New to DVD and On Demand Releases for June 11 - 17

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11 June 2017
VIEW FROM THE COUCH
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:
The Lego Batman Movie
"The Lego Batman Movie": This franchise's version of the Caped Crusader was such a success in "The Lego Movie,'' he got his own computer-animated spinoff -- with Will Arnett again supplying his voice -- with this adventure. Barbara Gordon's (voice of Rosario Dawson) elevation to succeed her father (voice of Hector Elizondo) as Gotham City's police commissioner, plus The Joker's (voice of Zach Galifianakis) latest scheme, mean big concerns for the hero. Many familiar aspects of the Batman saga are factored cleverly into the script. Michael Cera (as Robin), Ralph Fiennes, Jenny Slate, Mariah Carey, Billy Dee Williams, Seth Green, Jonah Hill and Conan O'Brien also are in the voice cast. DVD extras: six "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by director and cast members; deleted scenes; animated short subjects. *** (PG: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
John Wick: Chapter 2"John Wick: Chapter 2": After the first edition that performed surprisingly well for him, with both audiences and critics, Keanu Reeves reprises the role of the ex-assassin who goes to Italy when another killer (Riccardo Scamarcio) wants his own sister (Claudia Gerini) eliminated ... and Wick then becomes the target of an ordered contract killing himself. Beyond the nice foreign scenery -- offered here with a dose of darkness, given the story's theme -- fans of "The Matrix'' will get a bonus from seeing Reeves reunited with co-star Laurence Fishburne. Common, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo, Ruby Rose and Thomas Sadoski ("Life in Pieces'') also appear. DVD extras: 10 "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by Reeves and director Chad Stahelski; deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, N, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season"South Park: The Complete Twentieth Season": While Trey Parker and Matt Stone's animated Comedy Central staple might seem a bit dated in its home-video afterlife, given its topicality that sees the episodes completed very close to their on-air debuts, it also makes the show something of a satirical time capsule. Given that these stories began running in September 2016, it's only to be expected that the most recent presidential election factors heavily into the tales ... though the series has its own controversial candidate in Mr. Garrison (whose voice is supplied by Parker). Internet trolling is another major concern of Season 20. *** (Not rated: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray)
Table 19"Table 19": Being an outcast at a wedding reception is no fun, but it does furnish some laughs in this tale of such a table of randomly gathered guests. Anna Kendrick plays the almost-maid-of-honor, whose falling-out with the best man gets her banished to said table, where she bonds with others who have their own tales of woe to tell. Craig Robinson (with whom Kendrick worked previously in "Rapture-Palooza''), Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant and June Squibb ("Nebraska'') also star. Jay Duplass and Mark Duplass conceived the story with director Jeffrey Blitz, who's been an executive producer on NBC's "Trial & Error'' recently. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries; deleted scenes; photo gallery. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)


Also Releasing this Week:
The Borgias: The Complete Series"The Borgias: The Complete Series": The Neil Jordan-created Showtime drama stars Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo, the patriarch of the notorious 15th-century family that ruled the Roman Catholic Church of the time through questionable means. Rodrigo becomes Pope Alexander VI, whose authority is questioned -- and life threatened -- by rival Giuliano della Rovere, determined to depose him via any and every avenue at his disposal. At the same time, the pontiff has to worry about considerable intrigue within his own clan. The large cast also includes Colm Feore, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, David Oakes, Steven Berkoff, Augustus Prew ("Pure Genius''), Derek Jacobi, Elyes Gabel ("Scorpion''), Emmanuelle Chriqui and Jemima West. *** (Not rated: AS, N, V)
Grimm Season Six"Grimm Season Six": The NBC fantasy-adventure series, which included Sean Hayes ("Will & Grace'') among its executive producers, marked the end of its run with this set of episodes. As it begins, Capt. Renard (Sasha Roiz) is more determined than ever to get rid of Nick (David Giuntoli), but Hank and Wu (Russell Hornsby, Reggie Lee) are equally determined not to let that happen. Monroe and Rosalee (Silas Weir Mitchell, Bree Turner) weigh family considerations in deciding where they want to be. Eve (Bitsie Tulloch) starts showing side effects of her healing. A complete-series set also is newly available. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)


Upcoming Releases:
"CHiPs'' (June 27): California Highway Patrol officers Jon and Ponch (Dax Shepard, also the update's writer-director, and Michael Pena) are back on the roads. (R: AS, P, N, V)
"Life'' (June 20): A deadly shape-shifter boards the International Space Station; Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson star. (R: AS, P, V)
"Power Rangers" (June 27): The adventure saga gets a reboot as Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks) betrays her comrades, prompting the rise of a new squad of Power Rangers. (PG-13: P, V)
"Homicide: Life on the Street -- The Complete Series" (July 4): One of the most acclaimed drama series in television history gets a home-video relaunch; stars include Andre Braugher and Melissa Leo. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"T.J. Hooker: The Complete Series" (July 18): William Shatner plays the veteran police officer, with Adrian Zmed and Heather Locklear as the rookies he's teamed with. (Not rated: V)
"Billy Jack: The Complete Collection" (July 25): Even the pre-"Billy Jack'' drama "Born Losers'' is included in this set; Tom Laughlin plays the maverick hero. (PG: AS, P, V)


Oldies But Goodies:
"Cheech and Chong's Next Movie" (1980): The comedy duo has a variety of Hollywood misadventures as this comedy makes its Blu-ray debut. ***
"Runaway Train" (1985): Jon Voight gives a superbly gritty performance as an escaped convict aboard the title locomotive; Eric Roberts and Rebecca De Mornay also star. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"Something's Gotta Give" (2003): Writer-director Nancy Meyers generates a funny love story for Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton; Keanu Reeves and Amanda Peet also star. ***


TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending May 28, 2017, Courtesy of
comScore)

1)  "Split"
2)  "XXX: Return of Xander Cage"
3)  "The Great Wall"
4)  "Hidden Figures"
5)  "Why Him?"
6)  "Sleepless"
7)  "Fantastic Beasts and Where to FindThem"
8)  "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
9)  "Sing"
10)  "Gold"


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