New to DVD and On Demand Releases for January 4 - 10
Releasing this week:
"Get On Up": You can't simply 'get by' with playing dynamic music icon James Brown ... and Chadwick Boseman ("42") is up to the challenge in director Tate Taylor's ("The Help") biographical drama. The script recalls the impoverished background of the performer who would become known as both 'the Godfather of Soul' and 'the hardest working man in show business,' explaining the aspects that would give Brown his professional drive. In the supporting cast, Taylor reunites "Help" stars Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer, and adds Dan Aykroyd, Craig Robinson and Jill Scott. Mick Jagger was a producer of the film. DVD extras: four 'making-of' documentaries; audio commentary by Taylor. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray) and On Demand)
"Boyhood": Named the best picture of 2014 by the New York Film Critics Circle and Sight and Sound -- and also listed among last year's top movies by other organizations and publications -- writer-director Richard Linklater's drama was filmed over 12 years. It traces a youngster's (Ellar Coltrane) coming of age, with the script structured as a different vignette of his life for each year represented. It's amazing to think that the same cast (also with Ethan Hawke, of Linklater's "Before Sunset" series, and Patricia Arquette as the most recognizable names and faces) committed to a project over that length of time; Linklater's daughter Lorelei also is featured. (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Black Sails: The Complete First Season": Soon to start its second season, the Starz pirate saga casts Toby Stephens ("Die Another Day") as the legendary Captain Flint, seen in the days before "Treasure Island" referenced him. He's a major influence on a young crew addition named John Silver (Luke Arnold), who will grow up to be an iconic pirate himself. They defend New Providence Island, a sort of paradise of vice, against other captains. Hannah New also appears in the Michael Bay-produced series, but the members of the technical team also are 'stars' when you consider none of the very effective shipboard footage actually was filmed at sea. DVD extras: six 'making-of' documentaries. (Not rated: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Left Behind": A remake of an earlier film, this drama makes a new run at bringing the best seller by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins to the screen. Millions of people suddenly disappear from the world, leaving those who remain to carry on ... including a pilot (Nicolas Cage) who's airborne with a jet from which many passengers vanish during the flight. Lea Thompson, Chad Michael Murray, Nicky Whelan, Cassi Thomson and "American Idol" Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks also star for director Vic Armstrong, a veteran movie stunt man and stunt coordinator ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"). (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"No Good Deed": A woman ("Person of Interest" alum Taraji P. Henson) battles to protect herself and her children when a stranger (Idris Elba) proves more dangerous than he initially seems in this melodrama. After she plays good samaritan and tries to help him out of a supposed problem, he turns out to be an escaped convict who causes considerable terror for her family. Leslie Bibb and Henry Simmons also appear in the film, of which Henson and Elba also were executive producers. DVD extra: 'making-of' documentary. (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this week:
"Glee: The Complete Fifth Season": Though a tribute to the Beatles opens this round of the Fox series -- which is about to launch its sixth and final round -- a real-life tragedy that had a definite impact on the show is addressed soon afterward, as the young singers and "Mr. Schue" (Matthew Morrison) honor their comrade Finn (who was played by the late Cory Monteith). As the show splits its time between Ohio and the New York adventures of Rachel and Kurt (Lea Michele, Chris Colfer), the 100th episode also is included, with Kristin Chenoweth and Gwyneth Paltrow reprising their guest roles. Included as well is a story with Billy Joel's music as the theme. DVD extras: three 'making-of' documentaries. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Men, Women & Children" (Jan. 13): Teens and their parents deal with the Internet in director Jason Reitman's comedy-drama; Adam Sandler and Jennifer Garner star. (R: AS, P)
"A Walk Among Tombstones" (Jan. 13): A former cop turned private detective (Liam Neeson) becomes involved in a drug dealer's (Dan Stevens) plight. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Annabelle" (Jan. 20): The spirit within a vintage doll makes things tough for the cultists who invade its new owners' (Annabelle Wallis, John Gordon) home. (R: AS, P, V)
"The Box Trolls" (Jan. 20): An orphan tries to protect the trash collectors who raised him from an exterminator in this animated fantasy; Ben Kingsley is in the voice cast. (PG: AS)
"Lucy" (Jan. 20): A innocent (Scarlett Johansson) is transformed into a furious warrior by an untested drug in writer-director Luc Besson's sci-fi-adventure; Morgan Freeman also stars. (R: AS, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD RENTALS (week ending November 30, courtesy of Rentrak)
1) "22 Jump Street"
3) "The Expendables"
4) "X-Men: Days of Future Past"
6) "Sex Tape"
8) "The Purge: Anarchy"
9) "Earth to Echo"
10) "Edge of Tomorrow"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
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