -- for the bulk of its humor. After her protection of a drug dealer and his wife goes awry in a drastic way, a strait-laced cop (Witherspoon) flees with the lively woman (Vergara) cross Texas, with enemies from both sides of the law in ... well, hot pursuit. Director Anne Fletcher's ("The Proposal'') cast also includes such reliables as John Carroll Lynch and Richard T. Jones, but there's little doubt of who stays in focus, and they supply enough tandem amusement to keep the picture afloat. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Unfriended": Is a deceased person's spirit strong enough to reach out from the world beyond to try to kill some of those she left behind? It certainly seems that way in this melodrama, which uses a computer's perspective to weave the tale of young people seemingly targeted by a classmate (Heather Sossaman) a year after her suicide. She sends them a Skype message, and what she knows about each of their private lives indicates less of a prank and more of a very real, potentially lethal threat. Renee Olstead ("Still Standing''), Will Peltz, Jacob Wysocki and Courtney Halverson play several of the potential victims. Shelley Hennig ("Days of Our Lives'') also stars. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Knick: The Complete First Season"The Knick: The Complete First Season'': Though it takes a strong stomach to watch, given the now-primitive medical techniques it replicates quite graphically, this Peabody Award-winning Cinemax drama series is superbly written and acted ... and directed, by Steven Soderbergh, who handled all the episodes. Clive Owen heads the ensemble cast as a brilliant and demanding early-1900s surgeon suddenly thrust into a supervisory role at New York's Knickerbocker Hospital -- "The Knick'' -- which is facing critical financial troubles that it must stabilize, if not reverse, to survive. The cast also includes Juliet Rylance, Andre Holland, Michael Angarano, Eric Johnson ("Rookie Blue'') and Eve Hewson (a daughter of music star Bono). (Not rated: AS, P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray)

Also Releasing this week:
"Scandal: The Complete Fourth Season": Washington, D.C., "fixer'' Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is missing as this most recent round of the ABC drama series begins. Expectedly, executive producer Shonda Rhimes doesn't let her stay out of the picture too long -- but when she returns, her former comrades aren't exactly welcoming, and her father (Emmy winner Joe Morton) continues to prove troublesome. So does Olivia's ongoing link to President Grant (Tony Goldwyn). Bellamy Young, Darby Stanchfield, Joshua Malina, Katie Lowes and Scott Foley also star. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; two "extended episodes''; outtakes. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Cleveland Abduction": Lifetime has offered is share of ripped-from-the-headlines movies lately, and this dramatization of three women's 11-year captivity was one of them. The teleplay's central figure is Michelle Knight (played by Taryn Manning of "Orange Is the New Black''), the first of the trio to be taken by Ariel Castro (Raymond Cruz, "Breaking Bad''). Her resilience was made clear by the fact that she and her fellow prisoners endured literally torturous conditions for more than a decade until one finally made a much-reported escape. Pam Grier and Joe Morton ("Scandal'') also star. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"2 Broke Girls: The Complete Fourth Season": Fans of the CBS sitcom will notice something different about this round ... Caroline's (Beth Behrs) hairstyle, since she goes in for a shorter style by necessity, as detailed by the crisis one of the episodes puts her in. Together with roommate and fellow waitress Max (Kat Dennings), she continues to operate a gourmet cupcake business, which also generates trouble when others steal the related T-shirt design they came up with. Another of the season's running plots involves brassy Sophie's (Jennifer Coolidge) engagement to Oleg (Jonathan Kite). Garrett Morris and Matthew Moy also star. (Not rated: AS, P)

Upcoming Releases:
"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)
"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)
"The Age of Adaline" (Sept. 8): Blake Lively plays a woman who stops aging, posing emotional complications for her; Harrison Ford also stars. (PG-13: AS, P)
"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)
"Empire: Season One" (Sept. 15): Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson head the cast of the Fox drama series about a music-industry titan and his divisive family. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Furious 7'' (Sept. 15): Paul Walker's last film in the franchise finds Dom (Vin Diesel) and his hard-driving comrades hunted as well as hunting. (PG-13: AS, P, V)

TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending ending July 5, courtesy of Rentrak Corp.)
1) "Focus"
2) "American Sniper"
3) "Jupiter Ascending"
4) "Chappie"
5) "Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out Of Water"
6) "The Loft"
7) "Fifty Shades of Grey"
8) "The Duff"
9) "Survivor"
10) "The Boy Next Door"

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