New to DVD and On Demand Releases for July 29 - August 4


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:


Tully"Tully": Charlize Theron is the top name among the stars in her reteaming (after "Young Adult'') with director Jason Reitman and writer Diablo Cody -- and while she does very fine work as a wife and mother who can't seem to catch a break from demanding family duty, it's another actress who steals the show. Mackenzie Davis ("Halt and Catch Fire'') makes a stunning impression as a nanny who's recruited by the Theron character's brother (Mark Duplass) to give her a breather. The newcomer ends up doing much more than that, proving to be a resource on just about every aspect of life, and making herself invaluable in the process. Ron Livingston also appears, but the picture clearly and wonderfully belongs to the women. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Counterpart: The Complete First Season"Counterpart: The Complete First Season": "Whiplash'' Oscar winner J.K. Simmons has a plum role -- two, actually -- in this extremely clever Starz merging of sci-fi saga and espionage thriller. Series creator and executive producer Justin Marks, who has cited John le Carre as one of his inspirations here, casts Simmons as a rather ordinary bureaucrat -- working in Berlin for a division of the United Nations -- who's thrust into the extraordinary when he learns of a parallel dimension where his duplicate is a highly skilled espionage agent. Much of the fun comes from watching expert talent Simmons manage the two vastly different sides of the same character. The stylish pilot episode was directed by Morten Tyldum ("Passengers,'' "The Imitation Game''). Cast members also include Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd and Nicholas Pinnock. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
Final Portrait"Final Portrait": A literal portrait is the subject of this true drama, written for the screen and directed by actor Stanley Tucci ("The Devil Wears Prada''), and centering on the efforts of artist Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) to paint writer and art patron James Lord (Armie Hammer). What is supposed to be a short session ends up taking much longer, generating a friendship between the two men despite their considerable differences -- and offering insight into the pros and cons of the artistic process. Tony Shalhoub (who also had major involvement in the Tucci-co-directed "Big Night'') and Clemence Poesy ("The Tunnel'') also appear. DVD extras: interviews with cast and crew members; behind-the-scenes footage. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on On Demand)

Also Releasing this Week:


Overboard"Overboard": The long-popular comedy starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell -- which still turns up on cable channels regularly -- gets a role reversal in this largely unnecessary remake, as Anna Faris ("Mom'') plays a working woman who gets to even the score with the pampered playboy (Eugenio Derbez, "Instructions Not Included'') who failed to pay her for cleaning his yacht. After he falls (all together, now) overboard, he suffers amnesia, which the former employee uses to convince him that they're married. She enjoys the ruse, though his memory could return at any time. Faris exudes her usual kooky charm, but the Garry Marshall-directed original still has the edge. Eva Longoria also stars. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by writer-director Rob Greenberg, writer-producer Bob Fisher and producer Benjamin Odell. *** (PG-13: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)

The Miracle Season"The Miracle Season": The latest in the line of heartfelt, true dramas about the sports world, the story traces the efforts of a high-school volleyball team to regroup and continue its winning streak after the tragic death of the team's leader (Danika Yarosh). The coach (Helen Hunt, who's been doing as much directing as acting lately) appeals to the victim's best friend (Erin Moriarty) to keep the momentum going to honor the memory of the lost player. William Hurt also stars. DVD extras: theatrical trailers; "making-of'' documentary; photo gallery. *** (PG: AS) (Also on On Demand)
NOVA Wonders"NOVA Wonders": A spinoff of one of PBS' most celebrated and enduring shows, this six-part series tackles one of science's biggest questions per episode as hosts Talithia Williams, Rana el Kaliouby and Andre Fenton apply their own backgrounds to try to reach a conclusive answer. First up is "What Are Animals Saying?,'' which surveys the communication methods of many different creatures in considering whether humans truly can understand them. A dog and a gorilla that understand spoken words are featured. "What's Living in You?,'' "Are We Alone?'' and "What's the Universe Made Of?'' are among other queries addressed. *** (Not rated)

Upcoming Releases:

"Breaking In" (Aug. 7): A woman (Gabrielle Union) does whatever it takes to save her children from thieves in a security-laden vacation house. (PG-13: AS, P, V)
"The Good Doctor: Season One" (Aug. 7): One of the past television season's top new hits, this ABC drama stars Freddie Highmore as a skilled young surgeon who has autism and a new job at a major hospital. (Not rated: AS, P)
"Here and Now" (Aug. 7): Holly Hunter and Tm Robbins play the heads of a very diverse family in this HBO drama series from producer Alan Ball ("True Blood''). (Not rated: AS, P)
"Life of the Party" (Aug. 7): After her husband calls it quits with her, a woman (Melissa McCarthy) decides to go back and finish her college education. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Riverdale: The Complete Second Season" (Aug. 7): Intrigue and danger continue to surround Archie (KJ Apa) and his friends -- even while staging a musical version of Stephen King's "Carrie.'' (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (Aug. 14): A young Englishman (Alex Sharp) discovers that the person he's fallen for (Elle Fanning) is an alien; Nicole Kidman also stars. (R: AS, N, P)

Oldies But Goodies:

"Juno" (2007): A pregnant teen (Ellen Page) choose adoptive parents (Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman) for her forthcoming child. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Scary Movie" (2000): The first of the Wayans family's horror-film spoofs stars Marlon Wayans as well as Anna Faris and Shannon Elizabeth. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Shine" (1996): In his Oscar-winning performance, Geoffrey Rush plays pianist David Helfgott, who overcame mental-health problems to resume his career. **** (Also on Blu-ray)

TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending July 15, 2018, Courtesy of 

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