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.)
"London Has Fallen": Any viewer of "Olympus Has Fallen'' can expect the sequel won't be a quiet and sedate affair ... and indeed, the follow-up matches the frantic action of the original as the U.S. president and his Secret Service man (returnees Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler) are among terrorists' targets again. This time, they're overseas with other world leaders for the funeral of England's prime minister when mayhem erupts, forcing them to trust their own instincts -- and an MI6 agent (Charlotte Riley) -- to make their way through the devastation and stay alive. Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo also are back from the first film. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"10 Cloverfield Lane": Sort of a prequel to the sleeper horror hit "Cloverfield,'' this effective-with-a-small-cast melodrama actually was conceived as its own separate project, then retooled to fit the franchise. Mary Elizabeth Winstead -- of PBS' "Mercy Street'' and the new CBS series "BrainDead'' -- plays a car-accident victim who becomes a prisoner of a survivalist (the reliable-as-always John Goodman), who already has someone else (John Gallagher Jr., "The Newsroom'') present. The homeowner warns of major danger outside his doors, but she debates whether to trust him. With J.J. Abrams among its producers, the film also involves Bradley Cooper in a creative way (spoiler withheld). *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"45 Years": Charlotte Rampling was an Oscar nominee for director-screenwriter Andrew Haigh's (HBO's "Looking'') intriguing drama, in which she stars with fellow acting veteran Tom Courtenay as a couple whose 45th wedding anniversary is upset by startling news. The body of the husband's long-ago lover has been found, preserved in a glacier ... prompting the couple to re-examine how they've spent their lives, both separately and together. Though the adaptation of David Constantine short story does have other actors, including Geraldine James, the heavy lifting clearly is on Rampling and Courtenay -- and they expectedly achieve it beautifully. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also releasing this week:
"The X-Files: The Event Series": If the truth is still out there, it's up to Mulder and Scully (David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson) to reunite and uncover it. Their search through the supernatural continues in this six-episode continuation of the original show, guided again by creator-producer Chris Carter and a number of the first series' other writers and producers. Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis and Annabeth Gish are among additional familiar faces who return ... but expectedly, there's special pleasure in seeing Duchovny and Anderson back in their iconic roles. DVD extras: three "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary on selected episodes by cast and crew members; deleted and extended scenes; outtakes. *** (Not rated: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray)
"Eddie the Eagle": The true story of an Olympic ski-jumping hopeful, played by Taron Egerton ("Kingsman: The Secret Service''), is recounted in this well-meaning if highly predictable drama directed by actor Dexter Fletcher ("The Rachel Papers''). Eddie Edwards won't take "No'' from the British election committee for the 1988 Winter Games in Calgary, seeking help from an apparent has-been (Hugh Jackman, doing a nice turn in a familiar role) to coach him to success. Christopher Walken, playing Jackman's own mentor, and Christopher Walken also appear. *** (PG-13: AS) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Get a Job": The employment market is more challenging than ever, and among those who find it that way are college graduates with no track record in the work force -- such as the characters played by Miles Teller ("Whiplash'') and Anna Kendrick in this comedy. Their plans to take the business world by storm don't pan out initially, prompting them to take unique measures to achieve their aims. The story is uneven but the cast is good, also since co-stars include Christopher Mintz-Plasse ("Superbad''), Marcia Gay Harden, Bryan Cranston and John C. McGinley. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; outtakes. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Brothers Grimsby'' (June 21): A modest man (Sacha Baron Cohen, also the co-writer here) sets out to find his brother (Mark Strong), who turns out to be an espionage agent. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2" (June 21): History repeats itself for Toula and Ian (Nia Vardalos, John Corbett) when nuptials again threaten to divide their family. (PG-13: AS, P)
"Eye in the Sky" (June 28): British military officials oversee a drone mission against terrorists in Kenya; Helen Mirren, Alan Rickman and Aaron Paul star. (R: P, V)
"Kung Fu Panda 3" (June 28): Po (voice of Jack Black) reunites with his father (voice of Bryan Cranston), but faces a new threat. (PG: AS, V)
"By the Sea" (July 5): Angelina Jolie Pitt directs herself and husband Brad Pitt in the story of a couple recapturing their passion while visiting a French town. (R: AS, N, P)
"The Divergent Series: Allegiant" (July 12): Tris (Shailene Woodley) and her allies aim to make it over the wall to the outside world as the adventure saga continues. (PG-13: N, P, V)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending May 29, 2016, courtesy of comScore)
1) "The Revenant"
2) "Ride Along 2"
3) "Dirty Grandpa"
4) "The Fifth Wave"
5) "Zoolander No. 2: The Magnum Edition"
7) "The Witch"
8) "Daddy's Home"
9) "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence