New to DVD and On Demand Releases for December 4 - 10

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04 December 2016
VIEW FROM THE COUCH
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:
Jason Bourne"Jason Bourne": After sitting out the preceding installment, Matt Damon returned to the franchise based on Robert Ludlum's novels -- and reunited with director and co-writer Paul Greengrass -- for this effective chapter. It's an original story that takes estranged CIA operative Bourne back to his roots, thanks to former contact Nicky (fellow returnee Julia Stiles) who enlists him to help expose questionable agency initiatives ... including some he's quite familiar with. Of course, others don't want him involved, with Alicia Vikander and Tommy Lee Jones' characters representing that side of the equation along with Vincent Cassel as an assassin they send. As usual, the action is furious and well-filmed, and Damon's ability to handle the abundant physicality still has to be admired. DVD extras: four "making-of'' documentaries. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Secret Life of Pets"The Secret Life of Pets": Two dogs (voices of Louis C.K. and "Modern Family's'' Eric Stonestreet) newly united by their owner (voice of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's'' Ellie Kemper) run away and find a society of abandoned pets in New York City in this animated hit from some of the pivotal talents behind "Despicable Me,'' also boasting entertaining vocal work by Kevin Hart as an extremely spirited rabbit who's the group's leader. Ultimately, the canines decide to return home, but they face a complicated journey back. The many characters also allow for voice work by Jenny Slate, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Steve Coogan, Hannibal Buress, Albert Brooks and "Saturday Night Live's'' Bobby Moynihan. DVD extras: seven "making-of'' documentaries; three "mini-movies''; "Hot Dog Sing-Along''; music video. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Let's Do The Time Warp Again"The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do The Time Warp Again": One of screen history's ultimate cult classics got a do-over in this recent, Fox-televised version, which acknowledges the project's past by including an on-screen audience to react along with at-home viewers. Ryan McCartan and Victoria Justice now play Brad and Janet, the straight-laced couple who undergo a big transformation upon becoming stranded with mad scientist Frank-N-Furter (Laverne Cox, "Orange Is the New Black'') and company. The original film's Tim Curry narrates, and Ben Vereen and Christina Milian also are among stars of the restaging directed by Kenny Ortega ("High School Musical"). DVD extras: ''making-of" documentary; extended cut of the film; Comic-Con footage; Cox's screen test; photo gallery. *** (Not rated: AS, P)


Also Releasing this Week:
Scream Queens: Season One"Scream Queens: Season One'': Before "Glee''' ended, its executive producers (including Ryan Murphy) had this offbeat, very stylized Fox horror-comedy series in the works. Though Year 2 has shifted to a hospital, this initial season is set at a college sorority where a murder doesn't dissuade pledges of different social classes from wanting in ... and there are many more fatalities to come. One of the movies' most legendary scream queens -- Jamie Lee Curtis -- plays the school's dean, with "Glee'' alum Lea Michele, Emma Roberts, Abigail Breslin, Keke Palmer and music's Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas also in the cast (at least for starters, in some cases). DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Hollars": John Krasinski ("The Office'') is a triple-threat talent on this comedy-drama, producing and directing as well as starring in the tale of a graphic novelist who leaves New York for his hometown to deal with his mother's (multiple Emmy winner Margo Martindale) illness. Once there, he finds many of the situations he left behind rising back up, including his problems with other family members and old acquaintances. The well-assembled cast also includes Anna Kendrick, Richard Jenkins, Sharlto Copley ("District 9''), Charlie Day ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia''), Randall Park ("Fresh Off the Boat''), Mary Elizabeth Winstead and singer Josh Groban. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by Krasinski and Martindale; Los Angeles Film Festival interview panel. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Don't Think Twice": What happens when several performers start out together, all hoping for that typically elusive "big break,'' and one of them suddenly gets it? That's the theme of director, co-writer and co-star Mike Birbiglia's tale about a world he knows well, with Keegan-Michael Key as the fast-rising star in a group known as The Commune. Eventually, the others are unhappy to see him use material they created collectively in his gig on a "Saturday Night Live''-type show, leading to discord among the humor-mates. Gillian Jacobs ("Community''), Kate Micucci, Tami Sagher and Chris Gethard play the other Commune members, with Lena Dunham and Ben Stiller appearing as themselves. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)


Upcoming Releases:
"Ben-Hur" (Dec. 13): Jack Huston has the title role in this remake of the classic saga of a prince who returns from slavery to reclaim his birthright. (PG-13: V)
"Bridget Jones' Baby" (Dec. 13): Indeed, the Englishwoman (Renee Zellweger) is expecting a child, but she's not completely sure who the father is. (R: AS, N, P)
"Florence Foster Jenkins" (Dec. 13): Meryl Streep plays a socialite who aspires to a singing career ... though she can't sing; Hugh Grant also stars as her hugely supportive husband. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Suicide Squad" (Dec. 13): Criminals are sent on a government mission in this DC Comics-inspired adventure; stars include Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"Southside with You" (Dec. 13): The young Barack Obama's (Parker Sawyers) courtship of future wife Michelle (Tika Sumpter) is dramatized. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Sully" (Dec. 20): Tom Hanks has the title role as the airline pilot who landed a damaged plane in the "Miracle on the Hudson'' in director Clint Eastwood's true drama. (PG-13: P)


Oldies But Goodies:
"The Bourne Identity" (2002): Matt Damon's run in the saga began with this first action drama about a rescued amnesiac who comes to realize he's a highly trained spy. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Defending Your Life" (1991): One of writer-director-star Albert Brooks' most engaging comedies casts him as a newcomer to Judgment City, where he must justify himself in the afterlife. ***
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975): For many fans, there's just nothing like the original version that became the stuff ``midnight movies'' are made of. *** (Also on Blu-ray)


TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending November 20, 2016, Courtesy of
comScore)

1) "The Legend Of Tarzan"
2)  "Independence Day: Resurgence"
3)  "Central Intelligence"
4)  "X-Men: Apocalypse"
5)  "Star Trek Beyond"
6)  "Ice Age: Collision Course"
7)  "Ghostbusters"
8)  "Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates"
9)  "The Purge: Election Year"
10)  "Sausage Party"


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

 
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