New to DVD and On Demand Releases for December 13 - 19
Releasing this week:
"Mission Impossible - Rogue Nation": Some of the franchise's best stunts fuel the latest entry in the update of the classic TV series, literally getting off the ground right at the outset with Ethan Hunt's (Tom Cruise) unique and breathtaking way of boarding a departing airplane. He's an agent without an agency after the CIA shuts down his team, prompting him to act on his own as he regathers his colleagues (Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames) to dismantle an organization of rogue operatives. Rebecca Ferguson is an attractive and effective cast addition as an agent of uncertain loyalties, and Alec Baldwin also appears. The film was written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, who also worked with Cruise on "Jack Reacher.'' (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Ted 2": The talking teddy bear (voiced again by Seth MacFarlane, also the picture's returning director and co-writer) is as profane as ever in this amusing sequel, as he runs into trouble in trying to become an adoptive parent with his new wife (Jessica Barth). The problem? Legally, Ted is not considered a person -- so he seeks the help of longtime pal John (Mark Wahlberg) and an offbeat attorney (Amanda Seyfried) to navigate the court system and become the dad he wants to be. Sam J. Jones ("Flash Gordon'') makes a return appearance in a cast loaded with cameos by everyone from Jimmy Kimmel and Jay Leno to Morgan Freeman and Liam Neeson. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by MacFarlane, Barth and co-writers Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild; Comic-Con featurette. (R and unrated versions: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Maze Runner The Scorch Trials": The screen adaptations of James Dashner's young-adult novels continue with Dylan O'Brien ("Teen Wolf'') back as the leader of the Gladers, who are out of the maze but now into the Scorch ... a treacherous region that poses danger at many, if not all, turns. The group's quest is to find information to aid their mission against the organization WCKD, but even if they acquire it, surviving to be able to use it still will be a challenge. Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario and Patricia Clarkson also return, and Giancarlo Esposito and Lili Taylor are among other cast members. DVD extras: theatrical trailers; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes; art galleries. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Fantastic Four": Easily one of the most maligned movies of the year, though director Josh Trank ("Chronicle'') famously defended his vision for it via social media, this adventure reboots the Marvel Comics saga of the quartet imbued with amazing abilities after they're irradiated during a trip to and from an alternate universe. Miles Teller ("Whiplash''), Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan ("Fruitvale Station'') and Jamie Bell play the four, who oppose former ally Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbel) when he plans to use his own powers to destroy Earth and replace it with a planet of his own making. Reg E. Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson and Dan Castellaneta ("The Simpsons'') also are featured. (PG-13: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"He Named Me Malala": Directed by Davis Guggenheim ("An Inconvenient Truth''), this moving documentary traces the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who would not be stopped in her quest to ensure education for young women ... leading to her being targeted by the Taliban and critically wounded in an attack aboard a school bus. As she recovered, her voice only became stronger -- literally and figuratively -- as others heard and helped her carry forth her message, to the point where she addressed the United Nations and was declared the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. (PG-13: AS)
"Extant: The Second Seson": In what ultimately became its final round, the CBS sci-fi drama underwent a considerable reboot, evident right from the start with astronaut Molly Woods (Halle Berry) separated from her humanoid son (Pierce Gagnon) and taken into government custody as a possible threat to humanity. A very notable cast addition is Jeffrey Dean Morgan (now of "The Good Wife'') as a bounty hunter who's initially skeptical of Molly, but later intrigued as he believes she can help him on cases he takes. Grace Gummer -- a daughter of Meryl Streep -- also returns from the first season's cast, and newcomers also include two alums of "One Tree Hill,'' Hilarie Burton (co-star Morgan's significant other in real life) and Tyler Hilton. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"War Room" (Dec. 22): A maritally challenged couple (Priscilla C. Shirer, T.C. Stallings) is affected by a woman (Karen Abercrombie) who inspires them to fight for their family. (PG: AS)
"Pan" (Dec. 22): The young Peter Pan (Levi Miller) discovers Neverland, the Captain Hook-to-be (Garrett Hedlund) and the pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman). (PG: P, V)
"Hitman: Agent 47" Dec. 29): An assassin (Rupert Friend) turns on the agency that wants to utilize his very special DNA to create a brigade of similar killers; Zachary Quinto also stars. (R: AS, P, V)
"The Perfect Guy" (Dec. 29): A woman (Sanaa Lathan) comes to regret getting involved with a stranger (Michael Ealy) who begins stalking her; Morris Chestnut also stars. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"A Walk in the Woods" (Dec. 29): A travel writer (Robert Redford) tackles the Appalachian Trail with a very dissimilar friend (Nick Nolte). (R: AS, P)
"Sicario" (Jan. 5): Emily Blunt plays an FBI agent trying to dismantle a drug cartel along the U.S.-Mexico border; Benicio Del Toro also stars. (R: AS, P, GV)
"The Martian" (Jan. 12): Presumed dead and left behind by his crew, an astronaut (Matt Damon) struggles to survive on Mars. (PG-13: AS, N, P)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS
(Week ending ending December 6, courtesy of Rentrak Corp.)
1) "Jurassic World"
3) "San Andreas"
4) "Inside Out"
5) "Terminator Genisys"
6) "No Escape"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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