New to DVD and On Demand Releases for December 27 - January 2
Releasing this week:
"A Walk in the Woods'': The acting caliber clearly is present as Robert Redford and Nick Nolte -- who previously worked together in the Redford-directed "The Company You Keep'' -- team in this comedy-drama. They play friends, respectively a travel writer and a fugitive, who embark on a hike of the Appalachian Trail together. The trek gives them plenty of time to compare wits and thoughts, relatively few of which match up. While the focus of the story (adapted from a book by Bill Bryson, who's portrayed by Redford here) remains principally in those two actors, the noteworthy cast also includes Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman ("Parks and Recreation'') and Kristen Schaal ("The Last Man on Earth''). (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Hitman: Agent 47": Inspired by a popular video-game series -- as was an earlier "Hitman'' movie that featured Timothy Olyphant ("Justified'') in the lead role -- this action-crammed reboot casts Rupert Friend as an assassin who turns on the agency that wants to utilize his very special DNA to create a brigade of similar killers. Hannah Ware ("Boss'') plays his comrade in trying help him foil the plot and learn about his past. Zachary Quinto, Thomas Kretschmann and Ciaran Hinds also star. DVD extras: theatrical trailers; three "making-of'' documentaries; deleted scenes; photo and poster galleries; comic book. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Heist'': Talk about a robbery that goes wrong. Jeffrey Dean Morgan ("The Good Wife'') and Dave Bautista ("SPECTRE'') star in this melodrama as would-be thieves who target a mobster's (Robert De Niro) casino -- they didn't see what happened to his enemies in his earlier "Casino'' movie? -- only for the plan to go wrong, forcing them to hijack a bus and take the passengers hostage to make their escape. It doesn't seem like much of an escape, though: The police are on their trail, as is the mobster's lethal deputy (Morris Chestnut). Additional familiar faces in the cast include Kate Bosworth, Morris Chestnut, Gina Carano and Mark-Paul Gosselaar. (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
Also Releasing this week:
"The Perfect Guy": In a sort of gender reverse on "Fatal Attraction,'' a woman (Sanaa Lathan) comes to regret getting involved with a stranger (Michael Ealy) while she's on the rebound from a breakup with her boyfriend (Morris Chestnut, "Rosewood''). The new relationship doesn't last long when she gets a sudden glimpse of her latest beau's angry streak ... but he's not willing to let go and begins stalking her. The reliable performers do a lot for the familiar-feeling material here; Charles S. Dutton, Tess Harper and Kathryn Morris ("Cold Case'') also are in the strong cast. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Ray Donovan: Season Three": The Showtime drama's knack for strong, interesting casting continues in this round with the additions of Katie Holmes and Ian McShane ("Deadwood'') as a daughter and father whom professional "fixer'' Ray (Liev Schreiber) becomes entangled with as he tries to advance his business aims, particularly in making himself able to call the shots for himself. His father Mickey (Jon Voight) continues to be a concern, especially as Dad makes moves to chart his own course. Wendell Pierce ("The Wire'') returns from Season 2, with Paula Malcolmson, Eddie Marsan, Katherine Moenning, Elliott Gould, Dash Mihok, Steven Bauer and Pooch Hall among other continuing members of the impressive cast. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Shameless: The Complete Fifth Season": Another enduring Showtime series offers its latest season on home video, as newly released convict Fiona (Emmy Rossum) has multiple romantic interests who may include her new boss (Dermot Mulroney). As usual, her own concerns aren't helped by Frank's (William H. Macy) unpredictability, more of a worry as he adjust to having a new liver that likely wouldn't react well to his old lifestyle. An overall change in the Gallaghers' Chicago neighborhood's makeup also impacts the family. Joan Cusack won an Emmy Award for her work in this season of the show, which also features Jeremy Allen White, Ethan Cutkosky, Emma Kenney, Cameron Monaghan, Steve Howey and Emily Bergl. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by cast and crew members; deleted scenes. (Not rated: AS, N, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"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)
"True Detective: The Complete Second Season" (Jan. 5): A new cast -- led by Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams -- is involved in a new mystery in the HBO drama's sophomore round. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)
"The Walk" (Jan. 5): In 1974, Philippe Petit (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) sets out to walk a wire between the towers of New York's World Trade Center. (PG: AS, N, P)
"Hotel Transylvannia 2" (Jan. 12): Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) tries to appeal to the more monstrous side of his half-human grandson in this animated sequel. (PG: AS)
"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)
"Everest" (Jan. 19): Climbers on the legendary and potentially lethal mountain end up in the midst of a storm; Jason Clarke stars. (PG-13: P, V)
"Straight Outta Compton" (Jan. 19): The formation and survival of the controversial hip-hop group N.W.A. is dramatized; stars include Aldis Hodge and Paul Giamatti. (R and unrated versions: AS, N, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS
(Week ending ending December 13, courtesy of Rentrak Corp.)
3) "Jurassic World"
4) "Inside Out"
5) "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."
6) "Ant Man"
7) "No Escape"
10) "San Andreas"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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