New to DVD and On Demand Releases for June 17 - 23

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17 June 2018
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:
 
Pacific Rim Uprising"Pacific Rim Uprising": It doesn't have Guillermo del Toro as the director this time (though he's among the producers here), but for those who enjoyed the original sci-fi adventure, this sequel has enough of the same elements to stay entertaining. For genre fans, it also has John Boyega -- of recent "Star Wars'' chapters -- as a pilot who has gone on a wayward path, not living up to his father's heroic image. He gets a shot at redemption by taking the controls against a terrifying force with the power to topple entire cities (needless to say, cue the special-effects team). Charlie Day and Rinko Kikuchi return from the original cast, with Scott Eastwood (son of Clint) also featured. DVD extras: 10 "making-of'' documentaries; audio commentary by director Steven S. DeKnight; deleted scenes. *** (PG-13: P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Unsane"Unsane": Always up for challenging the conventions of cinema, director Steven Soderbergh tries again with this melodrama casting Claire Foy ("The Crown'') as a woman whose sanity is questioned after she is committed to a facility involuntarily. She continues to have visions of a person (Joshua Leonard) who stalked her but supposedly stopped, and matters only get worse for her inside the institution. Amy Irving -- who also worked for Soderbergh in "Traffic'' -- is in the cast as well, as are "Saturday Night Live'' alum Jay Pharaoh and Broadway staple Marc Kudisch. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Masterpiece Man in an Orange Shirt"MASTERPIECE: Man in an Orange Shirt": Debuting on PBS in the same week it's being released on home video, this merging of two tales by novelist Patrick Gale features Oscar winner Vanessa Redgrave and relates love stories that are separated by 60 years. The first is set during World War II, when a soldier and the artist he saves (played by Oliver Jackson-Cohen and James McArdle) develop a deep personal connection. Six decades later, the cottage that was a refuge for those men becomes the home of a veterinarian (Julian Morris, also seen recently in the latest version of "Little Women'') and his grandmother (Redgrave), who wants to know as little as possible about his love life. Julian Sands, Laura Carmichael ("Downton Abbey''), Frances de la Tour and David Gyasi ("Interstellar'') also appear. *** (Not rated: AS, P)


Also Releasing this Week:

Flower"Flower": Becoming increasingly prominent in film through such attractions as "Before I Fall'' and "Why Him?,'' Zoey Deutch -- a daughter of actress-director Lea Thompson and filmmaker Howard Deutch ("Pretty in Pink'') -- does impressive work in this seriocomic tale. She plays a highly individualistic teen who decides it's up to her and her friends to get justice for her stepbrother (Joey Morgan), an alleged assault victim of a high-school teacher (Adam Scott). The director here is someone else who knows about being descended from long-established Hollywood talent: Henry Winkler's son Max. Kathryn Hahn also appears. DVD extra: audio commentary by Deutch and Winkler. *** (R: AS, P, V)
The Best of Agatha Christie: Volume 3 and 4"The Best of Agatha Christie: Volume 3 and 4": Available separately, these sets combine adaptations of some of the legendary mystery writer's tales, as made for British television. "Volume Three'' offers stories featuring arguably her two most famous of all characters, Hercule Poirot (played masterfully, as he did many times, by David Suchet) in "The Hollow,'' and Miss Jane Marple (Geraldine McEwan) in "Marple: Ordeal by Innocence.'' Both also turn up in "Volume Four,'' in which the titles include the Poirot caper "Dead Man's Folly'' and (with Julia McKenzie in the lead role) the Marple tale "A Caribbean Mystery.'' *** (Not rated: AS, V)
Flower"The Jazz Ambassadors": Music often is cited as a binding force among cultures, and that is borne out by this documentary, shown recently by PBS and detailing how then-Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. -- with the backing of President Dwight D. Eisenhower -- enlisted some of the top talents in jazz to tour the world as U.S. emissaries in the mid-1950s. Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington and Dave Brubeck were among those involved ... along with, notably, their racially integrated bands. "Hamilton'' Tony Award winner Leslie Odom Jr. is the narrator. *** (Not rated: AS)

 
Upcoming Releases:

"Acrimony'' (June 26): After she realizes her husband has been cheating on her, a woman (Taraji P. Henson) seeks revenge in this Tyler Perry drama. (R: AS, P, V)
"Black Lightning: The Complete First Season" (June 26): Cress Williams has the title role in The CW's series take on the DC Comics character. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Beirut" (July 3): An ex-diplomat (Jon Hamm) struggles to keep related emotions in check as he tries to rescue an abducted associate; Rosamund Pike also stars. (R: AS, P, V)
"Blockers" (July 3):  Several parents (John Cena, Leslie Mann, Ike Barinholtz) band together to derail their daughters' questionable prom-night plans. (R: AS, N, P)
"Mosaic'' (July 10): First released in app form, the Steven Soderbergh-directed mystery -- shown by HBO -- stars Sharon Stone, Garrett Hedlund and Beau Bridges. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"Gravity Falls: The Complete Series" (July 24): The animated Disney series traces the exploits of two siblings (voices of Jason Ritter and Kristen Schaal) during their summer in a strange town. (Not rated)


Oldies But Goodies:

"Bird'' (1988): Forest Whitaker is excellent in the title role of director (and known jazz aficionado) Clint Eastwood's biography of saxophonist Charlie ``Bird'' Parker. ***
"Night of the Lepus" (1972): Huge rabbits threaten Arizona in this semi-intentionally kitschy thriller, making its Blu-ray debut; Stuart Whitman and Janet Leigh star. ***
"Ocean's Eleven'' (2001): Director Steven Soderbergh's highly entertaining reboot casts George Clooney as the leader of a scheme to rob several Las Vegas casinos simultaneously. *** (Also on Blu-ray)


TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending June 10, 2018, Courtesy of 
comScore)

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