New to DVD and On Demand Releases for January 21 - 27

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24 January 2018
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:
Geostorm"Geostorm'': Weather -- or, perhaps more accurately, the satellite system that's supposed to be controlling it to keep the world's climate in check -- is Earth's enemy in this disaster tale co-written and directed by former actor Dean Devlin ("Independence Day''). Gerard Butler plays the developer who was fired from the project by his brother (Jim Sturgess, "21''), but is brought back to board the International Space Station and try to resolve the crisis that has caused the system to run amok and imperil the globe. Andy Garcia portrays the U.S. president, with Abbie Cornish and Ed Harris also featured. However, as is typical for stories of this nature, the members of the special-effects team are the true stars. DVD extra: "making-of'' documentary. *** (PG-13: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Goodbye Christopher Robin"Goodbye Christopher Robin": The story of the inventor of one of the world's most beloved characters, Winnie-the-Pooh, and the family circumstances that inspired his creation is recounted in this fine drama. Domhnall Gleeson (currently in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi'') plays author A.A. Milne, whose son (Will Tilston) was the real Christopher Robin ... and the success of the book series around the world put an unexpected strain on the relatives' relationship. Both World Wars also are major factors in the saga, with the father involved in the first and the son in the second. Margot Robbie ("I, Tonya'') and Kelly Macdonald also star. DVD extras: theatrical trailer; eight "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by director Simon Curtis and co-writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce; photo gallery. *** (PG: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Killing of a Sacred Deer"The Killing of a Sacred Deer": Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman -- who also worked together recently in "The Beguiled'' -- are teamed as a well-to-do medical couple who unwittingly invite trouble into their home in this intense melodrama, a modernization of an ancient Greek play by Euripides. The problem comes in the form of a teenager (Barry Keoghan) whom the husband and father has become a surrogate parent to, with matters getting increasingly worse as the youth reveals just how much he knows about the family's history ... something that he is prone to use against them. Sunny Suljic and Raffey Cassidy play the couple's own children, with Alicia Silverstone also appearing in the film, which earned a Cannes Film Festival Award for its screenplay co-written by director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster''). DVD extra: "making-of'' documentary. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on DVD and Blu-ray)

Jigsaw"Jigsaw'': The hugely successfully, traditionally gruesome "Saw'' horror franchise continues with this eighth chapter, in which the diabolical killer behind clever death traps seems to have outlived his own demise ... unless a very precise copycat is at work instead. A possible spoiler alert is that cast member Tobin Bell returns from the previous installments. Also featured are such familiar television faces as Laura Vandervoort ("Bitten,'' "Smallville''), Matt Passmore ("The Glades,'' "Satisfaction'') and Callum Keith Rennie ("Californication''), along with Hannah Emily Anderson. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; audio commentary by producers Mark Burg, Oren Koules and Peter Block. *** (R: AS. P, GV) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

Also Releasing this Week:

Thank you for Your Service"Thank You for Your Service": A military man, played by Miles Teller ("Whiplash'') in a major dramatic leap forward for him, tries to assimilate back into his daily life in Kansas after his Iraq War duty in writer-director Jason Hall's adaptation of the David Finkel book. The PTSD-afflicted veteran is shaken by another ex-soldier's (Joe Cole) suicide, and he also struggles to deal with the widow (Amy Schumer, impressive in her move into drama) of a fellow platoon member who didn't make it home. Haley Bennett plays Teller's wife, and Beulah Koale ("Hawaii Five-0'') also appears. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
The Paper Chase: The Final Season"The Paper Chase: The Final Season": A classic example of how a movie was turned into a television series while retaining the original quality, the Harvard Law School drama reached its natural end here with the graduation of student James T. Hart (played by James Stephens). In this abbreviated fourth and last round, here's still time for him to continue to find a nemesis in imperious professor Charles Kingsfield (the superb John Houseman, continuing and wrapping up his Oscar-winning film role). Also in the cast is Penny Johnson -- now Penny Johnson Jerald -- who made her first stop as a series regular here, before going on to such other projects as "The Larry Sanders Show,'' "24'' and the current "The Orville.'' *** (Not rated: AS, P)

Upcoming Releases:

"Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween" (Jan. 30): Perry's ever-sassy alter ego and others enter a haunted campground to retrieve a young partygoer. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Last Flag Flying" (Jan. 30): Three Vietnam veterans (Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne) reunite to accompany the casket of one's Marine son. (R: AS, P)
"Professor Marston and the Wonder Women" (Jan. 30): The development of the Wonder Woman comic-book character by its Harvard-psychologist creator (played by Luke Evans) is traced. (R: AS, N, P)
"A Bad Moms Christmas" (Feb. 6): Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn reunite as their characters approach the yuletide in their own rebellious way. (R: AS, P)
"Only the Brave" (Feb. 6): The story of the firefighting unit known as the Granite Mountain Hotshots is dramatized; stars include Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and Jeff Bridges. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Suburbicon" (Feb. 6): A seemingly perfect town becomes the site of murder and surprises in director George Clooney's satire; Matt Damon and (in dual roles) Julianne Moore star. (R: AS, P, V)
"The Deuce: The Complete First Season" (Feb. 13): James Franco plays dual roles in the HBO drama series about the birth of the pornography business in early-1970s New York. (Not rated: AS, N, P, V)

Oldies But Goodies:

"Coming Home" (1978): While her husband (Bruce Dern) is serving in Vietnam, a woman becomes involved with an angry veteran (Jon Voight) in this Oscar-winning drama. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"The Day after Tomorrow" (2004): Earth is a cool place to be, but in a dangerous way, as weather wreaks havoc; Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal star. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Dead Calm" (1989): Nicole Kidman's movie breakthrough casts her as a wife whose yacht getaway is interrupted by a possibly lethal stranger (Billy Zane). *** (Also on Blu-ray)

TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending January 7, 2018, Courtesy of 

1)    "American Made"
2)    "Dunkirk"
3)    "Kingsman: The Golden Circle"
4)   "Despicable Me" 
5)   "Mountain BetweenUs"   
6)   "The Hitman's Bodyguard"   
7)   "Atomic Blonde"
8)    "Flatliners"   
9)    "The Lego Ninjago Movie"   
10)   "American Assassin"

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

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